Tina Dupuy: Historians agree the best Republican President was also the first: Abraham Lincoln. Who’s second runner up? Which President has represented Republican values best? Easy. President Barack Obama.
H. Scott Prosterman: Public education is in crisis nationwide, as are 23 state governments and most municipal governments, as the Grover Norquist ideologues have assumed power and seeded the certain destruction of public education at all levels.
Deepak Tripathi: Western societies have suffered a major socioeconomic and moral collapse. The recent street violence in England’s cities is the latest, most disturbing expression of individual selfishness and anger causing the rot.
Steve Hochstadt: The Republican dream is a libertarian nightmare – the “free market” is free to watch you all the time. Big Brother isn’t a government camera. It’s a corporate cookie right in your computer.
Gil Troy: Presidential power also comes from the ability to reward and punish, to create careers and destroy others – demanding a ruthlessness in domestic politics Barack Obama has rarely displayed.
Tom Degan: The deeply disturbing similarities to George W. Bush aside, Rick Perry has also got that Ronald Reagan thing happening, have you noticed that? Good hair, telegenic, sunny disposition, smooth talker – and dumber than dog poop.
Steve Hochstadt: In 2011, the Republican strategy has been crowned with total success. They have managed to make the US government into a laughing stock, a global symbol of incompetence. Public confidence in government is at an all-time low.
Steven Conn: For thirty years inflation has not been a serious threat to the American economy, yet politicians and pundits continually fret about it. The never-ending worry about inflation is like fighting the last war rather than the current one. What’s needed today is a war on unemployment and wage stagnation, not inflation.
Joseph Palermo: By not speaking about the poor and poverty in America President Obama allows the Reagan era “welfare queen” construct to go unchallenged and, even worse, creates a vacuum that’s already being filled by right-wing pseudo-scholars.
Ivan Eland: The good news is that if the committee can’t reach an agreement on the fiscal changes, or if Congress rejects its work, defense (including homeland security) and domestic programs have to take equal cuts.
Stanley Kutler: Our problems with governance lie far beyond the character of Obama, or with the Lilliputians who run Congress. Our “leaders” will not lead; worse yet, they refuse to honestly confront the nation’s interest or needs.
Steve Hochstadt: Our economic disaster is not about national debt, but about national poverty. America cannot be a great country, if we do not alleviate the critical economic problems gripping our poorest families.
Andrew Basevich: And the holiday festivities at Fenway had another significance as well, one that extended beyond burnishing institutional reputations and boosting bottom lines. Here was America’s civic religion made manifest.