Peter Dreier: Throughout Wisconsin Democrats’ struggle, President Barack Obama has been sitting on the sidelines, failing to use his bully pulpit to encourage the burgeoning movement to protect working families from the corporate- and Tea Party-sponsored attacks.
John Peeler: Obama dribbles across mid-court, fakes left, moves right, deftly avoids Boehner’s attempted steal, and goes in for a lay-up. Boehner cuts him off at the knees, grabs the loose ball and runs it back for a touchdown.
Tina Dupuy: If liberals were doing to their country what extremist tea party Republicans are doing to theirs – it would be called unpatriotic. A whole tsunami of sound bites would sweep the country calling for the sabotage to stop.
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.
Anthony Samad: The rise of the Tea Party wouldn’t have taken place had we had a white president. Blink if you want to…but the fact this has not happened to any other President has raised my “Race-dar,” beyond anything ideological battles could muster. Race(ism) has not disappeared in this country. It’s just been codified.
Robert Reich: S&P’s intrusion into American politics is also ironic because, as I pointed out recently, much of our current debt is directly or indirectly due to S&P’s failures (along with the failures of the two other major credit-rating agencies — Fitch and Moody’s) to do their jobs before the financial meltdown.
Carl Bloice: If the people who set the Tea Party in motion and sustain it want a mandatory “balanced budget” there is a democratic way of going about getting one; introduce specific legislation. They wouldn’t take that route.
Bill Fletcher: We should get away from thinking of the Tea Party elected officials as crazy. They are not. They are no more crazy than the Japanese Kamikaze pilots in 1945. They are just as determined and wish to create maximum damage.
Tom Hayden: Launch a campaign progressive to the core, with no compromises on ending tax cuts for the rich and trillion-dollar wars.
Lucia Brawley: Polls showed a majority of Americans wanted Obama to compromise more. He did. In the election, no one can say he is the unreasonable one.
Ted Vaill: Seventy or eighty arch-conservative Tea Party members of the House and Senate have held this country hostage to their right-wing demands that we sacrifice entitlements belonging to ordinary, hard working Americans for the benefit of their rich friends. What is the mood of the ordinary American? Disgust.
Brent Budowsky: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) could not deliver enough Republican votes. He was some 40 votes short. At the very moment when Democrats had leverage, they still caved and asked for and received nothing in return.
Vijay Prashad: In the Progressive Caucus there was unanimity in the critique, but some hesitation over the way ahead. A few people felt that the far right was dangerous, and it seemed unsafe to unhinge what appeared to be Obama’s walkover in 2012.