Marian Wang: For months, comedian Stephen Colbert has been taking his satire to the field of campaign finance, highlighting how little-known groups can raise and spend unlimited — and sometimes undisclosed — funds on election ads.
Mark Nevin: In the 1964 presidential campaign, Republican Barry Goldwater initially criticized Social Security but then backed away from that criticism after he fell under attack from fellow Republicans. Despite his backpedaling, Goldwater could never shake the label of Social Security foe. Might current Republican front-runner Rick Perry be in a similar situation?
Jonathan Zimmerman: It’s one thing to oppose same-sex marriage; it is quite another to claim that gay people launched the Nazi Party in Germany. The former is a policy opinion, while the latter is a factual lie. Republican presidential candidates to distinguish between opinions and lies and to denounce those supporters who have made the gay-Nazi claim.
Stanley Kutler: Bachmann is so obviously an off-the-wall politician, one deservedly dismissed as a fringe candidate. But ironically, the liberal media have propelled her rise from well-deserved mediocrity to suddenly a “serious” candidate
Sherwood Ross: Perry, an evangelical Christian who would make a formidable candidate, appears to actually believe the U.S. military is divinely directed and is liable to continue U.S. interventions in the region.
Rev. Irene Monroe: To have moral authority, Rick Perry cannot as a governor call Americans to a Christian rally that by its invitation and sponsors exclude LGBT people, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, and many others. And he cannot impose his religious views into the fabric of American democracy.