In my latest blog post for MORE Magazine, I look at the record number of women elected to Congress in the 2012 election — but also give a warning:
Admittedly, it’s not as if the women in Congress will be running the place. In that body’s entire history, just 27 women have chaired committees, which is where the real power lies. In our most current Congress, the 112th, only one woman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chaired a committee (Foreign Affairs). That’s right, just one.
Read the entire essay here — the good, bad and still-to-be-done about women in politics.
From my latest piece for the Fox News website:
It is stunning to hear Republicans, who mere months ago boasted about how likely the president was to be defeated, now minimize the significance of the president’s victory and suggest he does not have a mandate….
Republicans can do all the finger pointing they want — at Mitt Romney, his campaign, Hurricane Sandy, whatever — but the fact is that with a weak economy and sagging approval ratings, President Obama was highly vulnerable for defeat if Republicans could propose popular alternatives. But this election proved those Republican alternatives wildly unpopular.
Read the rest here — and share it around!
From my latest:
Despite baseless Republican assertions to the contrary, Barack Obama has sought from Day One to take responsibility for his actions as President. So, after three and a half years in which Republicans have blocked every piece of legislation Obama has proposed and generally been as uncooperative as possible — economic recovery be damned — Obama repeated this weekend what he has said before: “I take full responsibility for everything that we do.”
And yet Mitt Romney still refuses to take responsibility even for his own tax returns.
Read the rest here and join me in mourning the erosion of maturity in politics.
On the heels of Mitt Romney insulting half of the nation, an excerpt from my latest for Salon:
Increasingly, I’ve come to think this debate is not really about conservative faith in trickle-down economics, which all real-world evidence gleaned over decades now proves just doesn’t work. Instead, I think Mitt Romney and many conservatives simply believe that the wealthy are more deserving and the poor are lazy. Therefore, we should reward the rich with whatever they want — lower tax rates, unlimited campaign spending, you name it — and punish the poor.
Read the rest here.
My latest column looks at what the Democrats pretty much didn’t do at their convention: Lie. Yes, all parties twist the truth. But Republicans and the Romney campaign have been distinguishing them by disregarding facts altogether. Here’s a clip:
Perhaps more important, while the Romney campaign has made clear it will “not let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers,” the Obama campaign has paid attention to feedback and corrected itself to hew to truth. As one example, since fact checkers like Politifact have said that saying Romney will “end Medicare as we know it” is accurate but just saying he will “end Medicare” is a misrepresentation, Bill Clinton used the more accurate version in his DNC remarks. The Obama campaign is trying to seriously outline the choice in this election with attention to facts, while the Romney campaign is one giant “talking point in search of facts” as Politifact once accused.
You can read my column here.
In my latest Salon column, I look at whether the DNC is intentionally or accidentally marginalizing organized labor:
Though there have been labor leaders at the convention podium, their roles haven’t been incredibly prominent. The UAW’s Bob King got a primetime role last night, but the campaign of course wants to highlight the story of saving autoworker jobs in Detroit. Meanwhile SEIU head Mary Kay Henry and AFL president Richard Trumka spoke as well, but their slots were relegated to the early hours of Tuesday and Wednesday’s programs. And perhaps more tellingly, while Bob King gave made a very strong and clear case for collective bargaining, he only mentioned the word “union” three times. Neither Trumka nor Henry used the word “union” at all in their remarks. Contrast this to four years ago when SEIU’s Anna Burger used the word union at least seven times in her 2008 DNC remarks and it seems at the very least curious. What’s more noticeable is that other speakers seem to be avoiding the topic of unions altogether.
Hope you’ll read the full article here.
In my latest column for Salon, I reflect on Mitt Romney’s speech at the RNC. I write that Romney may actually be a very nice and moderate guy but it doesn’t matter — he’s just a mask for the unyielding and extreme power of the Republican right:
So what if the speech Romney gave last night might be closer to his inherent temperament than the nasty campaign he’s been running? Who cares? It doesn’t matter either way! The fact is, Mitt Romney is now the candidate of the Republican right, whether they wanted each other or not. The radical wing of the Republican Party is now providing every drop of money and muscle for Romney’s campaign. He owes them and they own him.
When Romney and Republicans smear the President on welfare while hooting “We did build it!”, the result is a subtle but unmistakable othering based on racial anxiety. From my latest Salon column:
It is no coincidence that while every other Democratic president has been granted the presumption of good intent to grow the private sector and strengthen America generally, President Obama has been uniquely attacked as both un-American and a socialist. Add to that the inescapable context of the president’s blackness and the welfare smears and the “We did build that!” statement is as much about implicitly praising the hardworking, mostly white Republican base as it is implicitly demeaning the lazy, socialist black president. How could Obama build anything when not only is he so busy destroying America but he hasn’t even had a real job with “actual responsibilities”? In the us-versus-them story line, Mitt Romney is grouped with hard work and success and Barack Obama is grouped with laziness and irresponsibility. In her RNC speech, Ann Romney took one subtle but pointed dig in saying that, if elected, her husband will “work harder” than President Obama.
Please read and share the full essay. I think it’s an important conversation we all need to be having.
In my latest essay for ColorLines magazine, I catalogue the instances in which Mitt Romney and his surrogates have challenged President Obama’s fundamental claim on Americanness and have “otherized” the President with racialized attacks. Here’s an excerpt:
In a conference call with the conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition, Mitt Romney said President Obama has led an “assault on American values.” Romney has also accused President Obama of corrupting the American spirit and changing the “very fabric of our land.” Romney has said that while he believes America is exceptional and unique, President Obama thinks America is “just another nation with a flag.”
“The course we’re on right now is foreign to us,” Romney said of President Obama’s leadership. “It changes America.”
Taken in context with statements by Romney surrogates and other leading Republicans, it’s clear what ideas and sentiments Romney’s remarks are meant to trigger and echo
There’s more, and it will shock you. Read the full piece here.
The Republican plan in 2012 is to get as many voters to stay home as possible, whether by citing polls that Obama voters are “disenchanted” or through outright voter suppression efforts around the nation. In this clip, I dispel the manufactured crisis of voter fraud and talk about why voting is a fundamental right we should protect:
aired August 15, 2012 — video courtesy of Fox News
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