I’m conflicted. On the one hand, I’m happy to see the Republican Party and especially its conservative wing self destruct. On the other hand, I think we need (at least) two functioning and representative political parties for the good of our democracy. Herein lies the rub.
From my latest column for Fox News:
The Republican establishment also seems to be missing the biggest problem, that voters are increasingly rejecting Republican orthodoxy that the party nonetheless continues to push. Witness the House Republican budget, a plan that voters solidly opposed in the 2012 election and in exit poll after exit poll, including rejecting the man who proposed it, Paul Ryan. A party that would double down on such an unpopular agenda isn’t just lacking good data systems but fundamentally tone deaf.
You can read my full reflection here.
Marking the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, I write in the American Prospect:
In spite of the odds that stood against it, Occupy Wall Street did not repel America, but attracted it, crystallizing and dramatizing the inequality that has become the central political struggle of our time. In the wake of an economic collapse that devastated every community in America and with a progressive movement that had been unable to respond to small crises—let alone major ones—with any unity of purpose or voice, Occupy stepped into the void. With threadbare blankets, it somehow wove together the disparate agendas of the left. Like the countless tent poles at protests across the country, Occupy gave the too-often cowering American left a spine.
Read the entire essay here, and please share your reflections on the lasting legacy of Occupy.
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.
In my latest column for Salon, I write that Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin isn’t an extremist exception in the Republican Party — he’s the new norm.
When Missouri’s Republican candidate for the Senate said that “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy, not only was Todd Akin echoing the extreme anti-abortion positions held by many in his party, he was exemplifying the creeping extremism within the Republican Party on women’s issues and far more. In the new, extremist Republican Party, Akin is not an aberration. He is merely the latest canary in a coalmine of crazy.
Further in the essay:
Yes, the Republican establishment is condemning Akin’s remarks and distancing itself from his candidacy. But let’s be clear: Akin is only guilty of saying out loud what many Republican leaders think and legislate on the basis of. Talking Points Memo has detailed other Republican leaders throughout the years who have questioned that rape can lead to pregnancy and prominent Republican leaders like Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal oppose abortions under all circumstances, including rape. Both will be speaking at the Republican National Convention next week. Moreover, the many Republicans pushing back against Akin seem more concerned with preserving the dignity of the Republican Party than protecting the dignity and rights of women who have been raped.
And then I go on to detail other areas of extremism creeping into the Republican mainstream. Please check out the full piece here and spread it around via the links on Salon’s page.
Republicans are desperately trying to varnish their new vice presidential nominee with the re-written legacy of Ronald Reagan. But Paul Ryan just doesn’t fit the mold. I discuss Paul Ryan’s record — and Reagan’s! — on America Live with Megyn Kelly, video courtesy of Fox News:
Think what you will about the protests. Maybe they weren’t your cup of tea. But do know that our forefathers who destroyed private property by dumping crates of tea into the Boston Harbor were not initially praised as heroes but attacked as criminals. But we look back with deep gratitude that they stood up to the fundamental inequity and injustice of the British monarchy and its stranglehold over the colonies. Without their bold action, we would not be a nation.
Such protests often look prettier with the distance of history. Standing up to the status quo is, by definition, counter-cultural in the moment — even if those doing the standing up have the support of the majority of Americans.
Read the rest here http://fxn.ws/sEV3Ji
“This election marks the victory of a new politics in America, an emerging populism that is neither left nor right, Republican nor Democrat, but is fiercely pro-worker, pro-community, pro-opportunity and pro-American dream.
It all started when the disillusioned right and the disillusioned left came together. Tuesday night, they tied the knot.”
The protesters are not anti-American radicals. They are the defenders of the American Dream, the decision from the birth of our nation that success should be determined by hard work not royal bloodlines.
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