Subscribe RSS

Archive for the ‘rightwing’ Category

Original Sin: Why the GOP Is and Will Continue To Be the Party of White People

February 16th, 2013 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in GOP, racism, rightwing

 

BY SAM TANENHAUS
Progressive America Rising via The New Republic

Feb 10, 2013 – With Barack Obama sworn in for a second term—the first president in either party since Ronald Reagan to be elected twice with popular majorities—the GOP is in jeopardy, the gravest since 1964, of ceasing to be a national party. The civil rights pageantry of the inauguration—Abraham Lincoln’s Bible and Martin Luther King’s, Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s swearing in of Joe Biden, Beyoncé’s slinky glamor, the verses read by the gay Cuban poet Richard Blanco—seemed not just an assertion of Democratic solidarity, but also a reminder of the GOP’s ever-narrowing identity and of how long it has been in the making.

"Who needs Manhattan when we can get the electoral votes of eleven Southern states?" Kevin Phillips, the prophet of "the emerging Republican majority," asked in 1968, when he was piecing together Richard Nixon’s electoral map. The eleven states, he meant, of the Old Confederacy. "Put those together with the Farm Belt and the Rocky Mountains, and we don’t need the big cities. We don’t even want them. Sure, Hubert [Humphrey] will carry Riverside Drive in November. La-de-dah. What will he do in Oklahoma?"

Forty-five years later, the GOP safely has Oklahoma, and Dixie, too. But Phillips’s Sunbelt strategy was built for a different time, and a different America. Many have noted Mitt Romney’s failure to collect a single vote in 91 precincts in New York City and 59 precincts in Philadelphia. More telling is his defeat in eleven more of the nation’s 15 largest cities. Not just Chicago and Columbus, but also Indianapolis, San Diego, Houston, even Dallas—this last a reason the GOP fears that, within a generation Texas will become a swing state. Remove Texas from the vast, lightly populated Republican expanse west of the Mississippi, and the remaining 13 states yield fewer electoral votes than the West Coast triad of California, Oregon, and Washington. If those trends continue, the GOP could find itself unable to count on a single state that has as many as 20 electoral votes.

It won’t do to blame it all on Romney. No doubt he was a weak candidate, but he was the best the party could muster, as the GOP’s leaders insisted till the end, many of them convinced he would win, possibly in a landslide. Neither can Romney be blamed for the party’s whiter-shade-of-pale legislative Rotary Club: the four Republicans among the record 20 women in the Senate, the absence of Republicans among the 42 African Americans in the House (and the GOP’s absence as well among the six new members who are openly gay or lesbian). These are remarkable totals in a two-party system, and they reflect not only a failure of strategy or "outreach," but also a history of long-standing indifference, at times outright hostility, to the nation’s diverse constituencies—blacks, women, Latinos, Asians, gays.

But that history, with its repeated instances of racialist political strategy dating back many decades, only partially accounts for the party’s electoral woes.

(more…)

How Obama Can Break the House Republicans:

January 17th, 2013 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in Budget Debates, GOP, Obama, rightwing

 

Looking at the Numbers to Isolate and Divide Their Three Groupings

By Noam Scheiber
Progressive America Rising via The New Republic

Jan 16, 2013 – Earlier this week Politico ran a piece about the mood of the House GOP that was highly revealing, if not quite the way the authors intended. The supposed take-away was that conservatives are so amped up and ornery they won’t think twice about leaving the debt ceiling where it is, consequences be damned. “GOP officials said more than half of their members are prepared to allow default unless Obama agrees to dramatic cuts he has repeatedly said he opposes,” the piece warned. Which is to say, pretty much the standard meshugas we’ve come to expect from John Boehner’s nuthouse.

But when you read between the lines of the Politico piece, the thinking of House Republicans looked a lot more rational. The upshot seemed to be that Boehner won’t let the government default on its liabilities, and that his members will settle for something much less damaging – a government shutdown – if they don’t get the cuts they want. (They will have the opportunity to engineer this a few weeks after the likely debt ceiling vote, when Congress has to pass a bill funding the government for the rest of the year.) “[Boehner] may need a shutdown just to get it out of their system,” a GOP leadership adviser told Politico, “so they have an endgame and can show their constituents they’re fighting.” The quote was meant to be ominous but was actually quite reassuring.

Ever since November, Washington has marveled at the “fever” the president hoped his re-election would break. House Republicans announced it was emphatically not broken when they resisted tax hikes until the grisly end of the fiscal cliff negotiations. But the fact that the deal got done at all suggests “fever” isn’t quite the right metaphor, at least not for most of the party. Yes, there are lunatics in the House of Representatives. And, yes, their lunacy isn’t likely to fade anytime soon. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to in order for the government to function.

The biggest problem with Obama’s fever metaphor is that it treats Republicans as monolithic. This wasn’t such a stretch during his first term, when the GOP calculated that relentless obstruction was the best way to undermine him, a goal they were united around. Back then, his gain was the GOP’s loss, and vice versa. But with Obama having run his last campaign, the game is no longer zero-sum. Up to a point, Republicans need not fear his rising popularity, so long as they become more popular too. And this has created divisions within the Republican Party.

(more…)

Tags:

The Secret of How the GOP Has a Lock on the House for the Foreseeable Future.

December 31st, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in elections, GOP, rightwing, Voting Rights

By Bill Berkowitz

Progressive America Rising via Alternet

Dec 29, 2012  – If somewhere in the recesses of your mind you were wondering how, despite President Barack Obama’s re-election victory and the Democratic Party’s gains in the Senate, Republicans continue to control the House of Representatives, think redistricting.

Redistricting is the process that adjusts the lines of a state’s electoral districts, theoretically based on population shifts, following the decennial census. Gerrymandering is often part and parcel of redistricting. According to the Rose Institute of State and Local Governments at Claremont McKenna College, Gerrymandering is done “to influence elections to favor a particular party, candidate, ethnic group.”

Over the past few years, as the Republican Party has gained control over more state legislatures than Democrats. And, it has turned redistricting into a finely-honed, well-financed project. That has virtually insured their control over the House. “While the Voting Rights Act strongly protects against racial gerrymanders, manipulating the lines to favor a political party is common,” the Rose Institute’s Redistricting in America website points out.

ProPublica’s Olga Pierce, Justin Elliott and Theodoric Meyer recently reported, in a piece titled “How Dark Money Helped Republicans Hold the House and Hurt Voters [3],” that “Republicans had a years-long strategy of winning state houses in order to control each state’s once-a-decade redistricting process,” That strategy helped the GOP put a hammerlock on its goal of creating safe Republican districts that would allow it to control of the House.

“The Republican effort to influence redistricting overall was spearheaded by a group called the Republican State Leadership Committee [RSLC], which has existed since 2002,” ProPublica reported. “For most of that time, it was primarily a vehicle for donors like health care and tobacco companies to influence state legislatures, key battlegrounds for regulations that affect corporate America. Its focus changed in 2010 when Ed Gillespie, former counselor to President George W. Bush, was named chairman. His main project: redistricting.”

Under Gillespie’s leadership, the RSLC launched a project called the Redistricting Majority Project [4], or REDMAP, “to influence state races throughout the country.” In 2010, the RSLC had raised $30 million to pursue what Karl Rove had discussed earlier that year in a Wall Street Journal article headlined, “The GOP Targets State Legislatures,” and subtitled, "He who controls redistricting can control Congress."

(more…)

The One and Only Cause of "Fiscal Cliff" Economic Crisis: Republicans Fear Tea Party Primaries

December 29th, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in GOP, rightwing, Tea Party

By Robert Creamer
Progressive America Rising via HuffPost

Dec 29, 2012 – Often, economic crises are caused by real physical problems – like draught, war, demography, or technological innovation that robs one economy of a competitive advantage over another.

Other times, economic crises result when asset bubbles burst, or financial markets collapse. That was the case of the Great Depression – and more recently the Great Recession.

The economic crisis of the moment – the "fiscal cliff" – does not result from any of these factors. In fact it is not a real "economic crisis" at all, except that it could inflict serious economic hardship on many Americans and could drive the economy back into recession.

The "fiscal cliff" is a politically manufactured crisis. It was original concocted by the Republican Senate Leader, Mitch McConnell as a way to get past the last crisis manufactured by the Republicans – the 2011 standoff over increasing the Federal Debt Ceiling.

Theoretically, "the cliff" – composed of increased taxes and huge, indiscriminant cuts in Federal programs – would be so frightening to policy makers that no one would ever consider allowing the nation to jump.

Now, America is on the brink of diving off the cliff for one and only one reason: many House Republicans are terrified of primary challenges from the Tea Party right.

That’s right, if your tax bill goes up $2,200 a year, or you’re one of the millions who would stop receiving unemployment benefits, the cause of your economic pain is not some a natural disaster, or a major structural flaw in the economy. The cause is Republican fear of being beaten in a primary by people like Sarah Palin, Sharon Angel or Richard Mourdock – funded by far Right Wing oligarchs like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers. It’s that simple.

Most normal Americans will have very little patience with Republicans as they begin to realize that GOP Members of Congress are willing to risk throwing the country back into a recession because they are worried about being beaten in low turn out primaries by people who do a better job than they do appealing to the extreme right fringe of the American electorate – and to the far Right plutocrats that are all too willing to stoke right wing passion and anger.

Nate Silver, of the New York Time’s 538.com, argues in a recent column that one of the reasons for this phenomenon is the increasing polarization of the American electorate. That polarization translates in to fewer truly "swing" Congressional seats and an increasing number where Members are more concerned with primary challenges than they are with losing in a general election. He concludes that at this moment the number of solidly Republican seats is larger the number of solidly Democratic seats.

This, he argues is partially a result of redistricting by Republican legislatures that packed Democrats into a limited number of districts in many states. But he also contends it results from increasing polarization of the electorate in general. And it is due to the fact that solidly Democratic urban areas have very high concentrations of Democrats, where Republican performing areas tend to have relatively lower concentrations of Republicans. These reasons help explain why, even though Democrats got more votes in House races this cycle than Republicans, Republicans still have more seats in the House.

Increased political polarization in the United States is not a result of some accident or act of God. In 2006, political scientists Nolan McCarty, Kevin T. Poole and Howard Rosenthal published a study of political polarization called Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches. Their study found that there is a direct relationship between economic inequality and polarization in American politics.

They measured political polarization in congressional votes over the last century, and found a direct correlation with the percentage of income received by the top 1% of the electorate. It is no accident that the years following the second World War, a period of low political polarization, was also a period that economist Paul Krugman refers to as the "great compression" — with robust economic growth for most Americans and reducing levels of economic inequality. In other words, it turns out that if you want less political polarization, the best medicine is reducing income inequality.

Of course, one of the other major factors feeding the GOP fear of primaries is that, because of the Citizens United decision, far right plutocrats can now inject virtually unlimited amounts of money into primary races. Unlimited independent expenditures have so far been much more successful in unseating incumbent Republican Members of Congress than it has been winning General Elections.

In the end, of course the relatively more diluted presence of Republicans in Republican districts – and the country’s changing demographics — may allow Democrats to win many currently Republican seats. What’s more, Republican near term concern about primary challenges – and the stridency it breeds — may alienate increasing numbers of moderate Republican leading independents. We’ve already seen this effect in the Presidential and Senate races and it would not be surprising that by 2014 many of the primary obsessed Republican incumbents are hoisted on their own petard in the General Election. Just ask Tea Party Members of Congress who were defeated in 2012, like Alan West and Joe Walsh. But in the near term, at least, there is also no question that many occupants of Republican seats appear far more concerned with primary challenges than they are with general elections.

If House Speaker Boehner is to be successful passing any form of compromise to avoid the "fiscal cliff" – either before the end of the year or after – he will need to convince Republican Members of the House that he is doing them a favor by bringing a bill the floor that can pass even with many Republicans voting no. That, of course requires that the deal is good enough to allow many Democrats to vote yes.

Boehner will get political cover for that kind of maneuver if a bill passes out of the Senate with bi-partisan support. But even then, he will certainly weigh whether he risks his otherwise certain re-election as Speaker on January 3rd if he acts before the country goes over the cliff at midnight, December 31.

Of course the many Republicans that will never support any form of tax compromise don’t justify their position by explaining they are more concerned with primaries than they are of general elections. In fact they generally fall back on one of three myths that are themselves utter nonsense.

Myth #1 – You shouldn’t tax the wealthy because they are "job creators". The plain fact is that no one invests money in any business if they do not think there are customers with money in their pockets to buy the products or services they produce.

Customers with money in their pockets are "job creators" – and the root of our current economic problems can be traced directly to the fact that everyday consumers are receiving a smaller and smaller percentage of the national economic pie and as a result have less ability to to buy the increasing number of products and services our economy can create. In fact, wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation’s gross domestic product since the government started keeping records in 1947. And corporate profits have climbed to their highest levels since the 1960′s.

Over the last two decades, per capita Gross Domestic Product has gone up; productivity per hour of work has gone up; but the median income of ordinary Americans has remained stagnant. That is only possible because all of the growth in our economy has been siphoned off by the top 2% of the population.

And it has meant that everyday people haven’t had the money in their pockets to buy the increased numbers of goods and services that are the consequence of that increased productivity. Stagnation and slow economic growth has been the result.

Henry Ford had this right. For the economy to grow over time, workers need to be paid enough to buy the products they produce.

If you want the economy to grow, the fruits of economic growth must be spread equally throughout the economy – if not consumers won’t have the money to buy and, as a consequence, investors won’t invest.

Higher taxes on the wealthy – including higher estate taxes on fortunes left to the sons and daughters of multi-millionaires – are not "bad" for the economy – just the opposite. They help address the economic inequality that is the core problem in our economy.

Myth #2 – Our biggest problem is the federal deficit. This is just flat wrong. It is the economic equivalent of the medieval view that you should "bleed" patients when they are sick.

We have learned from centuries of economic history, that when an economy is recovering from a recession, the right medicine for sluggish economic demand is more fiscal stimulus – and in the short run that does not mean lower deficits.

More economic stimulus, of the type that the President proposed in the American Jobs Act over a year ago, puts money in people’s pockets who can then spend it on more products and stimulate more investment. Austerity and reducing national debt will yield the same outcome we have recently seen in Europe – another recession. And that is exactly what the deficit hawks are likely to get if America slides of the fiscal cliff and stays there.

Right Wing deficit hawks are fond of warning that if we don’t cut the deficit, the country could turn into Greece – or some other European country that can’t pay it’s bills. They ignore the fact that right now U.S. Treasury Bonds are considered the safest investments in the world, and interest rates are at a record low. They also ignore the fact that, unlike the Europeans, the American Federal Reserve can monetize the federal debt and assure that U.S. bond holders are always paid — unless, of course, the Republicans refuse to pay the debts that we owe, which would be like committing economic Hara-Kiri.

In fact, the quickest way for America to become like Europe is a precipitous reduction of the federal spending. Ask the Brits how that worked out.

Finally, of course, let’s remember that the way to reduce the deficit is not an inscrutable mystery. When Democrat Bill Clinton was President he did it, just a few short years ago. The recipe for success involved two factors: increasing revenue, especially from the wealthy, and growing the economy.

Today we would have to add, the need to control the spiraling increase in health care costs. While ObamaCare will make big steps in that direction, much more will be needed. Shifting costs to seniors and other consumers by cutting Medicare or Medicaid benefits is not controlling health care costs – it is simply shifting them from government to individuals. And what is needed is not more de-regulation of for-profit health care companies. In fact we ultimately need to follow the model of the Canadians – and most of the other industrial nations in the world – and provide a universal Medicare coverage to all Americans. Our system of private health insurance is simply too expensive. Americans, after all, pay 40% more than any other country per capita for health care and have outcomes that rank only 37th in the world.

Myth #3 – Government is always bad and- as Grover Norquist argues – must be shrunk so it can be drowned in a bathtub.

Let’s ignore for a moment the fact that while Republicans talk about small government, they inevitably expand it when they control the White House – mostly in the form of larger military budgets.

Government, as Congressman Barney Frank says, is the name we give to the things we choose to do together–and that includes many of the most important things we do in our economy. From fire and police protection to providing free public education and health care for all, to building public infrastructure, to creating the Internet – government does a better, more efficient, more equitable job in many economic arenas than the private sector.

To hear the Republicans talk you wouldn’t know it, but right now taxes are at their lowest levels since 1958.

Right now in America we need more government – more education, more roads and bridges, more mass transportation, more cancer research, more health care, more nutrition programs, more drug education and treatment – not less. More government shouldn’t mean more regulation of our freedom – it should mean that when we co-operate together we have the ability to achieve more than if everyone is left to sink or swim. Government action is necessary to provide the foundation from which each person can individually excel.

The question of the type of society we want in America was squarely on the ballot in the election last November, and voters overwhelming voted for a society where we have each other’s back – where we’re all in this together, not all in this alone.

Progressives need to make all of these arguments to win the battle for the future. But let’s remember that the unwillingness of most Republicans to compromise to avoid the "fiscal cliff" – or anything else – has less to do with their commitment to their ultra right principles than to the protection of their own political hides.

That being the case, there are only two ways to convince Republicans to compromise. One is to demonstrate that their obsession with primary challenges from the right will ultimately lead them to defeat in General Elections. The second is to defeat them so badly in the next General Election that they no longer have the power to impose the will of an extremist minority on the people of the United States.

Robert Creamer is a long-time political organizer and strategist, and author of the book: Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win, available on Amazon.com. He is a partner in Democracy Partners and a Senior Strategist for Americans United for Change. Follow him on Twitter @rbcreamer.

Follow Robert Creamer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/rbcreamer

Michigan’s New Corporate Servitude Law: Defunding Unions in a Race to the Bottom

December 14th, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in GOP, rightwing, trade unions, Unemployment

By George Lakoff
Progressive America Rising via Reader Supported News

Dec 13, 2012 – Michigan has just passed a corporate servitude law. It is designed to take away many of the worker rights that unions have conferred throughout their history: the right to a living wage. The right to equal pay for women. The right to deferred payments in the form of pensions. The right to negotiate workplace standards and working conditions. The right to overtime pay.

The law is intended to destroy unions, or at least make then ineffective. It says simply that workers do not have to pay union dues to take a job — even if they get benefits previously negotiated by a union. Most workers who don’t have to pay dues won’t pay, and that will defund the unions, killing them and taking away rights unions have fought hard for over generations. Without workers negotiating as a unified group, corporations will not have to grant those union-created rights. Corporations will have take-it-or-leave-it power over individual workers. In short, this is corporate servitude: You do what you are told and take what you are offered.

The deeper truth about unions is that they don’t just create and maintain rights for workers; they work for and create crucial rights in society as a whole. Unions created weekends, the eight-hour workday and health benefits. And through their politics, they have been at the center of support for civil rights and other social justice issues. In short, unions don’t just work for their members. They work for all of us. Including businesses: Workers are profit creators.

Since Democratic candidates tend to support the same progressive views, defunding unions would take away their power to campaign for Democratic candidates. The new Michigan law is thus also a partisan law supporting the Republican party.

Language matters. Republicans understand this better than Democrats. Republicans have called their corporate servitude law a "right to work" law, as if the law conferred a right instead of taking many away. The first principle of political and social communication in cases of conflict is: avoid the other side’s language. The Democrats keep violating this principle, using the Republicans’ name for this law. In this way they are helping Republicans, because using the Republican language activates Republican framing, not just for this law, but for conservative ideology at the deepest level.

(more…)

Six Reasons Why the 2012 Election Will Be Considered Historic

November 8th, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in 2012 Election, elections, GOP, Obama, rightwing

 

 

By Robert Creamer
Progressive America Rising via Huffpost

Nov 8, 2010 – Tuesday’s election was important for many reasons. Its outcome will certainly benefit millions and millions of people – both in the United States and around the world. And President Obama’s campaign will be remembered as one of the best-run political efforts in the history of American politics.

But beyond the many important short and mid-term consequences, I believe it will likely be remembered as an inflection point in American political history. Here are six reasons why:

1). This election was truly a battle for the soul of America. It presented Americans with the clearest choice in my lifetime between traditional progressive American values – a vision of a society where we are all in this together on the one hand – and a vision of a society in which everyone looks out first and foremost for himself alone on the other.

Do we have each other’s back? Are we our brothers and sister’s keepers? Do we refuse to leave anyone behind? When we give everyone an opportunity to succeed does that make all of us more successful – or is life and society a zero sum game where one person’s success can only be purchased as the expense of another?

Tuesday’s election framed up the question of whether we believe all of those values we are taught in Sunday School, or whether we believe that 47% of Americans have to be considered victims who cannot be convinced to take responsibility for their lives?

Mitt Romney offered America an opportunity to choose values and leaders that were committed to the radical individualism espoused by his running-mate, Ayn Rand disciple Paul Ryan. America said no.

Instead, Americans chose to move forward in our over 200 year long quest to create a society where everyone has a fair shot, pays their fair share and plays by the same rules.

(more…)

Did Climate Change Cause Hurricane Sandy? Yes…

October 30th, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in Climate, Environment, rightwing

 

By Mark Fischetti
Progressive America Rising via Scientific American

Oct 30, 2012 – If you’ve followed the U.S. news and weather in the past 24 hours you have no doubt run across a journalist or blogger explaining why it’s difficult to say that climate change could be causing big storms like Sandy. Well, no doubt here: it is.

The hedge expressed by journalists is that many variables go into creating a big storm, so the size of Hurricane Sandy, or any specific storm, cannot be attributed to climate change. That’s true, and it’s based on good science. However, that statement does not mean that we cannot say that climate change is making storms bigger. It is doing just that—a statement also based on good science, and one that the insurance industry is embracing, by the way. (Huh? More on that in a moment.)

Scientists have long taken a similarly cautious stance, but more are starting to drop the caveat and link climate change directly to intense storms and other extreme weather events, such as the warm 2012 winter in the eastern U.S. and the frigid one in Europe at the same time. They are emboldened because researchers have gotten very good in the past decade at determining what affects the variables that create big storms. Hurricane Sandy got large because it wandered north along the U.S. coast, where ocean water is still warm this time of year, pumping energy into the swirling system. But it got even larger when a cold Jet Stream made a sharp dip southward from Canada down into the eastern U.S. The cold air, positioned against warm Atlantic air, added energy to the atmosphere and therefore to Sandy, just as it moved into that region, expanding the storm even further.

Here’s where climate change comes in. The atmospheric pattern that sent the Jet Stream south is colloquially known as a “blocking high”—a big pressure center stuck over the very northern Atlantic Ocean and southern Arctic Ocean. And what led to that? A climate phenomenon called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)—essentially, the state of atmospheric pressure in that region. This state can be positive or negative, and it had changed from positive to negative two weeks before Sandy arrived. The climate kicker? Recent research by Charles Greene at Cornell University and other climate scientists has shown that as more Arctic sea ice melts in the summer—because of global warming—the NAO is more likely to be negative during the autumn and winter. A negative NAO makes the Jet Stream more likely to move in a big, wavy pattern across the U.S., Canada and the Atlantic, causing the kind of big southward dip that occurred during Sandy.

(more…)

Republicans Out of Touch with Reality—And What We Can Do

October 14th, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in 2012 Election, GOP, racism, rightwing, Tea Party

By Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Progressive America Rising via Precinct Reporter Group

I saw this astounding figure that approximately 70 percent of Republicans believe that the poll numbers on the presidential race are biased towards President Obama.  In other words, they are asserting that because President Obama has been—at least at the time of this column—ahead in most polls, this cannot be correct and the media must be mucking around.

It is important to put this sentiment in context.  This is the same Republican Party where more than 60 percent of its members believe that President Obama was not born in the U.S. Despite the incontrovertible evidence, most Republican voters wish to believe otherwise.  I would love to think that this was a comedy routine but it is reality.

To understand how 70 percent of Republicans would believe that the polls are biased, you have to appreciate their inability to recognize the nature of the changes underway in the country.  To the extent to which they believe that this is a ‘White republic,’ where the rest of us are barely-tolerated visitors, the polls don’t make any sense.  After all, from their perspective, there is no way that the U.S.A. should have a Black president, and, more importantly, there is no way that the demographics of the U.S.A. should be changing in the manner in which they are – towards a society where there is no White majority.

There is no way of knowing how the elections will turn out. The fact that President Obama has been ahead in most polls is striking, particularly given the depth of the economic crisis.  Such ratings have to indicate that large numbers of people have little confidence in the vision articulated by Romney/Ryan, but also that there is a sense when looking at the pictures of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, that this gathering (and this Party) bore no resemblance to the reality of the nation.  It looked like something very alien and for that matter, something very scary.

While President Obama may be slightly ahead in the polls, the only poll that really matters is to be held on November 6 when we actually vote.  Despite all of the efforts by the Republicans to reduce voter turnout by the elderly, the youth, by people of color, by union members and by gays/lesbians, the bottom line will be the determination of those same constituencies that were not in evidence at the Tampa Republican Convention to mobilize in the interest of justice.  This will take us further down the road, away from the racist and archaic notion of a ‘White republic’ (for the rich), and instead in the direction of a more consistent democracy.

Forget the opinion polls and just make sure to vote on November 6.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum, and the author of “They’re Bankrupting Us” – And Twenty Other Myths about unions.  He can be reached at papaq54@hotmail.com. Submit to Facebook Submit to Google Bookmarks Submit to Twitter Submit to LinkedIn Written by: Precinct Reporter Group

Can We Defeat the Racist Southern Strategy in 2012?

October 11th, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in 2012 Election, GOP, pushing obama, racism, rightwing, Tea Party, Voting Rights, women, youth and students

By Bob Wing*

Progressive America Rising

*Bob Wing has been an organizer since 1968 and was the founding editor of ColorLines magazine and War Times/Tiempo de Guerras newspaper. He lives in Durham, N.C. and can be contacted on Facebook. Thanks to Max Elbaum for his always insightful suggestions. This article was posted on Oct. 11, 2012.

The 2012 election is a pitched battle with race at the center.

It may not be “polite” to say this, but far from an era of “post racialism”, the United States is in a period of aggravated racial conflict. Though often denied and certainly more complex than the frontal racial confrontations of the past, race is the pivot of the tit-for-tat political struggle that has gripped the country for the past twelve years and, indeed, for decades prior.

The modern era of this conflict jumped off with the white conservative backlash against the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and has been deepened by their decades-long fearful reaction to the dramatic change in the color of the U.S. that resulted from the civil rights-motivated immigration reform act of 1965.

The conflict heated to a boil when white conservatives flatly rejected the legitimacy of the “premature” victory of our first Black president in 2008. Nearly 40 percent of Republicans are so enraged they cannot even admit that Obama is a U.S. citizen. Isn’t this really another way of saying they refuse to recognize a Black man as the president? Or perhaps it is the white conservatives’ modern day Dred Scott decision declaring Obama a Black man that has no rights that they are bound to respect?

The bottom line is that we have now come to a point where voters of color are so numerous and so united behind Obama that, to be victorious, Mitt Romney must carry a higher percentage of the white vote than any modern Republican candidate has ever won. If recent trends among voters of color hold, he must carry about 63 percent of white voters. Not even Reagan won more than 61 percent.

(more…)

Why We Must Leash Every Blue Dog and Defeat Every Republican We Can

September 24th, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in 2012 Election, GOP, pushing obama, rightwing

Can This Election Settle Anything?

By E.J. Dionne Jr.
Progressive America Rising via Washington Post

September 23, 2012 – The most important issue in the 2012 campaign barely gets discussed: How will we govern ourselves after the election is over?

Elections are supposed to decide things. The voters render a verdict on what direction they want the country to take and set the framework within which both parties work.

President Obama’s time in office, however, has given rise to a new approach. Republicans decided to do all they could to make the president unsuccessful. Their not-so-subliminal message has been: We will make the country ungovernable unless you hand us every bit of legislative, executive and judicial power so we can do what we want.

Judging by the current polls, this approach hasn’t worked. Mitt Romney is suffering not only from his own mistakes but also because a fundamentally moderate country has come to realize that today’s GOP is far more extreme than Republicans were in the past. Romney’s makers-not-takers 47 percent remarks made clear that the current GOP worldview is more Ayn Rand than Adam Smith, more Rush Limbaugh than Bill Buckley, more Rick Perry than Abe Lincoln.

Yet can one election turn the country around and make Washington work again?

(more…)