Ed Kilgore comments that Walker may have an “especially seductive” appeal to the Republican base given that “he won over and over again in Wisconsin without compromising with conservatism’s enemies. Indeed, he behaved almost like a liberal caricature of a conservative villain…Walker tells [right-wingers that] they…can win by confrontation, not compromise or outreach, and his three victories are the proof.”
Tom Johnson covers mostly websites (e.g., Salon, Talking Points Memo, Daily Kos) for NewsBusters. He blogged frequently for the site from 2005 until 2007 and has been a regular contributor since 2011. From 1989 until 2002, he was an entertainment analyst for the Media Research Center and its spinoff, the Parents Television Council. From July 2004 until June 2005, he monitored National Public Radio for the MRC. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona.
Egberto Willies claims that Obama “gave the traditional mainstream media carte blanche for six years,” but that “they failed to report truthfully, accurately, and in an unbiased manner” on issues including Obamacare and the economy. Therefore, Obama now “is effecting a paradigm shift. He is unshackling us all from a type of slavery to the traditional mainstream media.”
In an article for Salon, Penn State professor Sophia McClennen claims the box-office blockbuster has “no nuance, no context and no subtlety” and that its director, Clint Eastwood, “represents a dark, disturbing feature of the GOP mind-set.”
Georgetown professor Aaron Hanlon argues that Stewart’s foul-mouthed rants in response to conservatives are appropriate given that “his objects of critique aren’t interested in reasoned dialogue, clever jabs or unveiled truths.”
New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait writes, “If a candidate for a managerial job at your office insists that two plus three equals seven, it wouldn't matter how well-qualified this candidate may be at any other aspect of the job,” and that similarly, “even if you agreed with everything else the Republicans stood for” other than climate-change denial, “how could a party so obviously unhinged be entrusted with power?”
Elias Isquith contends that “after eight years of George W. Bush,” America “was in such rotten shape that Obama had little time to do more than stave off the next crisis,” but that by this past Tuesday night, favorable economic developments gave Obama “an opportunity to boast of changing the ‘trajectory’ of the country like few presidents before him and none since Ronald Reagan.”
The Daily Kos founder and publisher argues that the recent jump in Obama’s approval rating shows that Obama should have governed as a staunch liberal “from Day One, instead of wasting years of his life trying to make nice with an intractable and hostile Republican Party…Republicans are on a holy war to destroy everything that is good and noble about government. They have no interest in peace.”
Esquire blogger Pierce alleges that right-wingers have turned the civil-rights movement “into a weapon against issues on which Dr. King surely would have come down on the progressive side,” and declares that the movement “no longer can be used as history's truncheon against the legitimate social, cultural, and political aspirations of the people who are its truest heirs.”
New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait says reform conservatives such as Peter Wehner are “trying to coax the Republican Party back toward sanity” but argues that Wehner undervalues the “apocalyptic strain” in right-wing rhetoric.
Ann Jones has doubts about allegations that America is “crazy,” but adds, “Some people who question me say that the U.S. is ‘paranoid,’ ‘backward,’ ‘behind the times,’ ‘vain,’ ‘greedy,’ ‘self-absorbed,’ or simply ‘dumb.’ Others, more charitably, imply that Americans are merely ‘ill-informed,’ ‘misguided,’ ‘misled,’ or ‘asleep,’ and could still recover sanity. But wherever I travel, the questions follow.”
Denise Oliver-Velez argues that Love is merely “another brown face to shove in front of the cameras” as supposed proof that the Republican party cares about non-white people, but “she certainly isn't going to convince any black folks who aren't Teapublican patsies already.”
Esquire’s Pierce deems Ryan “the single biggest fake in American public life” and declares that he “should have no more credibility on [fiscal] issues than does Sarah Palin, his predecessor in the second spot on the [Republican] ticket. Any Democratic congresscritter who seeks to make a deal with him should be drummed out of Washington. Any reporter or pundit who takes his plans for the economy seriously should be reassigned to the custodial staff.”
New York magazine’s Chait argues that Obama “has incontrovertibly made major progress on, or fulfilled, every one of” the goals with which he started his presidency, and that “the horrifying consequences conservatives insisted would follow have all failed to materialize.”
Alana Levinson goes after Biden for his “lecherous” comments that fit “the classic definition of sexual harassment.” She admits that liberals generally overlook Biden’s boo-boos because “we like his politics. In terms of women’s issues, he’s got the gold stars…He’s pro-choice and…he introduced the Violence Against Women Act.”
Drum, of Mother Jones, suggests that Obama doesn’t have much competition for the “most liberal” title, given that the only other post-LBJ Democratic presidents have been the “relatively conservative” Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. He claims that Obama definitely isn’t “some kind of wild-eyed lefty.”
The Esquire pundit urged Democrats to “screw with [the Republicans] every way you can… Monkeywrench the whole business and explain in simple terms to the country why you're doing it. This has to start in the White House. The rest of the country needs to be protected from the hazardous material for which a third of it voted.”
Chait writes that “the Muslim radical argues that the ban on blasphemy is morally right and should be followed; the Western liberal insists it is morally wrong but should be followed. Theoretical distinctions aside, both positions yield an identical outcome.”
“Americans are still free,” wrote blogger Hunter, “to criticize overaggressive police actions which repeatedly and systemically end up killing black men and boys for no discernible reason…so put on your goddamn big-boy uniforms and deal with it.”
Ed Kilgore (at Talking Points Memo) and Mark Kleiman (at the Washington Monthly) agree that the Republican party has a serious racism problem but differ on what the GOP could or will do about it.
Edelstein gripes in New York magazine that “the native population are portrayed as invaders of our sacred space instead of vice versa,” and that “the people [Chris] Kyle shoots always represent a ‘savage, despicable evil,’ and the physical and mental cost to other Americans just comes with the territory.”