This week our readers had a number of astute points to make on the Wisconsin recall election, the revelations regarding Obama’s “Kill List,” and the excerpt we published from Chris Hayes’ highly anticipated book Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy. We’re taking questions for Chris regarding his book and recent cover story in the comment threads and at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our editor and publisher, Katrina vanden Heuvel, will ask the best at an event at the New School next Thursday, June 14th.
DH Fabian: Thank you Laura Flanders! Over the past couple of years, any time that the poor almost had the microphone, it was pulled away, restricting the public discussion to "middle class workers." Clinton "made it cool" to turn our backs on the poor, and at the time we probably didn’t realize how many of us would become poor ourselves. Reality: not everyone can work and there aren’t enough jobs for all who need one. We’ve shipped out hundreds of thousands of working class jobs. The last I heard, there are five or six people in desperate need of jobs for every job opening. Almost one-third of the middle class has disappeared, falling into that void of US poverty. Our only response to date is to call for job creation, as we’ve been doing for 30+ years, but guess what: you can’t rent a room with promises of eventual job creation. Did you know that among America’s poor, the infant mortality rate now exceeds that of some Third World nations? Or that the life expectancy of our poor has been on a downhill slide? This is what the celebrated Bill Clinton gave us.
In response to Laura Flanders’ “Do We Need a Poor People’s Coming-Out Movement?” June 1, 2012
Old Dem: I applaud you, Chris and Jeremy, for your honest coverage of this most important issue. I’m appalled and saddened to read of the abuse Jeremy has had thrown at him by Obama tribalists. I really do think it’s Obama tribalists and not Democratic Party tribalists who are so enraged at anyone who would dare criticize their idol.
It wasn’t long ago that I thought that the deplorable state of our economy was the Number One issue, what with approximately half of the U.S. population classified as "poor" and one recent study finding that about 15% of seniors are "food insecure". But I now believe that our most important problem is the continuing assault on our civil liberties. I can’t help but believe that this targeting of people on the flimsiest of evidence (and sometimes apparently no evidence) is just a dry run for trying a version of this targeting at home, not with drones, but with criminal charges thrown at people on the say so of authorities.
Another thought: this targeting is obviously a recipe for blowback. I can’t help but think that this may be a feature, not a bug, one that ensures perpetual war that enriches private contractors and opens the way for an even greater at-home "security state".
In response to Chris Hayes’ “Jeremy Scahill: Obama’s Assassination Program.” June 4, 2012
Staten island Bob: Win or lose the people of Wisconsin have shown us all how to stand up to power. The key thing is to stay focused from here on in. That is one thing the right wing has learned to do. When they lose an election they regroup and make plans for the next one. The left could learn something from this. Like "limoman" says below, "this is what democracy looks like." If we all stay engaged we will be better off. I just wish President Obama had decided to get involved, instead of pulling his disappearing act. One plane ride to Wisconsin, and a few kind words for Mayor Barrett, is that too much to ask?
In response to John Nichols’ “A Wisconsin Recall FAQ.” June 5, 2012