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Melissa Harris-Perry | The Nation

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Melissa Harris-Perry

Melissa Harris-Perry

 Race, gender, politics, religion and our struggles.

Pushing the Democrats to the Left

A handful of prominent Democrats are skipping September’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, distancing themselves from President Obama. Nation Editor Katrina vanden Heuvel sat down with Nation columnist Melissa Harris-Perry to examine the state of the Democratic Party, its messaging and how it needs to be pushed to embrace progressive causes. Katon Dawson, a former chair of the Republican National Committee, Karen Finney, a former communications director for the DNC, and Igor Volsky of Think Progress, also share their thoughts on why, even after the big win on healthcare reform, the Democratic Party is still fractured.

—Max Rivlin-Nadler

Obama Starts to Use the Power of His Office

Clinton used it fourteen times. Bush, six. As Obama uses his executive privilege for only the first time, why all the outrage? Could it be because Attorney General Eric Holder is a Republican target after looking into the legality of new voter-suppression laws? Nation columnist Melissa Harris-Perry looks at the history of executive privilege, and how Obama is fashioning himself into a strong, sometimes unilateral leader heading into November’s election. She’s joined by NYU Law School professor Kenji Yoshino and Yahoo! News’s David Chalian to discuss Obama’s attempts at bipartisnaship and how lately he’s come to embrace the power of his office.

—Max Rivlin-Nadler

Jay-Z for President?

If Mitt Romney thinks that a president with experience in the private sector is exactly what America needs, then shouldn’t we think about electing Jay-Z? Nation columnist Melissa Harris-Perry breaks down the fallacy of the argument of Romney as a CEO-in-Chief, and looks at his mixed record as governor of Massachusetts. She’s joined by BET columnist Keith Boykin, the Huffington Post's Peter Goodman and Newsweek’s Michael Tomasky to discuss how Romney embraced the role of government when he was an elected official, and how he's pandering to anti-government sentiment as he seeks the presidency.

—Max Rivlin-Nadler

The Untapped Voting Power of Asian-Americans

They may be the fastest growing population of all racial groups, but Asian-Americans—that diverse bloc of Chinese, Indians, Vietnamese and people from many other Asian backgrounds—are rarely viewed as voters the way Latinos and African-Americans are. This weekend, Melissa Harris-Perry and panelists discussed the Asian-American constituency and why this hidden source of voting power has fallen under politicians’ radars.

—Elizabeth Whitman

Republicans Are Targeting the Violence Against Women Act

The Republican-dominated House’s version of the Violence Against Women Act, up for reauthorization, would not only curtail protections for women, but also, some say, reverse hard-earned advances for women in the United States. This weekend, Melissa Harris-Perry brought together a lively panel, including Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel, to examine how the Republican bill would hurt women and target minorities and immigrants in particular.

—Elizabeth Whitman

The Continuous Evolution of Marriage

In the wake of Obama’s new stance on same-sex marriage, Melissa Harris-Perry brings together a spirited group of panelists to challenge and discuss deeply rooted notions of marriage based on gender roles and financial and other considerations. Ultimately, they present a fresh and revealing deconstruction of the institution of marriage and the values—religious, moral and otherwise—that prop it up.

—Elizabeth Whitman

For Firing a Warning Shot, Florida Mother Faces Twenty Years in Prison

In 2010, Marissa Alexander, a mother of three, tried to keep her abusive husband away from her. She fired a warning shot—into the kitchen ceiling. No one was hurt, but she now faces up to twenty years in prison.

“If a survivor of domestic violence uses a gun to warn an attacker, not kill him, and that survivor now faces a prison term of twenty years, then what purpose does Stand Your Ground serve?” asks Melissa Harris-Perry on her show this Sunday. She gathers an expert panel, including a survivor of domestic violence, to discuss the controversial law and other legal double standards that apply to women, especially those in abusive relationships.

—Elizabeth Whitman

Obama and Romney's Battle for the Latino Vote

Which way will Latinos vote come November? Will they vote for Obama, who has yet to fulfill a 2008 campaign pledge of comprehensive immigration reform? Or Romney, who has been unusually consistent in his anti-immigration views? Either way, Latinos are a key constituency with diverse needs that include far more than immigration reform. Melissa Harris-Perry brings together a panel of experts to discuss key aspects of the Latino vote in November.

—Elizabeth Whitman

When Will the Obama Administration Take a Stand on LGBT Issues?

When it comes to LGBT issues, the Obama administration has been remarkably inconsistent, in both its rhetoric and its action to address LGBT discrimination. On her show this weekend, Melissa Harris-Perry gathered a diverse panel including frequent Nation contributor Kai Wright to discuss the administration's leadership, or lack thereof, on LGBT issues and how a brewing cultural and political battle could play out over the next six or so months.

—Elizabeth Whitman

Who Played Wisconsin Better: Romney or Santorum?

Is Santorum approaching the end of his campaign? Melissa Harris-Perry gathered a panel yesterday that included Nation writer John Nichols to discuss the GOP campaign in a state where more than one million signatures were gathered to force a recall election of Republican Governor Scott Walker. In this clip, Harris-Perry discusses rhetoric while Nichols explains the differences in tactics used by Romney&nsbp;and Santorum and how he thinks they will play out on Tuesday.

—Elizabeth Whitman

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