Over the last few months, thenation.com has made an effort to foster a robust and thoughtful comments section befitting the mighty intelligence of our readership. We’re pleased to report that the shoe ads are gone, the name-calling is at a minimum and astute and witty commentary is on the rise. Here are our favorite comments from the last week. Let us know what you think — in the comments!

Rodeodance: John, thank you for doing an analysis of the petition numbers that were announced last night. 
I am one of those working to collect signatures in small rural towns.  I have time constraints but I plan and another person plan on being in 3 smaller towns the next week for one day each.  We will set up in the park in two towns and the 3rd one will go door to door as much as we can.  For the most part, people have been pleasant and tell us why they are signing without our asking. Many talk about the lack of funds for schools. I was surprised by how many hunters stopped by our table. Most of all people talk about how they had to drop BadgerCare because of the 2 premium rises this last year. They and their families resort to ER’s now.  Many are fearful that they will be dropped in the near future (they read the news and know what the Republicans are up to). There is a lot of fear and despair among the people in these small towns.
I wish we had more volunteers to go out into the small towns in my area.
In response to John Nichols’ “Wisconsin Recall Drive Surpasses 300,000 Signatures.” November 28, 2011.

jamescampbell: I read the Edsall piece in the New York Times yesterday. I believe Edsall ignores that the current Democratic leadership, including Obama, are neglecting the needs of most ordinary Americans, not just the white working class.

I think a crucial fault of the Obama administration and the Congressional Democratic leadership has been their failure to devise and implement a 21st century, New Deal-type economic program (the literally fascist Republican leadership is beyond the pale). Despite the fact that it owes its existence to our desperate need for a more equitable economy, the administration continues to virtually ignore the numerous, immense economic crises faced by a vast and growing number of US citizens.

I am a black man in his mid-fifties, with a Bachelor’s degree, who recently lost his job due to cutbacks in a government funded social services program. I do not see the Democrats standing up for middle to lower income Americans, regardless of our race, age, education, or employment status. Instead, the Democrats seem determined to appease the corporate elite that is destroying our country.

If the Democrats want to be worthy of being the dominant US party, they need to realize their template today needs to be a more multiracial, FDR/New Deal-type perspective. The way to unite most of the US working class into the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is to do more things for the people, and stop trying to be more moderate Republicans.
In response to Ben Adler’s “Is Obama ‘Abandoning’ the White Working Class?” November 29, 2011.

dougbob: While I agree that it’s probably time to look past this fall’s tactics for Occupy, I disagree that the situation in Los Angeles was exceptional. The end game of removing the protests from the public eye was achieved, albeit in a less violent manner than other cities. What makes Occupy effective is its vagueness. It’s constant reminders that the system is screwing us. And the whining of all the control trolls looking for a list of demands is just an added bonus.
In response to Tom Hayden’s “Why Naomi Wolf’s Occupy Conspiracy Theory Can’t Explain Occupy LA.” November 29, 2011.

Sharon Frost: One of the more alarming Marx remarks quoted in the article (for me) was this one: “Marx frames the CLP as a matter of public access. He argues that too much of the Schwarzman Building is off-limits and that exquisite rooms are used as storage spaces. Says Marx, ‘The driver of the idea of a central library plan is that in the back quarter of this iconic building are stacks of books that are rarely used.’” Uh, really? The stacks are where the books are.  It’s a library ––– the stacks are the heart of a library. Library stacks are not some kind of cold, dead storage.
In response to Scott Sherman’s “Upheaval at the New York Public Library.” November 30, 2011.
Ian Michaels: I was at the teach-in that you gave. I was there out of curiosity. I saw Dr. William Black talk about the massive systemic fraud. I met a young man who was sweeping the sidewalk with a large palm leaf. The encampment was clean and well-behaved. Today I read the ridicule about the 30 tons of trash and the hate-filled comments of those who don’t understand. We, the older people, have to support these young people. The rule of law must be well in place before we move on. Our legacy should not be one of having damaged their future.
In response to Robert Scheer’s “You Can Arrest an Idea.” December 1, 2011