Comments of the Week: Savita Halappanavar, a Strike at Walmart and the Legacy of Lee Atwater

Storified by The Nation · Fri, Nov 16 2012 14:22:16

Now that the election is over, our readers turned their attention to the death of a woman denied an abortion in Ireland, striking Walmart workers, the minimum wage and a Nation exclusive on the infamous “southern strategy,” among a number of other topics. Let us know what you think–in the comments! 
First, The Nation published the full audio of Republican campaign consultant Lee Atwater’s infamous interview in which he extolls the use of coded words– “tax cuts” and “states’ rights” are among them–by politicians  who want to appeal to racists without appearing racist themselves. Our readers noted that the strategy is alive and well today. 
Coded yes, like the "urban" turnout that Ryan mentioned.Susan Dailey
To give the devil his due, it worked pretty well for 30-plus years. But man, the cynicism, the lack of patriotism required, to intentionally "cut the country in half". I can’t believe people really think that way. And that they write it down. And that their ideas can define a political party in a major democracy. Rather scary.Exclusive: Lee Atwater’s Infamous 1981 Interview on the Southern Strategy | The Nation
Anyone unclear of the coded speech these shrills use is doing themselves a disservice.."end of traditional America".."states rights"..they said these things when the feds mandated an end to slavery.."oh, the feds are meddling in our business"."the south was invaded"..etc etc..we know their playbook..and its not gonna work..sorry..Mark Flemming
Yep.  And what frightens me is the fact that these people will shoot themselves in the foot as long as they can watch their black neighbor crash and burn.  They seriously think they’re the victims or something; like they’re getting some kind of "revenge" by knowing blacks are being hurt worse than white people.  You’d think THEY were the ones who were disenfranchised in their own country all the way up until the modern era….Exclusive: Lee Atwater’s Infamous 1981 Interview on the Southern Strategy | The Nation
Also this week, labor reporter Josh Eidelson began blogging for about the recent unprecedented strike at Walmart. Our readers responded with their own stories and thoughts on the strike: 
I promised myself when I first heard this story to skip my annual trip to Wal-mart until they stop billing the taxpayers for their unwillingness to treat their workers fairly. Sharing this story.Pat Brown
Everything Mr.Rivera said is true.  I’ve worked there for five years, part time, and am from the Midwest  so it’s not just one or two stores.  They told us the union would take $200. per week for dues and you could NEVER stop the deductions from your checking account without a lawyer.  My thought was first you’d have to make $200. per week.  Hang in there Mr. Rivera and all of your co-workers.Walmart Ex-Employee Was Handcuffed in Front of Workers | The Nation
Both Jessica Valenti and Katha Pollitt wrote about the preventable tragedy of Savita Halappanavar, who was denied an abortion by Irish doctors despite the fact that her fetus could not survive. After days of agonizing pain, she died. Our readers were outraged. 
The Supreme Court of Ireland allowed for abortion to save the life of the mother twenty years ago. Legislators have never acted on that decision. They are at fault.Kathryn Campbell
Well, we’re all pretty much preaching to the choir here, but every time I hear about someone professing a "culture of life," I hear "subjugation of women." In fact I think if these people were even remotely honest, maybe it would come out to 15% "rights of the fetus" and 85% deny the rights of women. When these same "pro-life" folks are out protesting the death penalty and demanding pre- and post-natal care and parental leave and day care and health care for all and well-funded public schools maybe then I’ll believe they stand for a "culture of life." The abortion issue is one, and only one aspect of the dark side of organized religion. I wonder what Americans would be saying if the Islamic fundamentalists wreaking havoc on women overseas were instead Christian fundamentalists. What if the Taliban were trying to establish fundamentalist Christian states? Anyone think that would work out any better for women?Justice for Savita | The Nation
Finally, in response to Bryce Covert’s article on the importance (and popularity) of raising the minimum wage, our readers concurred and added more reasons the change would benefit everyone. 
As more formerly middle-class Americans are forced to take minimum and low-paying jobs I expect the outcry to increase the minimum wage to grow.  If an increase fails, the country will soon feel the side effect of more demand for government supports like food stamps, medicaid and other social programs that are already stretched.  Surely it is more beneficial and pro-active to pay people a living wage than to wait for them to fall into poverty where they will need help to survive.Americans Want to Raise the Minimum Wage | The Nation
Nelson Hyde Chick: 
Maybe there should be a maximum wage, at least for nonprofits and companies do most of their business with the United States goverment. If the CEO of a nonprofit has a seven figure (Susan G. Konan for the Cure) then it is not a nonprofit. The president of Lockheed Martin took home 23 million in compensation (96% of Lockheed’s income comes from goverment contracts), while a four star general/admiral is worth $175,000.Americans Want to Raise the Minimum Wage | The Nation
Want to generate economic growth? Raise the minimum wage. It is exactly the kind of "roots up" stimulus that creates economic multipliers resulting in a high ROI at all levels. No one can live on $7.25/hour.Americans Want to Raise the Minimum Wage | The Nation