Some believe that a willingness to impose suffering on working people and the most vulnerable among us is a sign of true leadership in tough times. Nation Editor and Publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel says, those who say so “are cowards, not leaders.” While Republicans have blocked aid that would spare pink slips for 300,000 school teachers, progressive groups like AFL-CIO have detailed a $400 billion plan that would put people back to work with a negligible effect on the deficit. Vanden Heuvel says it’s President Obama’s responsiblity to convince the American people that he is on their side to deal with “pocket book issues” such as job creation. If he does, then the people won’t focus so much on the deficit.

“We can no longer afford to take half steps. It is bad economics and suicidal politics not to address the job crisis now.” Vanden Heuvel also believes that voters won’t believe that the economy is on the mend until more people are back at work. “A nation that ignores the calamity of joblessness is a nation at risk.” Every Monday on GRIT TV is The Nation on GRIT TV, so tune in for more commentary and media analysis from vanden Heuvel and other Nation writers!

—Melanie Breault