Chino Hills, Calif.
Your “Re-elect the President” editorial and “Why Obama?” essays [Oct. 22] were excellent. One important point that was only briefly referred to is the Supreme Court. The next president will probably replace one or more justices. Their decisions will affect the foundation of our democracy, from immigration, to women’s rights, to the possibility of more Citizens United–type fiascos. President Obama must be re-elected to ensure fairness on the Court.
Your October 22 cover story and editorial disappoint at best, and at worst are a disservice to the progressive movement you repeatedly call for. These pieces restrict the debate to a choice between two corporatist candidates, voice predictable support for the lesser of these two evils, paint Obama’s possible defeat as a catastrophe, and fail to give a thorough analysis of the choices we face.
In what should be a surprise to absolutely no one, The Nation endorses Barack Obama for president. Here is a news flash for The Nation. If a lesser evil gets elected president, you still end up with an evil. Perhaps one day The Nation will have the backbone to endorse an independent third-party candidate like a Rocky Anderson or a Jill Stein or a Stewart Alexander rather than a warmonger.
New Haven, Conn.
And so we should re-elect that most neoliberal of presidents, Barack Obama, but maybe in the second term he’ll become less neoliberal, and we should not infer from this that The Nation is in any way shilling for neoliberalism, or that it has become a neoliberal rag that only pretends to be progressive. Got it.
Unions Are People!
Palm Coast, Fla.
John Nichols’s “Corporate War on Unions” [Oct. 22] tells how the Koch brothers and their ilk are working to make it so labor unions can’t contribute to state and local campaigns. I think the best way to counter this effort would be to incorporate the unions and give them their free speech rights under Citizens United.
‘Our’ Books: Selling Like Hotcakes
Michelle Goldberg, in “The Obama-Bashing Books Bonanza” [Oct. 22], states that “conservative polemics consistently outsell liberal ones.” If one looks only at steamy “political” books, Goldberg is right. But consider another explanation: that there are many more progressive books published, and the market for these books is far larger—but hugely fragmented. A very different landscape appears from a broader scan of “current affairs” titles, also known as “current events” or “public policy.” In all, well more than 1,000 such titles are published annually in English, roughly divided between domestic and global concerns. They are issued not only by familiar trade publishers but by university presses, huge professional publishers, the OECD, the UN and scores of smaller publishers. This flood of good ideas for a better society, and world, seldom gets noticed because there is no bestseller list or book review for these books.