FEMINISTS FOR THE WIN. In this week’s issue, Jessica Valenti argues that not only are feminists winning the culture wars but media coverage during the election showed a widespread acceptance of “feminist outrage.” “All of the sudden, women’s anger at the attempted defunding of Planned Parenthood or a male politician’s comment about rape wasn’t the mark of bitter ‘man haters’; it was an understandable reaction from smart, engaged women.” Read more of Valenti’s analysis of this cultural shift in her piece, “Feminists for the Win.” While there are reasons for feminists to be optimistic, this week was also marked by tragedy in Ireland, where Savita Halapannavar died during a miscarriage after being denied what could have been a life-saving abortion. In her piece, “When ‘Pro-Life’ Kills,” Katha Pollitt notes that “if you think it couldn’t happen in the United States, you haven’t been paying attention.” Valenti writes powerfully about the message Savita’s death sends to women: “You are nothing.” Check out her take here, and find out what you can do to fight back. To get all the latest stories from The Nation’s feminist writers like Jessica Valenti, Katha Pollitt, Melissa Harris-Perry, Ilyse Hogue, Bryce Covert and others delivered straight to your inbox, I hope you’ll sign up for our weekly Feminist Roundup e-mail.
THE PETRAEUS LEGACY. On ABC’s This Week last Sunday, I argued that we should be paying less attention to the personal scandals of General Petraeus and more to his failed counterinsurgency programs and escalation of drone warfare. Jeremy Scahill reports that the scandal has revealed something much more significant—that the CIA and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command have battled to control the US’s growing global wars. “Petraeus, an instrumental player in this power struggle, leaves behind an agency that has strayed from intelligence to paramilitary-type activities.” Read more from Scahill in his piece, “The Petraeus Legacy: A Paramilitary CIA?”
LEE ATWATER & THE SOUTHERN STRATEGY. In a Nation exclusive, Rick Perlstein unveils a recording obtained by James Carter IV—the researcher who brought us the 47 percent video—that confirms Lee Atwater’s infamous 1981 interview about how Republicans win votes by appealing to racial anxieties. Instead of using blatantly racist language, Atwater talks about a strategy of coded racism that addresses issues like forced busing, states’ rights, and cutting taxes. You can listen to the full forty-two-minute interview with the Republican strategist here. And take a look at Al Sharpton’s interview with Carter on MSNBC for more on how the modern GOP continues to use Atwater’s strategy—perhaps to its detriment.
GRAND BARGAIN IS THE WRONG SOLUTION. “America doesn’t have a short-term deficit problem,” I wrote in my online column for The Washington Post this week. “It has a jobs and growth problem.” As Congress nears the so-called “fiscal cliff,” they should listen to voters who, by overwhelming margins, want to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and who oppose cuts to programs like Social Security and Medicare. The “grand bargain” would benefit large corporations and defense contractors at the expense of the poor and middle class. What we really need from Congress is to take on interests that threaten our future, like Wall Street, big oil and coal, and the military industrial complex. Find out how you can take action to implore your representatives to reject the “grand bargain.”
WALMART STRIKE. Walmart workers are fighting back against low pay and poor conditions, and Josh Eidelson reports that we can expect thousands of strikes and demonstrations over the coming week. Walmart has been union-free since its founding, and until last month when workers struck at nine stores, the retail giant had never faced a multi-store strike. “With backing from local labor federations, Occupy activists and groups like the National Organization for Women, warehouse and retail workers could still land a Black Friday blow: warding off potential customers, injecting workplace issues into the usual ‘long lines’/’hot products’ news coverage, and emboldening more workers to face down the largest employer in the world.” For the latest throughout the week, follow Josh Eidelson.