RE-ELECT THE PRESIDENT. “The threat is clear: we can’t afford a Romney/Ryan victory.” In this week’s editorial, “Re-Elect the President,” published alongside a progressive forum on President Obama, we argue that Obama’s re-election is a necessary step in fighting for progressive change in 2012 and beyond. The forum brings together a range of journalists, activists and intellectuals to debate what a second Obama administration might look like—and how progressive movements will be, and have always been, crucial to election outcomes and policymaking. “Our progressive history is a history of getting our hope fix from movements, not just from individuals,” writes Deepak Bhargava, in the introduction. Francis Fox Piven and Lorraine C. Minnite stress that without both movement politics and electoral politics, neither can be effective. And Ai-Jen Poo makes the case that now more than ever people are ready to engage in a broad-based movement for economic justice.
DEBATE DEBACLE. On Wednesday night President Obama and Governor Romney stood together on stage in the first of three nationally televised debates. And the two candidates gave voters plenty to mull over. Romney promised, if elected, to fire Big Bird and moderator Jim Leher—perhaps one of only a handful of honest statements uttered by the former Bain Capital CEO. John Nichols explains that Romney, “whose debate performance was not encumbered by facts,” spent most of the evening capitalizing on a post-truth era of politics. Bryce Covert writes on the glaring failure (or in Romney’s case, a successful dodge) by the candidates to bring up those issues important to female voters. “Given all the unfettered candidate talking points and potpourri of disconnected issues,” writes Covert, “you’d think someone would have uttered the word ‘women.’” Also missing from the debate was any tangible discussion on how to tackle the problems of poverty and the environment in America; check out the questions the candidates should have answered, gathered by Greg Kaufmann and Mark Hertsgaard.
I also want to thank the over 600 readers who watched the debate live online with The Nation. If you missed this lively discussion, visit a replay of that chat here, and stay tuned as we continue to bring live conversations with Nation journalists throughout election season and beyond.
VOTING RIGHTS WATCH. With less than five weeks until election day we’re continuing to monitor GOP efforts to suppress voting rights across the country. Brentin Mock and Ari Berman report on a big victory in Pennsylvania when a judge put a temporary hold on the state’s voter ID law until after the election. Also, be sure to read Lee Fang’s piece on efforts to harass and confuse voters at the polls in New Mexico, where Republicans are instructing poll watchers to ask for photo ID and to falsely tell Spanish speakers that interpreters are not available. For more on the Republican-led voter suppression efforts and their impact, watch Berman’s appearance on Tavis Smiley’s show this week.
UNTOLD HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. This afternoon I’ll be at the New York Film Festival on a panel with Oliver Stone to discuss his new ten-part mini-series, Untold History of the United States. We’ll watch the first three chapters which focus on World War II and the events leading up to it. Following the screening, Stone and I will be joined by historian Douglas Brinkley and Nation contributor Jonathan Schell. For more information, visit the New York Film Festival website.