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Tracking America's Shifting Political Coalitions

(Photo by Robin Holland)

This week on the JOURNAL, Bill Moyers spoke with economic and political critic Kevin Phillips about the results of the 2008 elections and what they tell us about the future of American politics.

Phillips, whose 1969 book THE EMERGING REPUBLICAN MAJORITY [PDF link] correctly predicted an era of dominance for the GOP, said:

"I think the Democrats are going to have enormous problems over the next four years [with] a coalition in which they represent new emerging demographic groups [like minorities and the under-30 vote] but also, based on contributions and political geography, represent the financial community now -- the upper-income groups. And how they straddle this, which is something they've never had to straddle before, especially in difficult times, I think will strain the demographics."

Pointing to the success of California's Proposition 8, which found strong support from minority groups in its bid to ban gay marriage, Phillips suggested that the victorious Democratic coalition might fracture in years to come:

"I think that only supports the division between the ordinary people and the financial elites, the fact that blacks and hispanics on some cultural issues are a lot more conservative than the suburbanites in Fairfield Country, Connecticut or Morris County, New Jersey... I can conceive that they would be more open to some of the black conservatives and Republicans who say 'you can't trust those people.'"

What do you think?

  • Will the Democrats' electoral coalition prove durable over the next several election cycles?
  • Over the next few decades, do you expect Democratic and Republican party platforms to change significantly from those of today?

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    "Every luxury must be paid for, and everything is a luxury, starting with the world."
    Cesare Pavese

    To those who are under the illusion that we can have a quality society without paying taxes.

    It takes a lot of money to maintain a quality high-tech society. No matter where the money comes from; it must be part of the overall cost of managing a national or even world wide economy.
    The only certainty to life is death and taxes. If we want a quality life and to avoid death as long as possible it is necessary to have an economic system that supports the cost of living.

    It’s no big secret to why the big three are failing. All you have to do is google “Planned Obsolescence” +ford +gm. They have been using planned obsolescence for decades. It is just another greedy scheme they use to increase their profits.

    One example of this scheme was back in the ‘80s where Ford had installed o-rings into their transmissions which were made to last a certain number of miles (I forgot the number, I think it was 100,000). So, when their customers’ autos broke down Ford would make additional profits from repairs or better yet, from selling their loyal customers new automobiles so the scheme could start all over again.

    While the big three have been making sizable profits from this scheme, they have also been ruining their good names. This is the reason why I haven’t purchased an American automobile in over 20 years. And I feel that Congress shouldn’t give these guys a dime until they remove this greedy scheme from their production lines and they start delivering a quality product to the American public.

    I think it is time for the democratic party to work towards a compromise on the abortion issue. If Obama is going to rule from the center, then a centrist compromise on this issue might solve a lot of long term conflicts for the party and the nation.

    People who are NOT political fanatics are turning away from a President and an Administration that is corrupt and cannot be trusted. In a civilized world, it should not be acceptable to start a war off lies!

    Bush shredded the U.S. constitution plus thumbed his nose at International Laws. He issued the declaration of war without the proper signatures needed which passed thanks to the Republican Congress. He violated Article 3 of the Geneva Convention. He supported and condoned waterboarding even though the U.S. prosecuted these exact actions as tortureduring the Vietnam War. Guantanamo Bay - if that isn't the end all behind stupidity and corruption NOTHING is! A U.S. prosecutor assigned to charge a Guantanamo detainee refused to prosecute the detainee due to the obvious torture done to the detainee. The U.S. prosecutor said all evidence obtained to be used against the detainee was in-admissible due to the tortuous conditions.

    People want diplomatic efforts used FIRST and used extensively BEFORE war. It is okay to talk with our enemies, more so long over-due. If ignoring a people and/or a country doesn't work - which has been proved for the past 8 years - we must try something different, we need to CHANGE. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. We HAVE to learn from history before it is too late.

    Too bad for McCain that Bush didn't keep any of his promises he made to help the Hispanics. GOP's recruited so many Hispanics in 2000 and more so in 2004 under false pre-tenses. Had Bush followed through with his promises McCain would not have lost the Hispanic vote.

    No Taxation Without Representation
    To all of the young and new voters. You have passed the promises and hope stages. The next will be disappointment, then anger at the elected spokesmen for the corporations. Welcome to the election of the wealthy.

    “I will listen to you...! I hear your voice! I will be your...!
    I need your help...”!
    To “help you” doing what...? Did you really listen? Did your really hear the
    voices of the third parties that were denied to participate in the debates!
    Did you hear, listen to the voice of the twelve-year-old... that died of a toothache,
    or the woman that was left to bleed on the floor, or the unemployed that lost
    the home, the life, the hope, the dream, the investment?
    The Congress, Senate turn deaf ear and blind eye on these, but all did
    waste no time to run to Washington to bailout corrupt institutions!
    A child of broken hearts, empty soul, bleeding heart lost its life for....!
    True democracy, opportunity, “to help you”, is to participate in power!
    To have the the people to “HELP YOU” is to participate in the decision process!
    Empower the people to EXPRESS their WILL ON ALL ISSUES!
    Empower the people to decide their life, their destiny, their future their hope,
    their dreams and their will!

    In the days to come I see a new constitution being written that will not only unite mankind with nature's single simple truth of Oneness or equality, but more universally, will set One or All, the Universe, absolutely free.


    Just look at the car industry: Quote, "The Big Three, all functionally bankrupt, are now lined up for bail-outs from the treasury's bottomless checking account. Personally, I believe the age of Happy Motoring is over. Many Americans have already bought their last car -- they just don't know it yet. The current low-ish price of oil is a total fake-out, having to do much more with asset-dumping in the paper markets than the true resource supply-demand equation. Most of the world (the media for sure) has ignored preliminary leaks from the International Energy Agency's (IEA) forthcoming report which forecasts global oil depletion to be 9.1 percent in 2009. This is a staggering figure, very likely to offset whatever slack we see in global demand from the worldwide economic crisis. In fact, the global oil markets are poised for the most severe dislocations ever seen, meaning it's a toss-up what happens first in the USA: a major leg back up in oil prices, or shortages, hoarding, and rationing."

    Quote by James Howard Kunstler, author if the "Long Emergency."

    We have reached peak oil and need to get our exponential math straight.

    We need to get our math straight in regards to what growth really means:

    Watch: Dr. Albert A. Bartlett's videos from the University of Colorado.

    We reached peak oil and the American people do deserve to know what that means. Please Mr. Bill Moyer discuss these urgent issues. No bailouts will help what we have to face now.

    Tina Russell,
    Good post,
    I am impressed with your savvy approach to economics.
    We need a panel of financial experts to manage the bail out of banks to assure that the money is used to provide funds for valuable social programs not buy outs of other banks. The problems with the failing banks should be corrected and the banks recertified. That is why there are bank auditors. What is being done know is just throwing away public money, encouraging greed and corrupting the financial system.
    The government needs to protect the bank loans and force banks to make loans that are reasonably safe. Without taking the appropriate action; the economy will self-destruct. If the heart has a blood clot it is necessary to unclog the artery not pump in more blood.

    After years of registering Democratic I left after the 04 debacle. 3 bad cycles with them sitting on their hands. The dems are too opportunistic and didn't show enough action or backbone as an oposition party. Thats a big part of why we are in this position today with Republicans gone wild from 2000 on. The dems completely abandoned gays in this round. How can I work with their coalition when they just affirmed discrimination at me and mine? The Hispanics and blacks have joined with the churches to be the new bigots. What a strange mix, how sadly tempered my joy is to watch our splendid president-elect tear down the wall while our fellow travelers have taken up the torches of hate against their kindred partisans the gays. Same as it ever was...

    Please devote a show or series to educate the public about the privately owned Central bank.
    Read "The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve" by G. Edward Griffin
    and read
    "Thieves in the Temple: America Under the Federal Reserve System" by Andre Michael Eggelletion

    The courts have defined the Fed as a private corporation: John L. LEWIS, Plaintiff/Appellant v. UNITED STATES of America, Defendant/Appellee. No. 80-5905. United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. Submitted March 2, 1982; Decided April 19, 1982; As Amended June 24, 1982
    The Federal Reserve system is quasi (pseudo) governmental system in that it was authorized by congress and the President has limited appointment authority. The Federal Reserve consists of 12 regional banks, the stock of which is owned and the Boards controlled by the member banks, which are privately owned bank corporations. These institutions receive 6% profit on their funds paid into the Fed, rain or shine, peace or war (sometimes more).

    The Federal Reserve Board of Governors is an independent (its own word) entity “within” the government (i.e., something much like an independent, internal parasite in a host organism), with 14 year, reform-proof terms (i.e., only one of 7 can be replaced every two years).

    The Fed was deliberately designed to appear as a sort of government body to hide the fact that it is a private banking cartel whose member banks share in the vast profits of seigniorage (i.e., the difference between the cost of printing/minting or otherwise creating money [a few cents per $100], and its face value). Yes, the Department of the Treasury does still mint our coins (at the US mint) but that represents under 1% of the US money supply, the great bulk of which is simply bankbook entries - electronic keyboard impulses in computer memories - created by banks on-the-spot to fund loans they make in response to loans applications their "customers" submit (hence the competition by banks for your loan applications and credit card borrowing).

    Meanwhile those who are really interested in legal operation & control of our government visit: www_themoneymasters_com/faqs_htm
    The money masters website has helpful resources listed.

    I want to talk about what R.E. Mant said:

    “I want to dispute tho' the remarks about the bank bail-out. I don't think it was the most important thing to have done, but I do agree with the banks that the money is better left there. That should not deter them from lending anyway, since they lend a great deal more than their reserves. During the Revolution the Continental Congress printed a lot of paper money, which depreciated in fairly short order. They then got loans from Europe and started a bank that played a significant part in insuring the outcome. They didn't spend the money, they just used it to support the new paper money they issued. The story is told that they wheeled it out one door and in another, a tactic that was also used by some banks in 1932-3. In short, reserves are there to support the money supply. It was given in return for equity so that it would look better on the balance sheet. I suspect they knew that some of it would be used for mergers, but mergers are certainly better than bank failures.”

    I agree and I disagree. Both of your points are right, but there are two problems. First, the bank bailout was pitched as something to restore liquidity and get banks lending again. (You have a good point in that reserves could really help solidify a currency after a crisis of too much liquidity; still, policies ought to be presented honestly.) Second, this crisis started with banks too big to fail... failing. What happens when the dust settles, and we have banks _way_ too big to fail?

    I like the idea of the gov’t backing buyouts of failing banks, to make sure that the accounts don’t go under. But, I think case-by-case would be a smarter way to go than what we have now, which is essentially Hank Paulson handing out grants for huge banks to play Pac-Man with our economy.

    In this era of financial crisis, the central banks and IMF are meeting in secret to make "bold changes" to the global financial system. I confess that I don't trust them to have the good of the public as priority.
    Therefore the world's labor and civic professionals should hold public seminars on a new financial system that is more stable and prosperous for all people.
    At minimum such forums would focus the public on the solution of this issue as opposed to leaving the solution and control to the bankers. International bankers have no controls or regulatory bodies that I'm aware of (please don't use the lame excuses that the market forces and their governors and boards regulate them; try that argument on criminals and you would have a clearer understanding of todays' financial crisis).
    *{Addictional benefits: would keep the public actively engaged and Identify infrastructure projects to finance and small companies to contract with}

    My advice to the Republican Party…
    Regroup, read Plato’s Republic and Redefine the Republican Agenda.
    The next thing to do is find a person who has been trained in the fine art of statesperson from their youth up for your presidential candidate. Then you find a person who has been trained from youth up in the efficient function of social structure for your candidate for vice-president. In the mean time you support the Democrat effort to get our nation back on track to a quality nation that provides all of its citizens a quality lifestyle.
    The only solution to our present situation is what ever it takes to get us back on track.
    Tokenism will not help!

    Too bad for McCain that Bush lied to the Hispanics that were hurriedly grouped up and registered as Republicans in 2000 and more so in 2004. If it were not for Bush's empty promises to the Hispanics, McCain would have done far better with this group.

    If McCain didn't want negative publicity, then HE should NOT have been negative towards Obama first, old John created his own negative publicity. Because McCain considered changing parties after Bush and Fallwell degraded him and Cindy so bad in 2000, I was shocked and disappointed when McCain became so brutally negative towards Obama, I mean didn't McCain learn ANYTHING about dirty politics?

    It is disturbing that McCain got as many votes as he did. McCain can't say he is going to be CHANGE after he voted for and supported Bush's stupid and corrupt decisions. For McCain to suggest for himself and copy Obama's theme of change was utterly stupid. Though a gracious concession speech by McCain, alas, it was not his time, his time was in 2000. McCain sold his soul when he aligned himself with the very people who caused him to lose the GOP nominee in 2000 by using dirty underhanded tactics. McCain's # 1 problem-BUSH

    Bush worst and dumbest EVER! He was never president over ALL the people of this fine country. If you want to be president of a country, you HAVE to be leader of ALL the people, not just the rich ones, not just the ones that look like you, and not just the ones of your political party. Personal goals were more important to Bush rather than being honest and good and moral. At any cost and using any corrupt means would that thick-skulled idiot use to reach HIS and Cheney's goals.

    Tina, I applaud your support for Senator Sanders; he recognizes the need and offers many solutions. However, I have spent the last four years writing some books about a proposal that I think achieves many of the objectives that Sen. Sanders and others desire. The legislative Act that I propose and have written about is called the PROFIT Act, which stands for the Productivity, Responsibility, Opportunity FIT Act. It is a long-term retirement fund for all employees, out of which tort judgments will be paid. The idea is to couple a benefit for all workers with a responsibility. The fund would align people with responsible profits. My goal is to get people like Sen. Sanders to add this plan to their legislative proposals and welcome additional interest in the idea. The book I have written explains why this proposal for a small percentage of corporate profits, payable upon retirement to all employees, but out of which tort judgments will be paid, is necessary to counter the greed, environmental destruction, over-consumerism, and wealth disparity. Feel free to contact me at for more information.

    I guess what I wonder about is what the Republicans do now; the gradual reformation of the Democratic message has made the Democratic candidate the one who talks about personal responsibility and earned success (as Clinton spoke of those who "work hard and play by the rules"), and the limits of government intervention. Good advice to any ailing party is to get back to basics, but it seems as though the Democrats are now owning those core conservative principles.

    There is, of course, the principle of small government, but conservative governance for all these years has resulted in one that is far bigger, costlier, and less effective, angering many on the right and left. Also, with both parties behind the bailout, it becomes tough for the GOP to argue against big spending or "socialism"; the issue no longer whether we'll be spending lots of money, it's where it will be spent and with what (if any) meaningful strings attached.

    The consensus seems to be that Obama got a solid victory, perhaps short of a landslide, but not a squeaker either. However, both parties ran on the platform of change (in McCain's case, in an attempt to run as far away from the sitting president as possible), and waxed poetic on the promise of the little guy. So, it's fair to say that there's a mandate for something new, for bold action, for populism, and that the new President will have a lot to prove and a lot of people to make happy.

    Also, there really was a progressive mandate in that people were willing to give a liberal candidate a shot in the Oval Office. Perhaps, after eight years of conservative ideas dominating our discourse, we were ready to give liberal ideas a try. Of course, I hope we don't shut out conservative ideas the way Bush shut out liberal ones.

    Ya, I have a problem with the corruption of titles too!
    Without socialism there would be no civilization. No matter what you call it; it is necessary to a viable social system that can provide the necessary organization for the benefit of the nation.
    The same goes for capitalism. It is a necessary social system to provide the production, exchange and distribution of goods and services.
    There are people who are unifiers and there are people who are under miners. The under miners want to cause dissention while the unifiers want to perfect the union. Unifiers stengthen the union while the under miners weaken the union. We need to work together to solve our problems and provide quality lifestyles. Making people successful is a key social skill necessary to building a quality nation.

    Oops! That should have been:

    "Wow! For a realist – non-realists (they call themselves optimists, I call them fools) call me a pessimist – that sounds pretty upbeat!"

    I also enjoyed this past Friday's show. I think Mr Phillips is somewhat of a character and I get a kick out of listening to him!

    The following comment made by "Harold" on this BLOG (kind of hidden away in one very large paragraph, buddy :-) attracted my attention the most because I have been thinking along the same lines:

    "We don't need two conservative, one moderat and two liberal justices. We need someone who is left, right, middle and transcends the whole, inspired justices."

    I have also been thinking lately of how useless labels are to gain a true understanding of a person, their position, or an issue itself. For example, I could be considered left, right or center depending on what issue we were discussing, and to label me as one of those for an understanding I have of a particular issue would not be a very productive way of understanding me as a whole.

    I think it might be a good time to discard the notions that go with words like: right, far-right, center, left, far-left, liberal, conservative, even democrat or republican. Especially when moving forward to attempt to solve the problems of the day.

    Think about how the word "socialism" was used as a scare tactic during the campaign. Public schools, some police, fire and ambulance services, social security and Medicare are all services we collectively provide for ourselves by paying for them collectively.

    I don't know about you, but I am not keen on the idea of taking my 100-year-old grandmother's social security payments away from her. Etc.

    (The tyranny of words!)

    I feel we need to start transcending these many labels, if we are to come together and determine the best way to solve current problems. We all need to be part of the solution, because the problems affect us all in one way or another.

    Wow! For a realist – non-realists (they call themselves pessimists, I call them fools) call me a pessimist – that sounds pretty upbeat!

    I am sick of the right wing's attempts to demonize "socialism" by liking it to "communism" and by otherwise blurring the definition of the term.

    "Socialism" could be described as the government intervening in an area (like the economy, or medical care, etc,) in an attempt to forward the economic and other interests of the people.

    Kevin Phillips was using the term to discuss the $700 billion dollar bailout. This is government intervening in an area in an attempt to forward the economic and other interests of corporations and the financial industry.

    That "ism" is correctly defined as "fascism".

    Please have a guest who understands and can articulate this distinction.

    The word language while being a good word is not correct.........

    The word languish should have been there in its place.

    I regret my mistake and lack of editing.

    Why would anyone want to buy from a company who had failed and been bailed out by the Federal Government with that person’s money and without their permission?

    If the company is so inept they cannot make a profit and do not know what their customers want, how will the money stolen from the taxpayer make them profitable?

    Resentment from the taxpayer alone is enough for the taxpayer/customer not to buy anything from the bailed out companies.

    Why would anyone want to buy a car from GM, Ford, or Chrysler?
    Why would anyone want to buy an insurance policy from AIG?
    Why would anyone want to get a mortgage from Bank of America or Wells Fargo, or Citibank and have them sell it to Freddy Mack or Fanny May knowing both of these Government run Companies will fail and the taxpayer/customer will probably loose their home?

    This is an endless list and human nature dictates that one buys from a solid company who will be around, not a going out of business propped up by a failed Government that will fall of its own weight no matter how long the Government printing presses run or how many Trillions of dollars are given to the failures.

    Companies like Toyota build good cars and not a dime from the F.G.
    Banks like Hudson City Bancorp do not sell their Mortgages to Freddy or Fanny but keep them for the life of the loan.
    Insurance Companies who are solid and not in line for a hand out will be around to pay for what is insured and not be caught spending money on parties as AIG was.

    The customer is king and the F.G. and the Bailout Club have both forgotten this. The only control the people have is the Vote to control the F.G. and their pocketbooks to control the Bailout Club.

    Once again it comes to the peoples responsibility to control their lives… they missed a golden opportunity with the Vote on November 4th but the jury is still out on the Bailout Club. So, what is it going to be folks? Are you going to reward the failures and let them pick your pockets twice or will you go elsewhere and let the thieves language in there own guile?

    The big problems for the Democrats is that the public will expect results, not just empty promises, excuses or finger pointing. A bigger issue is that many of the problems facing us as a nation will not show major improvement over a short period of time. We need to be patient - but the Obama administration will be under pressure to produce results now. Some of the problems facing us: the national debt; energy dependence; trade imbalances; eroding middle class; underperforming education system; financial meltdown (etc) require long-term planning (possibly several decades) which may not yield results for many years. Can the voters be patient? This may be a serious problem for the Democrats which may curtail the lifespan of their coallition.

    The other question regarding party platforms...I do not think the platforms will change drastically. The parties will keep an eye on what the public wants (or thinks they want) and then will make promises to fulfill those public desires (and most voters know that these promises are pretty much meaningless).

    We need to stop allowing our elected officials to make empty promises and continue to represent us. If poilticians can not live up to their campaign promises, they should not be re-elected.

    I heard a wonderful comment from someone who was interviewed on NPR a couple days ago, and I regret that I did not catch his name. The man said he thought that one of the most important things that Obama can do is to talk with the American people about what kind of a country they want to have, and what kind of people they want to be. And then, ask the American people to get to work to turn those dreams into reality. He said that Americans are all over the place, and really don't know who they are or who they want to be, in the long run. And that it's the long view we need to adopt! I thought this was a very wise suggestion.

    The biggest problem I see for him is that the expectations for him and his administration are unreasonably high. I hope the people of this country and of the rest of the world can be patient - and - that they will try to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, and help make Obama's goals a reality. He cannot do it himself, and people MUST do what he has and will inspire them to do for themselves.

    I think it depends on what is accomplished. Time will tell. I hope both parties will evolve for the good of the country, as the times change. We shall see. Thank you for remembering my hero Studs Terkel. He was special. I wonder what he would write today. I can only imagine.

    Over the next few decades, do you expect Democratic and Republican party platforms to change significantly from those of today? No

    The party platforms won't change much because each party will use its platform to appeal to its entrenched interests. The type of solutions that are offered will, as they do now, increasingly diverge from their platforms; because our national economic vulnerability will demand real solutions.

    Will the Democrats' electoral coalition prove durable over the next several election cycles? Yes

    There will be some ups and downs, but in comparison to the Republicans and the existing independent parties, Democrats seem to be more pragmatic about addressing real issues. Obviously, as Kevin Phillips stated, there are entrenched interests that influence the Democratic Party. But each of these entrenched interests has been capable of compromise. This is not true of the far right in the Republican Party. And the independent parties don't even attempt to form larger coalitions. It seems like the Democrats will usually win by default.

    What seemed to be missing from the interview with Pat Williams and Eric Foner was talk of reindustrializing the economy. Improving infrastructure and reviving government agencies is not enough. Fixing transportation systems for what? So people can drive to their jobs? What jobs? Not jobs in making the materials used in new bridges and tunnels, nor making the cars and trains. It's like a labor intensive from of toll collecting, it's self fulfilling. Join a unions? Great, now people will just hate public unions all the more because they have to pay more tolls and taxes. Same goes for higher education.

    I hope there is a new definition of what constitutes intellectualism and anti-intellectualism. Hopefully, in the future, intellectualism will be defined as smarts like retrofitting old infrastructure for new purposes, ignoring professional talkers without losing ones cool, and creative conservation. Art and science united. Bye to the the talkers. Fare thee well.


    I think of you most Fridays all day until I watch your show and then I wonder if you will ever read the 75 pages of material I have entered on your web logs and if you do, will you compare the dates of my papers to the dates your guest say the same thing on your show.

    I was looking for:

    Bill Moyers World of Ideas
    Willard Gaylin Page 125 Population Control

    And I noticed that nothing has been done about population since Willard Gaylin warned you I believe in the early 70’s.

    Didn’t you do these as interviews on PBS before you put them in two books?

    In any case I could not find the one below and so decided it was in your:

    Bill Moyers World of Ideas II National Interest Corporations & Wealthy
    Special Interest People (Citizens)

    I have decided that who said it in the book was predicting what would happen to a Country stupid enough to put the Rich and Corporations first and as of Tuesday I am sure the “Second Shoe will fall and fall hard” as your guest Kevin Phillips seemed to see that we did not take the necessary action and vote the incumbents out this past week. So the Incumbents who told 90% of the citizens to kiss their backsides and went against the will of the people will have no inclination to listen to the enthusiastic call for change.

    Not on your or my life is it going to happen. The banks are already hording the money and nothing that actually helps people has happened yet. The people think to change one man for another and save themselves but they needed to change 454 men and women and bring in a new government but they had not the courage or stomach for real change and a new way of life.

    Moses didn’t wander the desert for 40 years for nothing. This is a divided country fighting each other for power and money. We compete here or had

    you forgot that? We hate each other and label each other and do our damnest to take all we can from each other. A two party system, what a laugh, we have an incumbent system that serves the powerful and right now they are doing everything they can to fix (can you imagine they want to fix the system) a broken system so it can fail again.

    We have just learned there is a limit to more, more, more and no one has seen it as a lesson. Competition breeds contempt and hate…. We need cooperation in order to find solutions. After the second shoe falls, and the real true deep hurt starts, I look for people to stop thinking the incumbents in congress are helping them. At least you found your backbone and give the educated a pulpit.

    But that is not what Studs Terkel did is it? Do you ever plan to talk to a common man or gleam the wisdom from the common folks who fill your web logs? If you did, do you think they would tell you the truth or do you think they know the truth? I can tell you that writing down my thoughts and feelings for your web log has been humiliating to me. With each entry I feel more along and less connected to what I thought was my life and the more I search to find the truth of my country the more I am disappointed and wonder how a people can hate each other and take the wealth from the people and horde it and how a corrupt government could stand year after year and afford the rich an avenue to do so.

    Bill, I am sick, sick in my body, heart, and soul and I can find no cooperation that will bring solutions to our people. I shed tears for the same people who shunned me and exiled me and despised me. I can not look upon them and see their greed and hate without great sadness. This is evil I am looking at. An evil that blinds men and women and leads them into a destruction that will repeat itself over and over through out time.

    Can you imagine that the US Federal Government is now choosing to give every Corporate entity in the country as much money as they want and yet we had no money for the family, the worker, education, health care, and you know what they will say now…? “you can no longer expect the Federal Government to pay you Social security or Medicare” (didn’t you hear that the treasury is taking the money out of SS to pay for the Car Companies to flush down the toilet? And those same Corporations who just got Trillions of dollars can’t afford benefits or pensions, or fair wages.

    Where are the Unions when we need them, where are the leaders when we need them, they are all gone, gone to follow a new leader.

    The Master Leader of all men who choose greed and hording and power over others and of all men who believe in the doing away with fair wages, pensions, and the sharing of goods, products, and services that make us humans. This evil that lives and thrives in the hearts of the rich and powerful will take us over the cliff we now find ourselves on looking into the abyss as we profess to believe in the “American Dream”

    Did we really come into this world to worship money, pieces of paper, for a life so empty as to be filled with things?

    The one bright star in our dreams is our ignorance of the fact that population and global warming are now at the point of no return and mans tenure on this earth is soon to be canceled. Yes, because of his evilness but no not by it. The earth will rule in the end that man no longer deserves to be here. In the end the earth does have the ability to reject any of it tenants who miss behave.

    Yes, Mr. Phillips, Bill and Fellow Bloggers, I agree. The Democrats will have enormous problems over the next 4 years, because we have inherited a huge mess. But let's stop second-guessing and micro-magnifying every breath Mr. Obama takes over the 24-hour news cycle before he ever gets in office. It's useless and damaging. I intend to wait and see if he might just do some good and implement a creative solution or two before I start the naysaying. He's a savvy guy. You guys gotta learn to trust a little.

    OK, I know you will serverely discount this, but I wouldn't if I were you, even if I can't explain it right. The show was so close. If you want to know what's going on in politics and the world in the future, it's a new view of reality from a new consciousnes, a new mindset. It may be true that the country is, say, right of center. If all thinking is by analogy, then you can compare anything to anything to know more about what you want to know about. Take a jigsaw puzzle or a coin, for instance. There is only one piece in the puzzle that is in the absolute center and one piece right of center. Probably only one person, unless he has a clone who is in the exact center of the electorate and one person left of center. If the majority is right of center then they are following someone and I doubt that's a good idea as we're supposed to all be different. I think Barack is thinking more of appealling to everyone and serving everyone and he can reach everyone that way. Tough for the conscious mind, but not for the visual logic of the subconscious. Your intuition answers questions from that map and complexity is no problem. You have to look at everything that way. We don't need two conservative, one moderat and two liberal justices. We need someone who is left, right, middle and transcends the whole, inspired justices. The religions are accussed of taking a position that is comforting, but isn't an Atheist also taking a comfortable position instead of facine the infinitude of unansered questions, going outside the box. By using and checking intuition and gut reactions they can be accurate and we can feel secure in the midst of the complexity. Bush, McCain and Obama have all mentioned making their decisions by a gut reaction, but I doubt they have they checked them against everything, including practicality? You have to test gut reactionse. Cognitive therapy checks the thought behind a feeling for truth. That's what you have to do. If you have the big picture you can tell what Obama will do from what he has done. So far I see that he is doing just what I would expect. He has a good overview, having a biracial, international and varied economic background. He has a grasp of the different needs of people, a holistic view. The world is infinitely complex and we need this way of thinking, the way all the greats throughout history used. A word to the wise is sufficient. Einstein said, "The only real valuable thing is intuition." It's the connection with the rest of the 98% of the brain they say we don't use. We can us it. I suspect it understands nature and the universe as well. Elijah talked about the still small voice. The only question I want answered is, how do we extend our life and health. I think we will find that when we find it more reasonable to work together on that issue, rather than try to eliminate each other. Heads up Bill.

    Obama's victory seems to have wiped GWB from the scene, no matter what Obama says about "one president at a time."

    Even though revelations about the involvement of Bush's top aides and perhaps Bush himself in the decisions to kidnap and torture people without the barest semblence of due process have come out since the finacial crisis, no one is held accountable.

    Pundits are unconscionably silent on the issue.

    One has to ask, did Bush use the credit crisis to wipe out our memories as well as our consciences?

    One of Obama's duties to history is to discover what happened during the Bush years and to prosecute the criminals.

    Sweeping the Bush years under the rug is not a unifying gesture but rather a dangerous one. As President Clinton learned, if you do not prosecute these people, they will destroy you.

    We must demand that Obama appoint a special prosecutor to undertake a full review of the Bush administration and hold the criminals accountable.

    The more fractured and divided the government is, the better. That is why I hoped that somehow McCain would win. We saw the damage done when the Republicans were in control. I do not expect things to be any better with the democrats. Nothing will change when the power is controlled by the same small group of corporations and elites. Obama has said nothing about this. And he won't, because it is this group that made Obama president.

    The idea that Obama would win as a third party candidate is laughable. If it were not for the corporations behind Obama, you and I would never have heard of him.

    The two party dictatorship has done everything they can to stop third parties and sadly they have been very successful.

    I will admit all interviews were excellent this week. I voted for Obama not because of skin tone but because he included ALL people in his message. not just a few groups with major money. It's funny, I never think of his color except when a story emphasizes it, I think of the man instead.

    The crisis America is in didn't happen over night, and won't be solved easily nor over night. But who President elect Obama chooses for his cabinet and his staff will tell the people whether their vote was misplaced or not. If they aren't fresh faces not of the 'establishement', if the Dems blow it - come 2010 you'll see the results in the voting booths.

    Let's face it - if Obama had been a 3rd party candidate, we'd be discussing the total failure of both parties as the 3rd would win. I look for a New Third Party to emerge with New leadership. It will be a center party, and probably a merging of several of the 3rd parties and will have a youthful attitude and leader.

    Democrats - Republicans...... watch out for the next party that will over rule you.

    Thank you for hitting another home run with (reoccurring), author Kevin Philips.

    Everyone around here stops talking when Kevin comes on.

    His brilliance is as sharp as his wit.

    Thank you Bill.

    Hi Bill;

    We are huge fans of your show and enjoyed the conversation with Kevin Phillips. However, I was a bit surprised to hear you attribute Obama's win to youth and minority groups, without mentioning the gender gap.

    Have you seen the news release from the Institute for Women's Policy Research? It says , in part, "Analysis of preliminary CNN exit poll data shows that
    the gender gap in voting helped to bring President-Elect Obama to

    Nationally, 56 percent of women (who were 53 percent of
    voters) voted for Barack Obama compared with 49 percent of men (who
    were 47 percent of voters).
    Nationwide, it is estimated
    that Senator Obama received 35,900,000 votes from women and
    27,800,000 votes from men.

    "This 7-point gender gap, combined with women's greater turnout, was a
    major factor in the election's results," said Dr. Heidi Hartmann,
    founder of the Institute for Women's Policy Research. "The same is
    true in some key battleground states, where women were also the
    majority of voters."...
    (see for the rest )

    I have noticed and do appreciate that your program often includes dynamic women as guests, and that you often mention women in your commentaries. This omission seems like an unusual oversight, no doubt due to the overwhelming flood of data after the election.

    Keep up the great work!

    Kevin Phillips has always been a little behind the curve, but he has always been a good hitter, and you can get a pretty complete education in politics by reading his books. You will find a list of them here: I would point particularly to "The Politics of Rich and Poor," "The Cousins’ Wars" and "American Theocracy," as well as the most recent.

    I want to dispute tho' the remarks about the bank bail-out. I don't think it was the most important thing to have done, but I do agree with the banks that the money is better left there. That should not deter them from lending anyway, since they lend a great deal more than their reserves. During the Revolution the Continental Congress printed a lot of paper money, which depreciated in fairly short order. They then got loans from Europe and started a bank that played a significant part in insuring the outcome. They didn't spend the money, they just used it to support the new paper money they issued. The story is told that they wheeled it out one door and in another, a tactic that was also used by some banks in 1932-3. In short, reserves are there to support the money supply. It was given in return for equity so that it would look better on the balance sheet. I suspect they knew that some of it would be used for mergers, but mergers are certainly better than bank failures.

    I also have high hopes for President Obama to help the middle class and the working class. I knew that this was coming because I am a viewer of PBS and PBS did not sugar coat the news as did the commercial stations.

    If we lose the middle class as one expert said we lose democracy. We are very close to having the middle class/working class lose everything they have worked for all their lives.

    Pray that President Obama is kept safe and has God's speed in doing his duty. We, the American citizens are in need of help and if we don't get it soon something unknown horror will befall us as a nation.

    Once was three paychecks in our household now there is one low paying check and no matter how we slice it, the loaf of bread can only go so far.

    How did President Bush let things go this far without intervention? What was more important to him other than the citizens of the country that he is President of?

    Rahm Emanuel is the problem. He personally selected pro war democrats so that America ONLY heard the Bush lies while Mummy Read and Nancy Real Estate slumbered.

    See The Book of Rahm on Counterpunch site for the lowdown on just how hard
    Rahm has workded to keep us in Iraq.

    Excellent comment on the bailout! That was like totalitarian TV the night of the first bailout vote. It was voe for this OR we are all going to die!

    Now they are pocketing the cash, not making loans, and the press is saying nothing.

    Its privatizations still-- we give the Corporations cash and they give us nothing but free market cliches. When will we end this right wing extremism that is sanpapered by Corporate Media into a mainstream finish?

    Yeah but you bailed out the rich. End of debate.

    Post this everywhere on big market newspaper sites, or only the choir will hear it. We do not have a free press. You have to cut and paste our way to freedom.

    A lot of progressive minded individuals are already saying "What have we done ?". We picked this guy a little green with only four years of experience in the Senate, he's barely got his office unpacked. He's a smart guy and Chicago politics have a reputation for not being for the faint of heart, but he's never really been in a position that warrants an attack by any of the Washington political pariahs. Now he's king of the hill in Washington, the sharks smell fresh blood in the water and are circling for their first attack. Thankfully he is choosing top notch Washington shark hunters from the corporate (DLC) wing of the party, however, average Americans better prepare for some bad times as the Robert Rubens of his administration continue to put all their efforts into saving the investment bankers and the corporate elite !

    As we all learned throughout the Obama camapaing, the many controversial advisors, and his selection of Rahm Emanuel as the C.O.S., I am afraid that few things will actually change. I now expect that the next for years will be as political controvesial as with most administrations. Obama promised "change" and to stop the partisan fighting, and yesterday we learned that Lieberman is under attack.

    Obama's first pick for Chief of Staff?

    “The son of a man who helped carry out this slaughter [the Deir Yassin massacre of Palestinians] has now been selected by Obama to be his chief-of-staff. Cries of ’sins of the father’ lose their gusto when one considers the fact that, after the 1996 re-election of Bill Clinton, Rahm Emanuel ‘Was so angry at the president’s enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign, grabbed a steak knife and began rattling off a list of betrayers, shouting “Dead! … Dead! … Dead!” and plunging the knife into the table after every name.’ Sounds like a nice guy,” writes Watson. (Emphasis mine.)

    I think that a great deal of what will happen to the so-called Democratic coalition will depend on how the Obama administration performs: 1)whether or not he can bring us out of this recession without exploding the debt even further by the end of four years, 2)whether or not there is progress in any of the social agendas such as universal health care and better public education because of federal assistance, 3)whether or not Obama truly does show a new sort of bipartisan approach to being a Democrat, valuing opinions that differ from his, and 4)how well the Democrats perform internationally--ending the Iraqi war without making that country even more of a mess than we already made it, addressing serious problems elsewhere without necessarily committing our troops to combat (aid, peacekeeping, infra-structure building--not fighting). Perfection won't be necessary; progress will. The coalition is fragile, largely reactive to Bush AND to a history we needed to blow up. The symbolism of his election lifted all of us, not just minorities--particularly African-Americans. No one bothered mentioning poverty--those of us teetering on the brink or about to go over the edge. If issues pertaining to us and to the middle class are quickly addressed successfully, I think the coalition may get some traction and real substance. There are some affluent Americans who will come along because they believe their interests are served by the same issues as well. A mighty tall order, but it could happen. I think we are seeing a redefinition of the Democratic Party through the up-coming administration and the new Congress, FULL of brand new people.

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