June 29, 2018

This week on To The Contrary with Bonnie Erbe, our panelists discuss what Justice Kennedy’s retirement means for civil rights, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s surprising win, and an interview with Jemele Hill on the intersection between sports and politics.

On the panel this week joining host Bonnie Erbe is:  Jennifer Higgins, GOP Political Strategist; Anushay Hossain, Founder, Anushay’s Point; Latifa Lyles, Frmr. Dir. Women’s Bureau, US Dept. of Labor; Ann Stone, Co-Founder, Women For Trump

Click read more to see what they had to say!

Justice Anthony Kennedy Retires

What will happen to abortion rights, gay rights, and affirmative action as Justice Kennedy is replaced in the Supreme Court?

  • Jennifer Higgins: “I think we’re looking at an environment where we’re going to see states be more in control than SCOTUS is at this point, in terms of future policy.”

  • Anushay Hossain: “I think this opening in the Supreme Court is going to set the entire women’s movement back, and that affects women’s movements around the world. What happens in America matters.”

  • Bonnie Erbe: “This [administration] is much farther right than any other presidency of my lifetime, and probably since the middle of the last hundred years.”

  • Ann Stone: “If we get somebody who isn’t good on precedent, you’re going to see Roberts, in particular, switch and become the Kennedy of the court.”

  • Latifa Lyles:  “At the state level, this is really opening the floodgates, and there are a lot of folks who are, frankly, scared about how they’re going to live their lives in light of this vacancy.”

A Changing Party?

28-year-old Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has just ousted a 10-year incumbent congressman in the New York primary. What does this mean for the party?

  • Ann Stone: “When [far left’s policies] are illuminated by Republican ads, it’s going to be a real problem for them. But just the internal battle they have on the Democratic side is not helpful for them.”

  • Latifa Lyles: “The demographics of the Democratic party have changed and folks in those positions have not been keeping up with the changes in their districts. Representing the people is what’s moving folks.. At this point there’s a crisis of confidence in our elected officials, and I think that’s what going to motivate people to make a change in our party.”

  • Bonnie Erbe: “I grew up a very hard-left liberal in New York City in the ‘60s...but we weren’t talking about socialism. There was a wave of interest in politics at that time, like now, among young people, and we were different from our parents; we were more concerned about overpopulation, more concerned about the environment, certainly, but not on financial issues, and I think this could be the Democrats’ undoing.”

  • Jennifer Higgins: “[Ocasio-Cortez] is the kind of candidate you want to see in the sense that she’s young, and she’s a minority, and she’s outspoken, and she didn’t raise money -- she did an entirely grassroots effort. What concerns me is that she is a socialist, and when we talk about the party and the issues that Democrats have, you’re going to see that issue of moving to the left. There was a stat that said the majority of people under 30 don’t believe in capitalism.”

  • Anushay Hossain: “I think there’s a big power-push going on in the party right now. I think we’re, in many ways, still recovering and having an identity crisis from the election, and I think it’s important that [Ocasio-Cortez] is really re-galvanizing the party on things that we need to focus on.”

Jemele Hill

The former Sportscenter host and current ESPN columnist talks about the intersection between sports and politics, and being targeted by Donald Trump for her comments.

  • Jennifer Higgins: “I think Miss Hill had an important opportunity here, as someone who does speak about culture and plays a unique role in an industry that is very white-male-dominated, to tell her story...As an African American woman, I would have been stunned if she didn’t say something and I applaud her for that and it’s unfortunate that she was penalized for that.”

  • Anushay Hossain: “Trump has a very clear pattern of really not liking it, not only when people criticize him, but when women criticize him, and women of color. So speaking out on such a political issue and then having the president attack you and then being suspended from your work - I have a lot of respect for her. It takes a lot of courage.”

  • Bonnie Erbe: “But what about the fact that he made her career? He should be smart enough to know that he should keep his mouth shut on Twitter, especially about relative unknowns. He’s going to make them famous. He’s going to do more for their careers than they ever could have done for themselves.”

  • Ann Stone: 23:10 “I don’t care if she expresses her opinion, but the American people don’t like politics mixed in with their sports, we’ve seen that.”

  • Latifa Lyles: “Sports, I have to say, especially today, is riddled with politics...Whether she adhered to the company rules that she had is one question, but as a person who literally is at the margins of this field, to not have that intersection play out at some point is just unrealistic.”

Be sure to tune in this week for more discussion! Click here to check your local listings.