“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.
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Dean Baker: Why Even President Obama Won’t Champion Social Security
Although millions of middle-class Americans strongly support social security, big bucks campaign donors hate it. That’s why
It is remarkable that social security hasn’t been a more prominent issue in the presidential race. After all, Governor Romney has proposed a plan that would imply cuts of more than 40% for middle-class workers just entering the labor force. Since social security is hugely popular across the political spectrum, it would seem that President Obama could gain an enormous advantage by clearly proclaiming his support for the program.
But President Obama has consistently refused to rise to the defense of social security. In fact, in the first debate, he explicitly took the issue off the table, telling the American people that there is not much difference between his position on social security and Romney’s.
Charles M. Blow: Paul Ryan’s Poverty Play
Paul Ryan gave a speech on poverty and economic mobility.
No, that’s not the beginning of one of those a-man-walks-into-a-bar jokes. It actually happened.
Ryan delivered the speech Wednesday in Cleveland. “In this war on poverty,” he said, “poverty is winning.” What he didn’t say is that he and his budget have taken sides in that war – and not on the side of the poor.
This is just the latest of Mitt Romney’s home-stretch attempts to kick up the dust of confusion, soften harsh rhetoric and policies, and slip into the White House.
But there’s a problem: Ryan’s budget was actually printed – on paper, at that. It was passed by the House in March. It can be examined and evaluated.
The top Democrat and Republican have clashed face-to-face three times – and emerged far more alike than different. “Given this degree of collusion, why would it be so terrible if Obama lost?” The presidential electoral exercise looks more like an exorcism in which both parties are the Devil.
Two weeks before Election Day, most polling indicates that Barack Obama has sufficient support to win an electoral college victory. If the past four years are any indication, that victory will do little to help the millions of people who put Obama in office. His claims of success are either dubious or obviously harmful for people in this country and around the world. [..]
On November 6th it is perfectly acceptable, morally right, and politically principled to boycott the election or to vote for a party other than the Democrats. Hand wringing about a Romney victory is mostly phony, and geared to keep progressives silent in the face of each new assault. Obama may win after all, but it shouldn’t be because people who claim to be on the left are complicit and a party to his wrongdoing.
Elaine Goldsmith: Is the Clock Turning Back for Women’s Rights?
Whether I like it or not, I am an old lady now. I won’t tell you how old — but trust me. As I watch the election, I find myself worrying about my granddaughters and great-granddaughters. Are we at risk of turning back the clock on women’s rights?
When I was young, my girlfriends and I all worked to make our lives count. We wanted our bodies to be ours — just as men’s are theirs. No one can tell a man what he can or can’t legally do to his body, nor should anyone tell a woman, either. We spoke out, organized, got our parents involved, and encouraged them to get their friends involved.
When Griswold v. Connecticut was decided in 1965, protecting the right to birth control, we knew change was possible. When Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, giving women the right to choose, we knew change had arrived. Nobody is pro-abortion — but anyone who saw the world of back-alley abortions and botched procedures, as I did, would ever want to go back to those days.
Gail Collins: Connecticut Smack-Down
“I got into the race after looking at the faces of my six little grandchildren,” said Linda McMahon.
She is the Republican candidate for the United States Senate in Connecticut, and, over the last three years, she has spent more than $77 million attempting to get elected. When the little grandchildren are grown into the heirs to the McMahon family fortune, do you think they’ll regard that as a good choice?
Linda McMahon is famous for two things: spending piles and piles of money on Senate campaigns, and being a mogul in the world of professional wrestling. She and her husband, Vince, built the empire of sleeper holds and body slams that is known as World Wrestling Entertainment.
Robert Reich: Mitt Romney’s Question-Mark Economy
As we close in on Election Day, the questions about what Mitt Romney would do if elected grow even larger. Rarely before in American history has a candidate for president campaigned on such a blank slate.
Yet, paradoxically, not a day goes by that we don’t hear Romney, or some other exponent of the GOP, claim that businesses aren’t creating more jobs because they’re uncertain about the future. And the source of that uncertainty, they say, is President Obama — especially his Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the Dodd-Frank Act, and uncertainties surrounding Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the wealthy.
In fact, Romney has created far more uncertainty. He offers a virtual question mark of an economy.