Author Archives: Norman Solomon

Some liberals and arms-control experts are cheering for war profiteers to be in Biden’s cabinet

What does all this praising and access-drooling amount to?

No matter who ends up winning Senate confirmation for top positions on President Biden’s “national security” team, an ominous dynamic is already underway. Some foreign-policy specialists with progressive reputations are voicing support and evasive praise for prospective cabinet members—as though spinning through revolving doors to broker lucrative Pentagon contracts is not a conflict of interest, and as though advocating for an aggressive U.S. military posture is fine. Continue reading

Hey Joe, where you going with that Pentagon in your hands?

The pernicious and lucrative aspects of military madness are personified in the favorite to be Biden’s defense secretary.

By all accounts, the frontrunner to be Joe Biden’s pick for secretary of defense is Michèle Flournoy. It’s a prospect that should do more than set off alarm bells—it should be understood as a scenario for the president-elect to stick his middle fingers in the eyes of Americans who are fed up with endless war and ongoing militarism. Continue reading

Corporate Democrats are to blame for congressional losses—so naturally they’re blaming progressives

When Rep. Rashida Tlaib talks about "pushing the Democratic Party to represent the communities that elected them," she actually means what she says.

Corporate Democrats got the presidential nominee they wanted, along with control over huge campaign ad budgets and nationwide messaging to implement “moderate” strategies. But, as the Washington Post noted, Joe Biden’s victory “came with no coattails down ballot.” Democratic losses left just a razor-thin cushion in the House, and the party failed to win a Senate majority. Now, corporate Democrats are scapegoating progressives. Continue reading

Progressive message to Joe Biden: Don’t you dare ‘cooperate’ with Mitch McConnell

If Biden chooses to 'cooperate' with Mitch McConnell, that choice is likely to set off a political war between the new administration and the Democratic Party's progressive base.

Near the end of his well-crafted victory speech Saturday night, Joe Biden decried “the refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another.” He went on to say that “we can decide to cooperate. And I believe that this is part of the mandate from the American people. They want us to cooperate. That’s the choice I’ll make. And I call on the Congress—Democrats and Republicans alike—to make that choice with me.” Continue reading

Progressives made Trump’s defeat possible. now it’s time to challenge Biden and other corporate Democrats

Without a strong progressive program as a rudder, the Biden presidency will be awash in much the same old rhetorical froth and status-quo positions that have so often caused Democratic incumbents to founder, bringing on GOP electoral triumphs.

The defeat of Donald Trump would not have been possible without the grassroots activism and hard work of countless progressives. Now, on vital issues—climate, healthcare, income inequality, militarism, the prison-industrial complex, corporate power and so much more—it’s time to engage with the battle that must happen inside the Democratic Party. Continue reading

Why a former Green Party candidate is on a very long fast—urging progressives to vote for Biden to defeat Trump

"A very large number of people on the left who supported Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren have come around to an understanding that Trump and his accomplices are such a dire threat to any hope of forward progress in this country."

In ordinary times, Ted Glick would hardly be someone you’d expect to hear urging fellow progressives to vote for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. Continue reading

The man who would be president: Mike Pence, corporate theocrat

The case of Mike Pence should be an ongoing urgent reminder that—as toxic and truly evil as Donald Trump is—the current president is a product and poisonous symptom of an inherently unjust and anti-democratic status quo.

If President Trump dies from the coronavirus that has killed more than 200,000 Americans largely due to his deliberate negligence, the man replacing him will be no less dangerous. While Mike Pence has eluded tough media scrutiny—in part because he exhibits such a low-key style in contrast to Trump—the pair has been a good fit for an administration that exemplifies the partnership of religious fundamentalism and corporate power. Continue reading

Twin imperatives: Defeat President Trump this fall; challenge President Biden from day one

This is our political crossroads.

One result of the Republican convention will be a drop in the number of progressives who are in denial about the Trump regime’s momentum toward fascism. This week’s relentlessly unhinged GOP gathering has probably done more to win votes for Joe Biden from the left than last week’s Democratic convention did. And that points up a problem. Continue reading

Amy Klobuchar, Minneapolis police and her VP quest

When Amy Klobuchar was running for president, corporate media served as her biggest political base.

Eighteen years before Minneapolis police killed an unarmed black man named George Floyd on Monday, Minneapolis police killed an unarmed black man named Christopher Burns. Today, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar decries the killing of Floyd. Back then, Minneapolis chief prosecutor Amy Klobuchar refused to prosecute city police for killing Burns. Continue reading

In a class war—like it or not—the system always makes a killing

While negative coverage of Donald Trump has been common due to his handling of the pandemic, media outrage has been muted in relation to the magnitude of the dying in our midst.

Journalists aren’t supposed to “bury the lead.” But when death is the topic and corporate power is the culprit, the connection routinely goes unmentioned. Continue reading

Some progressives are in denial about Trump’s fascist momentum

Some say preventing the re-election of Trump isn't important. That amounts to ignoring political reality, an evasion with potentially vast consequences.

Two years after Donald Trump won the presidency, the author of “How Fascism Works” assessed him in a video. “It might seem like an exaggeration to call Trump a fascist,” Yale Professor Jason Stanley said. “I mean, he’s not calling for a genocide or imprisoning his own people without due process. But . . . if you use history and philosophy as a guide, it’s easy to see parallels between Trump’s words and those of the most reviled fascists in history. That scares me, and it should scare you too.” Continue reading

Power in a time of coronavirus

Rather than being a respite from political power struggles, the coronavirus emergency is greatly intensifying them.

Every day now we’re waking up into an extreme real-life nightmare, while responses are still routinely lagging far behind what’s at stake. Urgency is reality. The horrific momentum of the coronavirus is personal, social and political. In those realms, a baseline formula is “passivity = death.” The imperative is to do vastly better. Continue reading

‘In a dark time, the eye begins to see’: The 2020 Bernie campaign represents a fight that must continue

Corporate media and corporate Democrats want the Bernie 2020 campaign—and the grassroots energy behind it—to melt away. That's not going to happen.

“In a dark time,” poet Theodore Roethke wrote, “the eye begins to see.” Continue reading

A profound and historic question for Elizabeth Warren: Which side are you on?

How Warren answers that question might determine the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. In the process, she will profoundly etch into history the reality of her political character.

The night before Super Tuesday, Elizabeth Warren spoke to several thousand people in a quadrangle at East Los Angeles College. Much of her talk recounted the heroic actions of oppressed Latina workers who led the Justice for Janitors organization. Standing in the crowd, I was impressed with Warren’s eloquence as she praised solidarity and labor unions as essential for improving the lives of working people. Continue reading

Iowa fiasco raises stakes for New Hampshire, where Sanders could win big

Monday night's collapse of the caucus vote-counting process in Iowa has amped up the spotlight on—and political consequences of—what will happen in the New Hampshire primary.

While journalists pick through the ashes of the Iowa caucuses meltdown, thousands of progressive activists are moving forward to make election history in New Hampshire. In sharp contrast to the prattle of mainstream punditry, the movements behind Bernie Sanders are propelled by people who engage with politics as a collective struggle because the future of humanity and the planet is at stake. As a result, the Granite State’s primary election on Feb. 11 could be a political earthquake. Continue reading

Bernie Sanders’ people-powered campaign is on fire

The Bernie 2020 campaign is a crucible of broader activism from the grassroots that can spark uprisings of heat and light.

To corporate media, Bernie Sanders is incorrigible. He won’t stop defying the standard assumptions about what’s possible in national politics. His 2020 campaign—with feet on the ground and eyes on visionary horizons—is a danger to corporate capitalism’s “natural” order that enables wealth to dominate the political process. Continue reading

Biden, Buttigieg, and corporate media are eager for Sanders and Warren ‘trash talk’ narrative to take hold

It would be a serious error for progressives to buy into corporate media portrayals of the Sanders and Warren campaigns as destined to play a traditional zero-sum political game.

Corporate Democrats got a jolt at the end of last week when the highly regarded Iowa Poll showed Bernie Sanders surging into first place among Iowans likely to vote in the state’s Feb. 3 caucuses. The other big change was a steep drop for the previous Iowa frontrunner, Pete Buttigieg, who—along with Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden—came in a few percent behind Sanders. The latest poll was bad news for corporate interests, but their prospects brightened a bit over the weekend when Politico reported: “The nonaggression pact between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren is seriously fraying.” Continue reading

Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg are not to be trusted

It’s understandable that corporate-backed candidates don’t want to be cornered by questions that touch on realities of political and economic power.

In a recent New Yorker profile of Pete Buttigieg, one sentence stands out: “Watch Buttigieg long enough and you notice that he uses abstraction as an escape hatch.” Evasive platitudes are also routine for Joe Biden, the other major Democratic presidential candidate running in what mainstream journalists call “the center lane.” Continue reading

Corporate media’s mantra is ‘anyone but Sanders or Warren’

The mainline media are generally quite warm toward so-called ‘moderates,’ without bothering to question what's so moderate about such positions as bowing to corporate plunder, backing rampant militarism and refusing to seriously confront the climate emergency.

Anyone who’s been paying attention should get the picture by now. Overall, in subtle and sledgehammer ways, the mass media of the United States—owned and sponsored by corporate giants—are in the midst of a siege against the two progressive Democratic candidates who have a real chance to be elected president in 2020. Continue reading