Henry Wallace, who died 50 years ago this week (November, 18 1965), was one of the most fascinating and controversial political figures in American history. One of the great "what if?" questions of the 20th century is how America might have been different if Wallace, rather than Harry Truman, had succeeded Franklin Roosevelt in the White House.
The Tea Party wing of the House Republican party is seeking changes in the rules and procedures. Changes designed to strip the Speaker of the ability to assemble a majority within the House and enable that majority to govern. They cloak their demands in the language of bottom-up democracy. But their complaints about John Boehner's leadership give away the game.
Alf Landon, the Kansas governor running as the Republican Party's 1936 presidential candidate, called it a "fraud on the working man." Silas Strawn, a former president of both the American Bar Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said it was part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's attempt to "Sovietize the country."
We need to summon the political will to create -- for the first time -- an American labor force of committed citizens that reaches across boundaries of class, race, gender, and religion and involves all Americans. Only then can those in despair envision a future in which they and their children live useful lives as contributing members of our society.
Hillary Clinton's decision to hold the first major public rally of her campaign at Four Freedoms Park in New York City reminds us not only of the many challenges the United States has faced in the past, but also the many challenges we face today as we seek to build a better future for ourselves and for our children.
Clinton has been a polarizing figure throughout her career. In her Roosevelt Island speech, she portrayed herself as a fighter. But, ultimately, Clinton will have to be more publicly accountable for some of the legitimate questions that have been raised around her candidacy because they are not going away.
Perkins, who died 50 years ago this month, is one of our nation's greatest heroines. Her remarkable life should inspire us to continue the battles she fought. Many of the issues she worked on -- including wage theft, discrimination against women workers and the rights of immigrant workers -- remain problems today. Anyone who fights for social justice stands on her shoulders.
Roosevelt understood that people who feel they have an economic future and a sense of stability are more able to spend money and participate in our consumer-driven economy. That means more business and more profits for companies selling all sorts of goods and services. Sooner or later, even the CEOs benefit. Call it "trickle-up" economics.
According to former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers -- who is emerging as a key economic advisor to Hillary Clinton -- the big political challenge in addressing economic inequality is not to embrace "a politics of envy." No, Mr. Summers, it's not the politics of envy. It's the politics of responsibility.
We appear now to be in a period of perpetually slender majorities.The American Congress is more or less split and will still be after this November's mid-terms, regardless of the technical outcome. Maybe it's not about victory... or policy... Maybe we need the "great innovation" that works regardless of division.