Each morning, Bill Scher and Terrance Heath serve up what progressives need to effect change on the kitchen-table issues families face: jobs, health care, green energy, financial reform, affordable education and retirement security.
OurFuture.org's Richard Eskow:  "While most political eyes are fixed on Romney's primary results, the middle class faces a threat to its financial security right in the heart of the Capitol. The Democratic Party does, too. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, who is the living embodiment of Washington's corporatized politics, is once again pushing a 'Grand Bargain' that would cut Social Security and Medicare - and result in more electoral losses like the ones he helped bring upon his party in 2010."
Romney's primary victories still expose underlying weakness. NYT:  "Mr. Romney’s unforced errors here [in Michigan] threatened to turn his appeal as a seasoned and successful chief executive against him by allowing his critics and opponents to portray him instead as an out-of-touch capitalist far removed from the deep concerns of the middle class.
Both leading Republicans out of touch with working Americans, for different reasons, argues W. Post's Harold Meyerson:  "A good leveraged-buyout operator — and Romney was one of the best — doesn’t sit down with workers to hear their concerns, lest he end up heeding any interest save those of the bottom line. Whatever the reason, Romney’s encounters with ordinary men and women seem fraught with peril and grow steadily more surreal. Santorum, by contrast, seems comfortable only with ordinary guys, provided 'ordinary' is defined as white, working-class, traditional, patriarchal, borderline theocratic and seething with resentment at everyone except the rich ... Just as Romney can’t relate to blue-collar Americans, Santorum can’t, or won’t, relate to professionals. And the Republicans’ class war rolls on."
And they are fiscal phonies. Paul Krugman:  "...as Republicans yell about Obama’s deficits and cry that we’re turning into Greece, Greece I tell you, all of them, all of them, propose making the deficit bigger. And for what? For reverse Robin-Hoodism, taking from the poor and the middle class to lavish huge tax cuts on the rich."
Sen. Olympia Snowe's retirement is a "huge gift to Democrats" writes Salon.com's Steve Kornacki:  "... she’s gone from providing critical support for President Obama’s stimulus in early ’09 to helping to derail the Dream Act and joining the unanimous Republican opposition to his healthcare law. ... [But] even if she wasn’t particularly helpful to them these past few years, Snowe is doing Democrats a huge favor now. With Snowe in it, Democrats had virtually no chance of winning the Maine Senate race this year. Now they are likely to do so..."
But NY Mag's Jonathan Chait speculates that Snowe will go third party:  "Olympia Snowe's retirement statement ... sounds exactly like the kind of rhetoric emanating from Americans Elect, the third-party group that believes that both parties should put aside partisanship and come together to enact an ever-so-slightly more conservative version of Barack Obama's agenda ... I suspect it may not be coincidental that David Boren, the former Democratic senator from Oklahoma and oil industry lickspittle, came out for Americans Elect today ... Snowe and Boren would make for the kind of ticket Americans Elect is looking for. Is that the plan?"
President skewers Romney on auto industry restructuring in UAW speech. NYT:  "'Some politicians,' Mr. Obama said, 'even said we should "let Detroit go bankrupt!"' The crowd booed ... 'Think about what that choice would have meant for this country, if we had turned our backs on you, if America had thrown in the towel. GM and Chrysler wouldn’t exist today.'"
President's rhetoric increasingly aggressive, finds American Prospect's Jamelle Bouie:  "This speech sums up President Obama’s response; government is one of the ways in which we provide opportunity for anyone who wants it, and Republicans want to eliminate that, for the sake of giving more and greater advantages to the wealthy and privileged. The Republican presidential candidates should take note. So far, they’ve been in a bubble of constant conservative affirmation. But in a few short months, one of them will enter the general election, and will have to face off against an aggressive and confident incumbent."
NYT's Eduardo Porter asks Republicans, if not stimulus, what would you have done?:  "There were alternatives. After an initial experiment with government stimulus in 2009, many European countries reversed course and slashed their budgets to try to restore fiscal balance, in the expectation that this would reassure businesses and investors that government finances were under control, and give them the confidence to invest and bolster the economy. But so far, these policies have proved to be an unmitigated disaster."
Bipartisan support for small business help. NYT:  "House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a new JOBS Act, or Jump-Start Our Business Start-Ups, bundling together six modest bills that have broad bipartisan support and are designed to ease small businesses’ access to capital. President Obama greeted the package with unqualified support. Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate majority leader, announced he would soon move forward with a similar package ... The new package will not change the world ... But it could signal the start of a changing dynamic."
About two dozen GOP bills aim to cuts jobs or pay of federal workforce. W. Post's Joe Davidson:  "'Paranoia is knowing all the facts.' — Woody Allen. Federal employees can be excused if they’ve been feeling a bit paranoid lately. Given the facts, it does seem some folks, mostly congressional Republicans, are out to get the workers."
GOP bill seeks to end Fed focus on jobs. Politico:  "[Rep. Kevin] Brady’s bill would end the Fed mandate to have interest rate decisions determined by efforts to lower the unemployment rate and instead use inflation as the predominant criterion ... the bill doesn’t appear to have much hope of passing — and Bernanke’s no fan of changes, either."