Sally Kohn

Sally Kohn is a political commentator, grassroots strategist and Fox News Contributor. You can find her work at

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Follow No Leader

As the demonstrations on Wall Street this past weekend showed, there's a big difference between protesting for a purpose and making noise for its own sake.

(Flickr/Carwil)Protesters from Occupy Wall Street march on Church Street in Manhattan.
This weekend, the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City's financial district reached a fevered pitch. Police arrested more than 80 protesters, and video evidence emerged appearing to show a New York Police Department officer indiscriminately spraying a group of protesters with mace. But according to some, the protest was more show than substance. In a New York Times write-up describing the mostly white young protesters wearing mainly black clothes, Ginia Bellafante writes: The group's lack of cohesion and its apparent wish to pantomime progressivism rather than practice it knowledgably is unsettling in the face of the challenges so many of its generation face. Bellafante mockingly characterized the protesters as a mix of punk anarchists and reincarnated hippies -- here a young woman in nothing but underwear, there a young man wearing "a knee-length burlap vest, fur hat, ski goggles and tiny plastic baby dolls applied to the tips of his fingers" -- with no clear message or...

Forgetting Reagan

By today's Tea Party standards, the Republican icon would have been a Leninist-Marxist-socialist America hater.

(AP Photo/Charles Knoblock) Ronald Reagan
It's beyond ironic that the pack of extremist ideologues running in the Republican primary debated last night at the Ronald Reagan Library. After all, as Senator Lindsay Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, recently observed : "Ronald Reagan would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican" in today's party. That's because, at least by Tea Party standards, Reagan was kind of liberal -- a fact that seemed to escape the GOP candidates claiming his mantle. Here are the top five ways the real Reagan would have landed in hot water with Republicans beholden to the Tea Party. 1. Reagan Gave Amnesty to Undocumented Immigrants When the debate last night turned to immigration, John Huntsman said that if "President Reagan was here he would speak to the American people and he would lay out in hopeful, optimistic terms" how to get to positive immigration reform. It was a fitting homage from the race's only moderate. After all, when conservatives today complain that a stringent...

Child Labor vs. Tuna Fish

Today is the 100-year anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Filmmaker Harry Hanbury produced an amazing video for the National Consumers League that tells the story of the fire and how shockingly little progress we’ve made since then to protect workers in America. Examples of our cockeyed priorities from the film : A violation of the South Pacific Tuna Act … can be a $350,000 fine. If a dairy refuses to contribute to the fund that all dairies put into to promote milk and dairy products, the Agriculture Department can fine them $150,000. But if a worker dies, $7,000 is the maximum citation. Lately, as I’ve been going around defending unions , I’ve heard from a number of critics that the United States no longer needs unions because we now have worker-safety protections, fewer workplace accidents, etc. First of all, that argument is as ridiculous as saying that because, thanks to seat belts, we have fewer deaths in car crashes than 40 years ago, we don’t need seat belts or...

Violence Helping Chris Brown's Career?

As Prospect guest blogger Jamilah King notes below, earlier this week, when asked about his abuse of former girlfriend Rihanna , rapper Chris Brown stormed off the set of ABC's Good Morning America and threw a chair through a studio window, shattering glass onto Times Square. The New York Post reports today that Good Morning America has invited Brown back. "I sure hope that he takes us up on it, because we'd love to have another chat with him," the Post quotes Robin Roberts, the GMA host whose interview "set Brown off." Reality check -- is Chris Brown getting more famous from his abusive tirades? And is the media his accomplice? Reports suggest Brown knew that Roberts was going to ask him about his relationship with Rihanna on air, suggesting that in all likelihood the outburst was a publicity stunt. Was it a "publicity stunt" when the relatively lesser-known Brown beat Rihanna in the first place? Or just f*cked up anti-woman violence? Shouldn't we be concerned that the more violent...

Stephen Lerner vs. Real Economic Terrorists of Wall St.

For the record, Stephen Lerner is a friend of mine. The former SEIU executive, one of the brightest organizing minds in America today, spends every waking minute thinking about what he and the rest of us can do to help working-class and poor people in America. And no, as Glenn Beck now correctly points out, Lerner's conclusion is not that we need to help Wall Street ... From Glenn Bleck's The Blaze website : During the 1970s, Lerner worked with the International Ladies Garment Workers Union to orchestrate a year-long strike in South Carolina. In the 1980s, Lerner worked with Justice for Janitors through the SEIU's building service division. His work in organizing the bottom-up protest model based on geographical area propelled Lerner to progressive stardom, receiving praise for his innovative style and success as the labor movement struggled to increase membership. Damn straight! Lerner helped workers who were literally being subjected to slave-like treatment for poverty wages fight...