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Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is the editor-at-large at The American Prospect and a columnist for The Washington Post. His email is hmeyerson@prospect.org

Recent Articles

Bagging the Deer Hunters

NEW YORK -- On Eighth Avenue Wednesday afternoon, New York union members have gathered to tell the president what they think of him and his economy and his war (and that just begins the list). But the most indignant reaction I encounter from the assembled workers comes from Harold Aken, a firefighter from Rye, New York, and his ire is not directed at the president. When I tell Aken that the New York City local of the Firefighters, the first union to back Kerry way back before the primaries began, has just broken ranks and is endorsing Bush -- and, worse yet, had decided to welcome Bush to the Big Apple -- he is apoplectic. “You can't print what I want to say,” Aken says. “We were just at the [Firefighters'] convention with that local. And the Republican administration hasn't done anything for these guys in the past four years. They didn't get a raise out of [Rudolph] Giuliani or [Michael] Bloomberg.” Maybe George W. Bush will bring some special funding with him that Mayor Bloomberg...

A Tale of Two Cities

NEW YORK -- The National Federation of Republican Women is in the Clifford Odets Room at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, but -- fortunately, I suppose -- they have no idea who Clifford Odets actually was. It's not that Marriott, a famously non-union chain with Republican owners, has a thing for onetime communist playwrights per se. But the Marriott Marquis is not only in the heart of the theater district; it actually contains a theater where plays and musicals -- currently, the umpteenth revival of Thoroughly Modern Millie -- run. So the breakout rooms, at least on the fifth floor, are named after playwrights. There's the Moss Hart Room and the Eugene O'Neill Room, but the Republicans seem to have been plunked down in the rooms named after the theatrical left. The communications staff for the Ohio Republican delegation is in the Bertolt Brecht Room (or, at least, is assigned to it; there was nobody there when I poked my head in). But the National Federation of Republican...

The New Swingers

ELYRIA, Ohio -- In theory, Dan Imbrogno shouldn't be a voter George W. Bush has to worry about. Imbrogno, a lifelong Republican, Ohioan, and business executive, looks like central casting's idea of the model Bush voter. Imbrogno is president and chief executive of Ohio Screw, a precision-parts manufacturer located in this working-class suburb of Cleveland. In newer and more upscale suburbs, office parks may dot the landscape, but in Elyria, small factories were plunked down in residential neighborhoods many decades ago, and, whether open or shuttered, there they remain. Ohio Screw is emphatically open, and if you had to have a factory next door, Imbrogno's is the one you'd ask for. The plant -- employing 75 workers, chiefly highly skilled machinists -- is in an attractive building on almost manicured grounds. It produces an array of distinctive metallic little thingies that Imbrogno places on the conference table for my inspection. Imbrogno calls my attention to one thingy in...

Where's Rumsfeld?

It was one of those summer days in D.C. when people were ducking into steam baths to cool off. My feet were propped up on my desk, and just as I noticed that my shoes had started to sweat, the phone rang. "How long has it been since you've heard a good 'My goodness'?" she asked in a voice that was all New York neo-con. "Months," I answered. "What's it to you?" "That's just it," she said. "Rumsfeld says 'My goodness' when he's good and steamed, or just every now and then. He's not said it in a while now. He's not really said anything. They've got to be shutting him up. Or worse," she added, and her voice started to tremble. "Calm down," I told her. "Rummy was in the Rose Garden on Monday when Bush said he'd back an intelligence czar." "That couldn't have been him," she said. "Rummy would never stand for that. He has his own boutique intelligence unit in the Pentagon, employing Leo Straussian analysis to find hidden truths." "Like the weapons of mass destruction," I replied. "Like the...

The Last Hurrah

Yesterday, in the middle of the Democratic national convention, came the news that Carmine De Sapio -- the last boss of the old Tammany Hall machine, the organization of the Manhattan Democratic Party that dominated New York politics from the 1860s through the 1950s, more or less -- had died at 95. De Sapio fell from power, and so did Tammany, when he lost his party district leader position in 1961 to a liberal attorney reformer named Ed Koch. De Sapio had represented the district around Little Italy, but Little Italy was nestled in the heart of Greenwich Village, and by the first year of John F. Kennedy's presidency, the number of new-guard lefties in Greenwich Village was sufficient to swamp the old-guard loyalists of the Tammany machine. Tammany's strength was to mobilize the immigrant vote -- at times, the Irish to the relative exclusion of the Italians and the Jews. At its high point, under the leadership of Charlie Murphy in the 1910s and '20s, it realized its hold on power...

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