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

Politics with People, Reinvented

Senator Paul Wellstone, who died today along with his wife Sheila, his daughter Marcia and five others in a plane crash in Minnesota, was perhaps more than any other individual the very heart of American liberalism. His death leaves a gaping hole in our politics -- liberal politics, American politics -- that will be very hard to fill, and a gaping hole in our hearts that will not be filled at all. In August, Prospect editor-at-large Harold Meyerson went to Minnesota to profile Wellstone and his campaign. Here is what he wrote: I. The Back of the Bus When Paul Wellstone decided last year that he would seek re-election to the U.S. Senate after all, much of his old operation was in mothballs. The volunteers had long since stood down. The legendary big green bus that had carried him all around Minnesota was in some museum way up in Hibbing, where Bob Dylan grew up and where notable buses, apparently, go to die. The bus had been the symbol of Wellstone's first campaign, his 1990 shoestring...

The Democrats and Iraq

A s war with Iraq looms bewilderingly larger this summer, it would be an overstatement to say that there's now a Peace Camp (or more precisely, an Anti-Invasion-Now Camp) in Washington. There sure as hell is a Privately Held Doubts Camp, however. People worry about the costs -- in lives, money and reputation -- that such a war would inflict on America; some even worry about the number of Iraqi casualties we would inflict. They worry about what would become of Iraq if we shuffle Saddam Hussein off this mortal coil; they worry that the administration doesn't even know what should happen if we do. They worry that the war would inflame an already enraged Arab and Muslim world; they worry that the war would drive a deeper rift between us and Europe; they worry that the administration really doesn't care if we estrange the rest of the world. Some congressional heavyweights have begun to audibly express such concerns. Key Republicans -- such as Dick Armey, Chuck Hagel and Henry Hyde -- have...

Shifting to Offense

E pochs do not change on a dime. Yes, the era of market extremism is waning, Republicans' ratings are plummeting, and, the polls agree, more of us believe that Elvis is hiding in the hills with the Shining Path than still have faith in American big business. But none of this means that the liberal era, or hour, is upon us. The liberal moment, perhaps. The all-but-unanimous congressional enactment of Paul Sarbanes' financial-reform bill was such a moment -- and how long has it been since American liberalism had one of those? But just one week later, the same discredited corporations that the Sarbanes bill took aim at still had enough clout to get a renewal of the president's fast-track authority through the very same Congress. Welcome to politics in a time of interregnum. Everything has changed and nothing has. The corporate and financial sectors, as they periodically do, have blown themselves up but, through the logic of capitalism and through simple inertia, they retain vast power...

All-Capitalist Class War

W here in the annals of class conflict do we put the current tiff between America's investors and its CEOs? Up until a few weeks ago, this would have been considered a question not worthy of an answer. Both groups bobbed on the same tide. They felt the same exultation when their stock rose, the same apprehension when it fell. Magically, American capitalism had eliminated class conflict. Whether through their own initiative or their 401(k) plans, roughly half our compatriots were into the market, and all but the dimmest workers knew that wages were a sideshow, that portfolio value was the real stuff. As the bubble economy steadily inflated, the successful CEO not only eclipsed the leading figures in government, but government itself: D.C. dithered, CEOs delivered. Today the cult of the CEO has disbanded, but even so, the occasional criminality of the wayward CEO would not in itself have pushed investors to revolt. It took the stock option brouhaha to expose this fault line in...

Greens to Liberals: Drop Dead!

A sk any liberal to identify the force in American politics most intent on destroying progressive prospects and causes and you're sure to hear that it's the Bush administration or the Republican right or some such reactionary power. Let me gently suggest, however, that a very different force has wormed its way onto this list, and may indeed be right at the top: the Green Party. There's something so very pure about the Greens' destructiveness. The Republican right, after all, isn't committed to stamping out liberalism purely as an end in itself; it is also a means to advance its own agenda of more power and wealth to the powerful and wealthy. When the Greens run a candidate against a Democrat, however, neither their campaign nor the effect of their campaign advances their agenda one whit. Their goal is simply to defeat Democrats, even the most liberal Democrats. Especially the most liberal Democrats. Consider the appalling farce now unfolding in Minnesota, where the Greens recently...

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