Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

President of the Disunited States

Evan Vucci/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Evan Vucci/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, January 12, 2016. C ould Abraham Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt have done a better job than Barack Obama in bringing together the fiercely polarized United States of 2009 to 2016? President Obama suggested in his State of the Union Address last night that they may well could have. “It's one of the few regrets of my presidency,” Obama said, “that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better. I have no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide….” I doubt it. Neither Lincoln nor FDR was able to bridge the gaps that their own policies created. Their triumphs, rather, were to prevail over their opponents. Simply by winning the 1860 election, months before he took the presidential oath, Lincoln prompted South Carolina and six other...

Friedrichs: Son of Bush v. Gore

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin People participate in a rally at the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, January 11, 2016, as the court heard arguments in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case. S o, what’s changed in the 39 years since the Supreme Court last considered public-sector unionism? In 1977, the Supreme Court justices were feeling their way to a decision in the landmark case Abood v. Detroit Board of Education , in which they upheld without dissent the right of public-sector unions to compel workers covered by their contracts to pay dues to that union even if they chose not to be members. Workers, the justices ruled, could withhold the portion of their dues that went to the unions’ political activities. But when it came to the bargaining of contracts, the representation of workers in grievance procedures, and all the activities that unions are obligated to perform for all the workers—members or not—whom they represent for those services, the non-members still had...

Building Myths on the Border

AP Photo/J Pat Carter
AP Photo/J Pat Carter Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz during a campaign stop in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, December 23, 2015. “ They keep coming,” the advertisement’s narrator intoned, while the screen showed footage of undocumented immigrants scurrying across a highway. The year was 1994, and the ad was the centerpiece of California Republican Governor Pete Wilson’s re-election campaign. Trailing in the polls after a lackluster first term, Wilson resurrected his prospects by excoriating the Clinton administration for its presumed lack of border enforcement and by backing a ballot measure (Proposition 187) that would deny all public services, including the right to attend K-12 schools, to the undocumented: Short-term, the strategy worked. Wilson won re-election; Proposition 187 passed handily, though it was soon struck down by the courts. Long term, Wilson’s strategy proved to be a Republican cataclysm—indeed, in a state on track to become “majority minority,” (today,...

How to End the Stock Buyback Deluge

(Photo: AP/Richard Drew)
(Photo: AP/Richard Drew) Traders gather on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on October 29, 2015. This article originally appeared at The Washington Post . While this is Harold Meyerson's final column for The Washington Post , he will continue to write a weekly column that we will post on the Prospect 's website. “ Follow the money,” “Deep Throat” famously tells Bob Woodward, hot on the trail of The Washington Post ’s most celebrated story, in the film All the President’s Men . In more recent decades, following the money has yielded a tale quite as calamitous as Watergate: the evisceration of the American middle class at the hands of the American rich. A Pew Research Center study released in December documents this shift. In 1970, middle-income households claimed 62 percent of all personal income, while upper-income households received 29 percent. In 2014, the share going to middle-income households had declined to 43 percent, while that going to the top had soared to 49...

The Right's War Against the Spirit of Christmas

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Veterans Memorial Building, Saturday, December 19, 2015, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This article originally appeared at The Washington Post . T hey were refugees, fleeing for their lives from one Middle Eastern country to the next. As Matthew tells the tale , Joseph, fearing that the government had marked his newborn son for death, gathered up his wife and child and stole away by night across the Judean border into Egypt. And just in time: Unsure who, exactly, to kill, that government—a king named Herod, who’d heard some kid would one day become a rival king—proceeded to slaughter every remaining child in Bethlehem under the age of two. This isn’t a chapter of the Christmas story that has made it into the general celebration, but it’s there in the gospel, for those who give the gospels credence and for those who don’t. For both groups, it’s clear that the authors of the New...

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