Scott Lemieux

Scott Lemieux is an assistant professor of political science at the College of Saint Rose. He contributes to the blogs Lawyers, Guns, and Money and Vox Pop.

Recent Articles

THANK GOD FOR THE RAIN TO WASH THE TRASH FROM THE SIDEWALK.

THANK GOD FOR THE RAIN TO WASH THE TRASH FROM THE SIDEWALK. When it came out, I assumed that The Departed was too good and too alive to be competitive for Best Picture; I'm happy to be wrong, and it's good that the greatest living American director got his award. I still can't quite believe that this happened with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but it's gratifying that he won for his best film in nearly two decades rather than for something like The Aviator . It's partly a testament to Scorsese and partly a testament to the kind of middlebrow doorstops (and, sometimes, utter crap ) that the Academy generally likes that, while it obviously doesn't rank with his very greatest work, I think it's by far the best film to be so honored in the last decade (well, OK, that's also partly a testament to the fact that I don't get Tolkien .) Indeed, although this is idiosyncratic almost to the point of perversity, the last Best Picture I unequivocally prefer is Annie Hall ,...

FRED HIATT: NOT THE MEDIAN DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY VOTER.

FRED HIATT: NOT THE MEDIAN DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY VOTER. In addition to being bad on the merits, what puzzles me about Tom Vilsack 's decision to end his campaign yesterday by endorsing price indexing for Social Security is what makes him think it would work . I'll admit that I'm no political consultant; I don't have a strong idea of what would appeal to Middle America (TM) except to say that you probably want to analyze how I express ideas and do the precise opposite. But I do understand at least one thing: running to the right on an extremely popular entitlement program in a Democratic primary is remarkably stupid. Just ask Joe Lieberman . -- Scott Lemieux

PAGING HARRY FRANKFURT.

PAGING HARRY FRANKFURT. A good post about the Pelosi non-scandal by ex-TAPPER Greg Sargent. GOP Rep Adam Putnam "now acknowledges he had no personal knowledge of any Pelosi request," and remains unapologetic about having spread the false smear. As Greg said, this is even more worse for the media (including various bloggers ) promoting the non-scandal, especially after the letter from the Sergeant at Arms was released. And, of course, this indifference about the accuracy of tales that fit conveniently into pre-packaged Republican smear narratives was a hallmark of the various pseudo-scandals the press used against Clinton and Gore . I'm reminded of what Joe Conason said when confronting Ed Klein about repeating the long-debunked "Clinton held up traffic at LAX getting a haircut!" fake-scandal: "What's peculiar to me is, you don't seem to care whether you get these things right or not." --Scott Lemieux

I UNDERSTAND THAT TRYING TO INFER LOGIC FROM INSTAPUNDITRY IS FUTILE, BUT...

I UNDERSTAND THAT TRYING TO INFER LOGIC FROM INSTAPUNDITRY IS FUTILE, BUT... Glenn Reynolds asserts that Iran has been at war with the United States "since 1979." My question: when does he start calling for Michael Ledeen to be put on trial for high treason for helping to sell arms to a country the U.S. is at war with? -- Scott Lemieux

ALITO: STILL WORSE THAN SCALIA

ALITO: STILL WORSE THAN SCALIA . David Savage has a very good article in today's Los Angeles Times about Antonin Scalia and the effect of appointing Sam Alito . It carefully explains the areas of law where replacing the centrist Sandra Day O'Connor with the doctrinaire reactionary Alito is likely to have an immediate impact. One good thing about it is that, rather than taking Scalia's claims of "originalism" and "textualism" at face value, it brings up the obvious anomalies in his record (such as the claim -- farcical from an originalist perspective -- that the 5th Amendment's Due Process clause prohibits the federal government from using any racial classifications.) Having said this, however, the fact that Scalia's (and, to a slightly lesser extent, Clarence Thomas 's) commitment to grand legal theories can be sporadic doesn't mean that it's irrelevant. This is evident in a case handed down today. The Court, in a 5-4 ruling with an unusual coalition ( Breyer and Souter being joined...

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