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

REDUCING UNWANTED PREGNANCIES AND THE INTERESTS OF WOMEN.

REDUCING UNWANTED PREGNANCIES AND THE INTERESTS OF WOMEN. Brother Ezra links to a good article by Reason 's Julian Sanchez about demands for compromise in the abortion debate. Readers who are familiar with my work on the subject will know that I agree entirely with Sanchez' opposition to trying to find "middle ground" on the abortion debate. Both of the general lines of "compromise" being advanced -- insisting that abortion is icky and women who get abortions are immoral, and passing a series of regulations that end up creating a highly inequitable regime of abortion-on-demand for affluent women and highly restricted abortion for poor and many rural women -- are very bad on the merits, and represent a practical victory for the forced pregnancy lobby rather than true compromises. I'm not willing to claim that fetuses are "persons," not only because I think it's nonsense but because the vast majority of pro-lifers don't seem to believe it, or at least are not willing to advance policies...

MORE OF THESE PROBLEMS

MORE OF THESE PROBLEMS : Trent Lott -- your new Republican (in a word I hesitate to use in this context) whip. Red State has to be happy about Jeff Sessions 's chances now! -- Scott Lemieux

IF YOU LIKED TRENT LOTT...

IF YOU LIKED TRENT LOTT... I see that right-wing Kos-wannabe site RedState is prominently displaying a " Jeff Sessions for RPC Chair" banner. This is...highly instructive. First of all (as anyone who watched the Roberts hearings knows) there's the fact that in terms of sheer intellectual firepower Sessions makes George W. Bush look like Oliver Wendell Holmes. (Sample question : "And on the Supreme Court, if a case comes up to you, you will probably have briefs from both parties, you will receive the transcript of the trial that the issue arises from and you'll study that. And you have several law clerks who will help you study that. Every one of the nine Supreme Court justices are also studying this same record and all these briefs. Isn't it true that friends of the court can submit briefs?") And second, he would seem to be the candidate for people who think that George Allen lost because he was too progressive on race. Matt reminds us of the terrific New Republic article written by...

PLUS, THE SHOW SUCKS

PLUS, THE SHOW SUCKS If I may be permitted to add an aesthetic topper to Charlie and Ezra 's discussion, it should also be noted that Sorkin is an egregiously overrated writer. Trying to avoid falling into the film trailer method of criticism being practiced by some quarters of the right, I gritted my teeth and watched the two most recent episodes. And, the fact is, Studio 60 is a bad show. The first episode of the two-parter was for the most part merely dull. But last night's was almost as bad as the 9/11 episode of The West Wing , which I believe had the highest pretension-to-achievement ratio of any show in television history. But leaving aside the political merits of the discourse -- which I agree are negligible -- what's worse to my mind is that the show consists pretty much entirely of characters reading B+ high school position papers at each other, as opposed to talking like human beings. Everything is spoonfed the audience; nothing is dramatized . Whether or not the character...

WHEN "CHARACTER" WAS...

WHEN "CHARACTER" WAS KING: As Donald Rumsfeld is finally thrown under the bus, it seems appropriate to return to Jon Chait 's recent account of the Rumsfeld-worship of the early Bush era. (The nadir was probably Midge Decter 's book , which seems to have been expanded after Seventeen rejected her initial article because it was too puerile and starry-eyed.) Here's one characteristic example: To plunge back into the conservative idealization of Rumsfeld, given what we know today, is a bizarre experience. You enter an upside-down world in which the defense secretary is a thoughtful, fair-minded, eminently reasonable man who has been vindicated by history--and his critics utterly repudiated. The pioneering specimen of the genre was a National Review cover story from December 31, 2001, by Jay Nordlinger, cover-lined "The Stud: Don Rumsfeld, America's New Pin-up," with a cartoon portraying the defense secretary as Betty Grable in her iconic World War II image. The central premise of the...

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