Adam Serwer

Adam Serwer is a writing fellow at The American Prospect and a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He also blogs at Jack and Jill Politics and has written for The Village Voice, The Washington Post, The Root, and the Daily News.

Recent Articles

A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD.

Josh Marshall , perusing the latest WaPo/ABC News poll that shows both Dems beating McCain, notes that there might be a substantial "social undesirability bias" preventing poll respondents from expressing genuine apprehension about voting for black man for president. The poll found that "Only three in 10 said they were "entirely comfortable" with the prospect of a 72-year-old new president." Marshall: But basically, many people won't say they'd be uncomfortable with a black president because they know they're not supposed to think like that, even if they do. On the contrary, there's no comparable social stigma associated with thinking that about someone past retirement age. I think that's probably true (and true about sexism as well), but people wouldn't be voting for just a generic "black" or "woman" president, they'd be voting for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton . The polls are an imperfect measurement of how prejudice works, not just because people don't always tell the truth, but...

NO LOVE FOR CNN.

Ted Turner on environmentalist cartoon Captain Planet : “In terms of programming, it’s the best thing I ever did.” Somewhere, Wolf Blitzer is weeping softly into a pillow. --A. Serwer

SURVEILLANCE IS PRIVACY.

At first glance, you might assume the fact that the government has brought fewer cases of terrorism to court while expanding the number of people under surveillance suggests that the surrendering constitutional liberties in the name of questionable security gains isn't really worth it, but you'd be wrong. You might also think that there's something of a victory for terrorists in our government abandoning any notion of personal liberty and privacy. But, no, Bush tells us, what this finding really says is that the Bush Administration has terrorism in its last throes, and that fewer cases despite more surveillance just means "we're winning," much the same way that increased violence in Iraq means the same thing. I'll sleep so much better now... --A. Serwer

SHOTGUN WEDDING.

Maybe it's too much to hope for more than a prolonged flirtation between libertarians and liberals on the issue of the War On Drugs, but the fact that Radley Balko 's blog post at Reason and a diary on Dailykos from the ACLU elicit similar responses from readers gives me hope. The case in question is the story of Terry Ingle . Police somehow obtained a no-knock warrant despite not, according to the ACLU, "presenting any evidence of why Ingle posed a risk to police safety and without even a specific reference to Ingle, who had no history of violence or drug law violations." A SWAT Team (what the ACLU and Reason define as "paramilitiaries") showed up at Ingle's house heavy and burst in without identifying themselves (the point of a "no-knock" warrant is to allow the Police to do this, supposedly to prevent suspects from destroying evidence or fighting back). Ingle picked up a broken gun to scare off what he thought were armed robbers, and ended up getting shot up so bad he almost lost a...

PEOPLE WHO NEED PEOPLE.

The Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb doesn't think recruitment is a very important issue in the fight against terrorism. As to whether Bush is a recruiting tool for terrorists -- who cares? Al Qaeda was recruiting before Bush was in office and they will continue to do so after he’s gone. The important thing is that we keep killing those recruits. Eventually, one side will give up. And if Obama wins in November, we know which side that will be. Others have already weighed in on this , but we miss the point if we assume that Goldfarb's ultimate goal is to eliminate terrorism. That would be counterproductive to the actual goal of neoconservatism, (as Matt Yglesias explains in this month's issue of TAP ) which is to keep us fighting wars forever so that Republicans can keep getting elected so they can start more wars, because wars build character and make us strong. So if you want to keep fighting a war forever, what's the point of trying to inhibit Al Qaeda's recruiting? It's not like...

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