Alexander Nguyen

Alexander Nguyen, a former Prospect writing fellow, is a student at Yale Law
School.

Recent Articles

Comic Strips: Lame Duck

B ack when the world still cared about Gary Condit (which is to say, not too long ago), the politically conservative comic-strip duck Mallard Fillmore doled out some predictable partisan criticism: "Before the Chandra Levy story, ABC, NBC and CBS usually referred to Congressman Condit's party affiliation! Now 92% of the time, they don't!" Dramatic pause. And then, "I'm not sure whether that reflects their liberal bias or if they just figure that once you say 'intern' and 'affair,' saying 'Democrat' is sort of redundant." Created by Bruce Tinsley in 1991, Mallard Fillmore runs in about 400 newspapers across the country, including The Washington Times, The Boston Globe, and the New York Post --often next to Garry Trudeau's liberal strip Doonesbury. Its mouthpiece is a duck hired as a television reporter at "WFDR" in Washington, D.C., to fill the station's "Amphibious-American" quota. Mallard typically quacks and moans that government is too big, tax cuts are too small, gun control is...

The Assault on Miranda

B enbrook Lake near Fort Worth, Texas, is the kind of place where fishermen catch sandbass and lovers wake up to a tequila sunrise. But on a December day in 1983, violence came to Benbrook Lake in the person of Ronnie Dale Gaspard. He was affiliated with the Bandidos, a motorcycle gang whose members snorted methamphetamine off the tips of knife blades, and he was going there to settle a score. Which is why he was in a car and not on his bike. Which is also why he had been drinking a large amount of whiskey. Gaspard was giving a ride to 23-year-old Denise Sanders. As they approached the lake, Gaspard stopped the car. Sanders stepped outside, clueless. A year or so prior, she had testified against the Bandidos, sending some of them to jail for drug trafficking. She shouldn't have done that, Gaspard thought, before he got out of his car and shot her in the head. It wasn't long before police seized Gaspard and charged him with the murder. And then something happened that is the stuff of...

A Conversation with John Judis

John Judis [ "Al Gore and the Temple of Doom," TAP Vol. 11 Issue 11 ] is a senior correspondent at The American Prospect and a senior editor at The New Republic . He recently published a book titled The Paradox of American Democracy: Elites, Special Interests, and the Betrayal of Public Trust . Q: Tell me a little about how the book was conceived. A: There were three different themes that run throughout the book, but the title captures only one of them. The questions I had were first, what characterizes the 1990s politically, from when the Reagan Revolution ran out of gas to the present? Why and how does that time differ from periods of political and economic reform like the 1960s, the New Deal, or the Progressive Era? Why haven't we had those kinds of reforms at this time? The second question was to revisit the 1960s and to look at the impact that era had, and still has, on our lives. It has almost had the same kind of impact the Civil War had on the 40 to 50 years of the late...

The Agony of Victory:

In football, if your team wins the game, homecoming is where you savor the victory, spray champagne on your teammates, recount the winning touchdown and gloat about crushing your opponents. This Presidents' Day weekend GOP homecoming was . . . different. The 28th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference, held in the Marriott in Arlington, Virginia -- one of the largest annual gatherings of conservatives -- was as paranoid as it was vindictive. Inside the speaker's auditorium, it was as if Republicans were still out there on the field nervously looking for some Democrats to clobber. The schedule featured panel discussions, defensively titled, "How Bush Can Fight the PR Assault from the Left," "Republican Control of the Government: Can It Last?" and "De-funding the Left." House Majority Whip Tom DeLay's screed was titled, " Bipartisanship ? The View From The House." All this begged a simple question: With Republicans in control of the presidency, both houses of Congress, and --...

The GOP's False Consistency

"The Statue of Liberty says, 'Send me your poor, your sick, your tired, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,'" sermonized John McCain, admonishing government officials to keep Elián González in United States rather than returning him to his father in Cuba. When the Clinton Administration decided to return the boy, George W. Bush and Steve Forbes -- in high campaign gear -- accused Clinton of hobnobbing with Fidel Castro. "[The boy] is Bill Clinton's human sacrifice to Fidel Castro, and it's a disgrace," said Forbes. A House resolution to return Elián to his father garnered only five Republican votes. Even anti-immigrant Pat Buchanan has sided with the party line. The Republicans seem to have selective memory when it comes to the Statue of Liberty's message, however. In 1996 for example, arch-conservative Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina proposed an amendment to the immigration bill giving states the right to deny public education to the children...

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