Ayelish McGarvey

Ayelish McGarvey is former a Prospect writing fellow.

Recent Articles

A-Hunting We Will Go

In late March of this year, the Office of the Independent Counsel for the Whitewater matter quietly shuttered its D.C. operation. All told, Kenneth Starr waged the most expensive independent counsel inquiry in the nation's history: Ten years after it began its witch hunt against Bill and Hillary Clinton, the office had spent $80 million in taxpayer dollars but had very little to show for it. In 2001, journalists Gene Lyons and Joe Conason coauthored an exhaustive takedown of the Starr investigation; The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton became a New York Times bestseller. On June 15 a documentary film, directed by Harry Thomason, based on the book will premiere in Little Rock; the movie will be released nationwide on June 18. The Hunting of the President reveals the players who conspired to take down a president, as well as the lives that were destroyed in the process. Prospect writing fellow Ayelish McGarvey recently spoke to Conason...

Green Day

On April 22, 1970, Denis Hayes coordinated the first Earth Day, a seminal event in the launching of the modern American environmental movement. Thirty-five years later, Hayes is still fighting for the environment as head of the Earth Day Network, promoting environmental citizenship and year-round progressive action worldwide. Hayes is also president and CEO of the Bullitt Foundation, an environmental group located in Seattle. TAP writing fellow Ayelish McGarvey recently spoke with Hayes about plans for Earth Day 2004. The message? Get out and vote. This year marks the 35th anniversary of Earth Day. How has its mission -- and the environmental movement -- changed since 1970? Our objective in 1970 was to catapult a new issue, environmentalism, onto the national, state, and regional political agenda. There were many narrowly focused groups that were fighting freeways, for example, or protesting power plants, or campaigning against the abuse of pesticides. But nothing tied them all...

Carter's Crusade

Former President Jimmy Carter, America's first evangelical Christian president, still teaches Sunday school at his Baptist church in Plains, Georgia, and he and his wife, Rosalynn, continue their human-rights work in developing nations through the Carter Center at Emory University. In recent months, the Carters toured Togo, Ghana, and Mali to raise awareness of the public-health needs of those nations. In February, Carter spoke about the role of evangelical Christianity in democratic politics with Prospect writing fellow Ayelish McGarvey. Republicans have been extremely successful at connecting religion and values to issues like the fight against terrorism, abortion, and gay rights. Democrats have been far less adept at infusing our issues -- compassion, help for the poor, social justice -- with any sense of religious commitment or moral imperative. Why do you think that is? When I was younger, almost all Baptists were strongly committed on a theological basis to the separation of...

Reaching to the Choir

In early February, 60 minutes ' Morley Safer portrayed white evangelical Christians as the carnies of American Protestantism. Nine million viewers tuned in and saw shots of vast "megachurch" congregations swaying hypnotically and raising their hands in song. Tacky cinematic renderings of a fiery Armageddon added some dramatic tension. The slick ringmaster of these goings-on, of course, was the Reverend Tim LaHaye, the famous apocalyptic entrepreneur and co-author of the wildly popular Left Behind novels. (The series depicts the end of the world as prophesized in the Book of Revelation.) Safer eventually turned his attention to Washington, where he declared that "evangelical ... beliefs have already reshaped American politics." As the visages of George W. Bush, Tom DeLay, and John Ashcroft flitted across the screen, the message was clear: The Republican Party has God on its side. Except that this year, a considerable group of evangelicals just might swing the vote -- in favor of the...

Goodbye, Joe

Who would go to a "Joe Lieberman New Hampshire Primary Party," as a media advisory mistakenly described it, in suburban Washington on February 3? People on the Lieberman payroll, or so it would appear, especially considering that the event was conveniently located near the campaign's Arlington, Virginia, headquarters. It's not clear where his other supporters in the area are. In the age of the 24-hour news cycle, it's easy to lose sight of exactly how far Lieberman has fallen over the course of the primaries. It's been clear for several weeks , after all, John Kerry was likely to take the lion's share of the "mini-Tuesday" delegates. And for months Howard Dean had been the prohibitive to win the chance to face George W. Bush come November. Yet after President Bush's inauguration, the only thing that seemed to be standing between Lieberman and the Democratic nomination was the possibility that Al Gore would run again. The choice of Lieberman as Gore's 2000 vice-presidential nominee had...

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