Ben Adler

Ben Adler writes on national politics and domestic policy. Ben has been a staff writer for Politico and an editor at Newsweek and the Center for American Progress. His writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Columbia Journalism Review, Salon, The Washington Monthly, The New Republic, The Guardian and Next American City among other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Recent Articles


I.D., PLEASE. Much like how the PATRIOT Act included a host of provisions that had been on the right's wish list for years before 9/11, House Republicans are using the current uproar over immigration (which they themselves have stoked) as an excuse to disenfranchise likely Democratic voters. From The Los Angeles Times : Republicans pushing for tougher means to stem illegal immigration got a boost Wednesday when the Senate agreed to consider a bill that would build a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border and the House approved a measure that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls. Republicans in both chambers said the steps were necessary to protect the United States from illegal immigrants entering the country or trying to corrupt the voting process. The Reps seem uninterested in offering much evidence for the alleged epidemic of illegal voting. ("We have 12 million illegal aliens in this country," said congressman Dan Burton . Many of them, we believe,...


IRAN: IRAQ DEJA VU? I've got to agree with The Nation �s Ari Berman on Bush 's speech to the United Nations today. Following on the heels of retired General Sam Gardiner 's statements on CNN last night that we are already dispatching forces to Iran, the administration's continued hardline approach toward Iran does seem to suggest they may already have designs -- beyond mere contingency plans -- for military strikes. This catches Democrats in quite a bind. They want to keep the focus on Iraq for the midterms. At the same time, as focus on Iran grows, they will be caught in a 2002 redux: to acquiesce to aggressive action or risk being painted as dovish. More on Iran can, of course, be found at Matt �s site . --Ben Adler


A STARTLING ADMISSION. From President Bush 's address to the United Nations: "Freedom by its nature cannot be imposed. It must be chosen." That he thinks so is news to me, although I couldn't agree more. --Ben Adler


FRUSTRATING SUPPORT FOR MCCAIN UPDATE. I'm afraid we may have to make �Liberals for McCain � a regular Tapped feature, a la Ezra 's Gorewatch. Jonathan Chait and Jacob Weisberg pioneered this trend, then Nicco Mele of EchoDitto joined the chorus, and today so did Richard Cohen in The Washington Post . Their rationales vary -- in fact, they conflict. Chait and Weisberg pursue the "he doesn't really mean all those rightwing votes he casts" argument, while Cohen uses a logic more like Mele's: He's a man of principle, and though I disagree with him and X on Y, he'd make a great president. Here's Cohen: [W]hile the Democrats are awash in potential presidential candidates, they have nobody who even remotely approaches McCain's stature. I say this not because I agree with McCain across the board -- not on abortion, for sure, and not on Iraq, and not with his bellicose statements regarding North Korea -- but because he embodies a quality for which the country yearns: integrity. He is a man of...


A PIECE THAT NEEDED TO BE WRITTEN. Many , including this blog , have criticized Rich Lowry and Bill Kristol for their recent proposal to continue and expand the American military presence in Iraq. Some raised the question of whether there are actually troops available to fulfill that mission. Now, two experts have definitely answered that question. Surprise! The answer is no. Daniel Benjamin and Mich�le A. Flournoy of the Center for Strategic and International Studies write that: According to in-house assessments, fully two-thirds of the Army's operating force, both active and reserve, is now reporting in as "unready"�that is, they lack the equipment, people, or training they need to execute their assigned missions. Not a single one of the Army's Brigade Combat Teams�its core fighting units�currently in the United States is ready to deploy.... In terms of ground-force readiness, the United States is in worse shape than at any time since the aftermath of Vietnam While this renders the...