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


TIME TO LET GAYS SERVE OPENLY? Civil rights advances are often made during times of war -- when an oppressed group proves itself capable of fulfilling every obligation of citizenship. Women�s suffrage being buoyed by the increased presence of women in the workplace during World War I comes to mind, as does the 1948 desegregation of the military. So I wonder if gay rights advocates can make something out of this news, reported in The New York Times on Tuesday: The Defense Department discharged 726 service members last year for being gay, up about 10 percent from 2004, figures released by a gay rights group show. It�s interesting that gay marriage has replaced gays in the military as the hot button gay rights question, when the former one was never really resolved. And it might make sense to put open military service ahead of marriage on the gay rights agenda, considering, for example, that military desegregation preceded the repeal of anti-miscegenation laws. With the military over-...


MORE CHICKEN COUNTING. Following up on Matt 's post , I do think the emerging line holding that Ned Lamont 's victory demonstrates that the Dems can ride an anti-war platform to victory in '06 and '08 is totally premature. For one thing, Lamont (obviously) won a primary, not a general election. The fact that the anti-war platform commands a small majority in the Democratic primary doesn't mean it will in the general election. Lamont could still lose the general election -- indeed, he's behind in the polls. He also could win it with less than an outright majority (with more Connecticut voters opting for one of the pro-war candidates.) Moreover, I've never heard the phrase "As Connecticut goes, so goes the nation," for a reason. Perhaps "as Connecticut goes, so goes Massachusettes" would be more apt. Even if Lamont gets well ahead in the polls in a month or two that doesn't necessarily prove that what plays in Connecticut will play in all the states and districts that the Dems need to...


A CHALLENGE. I didn't know that acknowledging that the Israeli government has pursued some policy shifts in recent years -- shifts that those of us who oppose Israeli expansionism should cheer -- makes you a " Likudnik, " but allow me to defend my honor. A cursory glance at the website I edit, , will reveal three articles on the current conflict between Israel and Lebanon. Two are reported from Beirut and the third from both countries. I challenge anyone to find any AIPAC talking points in any of them. As I've stated earlier , it is precisely because I think Israel needs encouragement to remove itself from the occupied territories that I think pointing out the fact that Christian Zionists are to the right of the Israeli government is so necessary. --Ben Adler


GRATUITOUS SHOT. You'd think, having just complained that The Nation and other lefty media outlets ought to be more focused on the increasing influence of rightwing Christian Zionism than on AIPAC, that I'd be delighted by this new piece by Max Blumenthal . And I am pleased to see Blumenthal's comprehensive reporting on the influential new group Christians United for Israel (CUFI), and the Armageddon-based philosophy of its founder, John Hagee . (Don't miss the extensive work done on Hagee by the Prospect 's own Sarah Posner .) But why does Blumenthal indulge in outdated Israel-baiting by saying CUFI believes "supporting Israel's expansionist policies is 'a biblical imperative'"? Expansionist policies? Didn't Israel withdraw from Gaza? Wouldn't that be precisely the opposite of expansionism? Indeed Blumenthal later mentions that when Christian Zionist Pat Robertson suggested Ariel Sharon's stroke was God's punishment for withdrawing, CUFI's spokesman defended Robertson. So wouldn't it...

This is Not a (Litmus) Test

Much metaphorical blood has been spilled in the left's internecine battle over whether opposing the Bush administration's Iraq policy is an appropriate litmus test for membership in the Democratic Party, with the Lamont/Lieberman Senate primary serving as a proxy war. The battle lines have been clearly drawn. On one side there are the dovish insurgents, like Lamont, who said explicitly that he was running because of Lieberman's stance on the Iraq War. ("I'm running because I don't think staying the course is a winning strategy in Iraq, and it's not a winning strategy in America.") The Nation went further last fall when they declared in a lead editorial, "We will not support any candidate for national office who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq a major issue of his or her campaign. We urge all voters to join us in adopting this position." The shot across the bow of everyone from Hillary Clinton to Joe Biden to Evan Bayh was clear. On the other side are hawks and moderates...