Dylan Matthews

Dylan Matthews was a summer 2008 Prospect editorial intern.

Recent Articles


By Dylan Matthews Arlen Specter's flip-flop on the Employee Free Choice Act was shameless enough, but the fact that he's considering filibustering Dawn Johnsen reaches a whole new level of opportunism. The only reason Johnsen is being opposed so vociferously is because of her record on reproductive rights, particularly a single footnote written during her tenure at NARAL. And Arlen Specter is - or at least was - pro-choice . But when you're losing your primary for reelection, these things tend to fall by the wayside. I really wonder why Specter is choosing to do this rather than just run as an independent. No conservative who's involved enough to be voting in the primary is going to see Specter's flips as genuine, and if anything they'll lower their opinion of the man. After all, if he's only going to vote their way when he needs their vote, why choose him over Pat Toomey? On the other hand, a three-way contest between Toomey, Specter, and, say, Pat Murphy could very well turn out in...


By Dylan Matthews TAP 's Tim Fernholz has an outstanding profile of former IMF economist and administration critic Simon Johnson today. You should really read the whole thing , but this in particular is a critical point: Unfortunately, Johnson posits, the economic specialty that deals with business cycles and recessions -- short-run macroeconomics -- hasn't yet acquired the tools to assess the influence of political interests on their policy proposals. Perhaps unsurprisingly, finance specialists have. '"If you walk into a finance seminar with data pertaining to power and influence, the kind of things we're talking about, they will take you very seriously," Johnson says. "The short-run macro people, not so much." Incentives-wise, this makes a lot of sense. Finance types need to take political considerations into account. If they don't they lose money. Academic economics, on the other hand, puts a premium on clean, elegant models, which messy things like interest groups politics only...


By Dylan Matthews You know, I usually love it when Hari Sevugan goes off on somebody , but sometimes you just feel bad for whoever the victim du jour is (via Ben Smith ).


By Dylan Matthews Even given what we already know about the Bush administration's distortions about a supposed link between Iraq and al-Qaeda, and what we already know about its torture policy, this , via Matt Duss , is absolutely appalling: A former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq collaboration. "There were two reasons why these interrogations were so persistent, and why extreme methods were used," the former senior intelligence official said on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity. "The main one is that everyone was worried about some kind of follow-up attack (after 9/11). But for most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there." It was...


By Dylan Matthews Jon Corzine's situation poses some pretty interesting dilemmas for the party's campaign committees during the 2010 cycle. To recap: New Jersey is a solidly Democratic state, and Corzine has been elected statewide twice, the more recent time by a pretty comfortable margin , but he's currently seven points behind his likely opponent, former US Attorney Chris Christie. There are a variety of factor here, not least Corzine's budget woes and Christie's successful prosecution of Sharpe James , but you have to think that Corzine's past as a CEO of Goldman Sachs - and the man who took the firm public , contributing to this disaster - isn't doing him any favors. Populist outrage is a powerful thing, and as former bankers are noticing , it's reaching new heights. All of which makes for a frustrating situation for groups like the DCCC, the NRCC, the DSCC, and the NRSC. Funds are tight; when disposable incomes fall, and the savings of the upper class take a nose dive, luxuries...