Ezra Klein

Ezra Klein is a staff reporter at The Washington Post. You can read his blogging here. His work has appeared in the LA Times, The Guardian, The Washington Monthly, The New Republic, Slate, and The Columbia Journalism Review. He's been a commentator on MSNBC, CNN, NPR, and more.

Recent Articles

They All Have Kids and They All Get Checks

We're not gonna get those goddamn polygamy queens off welfare until we get a good, God-fearin' Christian heading the HHS. Too bad Bush's nominee ain't the guy.

How We Got Here

Democrats really need to assign someone to troll the archives of Cato, The Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute, as it's becoming all-too-clear that the future, and for that matter, the present, trajectory and tactics of the conservative movement are all laid out in the Nostradamic papers published within the walls of think tanks. But if Democrats have ignored the Rosetta Stone, the LA Times hasn't, and their staff archaeologists have emerged with an article tracing the genesis of Social Security Privatization. Moving from a CATO journal tract on "Achieving a Leninist Strategy" for Social Security privatization all the way to Bush's crucial meeting with Chile's top privatizer, the piece tracks the guerrilla effort that spent the last three decades convincing the conservative movement that Social Security needed privatization and has now turned it's sights on the whole country. It's today's must-read .

Iraqi Elections

I'm with Matt on the Iraqi elections, a day that will go down in history but be forgotten the morning after. Like the June 30th handover, this is a largely symbolic event whose success -- given the constraints of Sunni non-participation -- will be forgotten by nightfall. At the moment, the streets seems blissfully clear of shrapnel and gore, and I think they'll probably remain so. The insurgents realize that, with or without attacks, tomorrow's elections will produce a government. So why expose themselves to the elevated risk promised by the day's enhanced security? They can lay low for a day, or even a few, waiting for the heads of government to shift (or, if Allawi wins, emerge codified) and the new leaders will find themselves no more protected than the old. After all, an Iraqi-led government has been "ruling" for months now, what do the insurgents care which Shi'ite is at its helm? Americans, for our part, will spend the morning watching CNN say the same thing a thousand ways. We'...

Finding Demigods

Digby's got a predictably terrific post on the need for more telegenic, effective, and conscientious media representation among the Dems. Like me, Digby has latched onto the heuristics of elections as the crucial component. Terrorism, the economy, social values -- these things matter substantively, but they generally manifest in predictably symbolic, superficial, ways. As Matt Yglesias rarely tires of noting, the Democratic policy elite -- both foreign and domestic -- are excessively capable, but the leaders they advise are rarely judged as favorably. That's because the game is appearance. If Kerry radiated military the way Clark did, terrorism would have been no problem; if he oozed empathy as Clinton could, he would have won on kitchen table issues; if he could project the longing for propriety that Buchanan perfected, social values wouldn't have been a problem. Of course, the last thing I want the Dems doing is studying the Buchanan's playbook ("Screen left! Pick the Jew!"), but we...

The Dean Machine

Continuing his historical habit of accumulating surprise endorsements, Dean got the nod from Harold Ickes this morning. Ickes, of course, is cleaved to the Clintons, and his emergence at Dean's side effectively ends all speculation that Hillary is standing athwart his candidacy yelling "Stop!". Here's the money quote or, more to the point, the money leak: Ickes, who heads the political action committee of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., said the endorsement was his alone and "does not reflect Sen. Clinton's opinion." While Ickes would not comment on the Clintons' preferences, he is a close ally and would not be endorsing Dean against their strong objections. No one was immediately available in Sen. Clinton's office to comment. Italics, of course, are mine. The appearance of such a speculative paragraph in an AP article, of course, is Clinton's. And without their opposition, I just don't see Frost mounting a strong enough challenge to topple the governor. The funny thing is that...