Garance Franke-Ruta

Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor at the Prospect. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Washington Monthly, The New Republic, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. She was a 2006 recipient of a fellowship at the Joan Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University.

Recent Articles

Jews in Play?

Milton Himmelfarb once famously quipped that "Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans." These days Republicans are trying to win the hearts and ballots of both Jewish and Hispanic voters. They may have more luck with the Jews. Republican strategists have been boasting since at least 1999 of a coming political realignment in which Jews become increasingly conservative and vote Republican. It didn't happen in the 2000 presidential contest and it didn't happen last year. But a number of factors have changed since September 11 to create a situation where even Democrats acknowledge that a portion of Jewish support is unusually up for grabs. "President Bush has the real possibility of exceeding the total that Ronald Reagan got in the 1980 campaign," says Steven Some, a Republican lobbyist and board member of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group whose membership has "skyrocketed," he says, since the president took office. Bush, Some adds, "could even get a majority of...

The Fakeout

President George W. Bush's global AIDS-relief proposal seemed like a historic announcement. "[T]o meet a severe and urgent crisis abroad, tonight I propose the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief -- a work of mercy beyond all current international efforts to help the people of Africa," Bush said during January's State of the Union address. "I ask the Congress to commit $15 billion over the next five years, including nearly $10 billion in new money, to turn the tide against AIDS in the most afflicted nations of Africa and the Caribbean. This nation can lead the world in sparing innocent people from a plague of nature." Yet within weeks, serious questions have emerged about whether Bush's commitment was for real -- or just another instance of the president talking a good game in public while crossing his fingers behind his back. For one thing, Bush's refusal to allow funds to go to integrated public-health clinics that mention the word "abortion" will undercut much of the Third World's AIDS...

Liebermama

On Jan. 13, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) vowed to return to the national campaign trail and seek the presidency. And that can only herald one thing: the return of Marcia "Baba" Lieberman. The 88-year-old mother of Sen. Lieberman may be a little weak in the arthritic knees these days, and she says she's at the point where she really only gets out of her Stamford, Conn., house two or three times a month. But once her son's campaign kicks into high gear, she'll be back out in her wheelchair and back on the hustings with her good friend and handler Moises "Moe" Vela, a former Al Gore staffer and self-described "41-year-old bald, gay Latino." She'll chat up reporters and voters and audiences of senior citizens, telling them all about her son's positions on Social Security, Medicare and prescription drugs, beaming with pride and telling anyone who'll listen just why her son would "make the best president." Those who follow Sen. Lieberman's campaigns cannot help but learn about the senior...

Al-ternate Reality

This article is an online-only supplement to the Prospect 's recent profile of the Rev. Al Sharpton. You can read the profile here . Sharpton, the latest entrant in the Democratic presidential field, generates press by generating controversy. Whatever you may think of the man himself, one thing is clear: He will talk circles around the rest of the Democratic candidates. What follows is a list of the rhetorical strategies Sharpton has used in the past -- and will undoubtedly use against his fellow Democrats in the months to come. I. The Inversion of Experience: Turning someone else's achievements into a negative while making your own failures into a positive -- now that's a virtuoso political move. Sharpton is a master of it, and if he can score bonus points by adding race to the mix, he'll do that, too. "Other people don't get the same questions that I do," Sharpton writes in Al on America , his second book. "No one asks, how can the Democratic Senator from North Carolina run for...

Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

T he House of Justice on Madison Avenue between 124th and 125th streets in New York City may not look like the epicenter of a movement that could wreak havoc within the Democratic Party. The unremarkable, somewhat dilapidated edifice sits on a block bookended by a restaurant and the A & M Deli, where you can find grown men buying 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor at 9:30 on a Saturday morning. Just outside the building, a street vendor displays stacks of Afrocentric self-help books and the sort of Marxist African histories routinely sold on Manhattan street corners and taught in City University of New York (CUNY) schools. Three volumes add visual punch to the piles and testify to the city's ongoing politics of racial resentment: Michael Bradley's The Iceman Inheritance: Prehistoric Sources of Western Man's Racism, Sexism, and Aggression ; Do You Dare Read -- Why the Whiteman Is the Devil! by Muhammad Shabazz and Ali Shaheed; and Michael Moore's Stupid White Men . Yet within the...

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