Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is the editor-at-large at The American Prospect and a columnist for The Washington Post. His email is hmeyerson@prospect.org

Recent Articles

Kicking Out the Gonzalezes

By every measure but one, the Gonzalez family of Jefferson City, Mo., are model citizens. Marvin was a courier for then-Missouri Governor Bob Holden, delivering messages and screening the governor's mail. Marina taught Spanish and was the after-school care director at her parish grade school. Their daughter Marie was a star pupil at Helias High, on the track and tennis teams, with dreams of becoming a lawyer. There was just one thing wrong with this picture: The Gonzalezes aren't citizens at all. They came to Jefferson City in 1991, legally, on a six-month visitor's visa from their native Costa Rica. They received some remarkably poor legal advice: that if they stayed, got steady jobs, and sank roots into the community, they could become citizens in seven years. They held up their end of the bargain, however much it may have been misrepresented to them in the first place. And for their troubles, the federal government has formulated its response: Next Tuesday it will deport the...

It's About Osama

So let's try to get this straight. We invaded Iraq because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, except he didn't, and because he was tied in to the attacks of September 11, except he wasn't. We're staying in Iraq, President Bush said Tuesday night, because terrorists with the same ideology as those behind 9-11 have congregated there since we arrived. Iraq is now the “central front” in the war on terrorism, the president said. And just how did it become that? Whatever the ghastly defects of Hussein's Iraq, it was not a playground for terrorists. There was no terror in the old Iraq but Hussein's own, which was a nightmare for his own citizenry, but not a threat to ours. Now, Bush argued, Iraq is in danger of becoming something it never was -- the equivalent of Afghanistan under the Taliban. But it's Bush's war that transformed the country and created that threat, if we are to believe the president's own assessment of the danger that the Iraqi terrorists pose. And if we don't...

No One to Demonize

In the absence of an antiwar movement, the American people have turned against the war in Iraq. Those two facts, I suspect, are connected. There was a very real antiwar movement early on. In the months before, during, and immediately after our invasion, hundreds of thousands of Americans took to the streets to oppose the intervention. Then chaos, followed by insurgency, enveloped Iraq, and the need for a constable to restore some order became indisputable. Those who had opposed the war -- this columnist included -- argued that the occupation would be less of a lightning rod if conducted by an international force under U.N. aegis. But the Bush administration insisted on U.S. control (a decision that grows less explicable with each passing day), and other nations with real armies made clear that they wanted no part of what was becoming a bloody occupation. Confronted with a choice between U.S. occupation and chaos, millions of Americans -- chiefly liberals and Democrats -- who'd been...

The Reform That Isn't

Accustomed though they were to Republican abuses of legislative practice, Democrats were nonetheless taken completely by surprise at the April 27 meeting of the Senate Rules Committee. With senators still settling into their seats, the “markup” session to revise the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform law had barely begun when Alaska Republican Ted Stevens, noting that he had to leave early, moved to report the bill to the Senate floor -- before the committee actually took up its language and considered amendments. The Democrats were stunned -- so stunned that initially they didn't react at all. In best Alice-in-Wonderland fashion, Chairman Trent Lott called the question, and the bill -- its contents yet to be determined -- was forwarded to the floor. After a few minutes, Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois and Chuck Schumer of New York (who arrived after the vote) objected, Schumer going so far as to remove his name as a co-sponsor. It wasn't just the cart-before-the-horse aspect of...

The Reform That Isn't

Accustomed though they were to Republican abuses of legislative practice, Democrats were nonetheless taken completely by surprise at the April 27 meeting of the Senate Rules Committee. With senators still settling into their seats, the “markup” session to revise the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform law had barely begun when Alaska Republican Ted Stevens, noting that he had to leave early, moved to report the bill to the Senate floor -- before the committee actually took up its language and considered amendments. The Democrats were stunned -- so stunned that initially they didn't react at all. In best Alice-in-Wonderland fashion, Chairman Trent Lott called the question, and the bill -- its contents yet to be determined -- was forwarded to the floor. After a few minutes, Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois and Chuck Schumer of New York (who arrived after the vote) objected, Schumer going so far as to remove his name as a co-sponsor. It wasn't just the cart-before-the-horse aspect of...

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