Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is the executive editor of The American ProspectHis email is hmeyerson@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

The Big Three

"Why are we here?" John Edwards asked the members of the Democratic National Committee last Friday -- meaning: What animates us? What is the banner we ask Americans to take up? And, by morning's end, the Democrats had heard three different answers from their party's presidential front-runners. Edwards and Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had distinct perspectives on Iraq, but their other differences were, if anything, more revealing. Edwards depicted, in a rising crescendo of emotion, the human cost of manmade disasters: the hotel housekeeper picketing for health coverage; the 8-year-old going to bed hungry; the mother of a soldier in Iraq answering her door to news of her son's death; the orphaned 5-year-old in the Sudanese desert. One of America's best trial lawyers was pleading for the victims of cruel and idiotic policies, offering policies of his own to save the innocents. Where Edwards personified problems, Obama abstracted them. In the forthcoming election, he said, "...

Organization Man

Last Friday and Saturday, the eight Democrats who have in varying degrees announced their intention to run for president came before the executive board of the most powerful and strategic organization in American liberalism -- the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). No sooner had this first of countless candidate cattle calls been completed than the SEIU's president, Andy Stern, flew off to Iowa for several days, followed by a couple of more days in New Hampshire. No, Stern insists, he's not running for president. Rather, he's setting in motion an SEIU program called "Walk a Day in My Shoes," in which the union will encourage (or hector) the candidates to spend a day with a working-class family in one of the first four states (Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina) to hold primary and caucus elections in 2008. Besides, Stern is already doing as much as if not more than the presidential hopefuls to shape the Democrats' agenda. This week, as Stern publicizes "Walk a Day...

Hedgehog Follies

In the beginning, George W. Bush sent American forces into Iraq with no apparent thought about the sectarian tensions that could explode once Saddam Hussein was ousted. Now, nearing the end of his presidency, Bush is sending more American forces into Iraq with no apparent regard for the verdict of the American people, rendered in November's election, that they've had it with his war. And, by the evidence of all available polling, with Bush himself. The decline in Bush's support to Watergate-era Nixonian depths since he announced that his new Iraq policy was his old Iraq policy, only more so, stems, I suspect, from three conclusions that the public has reached about the president and his war. The first, simply, is that the war is no longer winnable and, worse, barely comprehensible since it has evolved into a Sunni-Shiite conflict. The second is that Bush, in all matters pertaining to his war, is a one-trick president who keeps doing the same thing over and over, never mind that it...

Snooze of the Union

The White House must have known that this wouldn't be a rouser. The president had nothing new to say about Iraq, yet he had to discuss it -- not the real Iraq, of course, but his own private Iraq that no one else can recognize -- for half of the speech. Even his list of foiled terrorist plots was a collection of golden oldies from years gone by. As to his bold new domestic agenda, it was at once so piecemeal and complicated that it defied description, so when it came to the most important element -- the president's new health care proposal -- he essentially declined to describe it. The utterly threadbare quality of the Republican domestic vision was encapsulated by the fact that the biggest Republican applause line on matters domestic came after the president vowed to reintroduce legislation limiting medical liability. No wonder these guys lost. So, knowing that no good would come from the speech, the president actually did something almost diabolically clever. He began by discussing...

WINDFALL AT THE...

WINDFALL AT THE POST . For fogies like me who read the newsprint version of newspapers, today�s Washington Post -- more particularly, the ads in today�s Washington Post -- was a revelation. In the paper�s A Section, three separate full-page ads appeared from right-wing groups threatened by the advance of Democratic legislation through the new Congress. On page A5, the so-called Center for Union Facts re-ran its ad equating American labor leaders with Kim Jong Il and Fidel Castro , obviously fearing that the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it possible for workers to join unions without fear of management retaliation, will pass the House and command a (not necessarily filibuster-proof) majority in the Senate. On page A15, Phrma, the drug company lobby, ran an ad against the legislation, already passed by the House, that would end the prohibition on the government�s negotiating prices with drug companies under Medicare Part D. (The very existence of the ad completely undercuts...

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