Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

Running Man

Murfreesboro, Tennessee -- On the grounds of the old Rutherford County Courthouse, in the middle of the Murfreesboro Town Square, about a half-hour's drive from downtown Nashville, there's a plaque commemorating what Civil War buffs know as Forrest's First Raid. Here, in July 1862, Nathan Bedford Forrest, a slave trader turned Confederate general, and his troops surprised and captured an entire Union garrison. Forrest may be the most prominent figure in American history who could happily have captained a German SS unit. In 1864 his troops massacred hundreds of African American Union soldiers whom they'd captured after the surrender of Fort Pillow. And after the war Forrest was a founder and the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Which made the rally at the courthouse last Saturday all the more remarkable. Several hundred Murfreesboro Democrats, a clear majority of them white, had come out on a brutally hot morning to hear Harold Ford Jr. -- the 36-year-old congressman from...

Down These Main Streets

If you're looking for a land that time forgot, you couldn't do much better than the mountain country of central Pennsylvania. On a sparkling summer day it's a tableau of lazy rivers and deeply green forested hills, of cornfields and farmhouses (some abandoned) and steel mills (many shuttered), and one little town after another where the buildings on Main Street look pretty much as they did in the 1940s (except those that are boarded up). Many prospects please here, but nothing bespeaks either newness or prosperity (except the occasional Wal-Mart, which bespeaks newness and the absence of prosperity). Politically, north-central Pennsylvania is one of the most venerable Republican terrains in the land, and it's grown more Republican in recent decades with the closing of unionized steel and textile mills. James Carville once famously observed that Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between. As if to confirm Carville's thesis, when I attended the Mifflin County...

Field Notes

If you look at the polls and nothing else, it seems almost self-evident that Nancy Pelosi will be wielding the speaker's gavel come January. Nationally, voters give Democrats a 10-point edge over Republicans in their congressional preferences. Another survey, of 50 swing House districts conducted for National Public Radio, found Democrats leading in the 10 seats they currently hold by a 2-to-1 margin, while Republicans trailed Democrats in the 40 seats they currently hold by a 4 percent margin. But elections aren't won by public opinion alone. A midterm election is above all an exercise in voter mobilization, and looking at the Democrats' emerging get-out-the-vote (GOTV) operations, it's clear that the Democrats still face one tough slog. Though every major player on the Democratic side -- the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the unions, the environmental groups, the...

Which Side Are We On?

Of all the signs that the American people are fed up with the war in Iraq, the one that the administration should fear most was put forth last week by a longtime supporter of both the president and the war, Virginia Republican John Warner. While chairing a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Warner suggested that the president might need a new congressional resolution authorizing our presence in Iraq, since the conflict there has become (or, best case, may yet become) a civil war. Now, that would be one challenging resolution to write. Once you've come up with "Whereas the conflict in Iraq is now a civil war between Shiites and Sunnis," what is it, exactly, that we are therefore supposed to resolve? In an Iraqi civil war -- which is precisely what we now confront -- what is the mission of U.S. forces? There are, after all, civil wars and civil wars. In the carnage that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia, it was chiefly the genocidal aggression of Slobodan Milosevic's...

JOBS FOR JOE.

JOBS FOR JOE. Mark Schmitt �s right-on observation that the Democrats need to find some graceful way to ease Joe Lieberman out of the race should get us all thinking about some suitable, dignified alternative careers for Connecticut�s junior senator. Herewith, some modest proposals: A Lieberman-McKinney Vaudeville Act. Yesterday�s losers make omelets of their broken careers by devising a sketch that can be performed in almost any venue with a minimum of costly scenery. It would go something as follows: Lieberman starts, lecturing the audience with a moral homily. Then McKinney pops him one. Curtain. After Larry Summers. Robert Rubin rigs it so that Joe can become the next president of Harvard. Lieberman proves expert at schmoozing donors, but causes controversy when he calls Cornel West to berate him for giving A�s to too many of his pupils, and West responds by telling Lieberman that he teaches at Princeton. Publisher of The New Republic . Lieberman takes the helm at the venerable...

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