Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

FRIDAY FIVE O'CLOCK...

FRIDAY FIVE O'CLOCK FOLKWAYS. The entire American labor movement has been atremble today, waiting for the National Labor Relations Board to deliver its decisions in the Kentucky River cases -- decisions in which the Board is widely expected to reclassify as many as 8 million workers as management, and hence ineligible to join or belong to unions. The ruling would apply to nurses who schedule shifts or offer training on some new devices, say, to other nurses, perhaps to carpenters who help train apprentices -- you get the picture. The whole point of the ruling, labor fears, is to further cripple its ability to organize and represent workers -- and crippling unions and afflicting workers, after all, is the very the raison d�etre of the Republican and management hacks who constitute the majority of the board. It turns out labor must tremble a little longer. With the board's current deliberative term at an end as the month ends, the word, as of 5:00 PM Eastern time today, Friday, is that...

The Enablers

Senator Lincoln Chafee, Republican of Rhode Island, is seeking reelection in his heavily Democratic state by insisting he's not really a Republican, or at least not part of the gang responsible for the decade's debacles. He didn't even vote for George W. Bush in 2004, he protests. He cast his vote for George H.W. Bush -- a kinder, gentler, more prudent, less strident Republican. Big deal. It matters not a damn whom Lincoln Chafee chose to support for president. His vote was one of roughly 435,000 cast in Rhode Island in the 2004 presidential election, and roughly 122 million cast nationwide. The election in which his vote did matter was that for majority leader of the Senate. There, he was one of just 100 electors, in a Senate nearly evenly divided. After this November's elections, control of the Senate may well hang by a single vote. And if Chafee truly wished to alter the course of his party and his country in the spirit of his vote for Poppy Bush, he would, if reelected, cast his...

Into the Desert

At its highest levels, the literature of war is often about a hero gone bad, a hero, in fact, who becomes indistinguishable from his enemy. Achilles, to begin at the beginning, outrages the gods by his desecration of the body of his slain archrival, Hector, and it takes a message from Zeus to persuade him to relinquish the body for burial. In America, the closest we've come to having a Homer of our own, "an epic, tragic, national poet," is probably John Ford, the tormented, alcoholic Irish American director who invented both the classic Western and John Wayne in his 1939 film Stagecoach . But it's the film Ford made immediately after that, Young Mr. Lincoln , starring young Henry Fonda, that may be the single most lyrical and compelling evocation of the American ideals of justice and community ever crafted by an American artist. No one did heroes as well as Ford. So it's all the more startling to see Ford's late Western The Searchers , his ninth picture with Wayne, which came out in...

Whatever It Takes

On a sweltering Saturday morning in August, on the grounds of the old Rutherford County Courthouse just outside Nashville, where a Bible in a glass case is permanently turned to John 3:16, a young politician of considerable urbanity is convincing a crowd of his fellow Tennesseans that he's just a New Age version of a good ol' boy. Harold Ford Jr., only 36 but already a 10-year veteran of Congress and now the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate seat that Majority Leader Bill Frist is vacating; a graduate of St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., with a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School; and acclaimed by People magazine in 2001 as one of the 50 most beautiful humans on the planet, begins his remarks by sharing some assessments with the crowd. Bart Gordon, the local Democratic congressman who introduced him, is the member of the state's congressional delegation “who best understands the interplay...

Fear and Loathing

Wasn't it just a couple of years ago that Republicans were boasting that they were the party of ideas? They would privatize the commonwealth and globalize democracy, while Democrats clung to the tattered banner of common security in both economics and national defense. The intellectual energy in America, it seemed, was all on the right. That, as they say, was then. In 2006 the campaigns that the Republicans are waging in their desperate attempt to retain power are so utterly devoid of ideas that it's hard to believe they ever had an idea at all. With fewer than 60 days remaining before the November election, the only two Republican strategies left standing are to scare the public about the Democrats collectively or to slime the Democrats individually. There's nothing new about these strategies, of course, but this year they exist in a vacuum. Having run both the executive and legislative branches for the past two years with nothing but failure to show for it, the Republicans can no...

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