Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

A Not-So-Super Tuesday

LOS ANGELES -- Lord, but California is election-weary. America's mega-state endured the dreariest of gubernatorial contests in 2002, followed by the most surprising of gubernatorial recalls in 2003, the drama of the presidential race in 2004 and, just last November, the who-asked-for-it special election in which business and labor spent nearly a quarter-billion dollars fighting over Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's wildly unpopular ballot initiatives. No wonder something like 70 percent of California's registered voters elected not to vote in Tuesday's primary, which was essentially a sliming contest between the two leading Democratic candidates for governor. If the states are laboratories of democracy, as Louis Brandeis called them, then Californians have become guinea pigs in a vast failed experiment. Hold a major election every year -- complete with a torrent of attack ads and mailings and recorded phone messages from a startling array of personages attesting to the virtues of your...

Estate Tax Lunacy

Spring has given way to summer's full-furnace heat in Washington, apparently taking with it any scintilla of sense that Congress may yet possess. In the House, Republicans who could not even raise an eyebrow at reports that the National Security Agency has been conducting warrantless wiretaps of Americans became instant civil libertarians when the FBI conducted a search of a congressman's office. The Senate, meanwhile, is scheduled next week to take up legislation by Arizona Republican Jon Kyl that would permanently repeal the estate tax on the wealthiest Americans. If enacted, Kyl's bill would plunge the government another trillion dollars into the red during the first decade (2011-2021) that it would be in effect. Behind the scenes, the action has been on the Democratic side in the Senate, as the party's leadership has sought to dissuade Montana's Max Baucus, ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee, from forging a halfway-house compromise with Kyl that would deplete revenue by...

The Irony of Iraq

In the beginning, neoconservatism was a movement of onetime liberals enraged at the wave of violence and disorder that overtook the cities in the 1960s. Riots convulsed urban America in that stormy decade, crime rates soared, student radicals seized campuses. How could anyone see all this, the first generation of neocons inquired, and still remain a liberal? For it was all the liberals' fault. Wafted along by their vaporous good intentions, indifferent to any unintended consequences those intentions might engender, wrapped up in their dizzy notions of the perfectibility of humankind, the liberals (at least, as the neos caricatured them) crafted criminal codes devoid of punishment, welfare programs requiring no work. In the world the liberals made, civic order took a back seat to individual rights, and as order vanished, the urban middle class vanished with it, abandoning once-vibrant neighborhoods for the safety of the suburbs. A neoconservative, the movement's founding father, Irving...

Suddenly, Mr. Centrist

George W. Bush took to the airwaves Monday night to occupy terrain he had previously shunned: the center. The President claimed what he termed "a rational middle ground" between two supercharged social movements, between the nativist and business wings of his own party, between House Republicans from safe right-wing districts and Senate Republicans understandably nervous about the growing number of Latino voters in their states. The result, rhetorically, was a speech in which assertion was followed by counter-assertion, or at least by a counter-perspective. "Illegal immigration," Bush began, "strains state and local budgets and brings crime to our communities . . . .yet we must remember that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are decent people who work hard . . . and lead responsible lives. "We're a nation of laws, and we must enforce our laws," he said. "We're also a nation of immigrants, and we must uphold that tradition." I was reminded of the New Yorker editor who told one...

A MODEST PROPOSAL....

A MODEST PROPOSAL. The new issue of Blueprint , the bimonthly journal of the Democratic Leadership Council, which went up online today, features an article by Tony Blair entitled �Fighting for Values,� which is part of the magazine�s cover package on �Defeating Jihadism.� The piece is a resounding defense of civilization and globalization, a scathing attack on obscurantism and protectionism. Blair makes the case for the Iraqi invasion and occupation, of course, but, by past standards, somewhat briefly. Since every day that Blair continues to serve as Prime Minister depresses the Labor Party�s polling by another couple of points, and twists the party into ideological knots defending a foreign policy that its members don�t believe in and that the British public rejects, here�s a suggestion that can make everybody happy: With the number of Labor MPs prepared to vote for Blair�s ouster clearly growing, the PM needs a graceful exit. Why doesn�t the DLC hire the guy -- give him an Al From...

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