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

Divided Land

"All right," John Dos Passos wrote in a rage over the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti, "we are two nations." Oh, are we ever. And 77 years after Dos Passos penned those words, his two nations and ours bear an almost spooky resemblance. The most striking, the most overwhelming fact about the 2004 vote is how closely it resembles the 2000 vote. Think of it: Since November 2000, the twin towers have been obliterated, we've gone to war preemptively and under erroneous pretenses in Iraq, George W. Bush has become the first president since Herbert Hoover to have jobs shrink on his watch, our standing in the world has diminished nearly everywhere. And how did all this affect the electoral map? A shift of 17,000 votes turned New Hampshire (four electoral votes) from red to blue, while a shift of 12,000 votes turned New Mexico (five electoral votes) from blue to red. The battle lines of the cultural civil war that emerged in the 2000 contest have shown themselves to be all but impermeable to...

Values-Driven

What's most dispiriting about last night's loss (I am assuming here that John Kerry will lose Ohio, though I'd dearly love to be proven wrong) is that the Democrats did a lot of things right in this year's campaign. They nominated the strongest candidate in their primary field. They waged the smartest, best funded, and most effective ground campaign in their history. They were more unified than they've been since Lyndon Johnson's 1964 run against Barry Goldwater. And they got their clock cleaned. The results bear an almost spooky resemblance to those of 2000 – as if the Iraqi War had never happened, as if George W. Bush wasn't the first president since Herbert Hoover to lose jobs on his watch, as if American had actually maintained its place in the family of nations. Instead, on Tuesday, we simply retook the cultural census of 2000, with the result that George W. Bush's one Northeastern state of that year (New Hampshire) moved into Kerry's column and, possibly, that Al Gore's two...

Where's the Shame?

With Election Day almost upon us, it's not clear whether President Bush is running a campaign or plotting a coup d'etat. By all accounts, Republicans are spending these last precious days devoting nearly as much energy to suppressing the Democratic vote as they are to mobilizing their own. Time was when Republicans were at least embarrassed by their efforts to keep African Americans from the polls. Republican consultant Ed Rollins was all but drummed out of the profession after his efforts to pay black ministers to keep their congregants from voting in a 1993 New Jersey election came to light. For George W. Bush, Karl Rove, and their legion of genteel thugs, however, universal suffrage is just one more musty liberal ideal that threatens conservative rule. Today's Republicans have elevated vote suppression from a dirty secret to a public norm. In Ohio, Republicans have recruited 3,600 poll monitors and assigned them disproportionately to such heavily black areas as inner-city Cleveland...

The Most Dangerous President Ever

I miss Ronald Reagan. I know, I know: Reagan was our first president to proclaim government the problem, to cut taxes massively on the rich, to deliberately create a deficit so immense that the government's impoverishment did indeed become a problem. He waged a war of dubious merit and clear illegality in Central America; he pandered to the most bigoted elements in American society. The United States would be a far better place had he not been elected. But politics deals in comparatives, not absolutes. And when I compare Reagan with his ideological heir currently occupying the White House, I'll take the Gipper, hands down. George W. Bush is much the meaner president (and man). He is far more factional than Reagan was. And he is incomparably more dangerous than Reagan or any other president in this nation's history. Forces that first assembled and ideas that first appeared during Reagan's presidency have now had two decades to develop -- to grow more powerful and more marginal...

"One Guy in a Bubble"

"I have no outside advice" in the war on terrorism, President Bush told Bob Woodward in December of 2001. In an interview that Woodward revealed to Nicholas Lemann in last week's issue of the New Yorker , Bush insisted that, "Anybody who says they're an outside adviser of this Administration on this particular matter is not telling the truth. First of all, in the initial phase of the war, I never left the compound. Nor did anybody come in the compound. I was, you talk about one guy in a bubble." Indeed. By every available indication, George W. Bush's is the most inside-the-bubble presidency in modern American history. It's not just that his campaign operatives exclude all but the true believers from his rallies, or that Bush, by the evidence of his debate performances, has grown utterly unaccustomed to criticism. With each passing day, we learn that once Bush has decided on a course of action, he will not be swayed by mere intelligence estimates, military appraisals or facts on the...

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