Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

Action, Meet Reaction

The North, it seems, shall rise again. Most of the House seats that the Democrats are expected to take from Republicans are in the Northeast and industrial Midwest, heartland of the old Republican Party of Lincoln, McKinley, and Eisenhower. Many of the Republicans holding these seats are a distinct minority in a party now dominated by southerners who are more supportive of executive branch authoritarianism and yet also more government-phobic. And the Republican moderates, judging by their own comments, are boiling mad that the Democrats are going after them. "There is no one who has voted more often with the Democrats than Linc Chafee," Susan Collins, the Republican senator from Maine, told The New York Times of her Rhode Island colleague, who is trailing Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in the polls. "Yet that didn't stop them from going after him with everything they had." And we all remember how moderate Republicans stopped the conservatives who control their party from going after...

"Course" Correction

The president has fled the field from "stay the course," signaling not just the unwinnability of his war but the bankruptcy of his political strategy. For as the president and his party grope for an alternative plan of action in Iraq, Karl Rove's bright line between Republican resolve and Democratic defeatism has become irreversibly fuzzed. "Stay the course," after all, was never intended to have a free-standing existence. Republicans invoked it only in dialectical contrast to "cut and run," their caricature of the Democrats' preference for a phased withdrawal from Iraq, or for partitioning it into three separate quasi-nations, or for redeploying our troops to neighboring states -- or, more simply, of the Democrats' mounting conviction that our presence in Iraq was growing more pointless each day. In a strenuous attempt to make lemonade from lemons, George Bush attacked the Democrats for failing to articulate a clear, compelling alternative to his war, though his war created so cosmic...

No Justice, No Growth

On the morning of June 22, 1995, to the total astonishment of the people working and walking on Hollywood Boulevard -- the sales clerks of a hundred shlock emporiums, the stoners, the runaways, and the crowds of ever-bewildered tourists who had trekked to the heart of Hollywood in search of glamour only to find one of Los Angeles' most depressing neighborhoods -- a sinkhole fully 80 feet wide suddenly opened in the middle of the street. Construction workers building the city's Red Line subway beneath the street scrambled to avoid the descending pavement. Miraculously, no one was seriously hurt, but traffic, street life, and the commercial activity at the center of L.A.'s (if not the world's) most famous neighborhood ground to a near-total and months-long halt. For a city that had experienced both a cataclysmic riot and a terrifying earthquake over the preceding three years; for a city whose single largest industry, aerospace, had collapsed over the preceding half-decade with the end...

How Capitalism Works Now

The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences by Louis Uchitelle (Alfred A. Knopf, 283 pages, $25.95) All Together Now: Common Sense For a Fair Economy by Jared Bernstein (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 154 pages, $12.00) America Back on Track by Senator Edward M. Kennedy (Viking, 210 pages, $24.95) When it comes to the fundamentals of our new-model economy, even the definitions of common words have changed for the worse. As recently as 1989, the Oxford English Dictionary defined “layoff” as a temporary dismissal. But in the years since then, as the permanent layoff became a pillar of contemporary business practices, it was the OED 's definition that proved to be provisional. That point about changing usage comes from The Disposable American , Louis Uchitelle's important new study of the growing instability of employment in the United States. The literature on the laissez-faire capitalism of the past quarter-century doesn't lack for withering critiques, but Uchitelle's book...

After Victory

Against their better judgment, the Democrats are starting to taste it. In the House, the number of Republican incumbents polling under 50 percent considerably exceeds the number of seats the Democrats need to pick up to make Nancy Pelosi Speaker. Controlling the Senate depends on winning two of the contests in three Upper South states -- Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia -- that could go either way. And then what? Putting a fleet of carts before a herd of horses, let's look at the legislation that the Democrats would push through the House and just maybe through the Senate. (Even if they win the upper house, of course, they'll still need the support of a number of Republicans to overcome a filibuster.) In the House, the Democrats have made clear that there's a first tier of legislation they mean to bring to a vote almost immediately after the new Congress convenes. It includes raising the minimum wage, repealing the Medicare legislation that forbids the government from negotiating with...

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