Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is executive editor of The American Prospect. His email is hmeyerson@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

Reaction Force

Don't look now, but Virginia is seceding again. On Sunday nine Episcopal parishes in Virginia, including the one where George Washington served as a vestryman, announced that they had voted to up and leave the U.S. Episcopal Church to protest its increasingly equal treatment of homosexuals. In 2003 an overwhelming majority of the nation's Episcopal bishops ratified the selection of a gay bishop by the New Hampshire diocese. This past June the church's general convention elevated Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to the post of presiding U.S. bishop. Jefferts Schori is the first woman to head a national branch of the Anglican Church. Worse yet, she has allowed the blessing of same-sex couples within her diocese (which includes the ever theologically innovative Las Vegas). Whether it was the thought of a woman presiding over God's own country club or of gays snuggling under its eaves, it was all too much for a distinct minority of Episcopalians. The dissident parishes in the...

The GOP's Iraq Two-Step

Where do the Republicans' likely 2008 presidential candidates come down on Iraq? You might think that a decent regard for the opinions of their fellow citizens, as registered in last month's elections, would rouse them from their Bushian dreams of victory in what has become a savage intra-Islamic war where the very notion of an American triumph makes no sense whatever. You might think that, with the president's approval rating now sunk to near-Nixonian depths, Republican leaders, for their own good as well as their country's, might want to withdraw our men and women from Iraq before the next election. But that would require the Republicans -- leaders and rank-and-file both -- to become a reality-based party. If their leading candidates are any indication, however, they're not yet willing to make that leap. Front-runner John McCain, for instance, calls for a major increase in the size of the U.S. force and, with his fellow neoconservatives, rejects the Baker-Hamilton report because it...

Southern Exposure

You've seen the numbers and understand that America is growing steadily less white. You try to push your party, the Grand Old Party, ahead of this curve by taking a tolerant stance on immigration and making common cause with some black churches. Then you go and blow it all in a desperate attempt to turn out your base by demonizing immigrants and running racist ads against Harold Ford. On Election Day, black support for Democrats remains high; Hispanic support for Democrats surges. So what do you do next? What else? Elect Trent Lott your deputy leader in the Senate. Sure locks in the support of any stray voters who went for Strom in '48. In case you haven't noticed, a fundamental axiom of modern American politics has been altered in recent weeks. For four decades, it's been the Democrats who've had a southern problem. Couldn't get any votes for their presidential candidates there; couldn't elect any senators, then any House members, then any dogcatchers. They still can't, but the...

Gone to Pieces

The meaning of the election was clear for all to see: The people plainly believed that the unified, pluralistic Iraq that the Bush administration insisted was growing stronger with each passing day actually had no future at all. There's no other way to interpret the vote for the first Iraqi National Assembly, held one year ago, in December 2005. Overwhelmingly, Iraqis voted their sect rather than their nation. The Shiites, who constitute roughly 60 percent of Iraq's population, voted for Shiite parties, which now control roughly 60 percent of the National Assembly. The Sunnis and the Kurds voted for their own parties, too. There was, to be sure, a national unity slate, a coalition of nonsectarian parties headed by former prime minister Ayad Allawi. It pulled down 8 percent of the vote. For a moment, the U.S. government seemed to understand what the election meant. "It looks as if people have preferred to vote for their ethnic or sectarian identities," said Zalmay Khalilzad, our...

The Populist Persuasion

Nearly four decades after it happened, the assassination of Robert Kennedy still presents us with the greatest might-have-been of the past half-century of American politics. In the months before his murder, campaigning across the country in 1968's tumultuous presidential primaries, Kennedy did something that no Democrat after him has been able to do: He won primary majorities among both African-Americans and working-class whites, even though the white backlash against black militants and against the urban riots of that time was reaching fever pitch. With Kennedy's murder, however, the prospects for a Democratic Party able to command the allegiance of both white and black working-class voters abruptly collapsed. A number of whites who had voted for Kennedy in the spring's primaries voted for George Wallace in the fall's general election, and for Richard Nixon four years later, and for Ronald Reagan after that. Bill Clinton was able to win back a share of those working-class whites, but...

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