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

All-Capitalist Class War

W here in the annals of class conflict do we put the current tiff between America's investors and its CEOs? Up until a few weeks ago, this would have been considered a question not worthy of an answer. Both groups bobbed on the same tide. They felt the same exultation when their stock rose, the same apprehension when it fell. Magically, American capitalism had eliminated class conflict. Whether through their own initiative or their 401(k) plans, roughly half our compatriots were into the market, and all but the dimmest workers knew that wages were a sideshow, that portfolio value was the real stuff. As the bubble economy steadily inflated, the successful CEO not only eclipsed the leading figures in government, but government itself: D.C. dithered, CEOs delivered. Today the cult of the CEO has disbanded, but even so, the occasional criminality of the wayward CEO would not in itself have pushed investors to revolt. It took the stock option brouhaha to expose this fault line in...

Greens to Liberals: Drop Dead!

A sk any liberal to identify the force in American politics most intent on destroying progressive prospects and causes and you're sure to hear that it's the Bush administration or the Republican right or some such reactionary power. Let me gently suggest, however, that a very different force has wormed its way onto this list, and may indeed be right at the top: the Green Party. There's something so very pure about the Greens' destructiveness. The Republican right, after all, isn't committed to stamping out liberalism purely as an end in itself; it is also a means to advance its own agenda of more power and wealth to the powerful and wealthy. When the Greens run a candidate against a Democrat, however, neither their campaign nor the effect of their campaign advances their agenda one whit. Their goal is simply to defeat Democrats, even the most liberal Democrats. Especially the most liberal Democrats. Consider the appalling farce now unfolding in Minnesota, where the Greens recently...

Senatorial Heresy

F ew things in contemporary American politics have been more certain than the Senate's support for free trade. While the critics and criticisms of global laissez-faire have been growing in number and the House's support for free trade has become increasingly iffy, the Senate has rolled merrily along, Republicans and Democrats alike ratifying whatever trade bill was up for a vote. Imagine, then, the stunned bewilderment on Capitol Hill, at the White House, and among K Street's cadre of corporate lobbyists on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 14. The Senate had just refused to kill the Dayton-Craig amendment to the bill restoring the president's authority to negotiate fast-track (that is, unamendable by Congress) trade treaties. The amendment, by Minnesota Democrat Mark Dayton and Idaho Republican Larry Craig, struck at fast track's very heart. It gave the Senate the right to review, and reject, any language in a trade accord that weakened U.S. anti-dumping laws -- that is, statutes...

The Democrats and the Euro-Left

I n Europe, the year 1968 has always meant only half of what it's meant here in the United States. On both sides of the Atlantic, 1968 was the year of the great youth uprising, of the emergence of a distinct New Left. The protesters who took to the streets from Chicago to Paris weren't simply opposing the war in Vietnam but the Cold War liberalism of their nations' parties of the center-left. And their goal wasn't simply to repudiate Cold War policies but to confront the New Deal-cum-social democratic politics of those parties with a host of new concerns: civil rights, individual liberties, feminism, environmentalism, and what might be termed lifestyle liberalism. But in the United States, 1968 has long had a different and far darker significance, even aside from the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. It was also the year when the white backlash became a dominant force in American politics, when all the convulsions of the 1960s engendered a more-than-opposite...

Axis of Incompetence

I f the administration's foreign-policy apparat (minus the increasingly isolated Colin Powell) were placed under one roof -- Rice, Rumsfeld, and Reich; Perle, Wolfowitz, Cheney, and Bush -- what watchword would be inscribed over the door? No, not "Abandon all hope, ye who enter." There are any number of supplicants who should not abandon hope -- Latin American putschsters, China's Leninist social Darwinists, the Colombian paramilitary, Ariel Sharon, even al-Qaeda terrorists scrambling over mountaintops with no U.S soldiers around to impede them. If not Dante, then, the inscription could be provided by another immortal. Casey Stengel, whose term in purgatory managing the '62 Mets prompted the deathless line that fits the Bush gang to a tee, said, "Can't anybody here play this game?" Apparently not. In record time, the Bush administration's foreign policy has become a cosmic shambles -- its interventions increasingly ineffectual and counterproductive; its refusals to intervene only...

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