Jaime Fuller

Jaime Fuller is a former associate editor at The American Prospect

Recent Articles

New Look, Same Great ... Boring Taste

In 2005, Barack Obama delivered a commencement address at Knox College in Illinois. It was one of the clearest expressions of progressive ideology a national figure had delivered in decades, an argument against "Social Darwinism" and the trickle-down policies that had gripped Washington for years in favor of a realization that our fates are bound together—and that government's policies should reflect that. It told the story of American history as one in which the forces of radical individualism faced off against those who wanted to act collectively for the benefit of all, and those who believe we're all in it together triumphed. He returned to Knox College today to deliver another speech on the economy. This one was much longer, clocking in at over 5,000 words. There were echoes of that speech eight years ago, as when he said, "We haven't just wanted success for ourselves—we've wanted it for our neighbors, too. When we think about our own communities, we're not a mean people, we're...

At the Circus

Groucho Marx said he wouldn't want to join a club that would have someone like him as a member. But some members of the exclusive club that is the United States Congress are telling their constituents something different: Please let me remain a member of a club I find so horrid that it isn't even worth saving, in a city where the only righteous path is to wage (metaphorical) war on the United States government. That, at least, is what the House Republican Conference is telling its members to say to constituents when they return home this August. As Roll Call reported yesterday, the Conference has given its members a planning kit, called "Fighting Washington For All Americans," that explains how they should talk to voters about what House Republicans are up to. There are instructions on how to use that social media the kids are all into these days, and even a sample op-ed, titled "Fighting Washington For You." "Every day I serve in Congress," it reads, "I work to fight Washington." You...

Royal Baby Talk

When Prince William married Kate Middleton two years ago, news organizations told us that just about every human being on Earth was breathless with anticipation for the glorious event. Two billion people watched, said Bloomberg News . No, said the New York Times , it was three billion! Unless you were a Mongolian horseman out patrolling the steppes or a prisoner who had his TV privileges taken away, you watched, because everybody did. Trouble was, these claims were based on nothing. They were all "estimates," gathered by the journalistic technique known as "Well, that's what people are saying." No one could get a hard number, because many countries don't have systems for gathering ratings data, but given that only 23 million watched in the U.S.–a good showing for an episode of "C.S.I.," but less than a quarter of what the Super Bowl gets –the real number was almost certainly far less than the "estimates." We thought of that as we watched the hyperventilating news coverage of Kate...

Obama's Moment of Introspection

Today, Barack Obama did something he has only done a few times in the years he has been on the national stage: He talked about race. In an extemporaneous statement to White House reporters, Obama discussed the reaction to the trial of George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin. He spent the first third of his remarks talking about where African Americans were coming from, in an implicit plea for empathy from white Americans. He didn't accuse anyone of ill will, but he did in effect say, "Here's how black people are feeling and why," in an attempt to explain the sources of people's disappointment and pain. After that, he talked about what government might do to make these kinds of tragedies less likely—training for police officers, and perhaps a rethinking of "stand your ground" laws if they make conflicts more likely. He ended on a hopeful note, saying, "as difficult and challenging as this whole episode has been for a lot of people, I don't want us to lose sight that things...

Last Stop, the Governor's Mansion

Only two states, New Jersey and Virginia, hold their gubernatorial elections in odd-numbered years. That, combined with the latter's proximity to D.C. and the national media, mean that anyone elected governor of Virginia almost automatically gets mentioned as a potential presidential candidate, or at least a potential running mate. So it was when Bob McDonnell took office in Richmond, as it had been for Tim Kaine, Mark Warner, George Allen, and others before them. But as his term winds down, McDonnell is enmeshed in a scandal so venal, so base, so old-timey that it's a wonder to behold. Here's what we mean by old-timey. Though the average voter may not believe it, American politics today is much less corrupt overall than it was 50 or 100 years ago. The days when a railroad baron would deliver to a senator a satchel full of cash in exchange for his consideration are long past. Laws on financial disclosure and campaign records, combined with the attention of a larger news media and the...

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