Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Catholics Are Like Everyone Else

A new study from the Public Religion Research Institute finds strikingly little difference between Catholics and most Americans on gay marriage: Nearly three-­quarters of Catholics favor either allowing gay and lesbian people to marry (43%) or allowing them to form civil unions (31%). Only 22% of Catholics say there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship. If marriage for gay couples is defined as a civil marriage “like you get at city hall,” Catholic support for allowing gay couples to marry increases by 28 points, from 43% to 71%. Nearly three-­quarters (73%) of Catholics favor laws that would protect gay and lesbian people against discrimination in the workplace; Nearly 7­‐in­‐10 (69%) Catholics disagree that homosexual orientation can be changed; less than 1-in-4 (23%) believe that it can be changed. A majority of Catholics (56%) believe that sexual relations between two adults of the same gender is not a sin. Among the general population, less than half (46...

The Nobel to Cruise Missile Exchange Rate

Yes, Barack Obama won a Nobel Peace prize, and yes, he has fired more cruise missiles than all other Peace prize winners combined. But given the actual content of Obama's acceptance speech , it shouldn't come as a surprise. For example: I believe that force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans, or in other places that have been scarred by war. Inaction tears at our conscience and can lead to more costly intervention later. That is why all responsible nations must embrace the role that militaries with a clear mandate can play to keep the peace. To repeat a point from last Friday, a careful examination of Barack Obama's public statements will reveal a man who isn't opposed to humanitarian interventions or the broad exercise of American power. He's simply opposed to wars waged outside of the international system. It's why Afghanistan was OK, but Iraq was not, and why intervention in Libya -- with European and Arab support -- is an acceptable path of action...

Warren Christopher

Warren Christopher wasn't a perfect secretary of state, but as an advocate of caution and restraint in foreign policy, his passing this weekend -- on the eve of our new adventure in Libya -- was more than a little ironic. Here's a portion from The New York Times obituary : Mr. Christopher, who as a diplomat came to embody a reluctance to use force, supported President Truman's use of atomic bombs on Japan but later expressed doubt as to whether all alternatives had been fully explored. [...] He occasionally spoke out on international issues, urging in an op-ed article in late 2002 that President Bush should rethink "his fixation on attacking Iraq" [...] "even> It's worth noting that Christopher recently -- along with James A. Baker III -- oversaw a commission to study and revise the 1973 War Powers Act. Among their recommendations: a proposal to require congressional consultation for combat expected to last longer than a week. It doesn't sound like much, but in light of the...

It's Only a "Power Grab" if There's Actual Power to Grab

Andrew Sullivan on President Obama 's speech this afternoon : To launch a war on these grounds is to set a precedent that would require a kind of global power and reach that not even the most righteous neocons have pushed for. [...] The proper response to this presidential power-grab is a Congressional vote - as soon as possible. I understand Sullivan's outrage about Obama's use of military force without explicit congressional authorization, but it seems a little besides the point. Presidents have long conducted military action without explicit permission from Congress (see: Kosovo ), and Congress has been more than happy to abdicate its responsibility when it comes to the conduct of military force, and foreign affairs more generally. For all of the consternation he's received for simply announcing our intervention in Libya, Obama is -- more or less -- acting within the bounds defined by thirty years of presidential leadership and the concurrent absence of Congressional leadership. In...

Always a (Liberal) Internationalist

If there's any implication to my last post, it's that Obama has always been something of an interventionist, and his decision to support one intervention over the other has more to do with political circumstances than it does with principle. As a politician in Chicago's Hyde Park, Barack Obama was virtually obligated to oppose the Iraq War. If, at the time, he were serving in the U.S. Senate, I have no doubt that he would have voted for the Authorization to Use Military Force. My colleague Adam Serwer disagrees ; as far as he sees it, Obama's current worldview is substantially different from the one he espoused as a young state senator: [T]he Libya intervention seems to have revealed a genuine ideological transition from the Barack Obama of 2002, from a kind of neo-realist to a full fledged liberal internationalist. Both approaches would have justified intervening on moral grounds, but the character of Obama's intervention is differentiated by its reliance on international...

Pages