Joshua Green

Joshua Green is an editor at The Washington Monthly and a former staff writer at
The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

A House Divided

G eorge W. Bush convinced many swing voters that he was "a uniter, not a divider." He pledged to work with Republicans and Democrats to change the tone of partisan rancor in Washington. But Washington is not Austin, and the sense of a stolen election has strengthened Democratic unity in a closely divided Congress. Any move to the center by Bush will also risk alienating conservatives in his own party. In the Bill Clinton era, each party sometimes peeled off defectors from the other. Democrats were able to push through family leave and minimum wage legislation, both of which proved too popular for Republicans in swing districts to resist. Republicans mostly got their way on welfare reform, "charitable choice," and the privatization of some social services. In some cases, the effective governing coalition was Clinton and most congressional Republicans, the epic examples being welfare reform, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and trade relations with China...

How Ashcroft Happened

I f all had gone according to George W. Bush's original plan, Marc Racicot would today be our attorney general. Racicot, who was, until recently, governor of Montana, would have been a solid choice. Though he's enough of a GOP loyalist to satisfy the party faithful (he earned his partisan spurs working on Bush's behalf during the Florida recount), he is moderate enough to have pleased the suburban voters who turned out for Bush based on his claim to be a "uniter, not a divider." At one point recently, Racicot had the highest approval rating--87 percent--of any governor in the country. Liberal groups still might have opposed Racicot based on his official stance against abortion, for example, but he would not have been a provocation to them. John Ashcroft, on the other hand, is a brazen provocation: He's a hard-core conservative on race, civil rights, abortion, and a host of other issues. As is by now quite well known, he has a history of blocking African-American judicial...

Party Politics

It may seem odd that the only public celebration of George W. Bush's 54th birthday took place in July at Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in Washington, D.C. But then feting the birthday boy wasn't what the hosts had in mind. The room was overflowing with, well, not exactly admirers, but certainly folks who had a keen interest in the Texas governor. Foremost among them was DNC Chairman Joe Andrew, who brought out a birthday cake topped with two oil rigs and decorated with money-stuffed prescription bottles bearing labels that read "Bush Prescription Drug Plan: For the powerful, not for the people." Andrew declined a request to sing "Happy Birthday," but instead launched into a chorus of complaints about Bush's record. He then proceeded to read aloud mock "telegrams" he claimed to have received from Bush cronies like Ken Lay, CEO of Enron, who offered the following warm wishes: "You've given us so much over the years, it often feels like our birthday every day. Wish I...

Tom Delay's Empty suit

"House Democrats yesterday filed suit against Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) accusing him of extortion and money laundering. The civil suit alleges the whip pressured contributors into donating to the GOP and then directed those funds to nonprofit political groups that do not disclose their donors or how they are spending the money." The Washington Post , May 4, 2000 House Democrats yesterday filed suit against Majority Whip Tom DeLay, accusing him of stalking and intent to maim. An accompanying request for a restraining order revealed that the complainant, Janet Reno, asked that DeLay be kept at least 50 yards from her at all times, and at least 100 yards from any television camera. An emergency amicus brief contesting the request was filed on behalf of DeLay by producers of NBC's Meet the Press . The Washington Post , June 4, 2000 House Democrats yesterday filed suit against Republican leaders in Congress for abandoning a vehicle, specifically the 1994 Contract with America. The...

Loan Sharks:

President Bush's education effort so far has been high on photo ops and low on substance. He claimed he was increasing education funding by more than 11 percent. That's not quite right. Adjusted for some fuzzy math -- Bush credited himself with increases passed under Clinton -- the number is more like 5.9 percent. But a move Bush made last week is sure to have a tangible effect -- it will prevent thousands of students, mostly low-income students and minorities, from getting a college education. The Bush administration announced it would enforce an obscure federal law that denies financial aid to students convicted of a drug offense. In order to get financial aid students must fill out a form that asks if they've ever been convicted of a drug offense, even a misdemeanor. Those who answer yes lose their financial aid -- no student loans, no Pell grants, no work-study programs. For many who can't afford to attend school without aid, that translates to no college education. Here's how it...

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