Joshua Green

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

Recent Articles

Cleaning House

If Democrats win back the House of Representatives, their slim majority won't adequately reflect the magnitude of the change. The list of ranking Democrats in line to chair key committees reads like a who's who of progressive congressional leadership: Henry Waxman ( Government Reform ), George Miller ( Education and the Workforce ), John Conyers ( Judiciary ), and Charles Rangel ( Ways and Means ) are all up for committee chairmanships, while others--such as Barney Frank (Domestic and International Monetary Policy), Sander Levin (Trade), and Sherrod Brown (Health and Environment)--are poised to assume important subcommittee chairmanships. These legislators and others have already met with Democratic Minority Leader Richard Gephardt to begin forming an activist agenda that promises to contrast starkly with the past six years of Republican control. As Democratic strategists point out, a surprisingly progressive agenda is driving the presidential election. Education, prescription drugs,...

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...

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...

Lott to Learn

If you believe Trent Lott, Tom Daschle will have his hands full when he becomes majority leader of the Senate later today. Over the weekend, the deposed Republican majority leader bitterly threatened to "wage war" against Democrats, insisting their 50-49 majority does not actually constitute a majority and promising to grind Senate operations to a halt if he grows displeased with Daschle's handling of Bush's judicial nominees. Fat chance. Lott's tantrum is part preening egotism, part sour grapes. It's also a doomed attempt to emulate Daschle's only real victory as minority leader, the unprecedented power-sharing arrangement he negotiated with Lott in January. But Lott's situation is different. And that's not just based on the numbers. When Daschle made his bold demand, Washington was still caught in the throes of Bush's much-hyped, short-lived atmosphere of "bipartisanship." Had they denied Daschle so early on, Bush and Lott would have risked shattering this carefully crafted illusion...

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