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...

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...

Hot Air:

So there you are, a pollutant-spewing refinery, nimbly dodging Environmental Protection Agency regulators as you deliver record earnings to shareholders. Along with your comrades, you've donated $25.5 million to Republicans in the 2000 election cycle. Things are going smoothly. Your man Bush is in the White House, he's drummed up an "energy crisis" that he says requires him to go easy on you; maybe he's even given you a nickname. Then, all of a sudden, you hear that four energy companies have just settled clean air lawsuits -- on terms favorable to the government ! What's more, Attorney General John Ashcroft suddenly sounds like he's been possessed by Ralph Nader: "Enforcing environmental law is a top priority for the Justice Department," Ashcroft says, to your amazement. "I look forward to protecting our natural resources and helping ensure that companies are in compliance with the law." If he means what he says, you're in big trouble. Do you: A) Get Dick Cheney on the phone and give...

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