K.A. Geier

K.A. Geier blogs at The G Spot.

Recent Articles

HILLARY'S LOSS AND THE DEMOCRATIC CONSULTANT CLASS

The post-mortems dissecting Hillary Clinton's loss to Barack Obama are beginning to trickle in, and for the most part what they have to say is unobjectionable. Whenever a contest is as close as the one between Obama and Clinton was, there are any number of things that might have tipped the balance one way or the other. Clearly, given strong anti-war sentiment in the country at large and in the Democratic base in particular, Hillary's staunch refusal to make a John Edwards -style apology for her vote authorizing the war is one of the main things that did her in. Oddly enough, however, most of the "why Hillary lost" narratives either don't mention the war at all, or downplay its significance. One thing nearly all the post-mortems do agree on, however, is that Hillary's advisers did her no favors. For example, this Wall Street Journal piece argues that the "experience" message Hillary's team crafted did not resonate with voters, that her campaigned was poorly managed, and that her...

Seven Ways Hillary Clinton Changed Our Politics

How did Hillary Clinton affect the 2008 Election, and progressive politics, over the course of the primary?

Hillary Clinton will announce tomorrow that she is suspending her presidential campaign. We asked seven leading political writers and policy thinkers to tell us one key way Clinton affected the 2008 Election, and progressive politics, over the course of the primary. Here's what they had to say: K.A. Geier : She Was a Front-runner, and She Stood Up For Women's Rights Christopher Hayes : She Made Us Talk About Sexism Ed Kilgore : She Helped Create a United Democratic Front on Iraq Paul Starr : She Figured Out Health Care Rebecca Traister : She Kept Voters, and the Candidates, Engaged Until the End Moira Whelan : She Provided Leadership on National Security Issues Kai Wright : She Made Us Reconsider Whether Progressives Understand Race She Was a Front-runner, and She Stood Up For Women's Rights The list of women who have run for president of the United States is surprisingly long . But there were two things about Hillary Clinton that stood out. First, unlike Shirley Chisholm or Pat...

WHY RECESSIONS ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH.

Via Mark Thoma , I came across this fascinating interview with economist Christopher Ruhm . I'm familiar with Ruhm's research on paid family leave policies, and I plan to do a post or two about paid family leave soon. What I didn't realize is that Ruhm does a bunch of other interesting research as well. One topic he has looked at is the impact of economic recessions on health. The answer to that question seems pretty obvious, right? You always hear about how recessions are linked to increases in divorce, crime, domestic violence, etc. And it would stand to reason that economic stress and increased unemployment would take a toll on your health. Prior research did indeed link recessions to poor health outcomes. But as Ruhm points out in the interview, those studies used flawed methodologies that did not control for confounding factors. So when Ruhm studied this question using up-to-date methods, he discovered that, lo and behold, economic downturns are actually associated with positive...

GLOBALIZATION AND THE UNIVERSITY

In an interesting piece in Britain's The Guardian , Timothy Garton Ash asks a provocative question: "[C]an we, in Europe, have social justice in higher education and world-class research universities? Or must we choose?" As Ash explains, globalization has hit the British university system, and universities have become "as much a global market as that for computers, oil, or financial services." Oxford, Cambridge and the like are competing with American universities for students and faculty, but this puts them at a disadvantage, given the "lower salaries, higher house prices and heavier teaching burdens" that academics in the British university system typically face. The basic problem is money: the British universities need more of it to compete. Oxford has just announced a major fundraising drive, and eventually it may have to start charging higher tuition. But that could compromise the social democratic values which many of its students and faculty share, since it might put an Oxford...

ELIZABETH DREW'S MASH NOTE TO JIM WEBB.

ELIZABETH DREW'S MASH NOTE TO JIM WEBB Elizabeth Drew is clearly diggin' that manly Aqua Velva scent. After I read Drew's adoring profile of the Democratic Virginia senator (and blushing veepstakes hopeful) James Webb in the new issue of the New York Review of Books, I knew it reminded me of something. For a while I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but then it came to me. It reads exactly like a Vanity Fair celebrity profile. As is standard in such pieces, it opens with the breathless list of the subject's accomplishments: Bestselling author! Screenwriter! Producer! Boxer! English teacher! Etc. etc. It also lists the awards he's won: Emmy, Purple Hearts (two), et al. The second paragraph goes on to modestly compare Webb's writing to Stephen Crane and Norman Mailer . And then, believe it or not, it gets even better! There are, of course, the requisite Glowing Testimonials. In Vanity Fair cover articles, seldom (well, actually never) do you hear a less than flattering word about the...

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