Mark Schmitt

Mark Schmitt is director of the program on political reform at the New America Foundation and former executive editor of The American Prospect



Recent Articles

Get What You Give.

TAP_lg_button.jpgIf you've been reading The American Prospect or TAP Online, or both, you probably recognize that we offer something a little different from a lot of progressive sites or blogs.

Just Bob and Frank, Talkin' About Deficits.

Like Tim Fernholz, I'm at the joint conference on "how progressives should think about the deficit," put on by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Center for American Progress. Tim notes that the presence of Franklin Raines, former president of Fannie Mae, and Bob Rubin, formerly of Treasury and Citigroup might "offend those both on the left and the right."

Reconciliation Myths.

"A Primer on Reconciliation," put together by Ken Strickland of NBC at First Read does a nice job of explaining the arcane process and some of the limits that will make it both difficult and risky to push health reform through that process, despite the appealing feature that it can bypass Republican obstruction.

My Model City

To a kid imbued with the idealism of "reform," Dahl's was a bracingly sanguine view of machine politics.

Who Governs?, by Robert Dahl (Yale University Press)

New Haven, Connecticut, at the tail end of the 1970s was a pretty good place for a precocious kid to get a political education. The city contains all the ethnic and social dynamics of New York City or Philadelphia in microcosm. But it's small enough that a 15-year-old with a ten-speed could get to any neighborhood to knock on strangers' doors before an election or a primary, of which there were dozens. The city loved politics and was then embroiled in a fierce battle between "the reformers" and "the machine."

Whose "Crisis of Legitimacy"?

In the column that Adam and Michael Kazin already demolished, David Brooks quotes the libertarian econo-blogger Arnold Kling: "One could argue that this country is on the verge of a crisis of legitimacy. The progressive elite is starting to dismiss rural white America as illegitimate, and vice-versa."