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

I AGREE WITH J.!

I AGREE WITH J.! I'd like to see liberal bloggers everywhere, whoever they support for the Democratic presidential nomination, take up one of my crusades, which J. Goodrich alluded to earlier : that the senator from New York who recently announced her presidential candidacy should always be referred to, without exception, as " Senator Clinton ." I've been diligently trying to follow this rule for about a year, in conversation as well as in writing, even in conversation with people who know the senator well enough to refer to her by her first name. It's about as easy as trying to never split an infinitive. Sure, her campaigns encourage it, but to me the first-naming reeks of the over-familiarity that was part of the casual denigration of her and President Clinton. I'm not a formal person, but I don't refer to Senator Biden as Joe or Senator Dodd as Chris and I don't think Hillla -- I mean, Senator Clinton should be any different. It's about respect, not just for her stature, but for...

NPR LIBERALISM.

NPR LIBERALISM. Right on, Sam ! Very well put. I read George Sciallaba 's multi-book review last night on the bus, and the section Sam noted made me want to call The Nation and demand that they Cancel My Subscription, except the operator in Sioux Falls would probably point out sweetly that according to their records, my subscription seems to have expired in 1993. Here's the paragraph following the one Sam quotes: How to accomplish it? ["It" being a diminishment of the influence of "Limbaugh, Falwell, Rove."] I don't know. Perhaps population exchanges or year-abroad programs between blue and red states. Perhaps The Nation should offer free subscriptions to registered Republicans. Perhaps Katha Pollitt and Ann Coulter (or Thomas Frank and David Brooks, or Greg Palast and Matt Drudge) should barnstorm the country, the way Stanley Fish and Dinesh D'Souza did in the 1990s. Perhaps all secular liberals should sign a pledge: Every time one evangelical reads a nonreligious book, one of us...

THE GINGRICH INEVITABILITY.

THE GINGRICH INEVITABILITY. According to Josh Marshall, John McCain "is going nowhere" as a presidential candidate. (I agree. His high-wire pandering act just got old; it cost him his already long-outdated appeal to New Hampshire independents without gaining him the real trust of social conservatives, and his support for escalation in Iraq is probably the end of the independent McCain candidacy, which was my fear a couple months ago.) And according to Stu Rothenberg, Rudy Giuliani is going nowhere as a presidential candidate. And there's every reason to expect that Mitt Romney is going to have some trouble, based on his past "multiple choice" position on abortion, the various other natural entailments of being governor of Massachusetts, and what I'm told is a widespread belief among Protestants that Mormons aren't real Christians. (I've got nothing to say on this; all I know about Mormonism is based on a single late-night skim through The Book in a Marriott 15 years ago. It did seem...

IT MUST BE SOMETHING IN THE PURE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPRING WATER.

IT MUST BE SOMETHING IN THE PURE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPRING WATER. What is it with senators from Colorado? I was perfectly happy to hear that the robo-conservative Wayne Allard had announced that he would not seek reelection to the Senate, opening one of many great opportunities for Dems to build their margin in 2008. But it raises one of the little unexplained quirks of American politics: Why do Colorado Senators seem to come and go as often as Spinal Tap drummers? Allard is now the sixth consecutive Colorado Senator to retire voluntarily in middle age after two terms or fewer. Allard's predecessor was Hank Brown , who quit after a term (and was so nondescript that the senator I worked for once asked me, "who was that guy?" after receiving a hearty slap on the back from Brown in the halls of the Capitol), who succeeded Bill Armstrong , who quit after two. In the other seat, currently occupied by Democrat Ken Salazar , Ben Nighthorse Campbell changed parties and then quit; his predecessor...

SHORTER TOM SCHALLER.

SHORTER TOM SCHALLER. Tonight my wife and I are having dinner with friends who are in DC for the swearing-in of a good friend of theirs who is a newly elected senator (hint: It's not Bob Corker .) I think I'll offer a simple toast: Here's to the first Democratic majority -- ever -- that is not dependent on support from southern racists. Over the next few years, there will be plenty of occasion to quibble over whether the Dems are selling out, botching the strategy, pushing for too little or perhaps too much. Some of it has already started. But on these two days, let's remember that this is the beginning of something that American politics has never seen before. The last time there was a Democratic majority in both houses, it depended on the likes of Richard Shelby and Billy Tauzin . Earlier majorities featured such folks as Phil Gramm , James Eastland , and Strom Thurmond . Many things have changed in the last twelve years, and we're all going to be groping in the dark a bit to...

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