Matthew Yglesias

Matthew Yglesias is a senior editor at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a former Prospect staff writer, and the author of Heads in the Sand: How the Republicans Screw Up Foreign Policy and Foreign Policy Screws Up the Democrats.

Recent Articles

Negative Energy

The official word out of the 2004 Democratic convention was that things were going to be positive, upbeat, and optimistic, putting a new face on a party that's become known for negativity and "Bush hatred." In reality, the convention was less positive than simply defensive. The endless repetitions of "strong" in its various permutations were designed to rebut a lingering public perception (fostered by decades of spurious Republican attacks: the much-maligned George McGovern, after all, was right about the Vietnam War, as Nixon's subsequent decision to surrender shows) of the party as weak. Flags were everywhere, as were chants of "U! S! A!" and elaborate efforts to demonstrate that, yes, Democrats are Americans, too. There were even hints that, since the Northeast was settled first and led the fight for independence while the erstwhile "heartland" was still the preserve of Native Americans, maybe -- just maybe -- a progressive from Massachusetts could be a patriot as well. Like, you...

Long Knives Drawn

The Democratic Party, as everyone says, has never been as unified as it is this week in Boston and will continue to be through the November elections. Such are the wages of Bushism, where implacable hostility to policy experts and dogmatic adherence to a platform of tax cuts über alles has made it clear that kicking the incumbent out of the White House is the necessary precursor to advancing any sort of substantive policy agenda. But while the spirit of unity certainly has produced some genuine agreement among usually warring factions, much remains unresolved -- particularly on the two issues, Iraq and trade, that have most sharply divided the party in the recent past. What we're seeing this week in Boston is less a truce than a cease-fire, with each faction competing furiously beneath the surface to define the Kerry agenda as its own and preparing for the all-but-inevitable policy battles that will come in the wake of a Kerry victory. Thus, while members of the Democratic left like...

Present Dangers

Apparently comfortable with the moral cesspool into which he wandered during the Abu Ghraib hearings, Senator Joe Lieberman announced in a July 20 Washington Post op-ed that he planned to join with the least reputable figures in national-security circles to relaunch the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), an organization not heard from since the last days of disco. A good rule of thumb for telling whether a foreign-policy group intends to offer a serious contribution to the public debate or is more interested in pulling the wool over people's eyes is whether or not its membership includes Laurie Mylroie. Naturally enough, she's a member , along with fellow travelers from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) like James Woolsey and Danielle Pletka. Mylroie's shtick is pushing the entirely discredited theory that Saddam Hussein not only had "links" to al-Qaeda but was, in fact, a major sponsor of the group. As such, Hussein is held to be responsible for the September 11 attacks,...

Present Dangers

Apparently comfortable with the moral cesspool into which he wandered during the Abu Ghraib hearings, Senator Joe Lieberman announced in a July 20 Washington Post op-ed that he planned to join with the least reputable figures in national-security circles to relaunch the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), an organization not heard from since the last days of disco. A good rule of thumb for telling whether a foreign-policy group intends to offer a serious contribution to the public debate or is more interested in pulling the wool over people's eyes is whether or not its membership includes Laurie Mylroie. Naturally enough, she's a member , along with fellow travelers from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) like James Woolsey and Danielle Pletka. Mylroie's shtick is pushing the entirely discredited theory that Saddam Hussein not only had "links" to al-Qaeda but was, in fact, a major sponsor of the group. As such, Hussein is held to be responsible for the September 11 attacks,...

Have Faith, Round Three

If conventional wisdom is to be believed, John Kerry has a religion problem -- namely, that Americans think he's insufficiently devout. Every pundit in America has advice for Kerry on how to appeal to religious audiences on the trail and how to make use of his own Catholic faith -- but should he listen? Ayelish McGarvey argues that religion could lead Kerry to the promised land, but Matthew Yglesias fears that the road to defeat is paved with biblical quotations. This is the final round in a three-part debate. You can read the first two segments here and here . Matthew Yglesias What does Kerry have to lose, you ask? At least part of the answer, I think, is well-established by your own recounting of how Kerry got -- and then lost -- religion on the campaign trail. You say the campaign "lost its nerve and righteous indignation in the face of rogue Catholic bishops," but casting aspersions on the bishops in question -- deserved as such aspersions may be -- doesn't do justice to the very...

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