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

Domestic Bliss

The near simultaneous release of Bill Clinton's memoirs and some good news on the job front has afflicted the right with a case of cognitive dissonance. Clinton, as you'll recall from the nineties and today's commentary, was lucky rather than good. Presidents don't really have all that much influence over short-term economic trends, which are mostly in the hands of the Federal Reserve and the business community. Bush, however, deserves full credit for the current growth spurt though not, of course, the blame for the recession that followed his inauguration or the long jobless recovery that followed. In reality, they were closer to right the first time.

It Ain't Lyin' If…

When we last discussed the topic of Iraq's alleged relationship with al-Qaeda, my main goal was to have a little fun at Stephen Hayes' expense. The recent release of the 9-11 Commission's report on the subject, however, has returned the topic to the front burner of the public discourse. The result has been to lead the media into a semantic quagmire: Are "connections" the same as "collaboration?" What about "control?" It's reminiscent of similar debates as to whether the administration ever called the Iraqi threat "imminent" or merely "immediate."

See Dick Run

When President Bush put forward his demand for a congressional resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq, several moderate Republican Senators, including Dick Lugar, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, initially balked. The president, they felt, simply hadn't laid the groundwork for an effective military campaign. They began working with Senate Democrats on constructing a compromise resolution that would contemplate the use of force while restricting the president's power to go to war without a U.N. resolution and broad international support. For a brief moment, it looked like a done deal.

No Exit

Move to Washington, D.C., and you'll meet a lot of people who work for the government. Consequently, many of my recently made friends lucked into a day off on Friday, as the Republican Party proclaimed that federal employees throughout the land would have a shorter week in order to facilitate the celebration of the life and legacy of Ronald Reagan. Given that Reagan is almost surely more popular among the public at large than among the overwhelmingly Democratic career public servants whose work he never missed an opportunity to denigrate, it's a somewhat odd choice -- a reflection, perhaps, of a deep-seated conservative belief that it doesn't really matter whether or not the work of the government gets done.

Hatchet Man

Born a few months after Reagan's inauguration, I have no personal recollection of the man, and this weekend's wall-to-wall coverage has been my first sustained exposure to his presidency. The tone of his rhetoric is striking. From his first inaugural address it seems that, initially at least, he took his role as Barry Goldwater's heir quite seriously. Government was not the solution; government was the problem. Reagan was going to get it off our backs.

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