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

Rational Security

Eager as ever to Leave No Corpse Unexploited, the right has wasted little time in promoting the idea that last week's horrifying terrorist attacks in Madrid are a vindication of the Bush administration's policies. On March 12, Andrew Sullivan declared his hope that, if al-Qaeda or an affiliate is found to be responsible, "the democratic nations of Europe will begin to realize what Tony Blair and George Bush have been warning about for so long." Arnold Beichman, writing in The National Review Online , proclaimed that the attack "reminds the world that there's a war out there," a phrase echoed in Secretary of State Colin Powell's remark on Fox News Sunday that the bombings "show that there is a war on terror that must be fought." Condoleezza Rice expressly linked this point to electoral politics on Meet The Press , predicting that "we are going to have a debate about whether we are at war." Too many Democrats seem to want to dodge this debate, either agreeing with Howard Dean's remarks...

Flip-Flap

John Kerry is a flip-flopper. I know this because the RNC tells me so. Just take a look at their new "Interactive Game," Kerry versus Kerry , or listen to the president's speech last Wednesday alleging that "Senator Kerry's been in Washington long enough to take both sides on just about every issue." The groundwork for this critique has certainly been well-laid. On Feb. 13, Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby argued that Kerry is the "candidate for nearly every point of view." On Feb. 20, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer picked up the banner, writing that Kerry's greatest flaw is his "breathtaking penchant for reversing course for political convenience." Such is the all-pervasive power of this conventional wisdom that The Washington Post 's Marjorie Williams, a "charter member" of the Anybody But Bush society, used her column last Sunday to deplore Kerry's "career-long opportunism, the knowledge that Bay State political junkies trade their favorite flip-flops like baseball...

Forward March

When the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled on November 18 that gay and lesbian couples have a right to marriage under the state constitution, the predominant mood among liberals was not jubilation, as one might have expected, but a sense of foreboding that George W. Bush, the Republican Party, and the spin doctors of the hard right had just been handed a potent wedge issue to use against the Democrats come election day. Similarly, much of the anxiety provoked by Howard Dean's presidential bid seems to have been directed not so much at the candidate's policies or his style but at his elite class and regional background. The anxiety seems to have been shared by the Dean campaign itself. When the rabidly anti-tax Club for Growth ran an advertisement in Iowa suggesting that Dean take his "latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times -reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont, where it belongs," the Dean Web site responded not...

Liar, Liar

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right By Al Franken, E.P. Dutton, 379 pages, $24.95 The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception By David Corn, Crown, 337 pages, $24.00 The Book on Bush: How George W. Bush (Mis)leads America By Eric Alterman and Mark J. Green, Viking Press, 448 pages, $24.95 Had Enough? A Handbook for Fighting Back By James Carville, Simon & Schuster, 306 pages, $23.00 Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth By Joe Conason, Thomas Dunne Books, 245 pages, $24.95 Flip your TV over to FOX, open the pages of The Washington Times or a conservative magazine, or direct your browser to the burgeoning network of conservative Web sites and you'll see that the right-wing hate machine is alive and well. Not only was this network of commentary instrumental in pushing the "Gore is a liar" line into mainstream analysis of the 2000 election, it was absolutely vital to GOP victories in the...

Guarded Pessimism

John Edwards is optimistic. Not only is he optimistic, he's not afraid to say so, peppering virtually every public appearance with references to his sunny outlook. And he's proud of it, too. "The cynics didn't build this country," the stump speech goes. "Optimists built this country." Speaking to supporters after the polls closed in New Hampshire, Edwards referred to his "extraordinary vision of optimism and hope." He's even gone so far as to name his political action committee "New American Optimists," just in case you somehow missed the speeches. In personal terms, Edwards has every reason to be optimistic. On the merits it's a bit hard to see why a first-term senator with almost nothing in the way of legislative accomplishments under his belt would be a major contender for the Democratic presidential nomination. Nevertheless, Edwards shot out of nowhere to take second place in the Iowa caucuses. His fourth-place finish Tuesday night just behind Wesley Clark was a bit of a...

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