Michael Tomasky

Michael Tomasky is the American editor-at-large of the Guardian (UK). He was executive editor of the Prospect from 2003 to 2006.

Recent Articles

THAT WAS THEN....

THAT WAS THEN. So I woke up in the middle of the night and flicked on TCM. And there was The Shoes of the Fisherman , the 1968 Michael Anderson -lensed (as they say in Variety ) adaptation of the famous Morris West novel about the ascension of the first Eastern European Pope. I was transfixed. I remember both novel and film being much discussed in my house when I was a kid, although I don�t really remember anyone�s opinions. I think I recall my late, beloved Aunt Vicky , who was the devout Catholic among our extended clan, speaking of it approvingly. Which is interesting for the following reasons. TSOTF struck me as having, very clearly, a liberal message -- a subtle piece of propaganda that was pro-Catholic (reverent attitude toward the ceremonies of the Church) but that must have been, at the time, egging its audience to embrace Vatican II and change in general. Pope Kiril I, played with a certain appealingly leaden steadiness by Anthony Quinn , announces at his investiture (forgive...

DICK MORRIS IS...

DICK MORRIS IS RIGHT!! He has this column in The Hill saying that Lieberman should forego the Democratic primary entirely and just run as an Independent, and that if he did so, he would win �overwhelmingly.� Alas, I�m afraid that I suspect this is entirely correct. Consider: First, voter enrollment in Connecticut looks like this (PDF; scroll down to page 12 of 14 for totals). You have roughly 700,000 Democrats, 450,000 Republicans, and 930,000 �unaffiliateds� (i.e., independents). Second, think about turnout in a dead-of-August Democratic primary (it�s August 8). Let�s be generous and assume a primary turnout of 25 percent. That�s 175,000 voters. Let�s say Lamont beats Lieberman 55 to 45. That�s 96,250 votes. That�s not a huge base on which to build for a general election that will probably include 1 million voters (the total state enrollment is 2 million; assume general election turnout of 50 percent or so). Assume also a fairly weak Republican, as seems to be the case -- a bloke...

GUTSY. Note that...

GUTSY. Note that on the flag-burning amendment, Robert Byrd voted against. Even though he�s from red West Virginia. Even though Jay Rockefeller voted yea. Even though he�s involved in a potentially tough reelection campaign against a simian blowhard from my hometown named John Raese who will demagogue this to death. Even though virtually every other Democrat facing an election this year -- especially those from red states, and even one from a blue state ( Bob Menendez ) -- voted yeah. (The roll call is here .) Even though Byrd could have been the 67th and thus decisive vote in favor. �Old Glory lives because the Constitution lives,� Byrd said. �We love that flag, but we love the guarantees of the Constitution more.� He�s willingly created a potentially difficult situation for himself because of an actual belief! Bravo. --Michael Tomasky

OCCAM�S RAZOR EXPLANATION....

OCCAM�S RAZOR EXPLANATION. I think, Ezra , it�s all simpler than that. They invaded Iraq. They didn�t expect a problem. They got a problem. Now they want out. But they want out provided two conditions are met in the process: 1. They can do it in such a way to make the Democrats look weak; 2. They can time it so as to maximize electoral benefit from announcement of withdrawal. Ezra and Matt are making the mistake of discussing substantive factors. You�ve surely learned by now that there is no substance with these people. There is only politics. We will start to get out of Iraq, bit by bit, this September and October. By the end of 2007, a plan will be announced to ensure we�re substantially out (i.e., a 75 percent draw down or some such) by October 2008. You can set your watch by it. Yardsticks of civic stability will be manipulated, just as intelligence was manipulated three and four years ago, to �prove� that Iraq is becoming a stable society at whatever moment the administration...

MORE ON FEELINGS...

MORE ON FEELINGS AND STUFF. See, I read Brooks � column yesterday in a kind of light spirit, which I thought he intended (while recognizing, of course, the subtle conservative subtext, which David always sneaks in toward the end of such ruminative columns). Now, Linda H. comes along to remind me that there�s nothing light about these questions at all, that I�ve fallen into Brooks� well-sprung trap, and am only demonstrating that, when it comes to the phrase �male liberal,� the first word is fated always to pulverize the second. My question is: Does anyone out there actually know what young people are being made to read today? Because Linda has a point when she talks about the generations of women who were made to read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Moby Dick and such. I�m trying now to think back through my humble, non-elitist schooling and remember what I was in fact assigned to read. Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn , certainly. Other major American writers. In my advanced high school...

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