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

Left Unsaid

We are pleased to introduce Michael Tomasky as a regular online columnist. His pieces will appear at TAP Online every Wednesday. Former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.) was the winner by TKO of the first major Democratic beauty pageant, held at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters over the weekend. "He just blew those people away," said Joe Klein on Face The Nation . "It was one of the most effective speeches I've ever seen a candidate give." Klein has seen a speech or two in his life and tends to choose his words with analytic care, so if he says it, it's believable. Besides, virtually everybody else is saying the same thing. But Dean's approach is already being misinterpreted by the major media in a way that both misses the point of his burgeoning appeal and sets him up for certain future dismissal. Dean won an enthusiastic response at the DNC klatch on the basis of his "fiery and unabashedly liberal message," wrote Dan Balz in The Washington Post . "Unabashedly liberal" is...

Meet Mr. Credibility

The Democrats, as we know, have many political problems: their uncertainty, their inability to trade jabs with the Republicans, their likely minority status in Congress for some time to come. Checked out a map yet of which senators are up in 2004? Let's just say that if you're not sure you can take much more depressing news, don't. But oddly enough, they don't have that many policy problems. Majorities in polls repeatedly are closer to the Democrats on abortion rights, environmental protection and a tendency toward deficit hawkishness rather than tax cuts. But there is one issue, or set of issues, where polls show Democrats having all the credibility of Cardinal Law on sex: On national security and defense, the Republican advantage is enormous. This perception goes back 30 years or so. In many ways, it's no longer as true now as it was then. Bill Clinton helped liberate Kosovo and, however belatedly, Bosnia. The candidate who received the most votes in the 2000 presidential election...

Book Review:

American Metropolitics: The New Suburban Reality By Myron Orfield. The Brookings Institution Press, 210 pages, $29.95 Place Matters: Metropolitics for the Twenty-first Century By Peter Dreier, John Mollenkopf and Todd Swanstrom. University of Kansas Press, 349 pages, $15.95 W ho among us -- and I think you'll know who I mean by "us" -- has not grappled with some of the following thoughts in the last couple of years, probably more times than we even cared to? If it weren't for Missouri ... if just 21,000 had voted differently in West Virginia ... if not for that hapless Theresa LePore ... . Maybe the desire to engage in that sort of Monday-morning quarterbacking has dissipated with the passage of time -- though in many cases I know of, time and even the events of September 11 have done little to douse the flames of outrage over the way things turned out. And more interesting than the frequency of such retrospection is its nature. That is to say, when we look back on the last...

Dems' Fightin' Words

T here it was, the first Fourth of July after September 11: The majestic swell of a patriotism associated more with the era of the Andrews Sisters than the age of Destiny's Child. The ritual exultations of American values. The worry, yes, that something bad might happen somewhere, but even this concern only enhanced the solemnity of the moment. A splendid time, in other words, to be a president with a 70 percent approval rating. But the moment was fleeting. For this was the very point at which the spokes starting coming off the wheels for George W. Bush. No Democrat would ever have summoned up the courage or imagination to plan it that way. For that we needed Paul Krugman, the merrily insubordinate New York Times op-ed columnist, who chose July 2 as the iron-hot moment to familiarize Times readers with the now-infamous Harken Energy stock sale. Many elected Democrats had never even heard of it until the Krugman piece, but that didn't stop them from moving quickly to seize the moment...

Who Is Roger Hertog?

S ometime this month -- assuming all the gears are turning according to schedule, on April 16 -- New Yorkers will have walked to their local newsstands and been greeted by a sight the city hasn't seen in more than 50 years: a new daily newspaper. If you think that sounds like some bizarre time warp -- what's next, the Dodgers are coming back? -- well, take a number, because you'll be joining a long line of skeptics. To most observers, the idea of launching a daily in this unforgiving economic climate seems quixotic, or possibly insane. Who would attempt such a thing? Now throw this into the mix: As if starting a daily newspaper in the only American city that still has three of them weren't enough, two of The New York Sun 's 11 key financial angels have also bought two-thirds of The New Republic , at a cost that one of them suggests could approach several million dollars a year in subsidies. For starters, you'd have to conclude that Roger Hertog and Michael Steinhardt are very rich men...

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