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

What's in a Name?

Though a liberal, I am not and never have been a devotee of political correctness. I think “black” and “Indian” work just fine most of the time and consider “African American” and “Native American” to be superfluous mouthfuls. I think it's more important that disadvantaged schoolchildren memorize their multiplication tables than have their self-esteem preserved. And I can't quite get behind the idea that people who choose to change their sex should be grouped, rights-securing wise, with people who were born gay. So I don't usually go in for this sort of thing. But as the new football season approaches, enough is enough: Washington Redskins is a horrendously racist name. Where do I start? I suppose by saying that this fact should be so obvious to absolutely everyone that the need to change the name at this point, now no longer the “innocent dawn” of the 21st Century, should be beyond debate. I mean … Redskins! Just sit with that word for a while. These next three paragraphs contain a...

RANDOM NUTMEG NOTES....

RANDOM NUTMEG NOTES. First of all, my guess (it�s only a guess) is that Lieberman will drop out. I said why in the last paragraph of this Web piece last week, but it bears repeating. Establishment Democrats want to take back the Senate. Period. They don�t want any distractions. From the day he announced until yesterday, Lamont was the distraction. But starting today, Lieberman is -- he, not Lamont, now sucks oxygen out of Democratic efforts to win Senate races. I get a lot of things wrong in life, but I think I can say with confidence that in situations like this, this is how politicians think. Electoral life is replete with obstacles, and the first thing pols want to do is minimize obstacles. So my bet is that Schumer , Reid , et al. have been thinking about how to minimize the distraction-in-Connecticut obstacle for days now. So they�ll lean hard on Lieberman, and they�ll work to get the Clintons to do the same, and urge everyone to follow suit. If the frame is set properly and the...

COMPLETELY OFF-MESSAGE FRIDAY AFTERNOON POST.

COMPLETELY OFF-MESSAGE FRIDAY AFTERNOON POST. I noticed a couple weeks ago that Kevin Drum had a post laying out his wise strategy for avoiding sales clerks. So if he can do that one, I can unload with this. What bugs me is receipts. In this town, sales clerks everywhere are ceaselessly forcing sales receipts into your hand. What the hell is this about? I go into a CVS (a horrifying experience under any circumstance). I get a couple things. It comes to $4.38. Do most people really want a receipt for $4.38? Who still goes home and enters $4.38 into a checkbook? I simply cannot believe that 51 percent of consumers really want their receipts for small purchases like this. It�s just one more piece of useless paper to throw away, to have to� do something with. And when I work up the courage (such is their wrath) to tell them, no, I do not want the receipt, they look at me as if I�ve refused communion. Receipts for expensive purchases, sure. Those, I keep in a safe place. But for the drug...

OH, I SEE THE DIFFERENCE.

OH, I SEE THE DIFFERENCE. Over at the Corner, they�ve been trying to poke holes in E.J. Dionne �s Post column today about the collapse of conservatism. The most beguiling entry is by Kate O�Beirne : E.J.'s eulogy for conservatism�recognizes that moderates in the largely conservative party have to be accommodated. True. That's the fate of a governing majority party. The alternative - a destructive purge to purify the ranks of the minority party - is on display in Connecticut. Hmmm. I guess she means like the way Lincoln Chafee is being tolerated in the Republican Party. In fact, the GOP is tolerating Chafee into a primary next month. He�s in a tight-as-a-tick race against a winger named Stephen Laffey , who has the endorsement of the Club for Growth and whose candidacy against Chafee is closely analogous to Ned Lamont �s challenge to Joe Lieberman . So if what�s going on in Connecticut now is a �destructive purge to purify the ranks,� then what exactly is next month�s Rhode Island...

The Center Holds

If Joe Lieberman leaves the Senate, it will mean that moderation in the Democratic Party ... will be alive and well.

Can someone please identify for me this Democratic Party that is in the process of giving itself over to a tiny cabal of lupine Leninists bent on forcing a far-left agenda on the American people? Because I've been looking, looking real hard, for that Democratic Party. After all, it's the one that has been described repeatedly by those who argue that if Joe Lieberman loses next Tuesday, it will mean the death of moderation in the party. But I can't find it. Instead, when I went and looked, here's what I found. The Senate Democratic caucus consists of 44 members. With advice and assistance from our intrepid associate Web editor, Alec Oveis, the in-house electoral politics junkie, I decided to define some categories. Journalistic shorthand usually calls Democratic senators either liberal or moderate. But in fact, they can be placed into three distinct groups: Liberals, Moderates, and In-Betweens. The Tweeners straddle the divide and sometimes vote this way, sometimes that way (Hillary...

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