Mori Dinauer

Mori Dinauer is a former web editorial intern at the Prospect.

Recent Articles

Lightning Round: One of These Parties is not Like the Other.

The fact that the Koch brothers are planning to pony up $88 million for next year's elections tells me just one thing: the conservative movement's paranoia about the consequences of the Obama presidency are incredibly out of whack with the actual accomplishments of the Obama administration. This is a big problem if you're serious about promoting conservative governance when all your potential allies are blabbing about how Obama is actually Karl Marx in a time machine. Jonathan Chait jokes that the next logical career step for deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak is to run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, but what I find interesting, charges of liberal bias aside, is how cracking jokes at the GOP's expense has become so commonplace that it's a wonder they ever win elections. Of course, they do win elections and will continue to do so, which is more than a little scary given how unserious they are. CPAC roundup: Gary Johnson gets a cold reception ; Newt Gingrich holds the...

Lightning Round: An Ode to the GOP's Many, Many Hacks.

It's the first day of CPAC, so let's take stock of the conservative movement's success in taking over the Republican party for the good of the nation: The newly empowered Republican House majority is riven with factionalism and can't get anything done; by one measure, the GOP is less popular than Democrats on the generic congressional ballot; the GOP's personal propaganda network behaves like...a propaganda network ; and Republicans issue falsehoods at a 3-1 rate compared to Democrats. Good job! But it's not all bad -- they've got Donald Trump speaking at CPAC, which surely ought to turn their fortunes around. Surely the poster child for inscrupulous right-wing Republicanism must be Karl Rove , who musters the courage to demand health care reform be repealed under majoritarian budget reconciliation rules, after spending the past two years forcefully arguing against the Democrats' use of same rules, which were of course an unseemly power grab that would have made the Founders faint on...

Lightning Round: Spinning in Our Graves.

Here's another depressing entry in America's continuing descent into intellectual stupor, with 15 to 20 percent of high school biology teachers giving lectures on "creationism" instead of the foundations of modern biology. Look, this isn't hard. Teachers can acknowledge the "controversy" from the outset, and explain that this is a science class, not theology . It would actually be a great opportunity to explain the difference between scientific and philosophical inquiry. And while we're on the subject, I would fully endorse a philosophy of religion course for high school students. "Winning the future" requires, you know, mastering the past. To this day, I have no idea what the concrete goals of the Tea Party "movement" are, which is probably one indication that comparing them to the abolitionists, the suffragists, and civil-rights movements doesn't make any sense. I suppose it's a form of progress that the Tea Partiers are cognizant that these movements -- controversial in their own...

Lightning Round: American Politics Ain't All that Complicated.

I think you could safely assess, on the basis of this New York Times article , that House candidates who ran against earmarks actually had no idea that their constituents expect federal dollars to fund projects in their districts. If, as they say, all politics are local -- and I certainly think that is the case with House races -- this could be the Achilles heel of the next congressional cycle. A more savvy politician will realize that the public is schizophrenic and will make the case against "waste" while quietly acquiring federal funding to help get re-elected. I love the Republican spin Politico dutifully reports here that boils down to, "our presidential field sucks, but damn our VP options are hot." And to be fair, GOP: The Next Generation are more impressive than the poor fools vying to go against President Obama next year. But I wonder what this says about our center-right nation that it can't even field another Ronald Reagan even as it teeters on the verge of socialism. Oh...

Lightning Round: The First Step Is Respecting Your Audience's Intelligence.

Last week, Conor Friedersdorf observed of the conservative noise machine, "It is hard to think of anyone who disrespects and takes advantage of conservatives more than they do." Now, I'm not a conservative, but I happen to think this is a very big problem. When Rush Limbaugh dismisses as crazy the idea that Ronald Reagan raised taxes, this isn't just deception or propaganda. Limbaugh's listeners trust him. They believe him. And how does he reward this loyalty? By treating them like fools. I don't know how to solve this problem, and a mea culpa ("Sorry we had to exploit you for your money and your votes for the past couple of decades") is probably off the table. It's not news, but it is a helpful reminder to understand that the majority of U.S. debt is held domestically , and for all the fear of China owning us, their share of the total is only 9.8 percent -- only 0.2 percent more than Japan! Of course, we already did the Japan-owns-us thing back in the 1980s, and China has an army, so...

Pages