Mori Dinauer

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

Recent Articles

Lightning Round: At Least the Next Reagan Centennial Won't Be for Another Century.

I love this streak of petty authoritarianism that runs through some conservatives. Rick Santorum doesn't like decisions coming out of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals? Get rid of the entire circuit! What a wonderfully relativistic universe of law and order! I can play this game! I thought Citizen's United was a terrible decision, so let's get rid of the Supreme Court! I'll even meet you halfway and grudgingly agree to do so using a constitutional amendment even though my "state sovereignty" tells me I don't have to follow any judgment passed by that "court" in the first place. "And if you do not understand that there is an ideology laying behind this, you are not going to be able to really evaluate these reforms Obama is laying out." That's Stanley Kurtz , once again making his case for "Radical in Chief." Let's just assume that Barack Obama is a socialist and his ideological motivation is to put most of American life under state control. How successful would you say he's been in the...

Lightning Round: Yes, It Is a Drag That Democracy Means You Don't Always Get What You Want.

Rhodes Cook : "When it comes to presidents and reelection, two things seem clear. If they appear to be in control of events, they win. If events seem to be controlling them, they lose." This is just another way of saying that the fundamentals matter, in this case the state of the economy. Whether they deserve credit for it or not, presidents are judged by the public by how they "handle" these things, so Cook's observation is correct from the point of view of voters, even though a great deal of "events" (e.g. foreign-policy crises) truly are out of a president's control. Brendan Nyhan brings hard data to bear on fledgling nonpartisan third-party group No Labels, showing the tepid response is dwarfed by things like petitions to get add-ons for Starcraft 2. This shouldn't be surprising, of course; who would support a third-party group that essentially ignores policy? (Their "issues" page is a joke.) Apparently, the sort of people who think the solution to our problems, according to a...

Lightning Round: Good Riddance, "Ownership Society."

Contrary to the blathering of some Republican hack, the Obama administration can "do" very little about the evolving situation in Egypt. Personally, I think the writing's on the wall for Mubarak , and probably in no small part because he knows his options for retaining power are increasingly limited to outright oppression, a little of which we're seeing today . And, as this so-so (do we really need paragraph-long reminder of the "3 a.m. phone call" attack ad?) Glenn Thrush piece on Hillary Clinton 's role in talking Mubarak down suggests, behind the scenes diplomacy will accomplish more than any "decisive action" taken by the United States. My assumption is that state legislatures routinely introduce ill-fated bills that do things like mandate gun ownership , strike down equal pay laws for women, and ban driver's licenses . My question is whether these developments have increased due to the influx of more radical Republicans or whether it only feels that way because each of these...

Lightning Round: Tear Down This Myth.

Needless to say, none of the five reasons Chris Cillizza gives for why John Huntsman "can win" the Republican nomination are persuasive. But that's what happens when pro/con lists are thoughtlessly applied to situations like this. I'm more curious as to why Huntsman himself thinks he could prevail (if he actually plans on running). Prepping for 2016 ? I'm not convinced. Crummy advisers whispering in his ear? Perhaps. My theory is that Huntsman is taking the long odds that the Republican base craves a moderate Republican candidate who will be competitive against Barack Obama . Conor Friedersdorf details the costs of having a Fox News-style information bubble on the left, which in my view vastly outnumber any benefits. I'm no believer in achieving bipartisanship for its own sake, but a major side effect of the alternate reality that has developed on the right wing is that engagement on practically any issue of public policy (to say nothing of foreign policy ) has become impossible. The...

Lightning Round: The Davos Syndrome.

It's Friday, so time for some more irresponsible 2012 election blogging. Apropos of this Jonathan Bernstein post and Steve Kornacki 's counterexample on the importance of Iowa and New Hampshire, I'd add a point. Since delegates are awarded proportionately in the Republican primaries, skipping the early contests makes little sense. But more to the point, Romney was actually leading McCain until Florida put the latter over the top. It was then Super Tuesday that gave McCain a lock on the nomination. So, it's important to participate in the early contests to build some momentum, but the 1,100+ votes up for grabs on Super Tuesday matter more. Kevin Drum ponders the feasibility of corporate tax reform and concludes that while it was accomplished in recent memory (1986), "Republicans are less willing to work across the aisle these days and Democrats are far more responsive to corporate pressure than they were in the 80s." I'd say instead that this is the unlikely triumph of supply-side...

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