Phoebe Connelly

Phoebe Connelly is a former web editor of the Prospect. Previously, she was managing editor of In These Times. She writes on political culture, human rights and feminism.

Recent Articles

Bush III?

With the rehabilitation of George W. Bush through the largely flattering coverage of his memoirs, the stage is set for the resumption of the Bush dynasty. Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida is keeping his powder dry. He mostly disclaims any interest in running for president in 2012 but manages to keep the door open a crack. Tuesday, an Orlando TV station, WESH, quoted Bush as keeping all options open. I answer the questions forthrightly about 2012. I'm going to be involved. I have an education- reform foundation, trying to improve the plight of our education systems around the country, and I'm helping candidates that I believe in. … I'm Switzerland as it relates to national Republican politics, which gives me a chance to have my voice heard quietly the way I like it. You have to translate the trademark Bush family syntax, but it definitely stops short of a Shermanesque refusal to run under any circumstances. As the Bush parents and many Republican commentators have repeatedly made clear...

How Conservatives Won.

Mark Schmitt says progressives may have lost this election -- but conservatism and the Republican Party are hardly stronger for their success: Many pundits, from the right to the center, will write this morning that Obama misjudged the country, that it's still more conservative than it appeared to be in 2006 and 2008. Unlike some of my Prospect colleagues, I agree with the second half of that statement. The country is not radically different from the one that elected George W. Bush at least once, and where only a small portion of voters identify themselves as liberal. But it's not true that Obama didn't recognize or engage with that conservatism. To the consternation of many liberals, he very much did, which is why he spent the bulk of last year looking for bipartisan alliance on health care, around principles that had already been adapted to reflect the proposals of actual conservatives, or why he visited the House Republican Caucus last January and tried to take their ideas...

More on the Rally to Restore Sanity.

Gabe argues convincingly that "Rally to Restore Sanity" is a chance for "young people to express the frustration we feel." Who cares if it is satiric, or substance-less, so long as it is cathartic? I'm all for getting people enthused, and certainly for expressing frustration with the dog-and-pony show of modern politics. But the Stewart rally still feels false to me. Our political expressions have become even more abstracted from the actual policies and actions that promote inequality and discrimination. Stewart is, at the end of the day, an entertainer. This rally is about the theater, largely commercially driven, that has taken the place of real politics. As Ana Marie Cox put it over at GQ , "A rally for the status quo is not much of a rally at all, and to the extent it's a rally trying to change anything, it's not the people at the rally who feel they need to be changed." Do I begrudge those who are rallied by satire as their motivating force to political expression? No. But it is...

The Awl, Ladies, Media Markets.

On Sunday, David Carr profiled The Awl , a news and culture site started by two former Gawker -ites. One of the co-founders, Choire Sicha , tells Carr: "Writers who work on the Web are taught to flee whenever the guy from business side comes around. But we can build all the nice little audiences we want, somebody has to figure out how to explain to advertisers where the value is.” Well, we know one obvious place where the business side has found value: lady sites. Gawker , Salon , Slate , AOL, and Yahoo! have all opened up women's "channels" or "verticals." Hence today's debut of the newest Awl spin-off: The Hairpin . When Slate joined the party (albeit briefly, Double X closed shop seven months later) last May, Ann Friedman argued women's sites were bad for the medium. "[H]ow, in 2009, does an editor decide which articles are of particular concern to women, and therefore more appropriate on Double X ?" It puts women writers in the weird position of being encouraged to flog stories "...

Mario Vargas Llosa: "Through writing, one can change history."

Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature today. Why should you read him? The committee praised Vargas Llosa for "his cartography of the structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt and defeat." His first novel, The Time of the Hero (I've always preferred the Spanish title, La ciudad y los perros : The City and The Dogs ), was denounced by the military for its unsavory depiction of military culture and boarding school. One thousand copies were publicly burned. He wrote about living under the dictatorship of Manuel A. Odría in the 1969 Conversation in the Cathedral , and later about the dictatorship of General Trujillo in the Dominican Republic in The Feast of the Goat . Vargas Llosa also ran for president of Peru in 1990 and after losing, declared he was done with personal involvement in politics. In an interview with Emily Parker of The Wall Street Journal in 2007, he said, "Words are acts. ... Through writing...

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