Robert Borosage

Robert Borosage is co-director of the Campaign for America's Future and co-editor of The Next Agenda: Blueprint for a New Progressive Movement and Taking Back America: And Taking Down the Radical Right.

Recent Articles

The DLC Flunks Politics 101

D emocrats have a penchant for circular firing squads, particularly in the wake of electoral defeat. Once more, a first salvo has come from the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), which has made its name sniping at other Democrats. In a confidential memorandum on the "Road Ahead," the DLC's Al From and Bruce Reed surveyed the 2002 election and decided -- why does this not surprise? -- that the party's problems are being "too liberal" and focusing too much on its base at the expense of the "forgotten middle class." Its salvation can only come by lurching to the right, particularly by being tougher than Bush on terrorism and Iraq. The memo is a virtual recipe for defeat, a clear example of the thinking Democrats must shun if they are to revive. There should be no confusion about why Democrats lost ground in an agonizingly close 2002 election. Led by the president, who raised record sums and personally drove the late surge, Republicans ran a ruthlessly efficient campaign. The White...

The Rumpled Warrior

"I don't represent the big oil companies. I don't represent the big pharmaceutical companies. I don't represent the Enrons of this world. But you know what? They already have great representation in Washington. It's the rest of the people that need it." -- The text of what would have been Paul Wellstone's final election ad Paul Wellstone never lost his rumple. He served as a senator in Washington for 12 years, but he never succumbed to the senatorial make-over: the $1000 suit, the $100 tie, the manicured haircut. Even when Sheila got him to put on a new suit, it would be disheveled 10 minutes later. The rumple -- tie loosened, sleeves rolled up, hair unkempt -- was the expression of this special man. Paul was, first and foremost, in motion, an inexhaustible source of energy, ideas, optimism, drive. He grabbed you with both hands, clapped you on the back, hugged you, reached for you, argued about what you wrote, talked about what he was thinking. Shirts wouldn't stay tucked, suits...

The Mighty Wurlitzer

David Brock says he's sorry. His extended mea culpa -- Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex Conservative -- recounts the tale of a recovering right-winger. He describes his journey from unformed gay, vaguely libertarian Berkeley undergraduate; to closeted right-wing wordsmith; to hit man on Anita Hill and Bill Clinton; to remorseful independent. The trek is mired in bogs of sophomoric self-analysis and pop psychology. But along the way, Brock tours the political infrastructure that makes the right wing so formidable. Brock exploded on the national scene with his assault of Hill in defense of then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. He went on to spark "Troopergate," the sex-obsessed investigations of Clinton, with his story -- based on interviews with Arkansas state troopers -- of Clinton's sexual escapades as governor. That story led Paula Jones to join right-wing zealots by bringing her suit against Clinton. The rest is history. Brock now admits that Hill was probably...

The China Trade Debate

Next week, Congress will vote on permanent normal trade relations for China. The vote -- which many people are calling the most important congressional vote of the year -- would grant China the lowest tariffs and fewest restrictions possible on trade between the two countries. This status would not require annual review. Despite furious lobbying on both sides, the outcome of the vote is unknown. The American Prospect Online asks the experts: Should Congress approve permanent normal trade relations for China? How will that affect human rights in China? American jobs? Robert Borosage - NO Catharin Dalpino - YES Jeff Faux - NO David Vogel - YES Annette Ramos - NO See also: The American Prospect's June 5th Issue: China Illusions . Robert Borosage: What is the China trade deal about? President Clinton argues that the Chinese leaders, who are "no fools," have made the tough decision to sign an agreement that requires that they buy a lot of goods from the U.S. and set off a dynamic that will...

The Nader Factor

Should progressive voters in slam-dunk states vote for Ralph Nader? 10.26.00 Taking stock of the U.S. Electoral College system, George Orwell might have observed that all voters are equal -- but some voters are more equal than others. Because all of a state's electoral votes go to the winner of the state's popular vote, the two candidates have been devoting nearly all of their energies to so-called battleground states -- Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan -- as the election approaches. Accordingly, they have been virtually ignoring voters in "slam-dunk states" like Massachusetts and New York (clearly in Gore's column) and Texas (clearly in Bush's). Arguably, this creates a situation where liberal and progressive voters in so-called "slam-dunk states" have the option to have a greater electoral impact by supporting Ralph Nader than by voting for Gore. After all, if Nader achieves 5 percent of the total popular vote, the Green Party would be eligible for millions in federal matching...

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