Sam Rosenfeld

Sam Rosenfeld is a Ph.D. candidate in history at Harvard University and a former web editor at the Prospect.

Recent Articles

DELAY'S PALS. It's...

DELAY'S PALS. It's worth reading through Mike Allen 's extended interview with Tom DeLay . The Hammer's explicit plea, "I'm not whining," is especially amusing, coming as it does amidst thousands of words worth of burning resentments, bathetic self-pity, and paranoia. This passage, describing the process that led to his decision, caught my eye: I made a speech last week, and that pretty much cinched it for me. A good friend of mine, Dr. Rick Scarborough, who started -- and I urged him, and we've worked together over the years -- an organization called Vision America, which is out recruiting pastors to get involved in the political arena. He asked me to come speak. He was having a conference on the war on Christianity. So I made a speech on Wednesday. It was covered by C-Span and, frankly, a bunch of cameras. I felt very good, very free about giving that speech. The reaction was incredible -- just an outpouring of love and support from the audience. It was probably the one single event...

THE HAMMER DROPS....

THE HAMMER DROPS. Today's big news , besides my winning the Prospect NCAA office pool, is, of course, Tom DeLay 's withdrawal from his re-election race and announced plan to step down from office in a matter of weeks. Former aide Tony Rudy 's guilty plea last week -- with Ed Buckham almost sure to be next on the roster -- clearly provoked DeLay's decision. As The Washington Post reports today, DeLay will be able to convert his remaining campaign funds -- hundreds of thousands of dollars -- to his legal expenses, which are likely to shoot up over the remainder of the year. For a round-up of links and some interesting initial reactions, including helpful speculation on the coming special election to replace DeLay, see Charles Kuffner 's post here . ( Midterm Madness also will no doubt be gaming out the electoral situation in the 22nd District today.) As for Time magazine's exclusive scoop on this story last night, as a major Mike Allen fan it pains me a bit to point out this error from...

DEMOCRATS AND SECURITY....

DEMOCRATS AND SECURITY. Two more brief notes related to the Democratic security plan . First, the Iraq material is, of course, some pretty thin gruel . The Dems' position on Iraq involves calling for 2006 to be a "significant year of transition," even though the party won't have a chance to actually affect policy until (possibly) 2007 -- this confusion is sort of inherent to an "agenda statement" that's really a campaign document. Beyond that, their failure to specify any actual mechanisms by which the United States can induce "Iraqis [to] make the political compromises necessary to unite their country" is understandable, given that such mechanisms don't exist , but substantively it points to some rather starker conclusions about the right way forward. Various Democrats disagree in good faith about this issue so the banality on display here is probably unavoidable, but on the merits it�s problematic. Secondly (and this is only tangentially related to the Real Security plan), one...

THE VISION THING....

THE VISION THING. Too many people too soon forgot about John Boehner 's laugh-out-loud hilarious campaign manifesto released back during his House leadership race, in which the Ohio rep. included epigraphs from Winston Churchill and Walt Disney and implored his fellow Republicans to reclaim their souls through a renewed commitment to spewing vacuous platitudes. For a liberal, one of the funniest things in the memo (PDF) was Boehner's enthusiastic call for a big caucus-wide powwow to figure out what Republicans stand for and what their core principles are. Given the number of endless (and endlessly futile) "what do we stand for?" conference meetings and bull sessions that Democrats have masochistically forced themselves to endure since the 2004 election, one read Boehner's cheerful game plan and wanted to shout "No! Stop! You have no idea what you're getting into!" I had assumed that once Boehner actually took the helm in the House he'd soon forget about his silly mission-statement...

"RED AMERICA": BLUE...

"RED AMERICA": BLUE AMERICA'S FAULT? Rob Anderson 's effort to cast liberal elites as the real bad guys in the Ben Domenech scandal does indeed seem more than a bit strained . Anderson speculates that Jim Brady hired Domenech precisely because he was a crude, unqualified caricature of conservative punditry that Brady, fogged by blue state elitism, perceived to be conservatism's true face. Perhaps that's the case, but I don't actually recall a lot of the qualified, thoughtful conservative journalists Anderson cites as obviously better choices for the "Red America" gig rising up in anger at The Washington Post 's hiring decision and deeming it to be an obvious effort to discredit conservative opinion. To the extent we heard anything from fellow conservatives upon the news of Domenech's hiring, it was encouragement and support. And however crude Domenech's writing and commentary has been in the past, the fact was that he was an up-in-comer in mainstream conservative circles -- having,...

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