Sam Rosenfeld

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

Recent Articles

K STREET GIVETH......

K STREET GIVETH... Two amusing K Street-related notes regarding Tom DeLay 's imminent retirement: First, see Jesse Lee for the latest on lobbyists getting a wee bit testy about DeLay converting the re-election campaign contributions they raised for him into funds for his legal expenses. �If I wanted to give to a legal fund, I would�ve done it directly,� Roll Call quotes one lobbyist; says another, "That all this money will go to the legal defense fund, it sickens me." Meanwhile, former DeLay (and Dennis Hastert ) aide John Feehery 's Sunday Washington Post op-ed is worth a read for the dirt it dishes on DeLay's rogue minions, Ed Buckham , Mike Scanlon , and Tony Rudy . Do be wary of the good-man-wronged-by-perfidious-underlings narrative Feehery is aiming for, however. Given the prominence of the K Street Project in discussions of DeLay's legacy (see Michael Barone 's delightfully forthright defense of the gambit from last week), it's worth noting that Feehery himself is a direct and...

THE BOMBTHROWERS' LEARNING...

THE BOMBTHROWERS' LEARNING CURVE. One more brief thing on Amy Sullivan 's piece . On the question of Gingrich -style bomb-throwing and oppositional PR tactics, Amy emphasizes the degree to which Democrats have improved in the last year without getting much credit for it. While I'm on record calling out the Democrats for some residual lameness on the ethics fight specifically, there's no question that this improvement is real, and is hardly ever remarked upon. Major scandal stories erupt without anyone crediting Democratic bomb-throwers for instigating them. The Dubai ports deal was a genuinely debilitating blow to Republicans; it was a story because Chuck Schumer decided to make a media stunt out of it. Nobody seems aware that he's responsible. Now, needless to say, as effective as the Democrats might get at this kind of stuff, they'll never hold a candle to the sweet , sweet scandal - mongering that TAP regularly deploys through its investigative pieces. (Recall that Joe Conason is...

DEMOCRATIC "DISARRAY" --...

DEMOCRATIC "DISARRAY" -- COMPARED TO WHAT? I'll join with others in strongly recommending Amy Sullivan 's bracingly counter-intuitive argument that the Democrats don't actually suck. Amy is very right here. Much of her focus is on the mainstream media narratives that continue to portray Democrats as invariably weak, divided, and feckless. But MSM cluelessness is an old story -- what's frankly more troubling and frustrating is the unyielding scorn and hostility that Democratic activists and netroots folks heap on the Democratic congressional leadership. Take the question of caucus discipline. The lack of comparative context underlying liberal critics' incessant carping on this front is glaring -- compared to both recent and much more longstanding historical precedent, the current Democratic opposition has not only been disciplined and unified, but effective . Improvements can always be made, but it's simple ignorance to portray the state of the congressional caucuses under Harry Reid...

WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE?...

WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE? Iraq, health care -- I'll let Matt and Ezra address the "important" issues. Meanwhile, what's with the smear job The New Republic 's latest cover illustration pulls on Anna Nicole Smith ? Noam Scheiber �s actual article is about a go-getter lawyer named Tommy Goldstein and the democratization of Supreme Court litigation in the last few years, but the cover's all about Anna. Not only does she seem to be experiencing a minor wardrobe malfunction, but, in a gratuitous touch, the illustrator has given her the physique she had several years ago during her pre- TRIMSPA days. I understand the homage TNR is aiming for, but still. TAP subscribers rest easy knowing that this publication's periodic Anna Nicole Smith covers are both tasteful and accurate. Unlike fair Smith, alas, we lack the luxury of 90-year-old billionaire sugar daddies and instead must rely on reader generosity for support . --Sam Rosenfeld

TO MARS? Another...

TO MARS? Another possible casualty of Tom DeLay 's fall: The Bush administration's baroque moon-then-Mars space exploration program. The mission to Mars, of course, became a fast joke after George W. Bush first unveiled it weeks prior to the 2004 State of the Union address and then failed to mention it in the actual speech, but contrary to most people's assumptions the program has been proceeding full speed ahead , cannibalizing the rest of NASA's budget in the process. Nobody was a bigger champion for the initiative than DeLay, who fended off threats to NASA's budget against all comers and restructured the entire House Appropriations Committee to protect it. After stepping down as leader, DeLay landed a plum Approps seat with jurisdiction over NASA, and just last week, he published an op-ed in The Hill touting Bush's human space exploration initiative. ("Though some have criticized this robust series of flights as an impossible goal," he wrote, "the 'impossible,' after all, is NASA�s...

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