Scott Lemieux

Scott Lemieux is an assistant professor of political science at the College of Saint Rose. He contributes to the blogs Lawyers, Guns, and Money and Vox Pop.

Recent Articles

MASS. ROMANTICS.

MASS. ROMANTICS. The Massachusetts legislature has rejected the proposed constitutional amendment calling for the revocation of gay and lesbian marriage rights and the restoration of bigotry by a 151-45 vote. It should be noted that this is precisely the opposite of what was predicted by proponents of the countermobilization myth , people for whom it's never the right time for social change , etc. Goodridge , we were often informed, was going to be a crushing setback for gay equality, but less than 5 years later it's supported by an overwhelming vote in the legislature. The backlash, conversely, had been confined to states... that already overwhelmingly opposed gay marriage. Litigation is not, of course, appropriate in every situation, but sometimes it's effective. Gay rights is the kind of case where courts are likely to go first, and once they act 1) people realize that the predicted social apocalypse isn't occurring, and 2) legislators who may be reluctant to extend rights on a...

CLINTON'S INTRAGENDER GAP.

CLINTON'S INTRAGENDER GAP. Riffing off this poll and this piece by Dana , Matt asks why Clinton has such a huge majority among progressive women -- enough to make her a solid primary favorite -- which doesn't carry over among more conservative women. This is an important question, because if Clinton can't change this it could make her a suboptimal general election candidate leaving aside normative issues -- the progressive women that support Clinton are unlikely to vote Republican. My guess is that women with the strongest feminist commitments have the strongest stake in seeing a long-overdue woman as president, and will be particularly aware of (and place an especially high priority on) Clinton's record on gender issues, which are Clinton's strongest progressive credentials. But her (largely unmerited) reputation as a staunch liberal in general will make this less appealing to more moderate women. I'm not sure if the data will bear this out, but that's how I would try to make sense...

PARDON ME?

PARDON ME? Unfortunately, I'm not really persuaded by the contrarian arguments of Ezra and Matt with respect to the Bauer article . To take the points of principle and politics one at a time: --Bauer's piece essentially assumes that Libby's perjury and obstruction of justice crimes were trivial; apparently expressing concern about these things is "glib." I assume that Ezra and Matt (like me) disagree with this assumption. But without the assumption, I think it's pretty hard to defend Bauer's argument. The rule of law, especially in this administration, is not something to be casually dispensed with for political benefits. --Moreover, how persuasive is Bauer's case that there will be significant political benefits? Not very. Pardoning Libby, if anything, provides further ammunition for claims that there was injustice done to Libby, and this seems to be the line that the media that has been defending Bush is likely to adopt. And as Digby points out , Bauer's assertion that major...

MORE ON THE OBEY COMPROMISE.

MORE ON THE OBEY COMPROMISE. Lindsay Beyerstein has some follow-up reporting on the compromise that increased funding for "abstinence-only" recently discussed by Ann : Even opponents of abstinence-only education might concede that a few extra million for abstinence education is a small price to pay for easing the passage of a very important domestic spending bill that contains a lot of spending that's important to Democrats. Yet, principle is at stake here. Few people realize that the CBAE program promulgates out-and-out quackery and barely disguised religious dogma. These programs don't just encourage students to remain abstinent as teenagers. By law, they are required to teach "a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected standard of sexual activity," among many other stipulations. In other words, the program must teach that all sexual activity outside of marriage, even between consenting adults, violates some nebulous "expected standard."...

AGAINST AUTHENTICITY.

AGAINST AUTHENTICITY. I was busy Monday and forgot to mention Krugman 's great column . Bob Somerby summarizes for the non-Select: "Authenticity" became the press corps' favorite buzz-word in 1999, along with its silly handmaiden, "comfortable in his own skin." And let's state the obvious: When the press corps adopted such subjective markers as key standards of measure, they were giving themselves the right to tell whatever story they choose. It's perfectly easy to shape a narrative in which any candidate is most "authentic." As long as our standards of measure are so subjective, there's no real process of assessment being conducted at all. Right. And assertions of "authenticity" are not only feeble tautologies that are worthless as criteria of value . As Krugman points out, this focus -- with the focus on the haircuts of John Edwards being the most recent example -- on balance cuts strongly against progressive politics. Although there's no reason that a wealthy person can't advocate...

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