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

JONAH GOLDBERG IS MAKING SENSE.

JONAH GOLDBERG IS MAKING SENSE. No, really! OK, there are some details that are problematic -- I'm not sure what campaign finance reform has to do with this, and George Bush was hardly less prone to claiming to transcend partisan conflict than Hillary Clinton -- but the more that the argument that "democracy is about disagreement, and you can't have the former without the latter" appears in our op-ed pages, the better. There's no stupider genre of op-eds than the Broderesque "all political problems and our horrible partisanship could be solved if we could just agree that I'm right about everything" routine. -- Scott Lemieux

THE TROJAN HOLOCAUST

THE TROJAN HOLOCAUST . Like Matt , I wholeheartedly agree that pro-lifers should be more explicit about the extent to which pro-life arguments tend to be embedded within (and derived from) reactionary conceptions of sexuality. Someone taking this advice has been Zell Miller , who recently opined that America has too few children because of "the brutal truth that no one dares to mention: We�re too few because too many of our babies have been killed. Over 45 million since Roe v. Wade in 1973." My question: if the problem is too few babies, why is he discussing abortion rather than the real enemy, birth control? If abortion is evil on this basis, then contraception is extra-super-duper-evil. The logic of this (rather common) pro-life position -- along with its even more idiotic twin , the "how would you have liked to have been aborted" argument (and what if your mother had been wearing a diaphragm the night you were conceived? Ban them!) -- does link anti-abortion policy ineluctably with...

THE MCCAIN PARADOX.

THE MCCAIN PARADOX. To take another quote from Matt 's article , he's right that Maverick McStraightTalk John McCain " has the misfortune of being both the most conservative candidate in the race and the one most hated by conservatives." It's quite strange, and is one of the ways in which the Bush personality cult will hurt the GOP going forward. It seems to me that Ramesh Ponnuru is being completely rational in his positive "second look" at McCain in National Review . For someone who cares about policy rather than sticking it to liberals, has strong cultural conservative commitments (especially on abortion, where, whatever his bizarre liberal glee club would prefer to think, McCain's pro-criminalization record is as staunch as can be ), and for whom fiscal conservatism is about something other than upper-class tax cuts (that will be temporary because of huge deficits), McCain is a perfectly respectable conservative, and certainly infinitely preferable to Giuliani or Romney . But he...

AFTER ROE? Jessie...

AFTER ROE ? Jessie Hill has an interesting three - part series about potentially overturning Roe at PrawfsBlawg. [HT: Volokh Conspiracy .] The long version of what I have to say on the issue can be found in my article last summer in TAP here and my reply to Benjamin Wittes -type "letting Roe go will be good for reproductive freedom" arguments here . To give the short version: The starting point for any discussion for the consequences of changing abortion law, I think, has to be the law on the ground, not the law in the books. The pre- Roe status quo ante was not that no women could get abortions, but because of arbitrary enforcement patterns affluent women had access to safe abortions and other women did not. What is at stake in abortion rights is whether poor women will have access to safe abortions. I think Hill is correct that Roe is safe for now -- there are still five votes on the record for affirming it. Even if Republicans get another appointment to replace Stevens or Ginsburg...

IRRATIONAL HATRED OF UNIONS IS NOT A DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLE.

IRRATIONAL HATRED OF UNIONS IS NOT A DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLE. Recently, Mark Kleiman noted , against Mickey Kaus 's frequent contention that busting teacher's unions that prevent school boards from replacing bad teachers with the immense pool of brilliant teachers just waiting to be freed from odious tenure protections is the key to improving America's education system, that 1) states that don't have strong teacher's unions don't have particularly good educational outcomes, and 2) while it's a difficult social science problem, the systematic evidence that having non-union teaching improved education is scant to non-existent. This led Kleiman to ask: "[w]ill he 'fess up to the fact that, like Bill Bennett , he'd much rather smash the unions than improve the schools?" Well, glad we've cleared that up . Kaus's bizarre advice to Barack Obama reminds us again that he really does think that bashing unions -- indeed, bashing all core Democratic constituencies -- is a good in and of itself. My...

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