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


THE EXCEPTION TRAP. The South Dakota legislature is planning to reintroduce an abortion ban that (unlike the law overturned by initiative last year) includes exemptions for rape and incest. Jessica Valenti notes that "this is going to mean a change of fighting words on our part. After all, a lot of what pro-choicers talked about when trying to defeat the last ban was the lack of exceptions." Although I can understand that sometimes you have to take advantage of what opportunities you have in the short-term, I've always thought that from a pro-choice perspective focusing on the lack of a rape or incest exemption is a disastrous long-term strategy. First of all, in practice rape/incest exemptions are unlikely to afford much protection to women, so women don't really gain anything. Given the compressed time frame, states determined to prevent abortions can make the procedural hurdles to proving that a pregnancy was the result of non-consensual sex so difficult and humiliating that most...


ARTICULATE! AND SUCH A GOOD DANCER! It would not be strictly accurate to say that Joe Biden (Sen-MBNA) killed his presidential campaign today ; you can't kill something that was stillborn to begin with. (In addition to racist condescension, his comments inadvertently remind us that the staunch Iraq hawk who advocated a perpetual cycle of Friedmans was running on his foreign policy judgment. Yeah, good luck with that...) But one would hope that he would spare himself and the Democratic Party further indignity and make it formal as soon as possible. --Scott Lemieux


UNDER THE RADAR. To follow up on Rob and Ezra 's posts, it's important to emphasize the extent to which regulatory and judicial activity have become crucial to Republican undermining of various New Deal and Great Society programs. A couple years ago, Brad DeLong and Matt Yglesias pointed out that conservatives achieved power only by largely abjuring the rollback of social welfare, civil rights, and environmental legislation they had been their central goals. This is true, but also somewhat misleading . As Mike Tomasky , while discussing the (to put it charitably) historic misjudgment of Nader supporters, put it : In every agency of government, at every level, there are political appointees who are interpreting federal rules and regulations and deciding how much effort will really be put into pursuing federal discrimination cases, for instance, or illegal toxic dumping. These are the people who are, in fact, the federal government. The kinds of people who fill those slots in a...


ONGOING REPORTS FROM THE DEATH OF SATIRE. Tapped 's own J. Goodrich : "Of course [Joe] Klein is not alone with these feelings. Joan Walsh at Salon points out that other commentators were also relieved to finally find someone that matched their idea of a manly Democrat ... Cooties are scary. And girls have them." Andrew Sullivan and Howard Fineman , this week on the Chris Matthews Show ("Millionaire Pundit Values on a Cable Access Budget!"): SULLIVAN (1/28/07): I think she�s been a very sensible senator. I think -- find it hard to disagree with her on the war. But when I see her again, all me -- all the cootie-vibes resurrect themselves. I�m sorry -- PANEL: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! HOWARD FINEMAN: That�s a technical term! SULLIVAN: I must represent a lot of people. I actually find her positions appealing in many ways. I just can�t stand her. Linda Hirshman should take note that all of the people in question who prioritize junior-high-school personality impressions over policy in fact have...


TWO SMEARS IN ONE. Brothers Yglesias and Klein say most of what needs to be said in re: Jonah Goldberg 's ridiculous Charles Lindbergh smear . Evidently, this is similar to what happened after the release of the Mearsheimer/Walt paper. As it happens, I don't actually think M/W made their case ; granting that assessing the impact of interest groups is one of the thorniest questions in political science (untangling the cause/effect relationships is almost impossible), I think much of their anaylsis was tendentious and unpersuasive. But the point of calling otherwise distinguished scholars anti-Semites with no independent evidence (or comparing them to David Duke ) is not to debate the very open question about the role of the pro-Israel lobby on American foreign policy but to prevent the important questions from even being asked. The beauty of using Lindbergh is that it gives you two smears for the price of one. Another routine we've been seeing recently is attempts by various Bush dead-...