Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman, a senior correspondent for The American Prospect, is a senior reporter for The Washington Independent.

Recent Articles


EXIT STRATEGY: WRATH OF THE MATH. David Gergen just speculated on CNN that Donald Rumsfeld will "fall on his sword," meaning he'll submit his twice-rejected resignation. Bush , of course, has pledged that Rumsfeld is his man. The only situation I can see whereby Rumsfeld is out at the Pentagon is if Claire McCaskill and Jim Webb win, giving the Senate to a 51-seat Democratic majority. At that point -- faced with a Democratic congress, endless investigations, subpeonas, document requests, the whole megilla -- it makes sense for Bush to reluctantly accept Rumsfeld's resignation and appoint Joe Lieberman as defense secretary. Bush will yield huge plaudits from ignorant pundits and deliver the Senate, once Republican Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell appoints a GOPer to Lieberman's seat, back to the Republicans, thanks to Vice's tie-breaker vote. Meanwhile, an unwinnable war will grind on. --Spencer Ackerman


A QUESTION FOR BUSH'S PRESS CONFERENCE TOMORROW. "Mr. President, you said last week that 'However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses.' Did the American people just vote for the terrorists last night?" --Spencer Ackerman


WEBB NEEDS TO DECLARE VICTORY. Jim Webb needs to take a page out of Bush 's 2000 playbook and declare victory now . I was in Austin on election night 2000, and the second that Bush confidently told supporters he won, the momentum changed entirely. Bill Daley was left pleading that the race was an open contest, and for the next excruciating 36 days, Al Gore was painted as -- you all remember Sore Loserman. Webb is a Marine through and through. He has to know the value of seizing the high ground, whether or not he actually occupies it. Please, Senator Webb: speak to your supporters, and thank them for providing you your victory. Force George Allen and Dick Wadhams to whine about your premature announcement. Do it loud, do it proud, and reclaim the Senate. --Spencer Ackerman


CIV IS A DEMOCRAT TONIGHT. Rahm Emanuel is pushing "A New Direction" as the Dem slogan all night. For the New York Hardcore kids, that's a totemic slogan -- a reference to the first track off Gorilla Biscuits 's classic Start Today album. Here are those '88 NYHC lyrics in full: What do you mean it's time Time for me to grow up? I don't want any part It's right to follow my heart The new kids ran Ran out the back door fast And the bands that came before They had their noses in the air Pretending that they cared about our scene Just because our money's green I'll tell you stage dives Make me feel more alive Than coded messages in slowed down songs Now you're so ashamed Now I'm so ashamed of you We believed the same things You stand to the side Rebirth of hardcore pride! It all came true Too bad you can't see All the good things that I see! --Spencer Ackerman


DEMOCRATS FOR DOUG FEITH. With 81 percent reporting for the PA-10 , Dem Chris Carney is leading incumbent wife-beater (alleged!) Don Sherwood , 54-46. It was an uphill fight for Carney, a first-time candidate and Naval Reserve lieutenant commander, as the northeast Pennsylvania district is heavily conservative, thanks in large part to the decline in Democratic stronghold Scranton: a March trip I took to the district featured the charming homemade roadside sign, EITHER YOU SUPPORT THE TROOPS AND THEIR MISSION OR YOU SUPPORT THE TERRORISTS. So -- hey, CNN just called the race for Carney -- it wasn't an easy fight for Carney, who campaigned on a platform of pulling out troops from Iraq, despite Sherwood's scandals. Of course, one thing needs to be said: Carney is a veteran of the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group, a precursor of the infamous Office of Special Plans, and when I interviewed him in March , he continued to maintain the malicious fiction that a connection existed...