Ben Adler

Ben Adler writes on national politics and domestic policy. Ben has been a staff writer for Politico and an editor at Newsweek and the Center for American Progress. His writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Columbia Journalism Review, Salon, The Washington Monthly, The New Republic, The Guardian and Next American City among other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Recent Articles


NEOLIBERALISM VANQUISHED: When David Brooks sticks to territory he knows, like elite political journalism, rather than, say, the nuances of how yuppies dress their babies , he makes a lot more sense. Case in point: his column today on "The Vanishing Neoliberal." His basic history is essentially correct. He says: Neoliberals coalesced around two small magazines, The New Republic and The Washington Monthly ... They tended to be hawkish on foreign policy, positive about capitalism, reformist when it came to the welfare state, and urbane but not militant on feminism and other social issues... Influenced by their sensibility, many major news organizations became neoliberal institutions, whether they knew it or not. And he is right to note that today's liberals came of age in an era of reacting to bomb throwing extremists like Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove . Consequently the market for neo-liberal journals declined. But perhaps because he is ideologically pre-disposed to favor neo-liberals...


GIULIANI'S HOMETOWN: Mark notes in his post on the varied hometowns of the presidential contenders this year that Giuliani is "certainly an only-in-New-York character." Well, yes if you mean the New York region, but no if you mean New York City. Giuliani actually moved out to Long Island as a kid, and I think that correlates to who he appeals to and why. His base in New York were white ethnics in the more suburban provinces of the outer-boroughs. And he was always popular among the denizens of New York's suburbs, or expatriates in L.A. and Florida, who found a safer, cleaner Times Square on their rare urban ventures. But the New York urbanites, and not just minorities, often felt oppressed by his police-state approach to governance, his favoritism of business interests over community groups and his general high-handedness. When Mike wrote in TNR last week that Giuliani would put New Jersey but not New York in play I assumed this is what he was referring to (it was actually, as he went...


THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF SMART URBAN PLANNING: The Center for the Advancement of Health recently announced the results of a study of walking patterns. It found, "People are more likely to go for a walk in areas with four-way intersections and a large number of shops and businesses as possible destinations." The study is published in the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine . This is a crucial health issue, not merely one for regional economic planners, because Americans have continuously walked less and driven more in recent years, and that has contributed to America's obesity epidemic. The four way intersections and business density of traditional town and city design has now been scientifically proven to facilitate more walking, and thus better public health, than the arterial cul-de-sacs and spread out strip mall shopping districts of suburban sprawl. Hopefully policymakers will take notice and write zoning codes accordingly. But, given America's sick automobile...


THE RIGHT REARS ITS UGLY HEAD: All you need to know about the right wing base is summed up by their adoration for Ann Coulter . Last year at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) they were handing out giant posters that featured Coulter with a come-hither look. This year there was a massive line at her book signing there. And today Mitt Romney introduced her speech to great cheers. What did she have to say? Via Think Progress , which has the video, Coulter said, to laughter and applause, "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards , but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word �faggot,� so I � so kind of an impasse, can�t really talk about Edwards.� Charming. When the right lets out its hate-mongering id, it's a really pretty sight. You can read regular updates on all the shenanigans at CPAC from my Campus Progress interns undercover live blogging here . --Ben Adler


GIULIANI AND RELIGIOUS PANDERING . I agree with Ezra and Mike Tomasky that Rudy Giuliani would be a primarily right-wing president. Mike makes a strong case over at TNR today that Giuliani's supposed political moderation during his mayoral tenure was really just a demonstration of his ideological malleability. Mike writes, This came home to me in early 2000, when Giuliani was running (however half-heartedly) against Hillary Clinton for Senate. I'm sure you remember the incident of the provocative, eight-page, fund-raising letter sent out that February to conservatives on the mayor's behalf by Richard Viguerie , which invoked the left's "relentless thirty-year war" on "America's religious heritage" and scorned "liberal judges" who wouldn't allow the posting of the Ten Commandments in the schools. This was a significant and telling event. Giuliani, as mayor, had never talked about religious values. Actually, on one infamous occasion Giuliani did play the religion card. That would be...