Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is editor-at-large of The American Prospect. His email is hmeyerson@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

My Man Martov

Public Domain
One hundred years ago today—November 7, 1917—the Bolsheviks took power in Russia in an almost bloodless coup against a government that no longer could claim any supporters. Probably no more than 10,000 Bolshevized soldiers, sailors, and workers participated, seizing key governmental institutions in Petrograd and arresting the ministers of the feckless provisional government. There were no more than a handful of casualties. By contrast, the February Revolution that had overthrown the Tsar had involved hundreds of thousands of participants in an unplanned series of demonstrations, and the number of casualties exceeded one thousand. The Bolsheviks’ seizure of power was deliberately timed by Lenin to immediately precede the convening of the national Congress of Soviets—the bodies of worker, peasant, soldier, and sailor representatives that had sprung up across the nation in the wake of the Tsar’s fall. Unlike the self-appointed provisional government that had...

The Left and Ralph Northam

Virginia’s gubernatorial race is tightening. According to a Washington Post poll the lead Democrat Ralph Northam holds over Republican Ed Gillespie has narrowed from 13 points earlier this month to just five points. The poll makes clear that Gillespie has consolidated support among the Old Dominion’s Trump supporters: 95 percent of those voters favor Gillespie. Northam though has failed to reel in a comparable share of voters who disapprove of Trump: 81 percent of the anti-Trump electorate back him. The numbers suggest that some Republicans who dislike Trump are nonetheless voting for Gillespie—a more conventional Republican and seemingly more normal human being than the president (admittedly, a low bar to clear) Gillespie’s challenge has been to win over the party’s Trumpian base. To that end, his demagogic ads—linking, however improbably, the mild-mannered pediatrician Northam to the MS-13 gang , and affirming Gillespie’s intention to keep...

The Top-Sideways Revolt of the Anti-Trump Republicans

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Back in the 1970s, I belonged to a small left-wing group that enjoyed minor successes and major failures in recruiting new members. We did very well at enlisting the top leaders of large organizations, unions in particular. We didn’t do well at all when it came to recruiting the rank-and-file members of those organizations. All of which led my friend Jim Chapin to comment, “We’re not even organized top-down. We’re organized top-sideways.” Chapin’s line, it seems to me, is a pretty fair description of today’s anti-Trump Republicans. Some of the GOP’s pre-eminent political leaders—George W. Bush, John McCain, Bob Corker, Jeff Flake—have made clear their belief that President Trump is a pox on the Republican Party, the United States, and common decency. So have many of the country’s most prominent conservative writers, including George Will, Michael Gerson, Ross Douthat, Jennifer Rubin, Robert Kagan, and Peter Wehner. But...

A Challenge to Feinstein?

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Has Dianne Feinstein outlived her moment? The five-term Democratic senator from California, who is also, at 84, the Senate’s oldest member, provoked a flood of such speculation when she announced on Monday that she had decided to run yet again for re-election. Democrats have moved left, pundits noted; California has moved left; and California Democrats have moved more to the left than Democrats anyplace else. Surely, some said, Feinstein’s time had come and gone. Well, not exactly. Feinstein hasn’t outlived her moment because her moment—her time in sync with her fellow California Democrats—never actually existed. In her 25 years in the Senate, she has always stood well to the right of the Golden State’s other elected Democrats, not to mention its Democratic voters. Indeed, Feinstein designed her initial appearance on the stage of statewide politics with the specific intent of showing just how far to the right of Democratic activists she actually...

Low Unemployment Doesn't Increase Wages Like It Used To

AP Photo/John Minchillo
This article appears in the Fall 2017 issue o f The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . On the first Friday of every month, the Labor Department releases the latest numbers on employment and wages. Here’s a sampling of recent headlines from the mornings after, which have remained remarkably unchanged month after month: “The Job Market Is Strong, but Wages for Americans Have Barely Rebounded” ( The Washington Post , May), “Jobs Aplenty, but Wages Stagnate” ( The Wall Street Journal , June), “Payrolls Expand, Even as Pay Lags” ( The New York Times , July), “US Jobs Growth Rebounds but Wages Disappoint” ( Financial Times , July). Those “buts” (and the one “even as”) are a shorthand expression of both common sense and the consensus among virtually every school of economic thought: In a market economy, as unemployment falls and unoccupied workers grow scarce, workers should be able to bid up their wage...

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