The American Prospect

A monthly political journal of liberal though. Contains articles that generate debate, further ideas, and set agendas; and provides a forum for working through the controversies and hard choices facing all Americans. Includes regular topics and features.

Articles from Vol. 16, No. 1, January

2004: A Report Card: The Appearance of a Disaster Averted Obscures an Election System That's Still Badly Broken
AMERICANS KNOW THE 2000 ELECTION WAS A fiasco. What they don't know is that the 2004 election, in many ways, might have been even worse. The purported margin of victory in November has led many to believe that the process went relatively smoothly....
A Farewell to Armitage: Colin Powell's Departure Has Been Much Discussed. Less So Has Been His Deputy's. but the Latter May Prove to Be the More Important Move
WHEN COLIN POWELL ANNOUNCED his resignation as secretary of state on November 15, he didn't just take away the remaining vestiges of foreign-policy centrism from the Bush administration. He also eclipsed the departure of his deputy and best friend,...
A Few Good States: Maine, Minnesota, and Now Georgia Are Showing That Well-Run Elections Are More Than Possible
WHEN IT COMES TO ELECTION SYSTEMS the United States isn't all Floridas and Ohios. There are, in fact, a number of states that tend to run their elections well, through trusted systems and voter-friendly procedures. They don't grab the attention of...
America Observed: Why Foreign Election Observers Would Rate the United States near the Bottom
FEW NOTICED, BUT IN THE YEAR 2000, MEXICO and the United States traded places. After nearly two centuries of election fraud, Mexico's presidential election was praised universally by its political parties and international observers as free, fair,...
Color It Wrong: The Tactics Are More Subtle Than in the Old Days, but Suppression of Votes in Minority Neighborhoods Is Very Much Alive and Well
IF THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA CAN BE believed, the nation witnessed a hotly contested but generally acceptable election last November 2. George W. Bush won the White House in balloting that pulled our democracy back from the brink of illegitimacy and global...
Courting Trouble: Liberal Overdependence on the Courts, Combined with an Obsessive Preoccupation with Church-State Symbolism, Has Reached Its Limit
JUDGING FROM THE VIEWS OF MY respected co-authors in this report, American democracy stands indicted for its performance in November's election. Yet in several important respects, the system performed better in 2004 than it has in years. That's not...
Don't Count on It: Why We Need Paper Trails to Back Up Compromised and Fallible Voting Machines-And Why We're Not Getting Them
FOR ELECTION OFFICIALS IN FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida, November 2 had passed with merciful ease. The balloting was deemed an administrative success--until two days later, that is, when election workers noticed a mathematical oddity: As they canvassed...
Dossier: Red-State Values
In red states in 2001, there were 572,000 divorces ... Blue states recorded 340,000 ... In the same year, 11 red states had higher rates of divorce than any blue state ... In each of the red states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Mexico, 46.3 percent...
Islamabad Is Good
UP EARLY ON THE MORNING of Saturday, December 4, for a joint press conference with Pakistani President Pervez Musharaff, U.S. President George W. Bush took the opportunity to reiterate his position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "The solution...
Mapquest.dem: What's the Matter with Massachusetts? the Democrats Are Far Too Dependent on It. Go Midwest, Young Man
IS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY BECOMING THE NEW England party? In 2004, the candidates who dominated the Democratic presidential primaries, beginning with the one in New Hampshire, were Howard Dean of Vermont and John Kerry of Massachusetts. In 2004, as ill...
Movement Interruptus: September 11 Slowed the Democratic Trend That We Predicted, but the Coalition We Foresaw Is Still Taking Shape
THERE WERE CERTAINLY REASONS TO DESPAIR after the 2004 election--chiefly, the awful thought that George W. Bush and a Republican Congress could find the means to exceed the egregious irresponsibility, the xenophobia, the sheer partisan pettiness, and...
New Year's Resolutions
OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS, WE'RE GOING TO FACE monumental tax and budget decisions. President Bush wants to privatize part of Social Security, make the tax code far less progressive, borrow many more trillions of dollars, and probably slash domestic...
North Malice Forty: What the Republicanization of Testosterone Means for the Democrats
JANUARY BRINGS THE ANNUAL RITUALS of the National Football League (NFL) playoffs and the major college bowl games, and if any more evidence were needed about how football-obsessed a nation ours has become, consider the following: Of the top 10 television...
No Sweat, Doctor
JUST HOW CRAVEN A panderer is Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist? Consider the following: The office of Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman released a report early in December analyzing 13 curricula for abstinence-only education programs currently receiving...
Security Flaws
REPUBLICAN PLANS TO PRIVATIZE SOCIAL SECURITY raise two different security questions. One is the impact on the retirement security of workers if they become dependent on the stock market for their basic livelihood in old age. The other concerns the...
Soft on War Crimes?
IN THE MONTHS FOLLOWING Iraq's January election, Saddam Hussein will stand in the dock for war crimes and crimes against humanity. But as the Butcher of Baghdad awaits trial, a surprising dilemma has surfaced: Do we want him convicted? On one charge,...
The Battle Begins: For Decades, Social Security Was Called the "Third Rail" of American Politics. Suddenly, Privatization Sounds like a Done Deal. Not So Fast
SOCIAL SECURITY IS THE MOST successful program that tangibly delivers on the core philosophy of the Democratic Party--namely, that ordinary people depend on government for economic security that markets can't provide. Unlike recent token programs,...
The Democracy We Deserve: There's Reason to Be Optimistic about the Prospects for Reform. Here's Why
THE 2004 ELECTION CONFOUNDED THOSE WHO have blamed the flaws in our democracy on apathetic voters, apolitical young people, and a generalized culture of disengagement. More than 120 million citizens cast ballots, a turnout of 60 percent of eligible...
The Democrats' Da Vinci Code: The Election Results They Didn't Tell You About: Progressive Victories in the Heart of Red America
AS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY GOES THROUGH ITS quadrennial self-flagellation process, the same tired old consultants and insiders are once again complaining that Democratic elected officials have no national agenda and no message. Yet encrypted within...
The Enemy of Comfort
A WEEK AFTER THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, IRIS Chang, the much-acclaimed author of The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, was found dead in her car on a highway just south of Los Gatos, California. Before shooting herself, Chang...
The God Squad: What's the Difference between a Politically Conservative Supreme Court and a Court Dominated by Religious Conservatives? Read On
LEADERS OF THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT are demanding a hard-line conservative Supreme Court as payback for their contribution to the re-election of President George W. Bush. Liberals, meanwhile, are seeking consolation in a roll call of justices, past and...
Vanishing Bipartisanship: A Conversation with Warren Rudman
WARREN RUDMAN HAS SPENT years perfecting the art of bipartisanship. Called a "consensus-forging leader" by Senator Olympia Snowe, Rudman, who served two terms as a U.S. senator from New Hampshire (1980-92), is well-known for his role in bipartisan...
What? No Tang?
EARLY IN 2004, GEORGE W. Bush tried unsuccessfully to channel John F. Kennedy, unveiling a new space initiative that included the promise of a manned mission to Mars by 2030. "This agency and the dedicated professionals who serve it have always...
Whither the Ward Heelers? the Democratic "527S" All but Supplanted the Party, but Does ACT Have a Second Act?
SHORTLY AFTER THE McCAIN-FEINGOLD BILL passed Congress in 2002, the smart money was all on the big money: Mega-wealthy donors to the new "527s" would dominate the new political era just as they had dominated the last. Sure enough, such progressive...