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. 12, No. 8, May 7

A Reform That Doesn't
Let's say we decided to build a dam along a river. If we merely agreed to erect a small barrier that the river would run around, flowing easily through new channels and old ones, no one would celebrate our plan as a great achievement. But that is how...
Back to the Future with the DLC
The analysis of the 2000 election offered by the Democratic Leadership Council inevitably brings to mind Yogi Berra's great expression "It's deja vu all over again." For the past eight years, the DLC has stepped forward eagerly to take credit for every...
Bush, Whacked
George W. Bush is losing his working majority in Congress. The only surprise is that it took so long. As recently as a month ago, the new administration imagined that its tax package would just sail through on a tide of media torpor, Republican discipline,...
Correspondence
IMPERFECT UNION TO THE EDITORS: Kim Phillips-Fein's recent feature regarding the Teamsters ["Imperfect Union," March 12-26, 2001] presents a distorted picture of the largest, most democratic union in America. It's not exactly news that union...
Dems: Round Two
A key lesson of campaign 2000 is that political parties should learn from their successes. As the race began, the Democratic electoral models were the Clinton-Gore campaigns of 1992 and 1996. Bill Clinton, after all, was the first Democrat since Franklin...
Diversity on Trial
The fate of affirmative action in education may soon be decided by the Supreme Court. If this article had appeared before Tuesday, March 27, the sentence you are reading now would have said: "A recent decision by a district court judge about admissions...
Kill This Idea
No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination. --Executive Order 11905, signed by President Gerald Ford (February 18, 1976) No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United...
Lessons of 2000
As George W. Bush's first 100 days in office come to a close, the election of 2000 suggests several lessons if Democrats expect to recapture Congress in the short term and the White House in the long term. To win broad support, Democrats need an inclusive...
Lowering the Bar
The American Bar Association (ABA) has had a long run, starting with the Eisenhower administration, as quasi-official consultant to presidents on federal judicial appointments. Now the Bush administration's has ended the ABA's special role, reflecting...
News Pollution
Readers of the Sunday New York Times Magazine were treated on April 1 to an extensive advertising supplement on allergies and asthma. The supplement ran from page 30 to page 42, with regular Times Magazine page numbering. The ostensible news copy was...
Reform You Can Take to the Bank
At its core, the McCain-Feingold bill was about getting rid of soft money. So far, so good. But as part of the deal, the Senate voted to hike hard-money limits. The Senate has thus exacerbated the money-and-politics problem. Assuming that the bill...
Reproductive Emergency
Life is one long emergency for most advocacy groups--whose members are apt to be united by the belief that they're besieged. To an outsider who lacks their political passions, however, they seem less besieged than overwrought. So casual supporters...
Snow Job
In Bruce Porter's 1993 nonfiction book Blow, the life of George Jung--his rise from high school dropout in the working-class Boston suburb of Weymouth, Massachusetts, to major 1970s trafficker of Colombian cocaine with $60 million stashed away in a...
The Capital of Loneliness
The advent of television has long been associated with the beginning of the end of the "good old days." Historians, sociologists, filmmakers, and yes, even TV shows (think Brooklyn Bridge and The Wonder Years) have explored this relationship. In his...
The Judge as Lynch Mob
How Alabama judges use judicial overrides to disregard juries and impose death sentences. As any student of the death penalty in America knows, the chance that a person charged with a capital crime will live or die depends greatly on race, social...
The Pregnant Governor: An Exchange
THE FITNESS OF MOTHERS Wendy Kaminer's piece on Jane Swift ("Mama's Delicate Condition," TAP, April 23, 2001) has stirred up quite a fuss, and it is easy to see why. The underlying assumptions of her argument are as calculated to shock as one of...
The Taxonomist
TAX FAMILIES "For lower-income families, my tax plan restores basic fairness," President George W. Bush asserted in his address to Congress on February 27. "People with the smallest incomes will get the highest percentage of reductions." To help...
The Working Caste
For many countries, foreign workers seem to make economic sense. But will they ever belong? Tel Aviv's city bus number four runs down Allenby Street through the heart of secular Israel's glittering urban showcase. Just visible in one direction is...
TV's Last Taboo
When it comes to sexual content on network television, broadcasting is an ever more risque business. Yet in one small corner of the TV industry, a peculiar standard prevails: Straightforward and frank television advertising for contraceptives is almost...
University for Rent
Harvard University has a famous tradition known locally as "every tub on its own bottom." Translated, that means that each faculty or school of the university is responsible for raising most of its own research money, and finders are keepers. The...
Voters and Vouchers
Pick up the newspaper or tune in to a Sunday morning TV gabfest and you're likely to read or hear about the sizable majority of Americans who approve of voucher plans--school choice, as proponents put it. These assertions are sustained by the holy...
Zellout
When the Senate voted 51 to 50 to provisionally accept the outline of George W. Bush s budget, the sole Democrat who crossed the aisle was Zell Miller of Georgia. (He was offset by Republican Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, with Vice President Dick...
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