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. 4, February 26

American Beauty
When I was in law school in the early 1970s and professors were struggling with the honorific "Ms.,"" one of my male classmates used to chide me and several other women for "distracting" him with our presence. We were irritated, not flattered, by his...
Blackout
Did California just mess it up badly, or is deregulation in electricity an inherently bad idea? If California's misbegotten electricity deregulation scheme is ever reduced to canvas or film, the artist would have to be some cross between Hieronymus...
Correspondence
THE MORNING AFTER TO THE EDITORS: I have my renewal notice, but I'm hesitant about sending it back, not because I don't find material of interest in The American Prospect but because it seems that the magazine doesn't really want me. I read in...
Darth Rumsfeld
Don Rumsfeld developed his foreign policy in the early 1970s, under President Gerald Ford. It was bad then. It's worse now. Since Donald Rumsfeld's appointment as secretary of defense was announced on December 28, approbatory phrases have been the...
Glad to Be Unhappy
Rock critics a few years back coined the clever term miserablism to describe a brand of guitar music light in metallic crunch but heavy with emotional self-flagellation. It wasn't a compliment, exactly. Yet with songs like "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable...
How Ashcroft Happened
If all had gone according to George W. Bush's original plan, Marc Racicot would today be our attorney general. Racicot, who was, until recently, governor of Montana, would have been a solid choice. Though he's enough of a GOP loyalist to satisfy the...
In Extremis
The confirmation of John Ashcroft as attorney general conjoins fearsome power with reactionary politics. The attorney general makes crucial decisions regarding the administration of justice that are beyond the power of the press, Congress, the White...
Let's (Not) Make a Deal
"I love a 50-50 tie," Senator John Breaux of Louisiana told me recently. "This is the kind of thing you dream about being involved in. It's a mandate for getting things done." And, boy, does he want to get things done. Breaux has a reputation in the...
Lowering the Bar
It wasn't surprising that during the fight over John Ashcroft's nomination for attorney general, one side seemed especially eager to discuss his putative racism while the other side eschewed the matter. But it was surprising that his defenders were...
Mr. Bush Gets His Honeymoon
Before the election, I wrote in this column that "several possible squeaker scenarios could produce some strange political dynamics after November 7" [TAP, November 6, 2000]. Of course, I had no idea just how strange the outcome would be, though I...
The Clear and Preset Danger
It's the oldest con trick in the world: Divert their attention to something outrageous. Then, while they're jumping and pointing and yelling, sneak the truly awful thing by their noses without their even noticing. President George W. Bush's nomination...
The Myth of Lincoln, Reconstructed
Abraham Lincoln was born poor on the rugged frontier. He was physically odd, ugly even, and prone to despair. But he educated himself, elevated himself, and struck the first fatal blows against slavery. While saving the union, he also made it "the...
The Political Fed
So Alan Greenspan is a political animal. What--you were expecting a philosopher-king? A lot of people who should know better were taken by surprise when Fed Chairman Greenspan made George W. Bush's inaugural week by embracing a big tax cut. But it's...
The Taxonomist
STUPID FACTS Just before George W. Bush's inauguration, the Clinton administration put out its final projections of budget surpluses over the next decade. According to a news story in The Washington Post, the analysis predicts about $1.6 trillion...
Two Minutes to Launch
Will President Bush take our missiles off "hair-trigger" alert--or keep us on the brink of nuclear disaster with a misguided missile defense? The bitter disputes over national missile defense (NMD) have obscured a related but dramatically more urgent...
Utah Defends Missionary Position
Conservative leaders in Utah do not want to follow the rules of Florida math--that is, the precept that the first count is the best one, no matter how incomplete. The state of Utah, led by its Republican governor and five congressmen, has filed suit...
Who Let the Liberals Out?
Don't buy into the mainstream media's propaganda about how the recent transfer of power in Washington was remarkable for its lack of violence. That ignores the mobs of bloodthirsty liberals rampaging through the nation's capital, ready to hoist the...

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