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. 19, No. 11, November

Against the Great-Man Theory of the Presidency
Forget the president. Not totally, of course. The president matters. But not as much as you think. Not as much as you've been led to believe. The centrality of the executive is something of a convenient fiction in American politics. Convenient for...
An Uneasy Alliance: The Mainstream Gay-Rights Movement's Slow Evolution on Transgender Issues
In April 2007, Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, and others introduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that was transgender inclusive, in that it would provide protections for not just gays and lesbians...
Battle of the Narratives
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOUR CORE IDEOLOGY turns out to be not just a practical failure but a national catastrophe? You contrive alibis. You invent facts. The final days of the 2008 campaign can be understood as a battle of narratives. It is now clear...
Dick Cheney, Dominatrix
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] AS JAN. 20 LOOMS EVER CLOSER, VICE PRESIDENT Cheney confronts a grim dilemma: He may not be employable. With popularity ratings dipping close to single digits, the contempt of Democrats, independents and Republicans alike,...
Lessons from the ER: Navigating a Family Health Emergency, One Policy Expert Learns It's Not Just Doctors Who Make Mistakes-Systems Can Make Them Worse
I held my wife Veronica's hand as the technician applied cool gel to her chest. At first, the ultrasound images were the fuzzy black-and-whites I remembered from before our daughters Rebecca and Hannah were born. After a few touches to the LCD screen,...
Republic of the Central Banker: In the Middle of Our Market Economy Sits an Island of Central Planning, the Federal Reserve. No President or Congress Dares Challenge the Power of Its Chairman, Ben Bernanke
Ben Bernanke is the closest thing to a central economic planner the United States has ever had. He bestrides our narrow economic world like a colossus. Unelected (he was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed by an overwhelming majority...
The Cult of Counterinsurgency: A Quiet Revolution in the U.S. Military Has Resurrected Vietnam-Era Strategies to Fight the War on Terrorism. Retired Lt. Col. John Nagl Makes Counterinsurgency Seem So Appealing That It's Easy to Forget Its Dark Side
John Nagl's memories of Vietnam are vague, at best. He was, after all, only two years old during the 1968 Tet offensive and was in grade school in Omaha, Nebraska, during the fall of Saigon. It is perhaps for this reason that Nagl, a former tank commander...
The Sleeper of the Senate: As Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus Could All but Ensure the Passage of a Progressive Social-Policy Agenda. or He Could Be Its Biggest Roadblock
At 3:45 P.M. on the first day of the Democratic National Convention, Max Baucus, arguably the most consequential legislator in America is not preparing for his big speech. In fact, he won't be giving a speech. Nor is he holding court in one of the...
Third Term's a Charm
IT IS A WOMAN'S PREROGATIVE TO CHANGE HER MIND--or so the saying goes. But in New York City politics these days, it seems that middle-aged male billionaires are the ones flip-flopping down the avenue. After months of coy flirtation with the idea...
Trans in the Red States: A Grass-Roots Movement for Transgender Rights Is Flourishing in Some of America's Most Conservative Regions. and If Successes like These Are Possible Here, They're Possible Anywhere
Michelle and her daughter M.J. sit in a coffee shop in a Wyoming strip mall, just over the border from their small town in Colorado. M.J., an eighth-grader, shyly sips her iced mocha and speaks with the "likes" endemic to junior-high hallways. Michelle...
Who Knew?
"IS THE PUBLIC SUFFICIENTLY WELL INFORMED TO govern?" This has been the central question of American democracy and was the subject of a long argument between John Dewey and Walter Lippmann in the 1920s. The question grows more complicated with each...
You Don't Know Bush: Recent Fictionalizations of Our 43rd President Show That We're Done with the Screeds and Parodies. after Eight Long Years, We Just Want to Know What Makes Him Tick
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? A Kennedy? You're a Bush. Act like one." Such is the dressing-down a young George W. Bush receives from his father in a trailer for Oliver Stone's new film W., which opened Oct. 17. By all accounts,...

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