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. 20, No. 2, March

Anatomy of a Netroots Failure: Liberal Bloggers Wanted Darcy Burner to Win. That Wasn't Enough
To understand how invested online activists were in the campaign of Darcy Burner--the bright, tech-savvy, and ultimately failed candidate for Congress in Washington state s 8th Congressional District--consider what happened in February of last year,...
Breaking the Grip of the Past
THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM, WITH ITS "STATUS quo bias" (as political scientists call it), is not set up for moments like this when the economy is sinking fast and the country requires strong action that breaks with previous policy. After the election,...
Britain's Great Right Hope: The Tories' Long Comeback Is Finally on the Verge of Success. Are Republicans Paying Attention?
The Two Chairmen is a cozy backstreet pub, nestled in the heart of the Westminster Village--the small corner of London that includes 10 Downing St., Parliament, and most of Britain's major government departments. On a warm summer day in May 1994, two...
Broad Rights
AFTER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SIGNED HIS first piece of legislation, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, he remarked that it was a victory for workers and for civil rights. He did not say it was a victory for women but that "making our economy work means...
Department of Change: Five Places to Start Remaking the Government
"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works," Barack Obama said during his Inaugural Address. A government that works seems like an obvious goal. But conservatives in the Bush administration...
Foodie Politics: Alice Waters Goes to Washington
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] FOR ONE NIGHT IN D.C., politicians garnered less interest than pastry chefs. "That's Daniel Boulud!" squealed one gourmand standing 4 feet from a lonesome-looking Carl Bernstein. Nearby, CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin listened...
From the Executive Editor
AT THIS WRITING, JUST A FEW WEEKS INTO OBAMA'S presidency, a truly progressive governing majority is getting to work. Amid profound crises at home and abroad, the new president and Congress can't do it alone--they need the support, criticism, and independent...
Green Building Blues: Is "Well-Designed Green Architecture" an Oxymoron
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE OLYMPIC VILLAGE IN VANcouver will be a marvel of the 21st century once it is complete. Currently under construction for the 2010 Winter Olympics, the 1.4-millionsquare-foot, 16-building Village will be outfitted with passive...
Gulf Coast Notebook: Communities Rebuild in the Aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike
THE MARY QUEEN OF VIETNAM CHURCH The recent election of U.S. Congressman Anh Cao, a first for Vietnamese Americans, stunned many observers but not those in the pews at Mary Queen of Vietnam, a Catholic parish in New Orleans East where Cao has been...
Housing New Orleans: Still a Work in Progress: Far Too Many People Ore Still without Decent Affordable Homes, and Hidden Vulnerable Groups like the Mentally Ill Have Been Hit Hardest of All
Some three and a half years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the city known as "The Big Easy," it has been anything but easy for thousands of displaced New Orleans-area residents to find housing. Many have been forced onto the streets or into...
Is the GOP Making an Effort at Inclusiveness, or Is the New RNC Chair Just a Token?
DANA GOLDSTEIN: On Jan. 30, Maryland's former lieutenant governor, Michael Steele, was elected the first African American chair of the Republican National Committee. The competition really brought out the crazy in the GOP. But it's great to see that...
Justice Polluted: An Environmental-Justice Attorney Explains How the Civil Rights of Gulf Coast Residents Were Violated
The images of suffering from Hurricane Katrina are seared into America's collective memory: the flooded streets, the abandoned corpses, the residents crying for help that took days to arrive. Yet the months and years following the hurricane may provide...
New Leadership, New Hopes: How Much Difference Will the Obama Administration Make to the Recovery of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast?
When Barack Obama arrived in Washington four years ago as a freshman senator, his first goal was a low profile. Hoping to dampen the high expectations he earned during his address at the Democratic National Convention, Obama cultivated friendships...
Not by Accident: Building a Sustainable New Orleans
New Orleans was built in a place that is both insane and inevitable. The culture of the City and the region is both parochial and cosmopolitan. The swamps and marshes that define the regions landscape seem timeless--even primordial--yet are mere thousands...
The Color of Toxic Debris: The Racial Injustice in the Flow of Poison That Followed the Flood
Well before Hurricane Katrina struck on Aug. 29, 2005, New Orleans was already struggling with a wide range of environmental-justice challenges. People of color tended to be most vulnerable to a range of environmental assaults, from flood waters to...
The Dual Mission
TO CHANGE THE CULTURE OF AMERICAN POLITICS: THAT was the radical promise on which Barack Obama was elected president. Ever since his days as a Chicago organizer and state senator, his first mission has been to bring people back in as participants in...
The Houma Nation Digs Out: How a Resilient Traditional People Is Recovering from the Latest Assaults of Nature and Bad Policy
Last Sept. 1, as Hurricane Gustav blasted the coastal Louisiana homeland of the United Houma Nation, tribal chief Brenda Dardar Robichaux hunkered down with friends and family members around a television with foil-wrapped bunny ears. They watched newscasters...
The New Normal: Governments at All Levels Responded Slowly to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. the People of the Gulf Coast Took Up the Slack but Haven't Absolved Government of Its Responsibilities
Walking along the Algiers levees facing downtown New Orleans, Malik Rahim stops at a huge dent in the pavement that he thinks came from a crashed barge during Hurricane Katrina. "See there," points out Rahim, a Black Panther with grayed locks who...
The Other Black President: The NAACP Confronts a New Political-And Racial-Era
Ben Jealous steps through the metal detector in the Hart Senate Office building on Capitol Hill. He removes his black baseball cap and jacket, hunching over as he affixes a gold NAACP pin to his lapel before entering a press conference in support of...
Translating Disaster: In the Crisis, the Gulf's Hispanic Communities Dealt with Linguistic and Political Isolation. but Katrina Produced a Boost to New Organizing Efforts
In New Orleans, "there is a white power structure and a black power structure but not really any in between," explains Latino community activist Jessica Venegas. Latinos hold little political power compared to their population size, which has tripled...
Twilight of the Autocrats: Will the Financial Crisis Bring Down Russia and China?
Gansu is one of interior China's most forlorn provinces, one that has gone largely unnoticed by the outside world. When I worked in rural Gansu two years ago, I met few people who had ever left their hometown. In one tiny village, ethnic minority Muslims...
Where Are the Workers? Employees Are Losing Their Central Place in Union Organizing, but Card-Check Legislation Could Turn That Around
One sparkling day about 10 years ago, I drove from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara to deliver a talk at a nationwide staff retreat of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (HERE). I can't recall exactly what I talked about,...
You Can Handle the Truth: How Far Will Obama Take His Professed Commitment to Transparency?
J. William Leonard, the former head of classification procedures for the government under President George W. Bush, was settling into his new life in St. Mary's County, Maryland, after his retirement in late 2007. He planned to teach political science...
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