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. 15, No. 3, March

A Modern Kind of Guy
WHAT DO WE KNOW about the mysterious Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani? Well, he's a democrat--for now, anyway, supporting speedy elections in Iraq, much to the chagrin of U.S. officials who were hoping to use their own team, the Iraqi National Congress,...
Beverly Bayoubillies
WHILE THE WORLD WAITS to see if Lost in Translation can best The Return of the King at the February 29 Academy Awards, the other question hanging over Hollywood is who will replace Jack Valenti, who plans to step down as chief lobbyist for the major...
Contesting Values: In 1988, the Democrats Got Clobbered in an Election-Year Culture War. but That Was Then. the America of 2004 Is a Very Different Place, and the Time Is Ripe to Wage a New Battle
IN HIS STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS, PRESIDENT BUSH told a rapt nation and the assembled government of the United States that our nation faces grave threats and must live tip to its "great responsibilities," which include defending the "pillars of our...
Democracy How? Voices from Inside Iraq Show Just How Hard the Transition Will Be
IT WAS A RUN-OF-THE-MILL WEEKDAY IN SAMARRA, Iraq, a large town in the heart of the Sunni Triangle. Guerrilla land mines had exploded that morning in several locations, leaving no U.S. casualties but several Iraqis killed by the American soldiers'...
Follow the Money
Money corrodes democracy in multiple ways. It influences who gets into politics. It allows the wealthy to speak with a louder voice. It compels candidates to spend inordinate time cultivating donors rather than speaking to voters. The money-and-politics...
Forward March: Sure, Democrats Lose Some Votes Because of the Stands They Take on Cultural Issues. Funny Thing, Though-On Policy, They Usually End Up Winning. So Why Change?
WHEN THE MASSACHUSETTS SUPREME Judicial Court ruled on November 18 that gay and lesbian couples have a right to marriage under the state constitution, the predominant mood among liberals was not jubilation, as one might have expected, but a sense of...
He Is the Eggman
WITH MILLIONS OF AMERicans on the Atkins Diet, nobody would disagree that it's a big year for eggs. But who knew that so many would be headed straight for FOX News? Certainly not FOX viewers--who, admittedly, have already proven themselves vulnerable...
Joker in Chief
As federal deficits mount to record levels, President Bush now tells us there's light at the end of the tunnel. Not a bright light, mind you, but he does claim that his new budget plan, despite more huge tax cuts, will get the government's books halfway...
Judicial Overreach
It's not clear who should have been celebrating when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in February that the state has to provide gay couples the right to marry and nothing less. The decision barred the Massachusetts legislature from adopting...
Liar, Liar
LIES AND THE LYING LIARS WHO TELL THEM: A FAIR AND BALANCED LOOK AT THE RIGHT BY AL FRANKEN * E.P. DUTTON * 379 PAGES * $24.95 THE LIES OF GEORGE W. BUSH: MASTERING THE POLITICS OF DECEPTION BY DAVID CORN * CROWN * 337 PAGES * $24.00 THE BOOK...
Numbers Game: Since McCain-Feingold, "527S" Have Been Invaluable to the Democrats' 2004 Strategy. So What Are the Republicans Trying to Do? Eliminate Them
ST. LOUIS, MO. -- ON AN ARCTIC FRIday afternoon, the Democrats' secret weapons in the 2004 election come in out of the cold. Eight canvassers for the Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition Pro Vote, for short--return to their office with another 160 or...
Offshore Thing: An Easy Way to Slash the Deficit and Still Finance Social Outlay: Go after the $300 Billion in Taxes That Aren't Collected Each Year. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration Won't
George W. Bush seems to have the Democrats fiscally stymied. They can try to rescind most of his tax cuts, but as responsible fiscal stewards they would need that money to close his huge deficits--and could forget about addressing public needs. Alternatively,...
One China? Two Headaches: The Bush Administration Has Danced with Both China and Taiwan. but a Taiwanese Referendum Set for March 20 Will Force It to Choose Sides
BACKING BOTH THE FAVORITE AND THE underdog in a boxing match might win points for evenhandedness, but it would leave sports fans scratching their heads. In the battle of affections between China and Taiwan, though, the Bush administration has done...
On God and Democrats: Will Religion Give Democrats the Usual Fits This Election Year? Maybe. but It Shouldn't Be Forgotten That There Is a "Religious Left" in America-It Just Doesn't Go around Making Lots of Noise
SHORTLY BEFORE THE 2000 PRESIDENTIAL RACE started, Gertrude Himmelfarb, the aging Athena of neoconservatism, found herself struggling to express what she felt were the core values differences between Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives....
Queer and Present Danger?
On May 17, gays and lesbians in Massachusetts will gain the right to marry, thanks to a 4-3 ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. In July, the Democratic presidential nominee, presumably John Kerry of Massachusetts, will triumphantly...
Reclaiming the Air: Rush Limbaugh Created the Model for Conservative Talk Radio. Now a New Network Hopes to Use Comedy-Liberally-To Build an Alternative
THIS SPRING, IF ALL GOES ACCORDING to plan, a new radio network with programs modeled after Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will make its debut. The viewpoint of the venture is the big news. Air America Radio, as it's now being...
Rogue Whale: Seventy Years after FDR, JP Morgan Finally Got Its Revenge against Banking Regulations with Its Chase Merger. but a New FDR Is Watching
THE WHITE WHALE OF AMERICAN FInance has returned. In January 2004, JP Morgan Chase & Co. acquired BankOne for $58 billion. This merger is the latest reflection of a two-decade reversal in public policy, which invites enormous conflicts of interest...
Speech Impediments: After Two Decades Spent Trying to Change the Subject, Democrats Finally Seem to Understand That They Need to Speak a Language of Values. A Good First Step: Figuring out What They Are
FOR A LESSON IN HOW THE RIGHT USES LANGUAGE to shape political perceptions, consider the television ad that the archconservative Club for Growth ran during the Iowa caucuses. An announcer asks a middle-aged couple leaving a barbershop what they think...
The E-Word No Right-Wing Attack against Democrats Is More Electric Than the Charge of Elitism. It Can Be Buried, but That Requires Acknowledging the Ways in Which It Has Been-Let's Face It-True
ONE OF THE MOST REVEALING PASSAGES IN THE late Paul Wellstone's political memoir, The Conscience of a Liberal, is his criticism of the decision that he made during his first year in the Senate to hold a press conference on his opposition to the Gulf...
The Gentle Jihadist: Tariq Ramadan Touched off a Firestorm with a Charged Accusation against French Jewish Intellectuals. but the Problems Hardly Stop There
IF FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC thought he'd burnished his reputation in the Muslim world for having opposed the Bush administration's war in Iraq, he must have been surprised to find himself recently vilified in public squares, mosques, and universities...
The Umpires Strike Back: Incensed by a Congressional Act That Shackles Their Sentencing Discretion, Federal Judges-William Rehnquist Included-Are Pounding the Gavel
IT TAKES A LOT TO RILE UP THE FEDERAL judiciary. By virtue of their training and temperament, judges don't often whine, complain, or show anger in public. And they almost never air their grievances in the court of public opinion. So it is extraordinary...
Trading Down: It's Not Whether Record Trade Deficits Will Become a Full-Blown Currency Crisis. It's When
WHILE IT IS STILL UNCLEAR HOW LARGE THE TRADE problem will loom in the presidential election, there is surely plenty to be worried about. On several occasions under George W. Bush, the monthly trade deficit has exceeded the total annual deficit--$41...
Vietnam Remembered
John Kerry perfectly reflects the contradictions in how most Americans want to remember the Vietnam War. It was a heroic effort demanding great courage from hundreds of thousands of young Americans. It was also a tragic mistake that ended because of...
Wake-Up Time: Yes, Bush Has Bullied the National Media. but Are They Really Powerless? Only If They Play along. Herewith, Five Suggestions for How the Fourth Estate Can Stop the Charade
ARE OUR NATIONAL MEDIA--SCHOOLYARD SILLY DURING campaign 2000, by turns somnolent and sycophantic ever since--starting to rouse themselves from their long torpor? It's still way too early to answer that question with a "yes," but if that's what the...
World to End in 2009
PRESIDENT BUSH JUSTIFIED his first round of tax cuts by invoking the rosy 10-year forecast of a $5-6 trillion surplus. But now that the 10-year economic picture is one of doom, gloom, and the occasional breadline, Bush has taken an almost reassuringly...
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