The Washington Monthly

An independent monthly magazine devoted to politics, government, culture, and the media in America, from a progressive perspective. Publishes investigative and opinion-based feature articles by notable authors, short news items, humorous sidebars, and boo

Articles from Vol. 40, No. 8-10, August-October

Got Issues?
The stakes in almost any presidential election are immense. But they are not always clear. Eight years ago, for instance, the economy was strong, the country was at peace, and it was not at all obvious to a lot of voters that their choice for president...
How Fast You Can Read This Essay Online
John McCain is an AT&T guy; Barack Obama is a Google guy. And that's one of the most important policy differences between the two. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Think of the Internet as working at different layers. There are all the pipes that go...
How Our Health Care Stacks Up with Slovenia's
We don't have a health care crisis in this country," Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan stated publicly in September 1993, three days before President Bill Clinton was to unveil his health care reform bill. Moynihan's remark, coming from a member of the...
How the World Sees Us, and How We See Ourselves
For political reasons, Barack Obama cannot stress it on the campaign trail, but the stakes in 2008 are simple: the restoration of our image in the world and our image of ourselves. Everything else flows from that. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] America's...
The Courts
There are few areas of public policy where the impact of the presidential election will be quite as stark as the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court. The next president could potentially appoint two or three new justices in a single term, giving the winning...
The Grand Bargain: Five Presidents Have Treated Iran as a Threat. the Next Needs to Think of It as an Opportunity
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In the rhetoric of many American politicians and commentators, the Islamic Republic of Iran is portrayed as an immature, ideologically driven regime that does not think of its foreign policy in terms of national interests....
The Plug-In Revolution: A Grand Plan for America's Energy Woes
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] My physician friends often complain that they can never escape the demands of their profession. No matter where they go--whether it's on vacation or to their kid's soccer game--people inevitably come up seeking advice on their...
The Size of the Debt
The announcement that the federal government is planning to pour as much as $700 billion into a bailout of private banking and insurance firms has brought the unpleasant subject of debt back into the news. Debt is an issue that voters don't normally...
The Stakes 2008
* The choice we make this November, to elect Barack Obama or John McCain, is more important than any decision American voters have been asked to make in a generation, if not longer. This simple truth risks being obscured by the sheer volume of column...
Tilting at Windmills
I hope they have a good coffeemaker l worry about our strategy in Afghanistan, with its reliance on air strikes and increased conventional ground forces, as distinguished from the kind of small-unit Special Forces we need to fight against guerillas....
What No Child Left Behind Left Behind
The biggest upward ratchet ever in the federal government's role in public education--historically a state and local function--and possibly the most significant piece of domestic social legislation since the Great Society is George W. Bush's No Child...
What Xiao Bush Got Right
If the election were only about China policy, the choice would be easy: Reelect George W. Bush. An administration that has damaged U.S. interests in nearly every other part of the world has done a surprisingly good job in dealing with China. At a private...
Your Salary in 2016
During his acceptance speech at Invesco Field in August, Barack Obama earned big applause for a line that compared Democratic and Republican economic policies. "We measure progress," he told the partisan crowd, "in the twenty-three million new jobs...