John B. Judis

We Are Not All Jobsians … Yet
May 20, 2010

My wife wanted an iPad as soon as she saw Steve Jobs’s announcement last January. She even had a place set out for it. It would go in the kitchen where it would be available for looking up recipes, as well as reading the morning newspaper. But life is disappointment: The iPad wouldn’t come out for another four months, and when it did, it cost about $300 more than we could afford. Luckily, one surfaced around The New Republic offices, and I got a chance to play with it for several weeks. And so did my wife.

The Center Wins. Again.
May 19, 2010

True partisans don’t like to hear this—Texas Democrat Jim Hightower used to say, “There is nothing in the middle of the road, but yellow stripes and dead armadillos”—but American elections are most often battles for the political center. Whoever can marginalize their opponent by identifying them with the far left or right is likely to win. By that measure, the Democrats can be pleased with the results of the May 18 elections.

Tea Minus Zero
May 19, 2010

Liberals have responded to the Tea Party movement by reaching a comforting conclusion: that there is no way these guys can possibly be for real. The movement has variously been described as a “front group for the Republican party” and a “media creation”; Paul Krugman has called Tea Party rallies “AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events, manufactured by the usual suspects.” I can understand why liberals would want to dismiss the Tea Party movement as an inauthentic phenomenon; it would certainly be welcome news if it were.

The Case for Economic Doom and Gloom
May 11, 2010

The American economy added 290,000 jobs in April, the biggest monthly increase in four years. Clearly, a recovery has taken hold. But how strong and buoyant will it be? Will we eventually get back to growth rates above 4 percent and to an unemployment rate of less than 5 percent? Or will this recovery sputter like the last one that began in 2002? The strongest case for gloom that I’ve read has been made by UCLA economic historian Robert Brenner in a new introduction that he wrote to the Spanish edition of his 2006 book, The Economics of Global Turbulence.

Bad Land
April 25, 2010

Severe recessions can make people crazy and mean. During the Great Depression, immigration to the United States from Mexico virtually ceased, but states began arresting and deporting Mexicans, many of whom were in the country legally. The Mexican population of the United States fell by 41 percent during the 1930s. And the same kind of thing is happening again. The recession has sharply curtailed illegal immigration to the United States.

Change to Lose
April 14, 2010

There will be a mixed reaction to Andy Stern’s forthcoming resignation as the head of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Many in the labor movement, even inside SEIU, will rejoice that he is out. But many friends of the labor movement like myself, who share its ideals but don’t have to live with its daily travail, will regard Stern’s departure with foreboding—as another step downward in labor’s descent. During the last decade, Stern, who took the helm of SEIU in 1996, burnt many of his bridges inside the labor movement.

Census Nonsense
April 07, 2010

When asked about his race on the census form, Barack Obama, the child of a white Kansan and black African, did not take the option of checking both “white” and “black” or “some other race.” Instead, he checked “black, African American or Negro.” By doing that, Obama probably did what was expected of him, but he also confirmed an enduring legacy of American racism. According to the Census Bureau, a little over 12 percent of Americans are “black, African American or Negro.” According to geneticist Mark Shriver, “the level of European ancestry in African-Americans averages about 20 percent.” Man

Trojan Horse
March 25, 2010

The new council that will cripple financial reform.

Democrats Discover Their Base
March 21, 2010

Health care reform would not have happened without the political skill and tenacity of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, or without the last minute round of arm twisting by President Barack Obama. But equally important was the energetic public campaign that Obama and liberal and left-wing organizations waged on behalf of it. This campaign altered the chemistry of the debate within Congress and among Democrats.

How to Stop the Bleeding
March 15, 2010

Obama needs to learn Reagan's lessons from 1982.

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