For decades, Republicans have attacked Democrats' alliance with labor, slamming union "bosses" as corrupt and undemocratic. It's more than a touch ironic, then, that as the Bush administration tries to make political inroads with labor, it continues to favor unions whose recent record on these scores has been particularly problematic. The most notorious of these are the Teamsters, who appear to be currying favor with the administration in the hope that it will lift the Independent Review Board that has overseen the union since 1992 (see "Dirty Deal," April 1 %amp% 8). But, fond as George W.
Democrats are gradually coalescing around an interpretation of why their party did so poorly. The party, the argument goes, failed to get out its base; and the reason it failed to do so was because it didn't draw a clear enough distinction between its policies and the Republicans'. As former political consultant Paul Begala argued on CNN, "The Democrats didn't fight Bush hard enough on the tax cut, and they didn't campaign on it. They didn't fight him hard enough on the war.
"We've never seen in our lifetime an effort to attract the black vote by Republicans like we're seeing now," Former Kansas City Mayor Emanuel Cleaver told The Kansas City Star last month. In Missouri, Republican Senate candidate Jim Talent is making the rounds of black business groups, while black radio stations are inundated by Republican ads calling on blacks to "break the habit" of voting Democratic. In Arkansas, Republican ads are running on black radio as well.
The Democrats probably don't deserve to do well in November's elections. The party's national leaders have refused to make an issue of President Bush's tax cuts, which will threaten deficits through the decade; and many of them muffled their reservations about war with Iraq in the hope of refocusing on more politically congenial topics like prescription drugs and Social Security. The Bush administration, by contrast, has maneuvered brilliantly over the last six weeks, using the debate over Iraq to solidify the Republicans' standing as the party of national security.
You'll find the same view of the roots of Al Qaeda in The Weekly Standard and on the editorial pages of The New York Times: The group draws its energy and its recruits from the unresolved conflicts in the Middle East. "[A]ll the Arab-Muslim states that are failing at modernity ... have become an engine for producing undeterrables," wrote the Times' Tom Friedman on September 18. Democratize Iraq, reform the Saudi autocracy, and/or bring peace to Israel and the Palestinians, and Al Qaeda will go away.
Telecommunications was the driving force behind the great economic boom of the late '90s. Between 1996 and 2000 the telecom industry grew at twice the rate of the national economy. By March of last year telecom companies had reached a market value of $3 trillion, and their share of the national GDP had risen to almost 6 percent. The Internet, and wireless and other telecom services, spurred investment in information technology, which by 1999 accounted for 43 percent of private, nonresidential investment.
Long before George W. Bush won the 2000 presidential election, his chief political adviser, Karl Rove, was predicting to reporters that a Bush victory would produce a historic political realignment. This new Republican majority would resemble the one William McKinley built roughly one century ago. "I look at this time as 1896, the time where we saw the rise of William McKinley and his vice president, Teddy Roosevelt," Rove declared.
BERLIN, GERMANY It's evening, and the only light on the second floor of Jakob-Kaiser-Haus, the building where members of the Bundestag have their offices, is coming from Cem Oezdemir's suite. Inside, the 36-year-old Oezdemir, who in 1994 became the first person of Turkish descent ever elected to the Bundestag, is describing his hopes for Germany. "What is my goal? It is the kind of hyphenated identity that takes place in your country," he says. "I am Moslem by birth; I am a Moslem like Catholics are Catholics.
Berlin, Germany Over the past few months Americans have awakened to the right-wing, anti-immigrant nationalism growing across Europe. On April 21, far-right presidential candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen garnered a shocking second place in the first round of French elections. Barely two weeks later Dutch anti-immigrant leader Pim Fortuyn was assassinated; in elections nine days after that, his party joined the Christian Democrats (CDA) in ousting Holland's long-standing Labor government.
Not long ago, the Enron scandal seemed destined to become the Bush administration's Whitewater. One reason it hasn't is that the Democrats and the media haven't turned up a smoking gun showing that the Bushies tried to bail out Enron. Another is that the Bush JusticeDepartment has come down on Enron's auditor, Arthur Andersen, like a ton of bricks.