Jonathan Chait

American Pie; White-collar crooks, dictatorships, and otherconservative causes.
June 04, 2007

I had thought that conservatives were taking the democratic outcomeof the 2006 elections rather well, all things considered. Then Iread a column by American Enterprise Institute (AEI) economistKevin Hassett, and now I'm not so sure. Hassett points out that,over the last decade and a half, free-market dictatorships hadfaster economic growth than free-market democracies. The obviousexplanation would be that dictatorships tend to be poorer countries(e. g., China) that can grow more quickly by catching up withmodern technology.

Pay Check
May 21, 2007

A FEW MONTHS AGO, when Democrats proposed letting workers form unions without elections, Republicans recoiled in horror, issuing ringing paeans to workplace democracy. “After two hundred-plus years of our American democracy, it is breathtaking to see the right to a secret ballot rejected so flatly and so strongly,” said Representative Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, in a typical example of the Jeffersonian rhetoric then coursing through Washington. Today, Democrats are proposing to let a company’s shareholders hold an advisory vote on how much they pay their CEO. Sounds democratic, right?

Birds of a Feather
May 21, 2007

Matthew Continetti has a long article in The Weekly Standard this week about the decline of the liberal hawk. The Standard, of course, has been railing for months against critics of the war as cowards. Continetti's article is a more fleshed-out version of that worldview--an attempt to interpret the sharp criticism from liberal ex-supporters of the war as fecklessness. It's not that Continetti strongly disagrees with the liberal or Democratic analysis of Iraq. It's that, in nearly 4,000 words, he makes no attempt to explain or engage with that worldview.

The Left's New Machine
May 07, 2007

Most political activists can point to one catalyzing event, an episode in each of their lives (or, more often, in the life of their country) that shook them from their complacency and roused them to change the world. You can find many such stories if you troll through the netroots, the online community of liberal bloggers that has quickly become a formidable constituency in Democratic politics. But the episode that seems to come up most often is the Florida recount.

Character Flaw
May 07, 2007

Of all the low points during the Bush administration, perhaps the most surreal was the week in December 2004 when Bernie Kerik was poised to become secretary of Homeland Security. By the traditional measures used to judge qualifications for this sort of job, Kerik was not an ideal candidate. The main points in Kerik's favor were his loyal service to Rudy Giuliani, first as driver for his mayoral campaign, then corrections commissioner, then police commissioner--the last of which was commemorated by the casting of30 Kerik busts.

Debating the Netroots
May 07, 2007

[Editors Note: In the latest issue of TNR, Jonathan Chait took a long look at the rise of the netroots as a major force in American politics. Eric Alterman and Matthew Yglesias responded here, with a reply by Chait. Today, more bloggers push back and Chait provides a final rebuttal.] Matt Stoller and Chris Bowers Rick Perlstein Ezra Klein Jonathan Chait   Matt Stoller and Chris Bowers One of the strategic problems confronting the Democratic Party is how to bridge the divide between centrist organizations and new progressive, Internet-based power centers.

The Left's New Machine
May 07, 2007

Most political activists can point to one catalyzing event, an episode in each of their lives (or, more often, in the life of their country) that shook them from their complacency and roused them to change the world. You can find many such stories if you troll through the netroots, the online community of liberal bloggers that has quickly become a formidable constituency in Democratic politics. But the episode that seems to come up most often is the Florida recount.

The Left's New Machine
May 05, 2007

Most political activists can point to one catalyzing event, an episode in each of their lives (or, more often, in the life of their country) that shook them from their complacency and roused them to change the world. You can find many such stories if you troll through the netroots, the online community of liberal bloggers that has quickly become a formidable constituency in Democratic politics. But the episode that seems to come up most often is the Florida recount.

Paranoid Delusions
April 30, 2007

Eric Alterman's reply to my cover story on the netroots is mostly agreement framed as disagreement. I write about how the conventional wisdom in Washington and the pressure to be seen as responsible caused mainstream liberals and journalists to miss reality. My point is that the netroots have helped break down one epistemological prison but have created another. Neither the David Broder method of establishing truth nor the Markos Moulitsas method of establishing truth is very reliable.

Investigating the Netroots
April 30, 2007

TNR Editor Franklin Foer interviews Jonathan Chait about this week's cover story, "The Left's New Machine." Chait studied the liberal blogs for a year and paid close attention to their tone, their ticks, and their hobby-horses. Here, he discusses who, exactly, constitutes "the netroots," what function they serve for the American press, and their role in correcting what he says is a distorted political debate.

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