Abbie Hoffman

William Raspberry, Radical
July 17, 2012

The Washington Post columnist William Raspberry, who died today at 76, is remembered as being relentlessly moderate, but Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell didn’t view him that way. In his famous “Powell memorandum,” a 1971 memo Powell wrote, shortly before his 1971 Court appointment, to a friend working at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Powell urged American business to unite in political opposition to what Powell perceived as the growing influence of “Communists, New Leftists, and other revolutionaries” on mainstream political discourse.

William Raspberry, Radical
July 17, 2012

The Washington Post columnist William Raspberry, who died today at 76, is remembered as being relentlessly moderate, but Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell didn't view him that way. In his famous "Powell memorandum," a 1971 memo Powell wrote, shortly before his 1971 Court appointment, to a friend working at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Powell urged American business to unite in political opposition to what Powell perceived as the growing influence of "Communists, New Leftists, and other revolutionaries" on mainstream political discourse.

TRB And Why You Should Subscribe
April 21, 2010

My latest TRB column is out. It's about Frank Luntz, and the strange duality of his role: Luntz has slowly evolved into a fully self-aware comic figure—a kind of right-wing, establishmentarian Abbie Hoffman, exposing the moral vacuity of politics by openly conceding the total subordination of fact to spin.

Spin At All Costs
April 21, 2010

Last week, Republican pollster Frank Luntz offered himself up as a punch line in a segment for “The Daily Show.” The somewhat convoluted premise of the sketch was that the show’s correspondent, Samantha Bee, was helping a security consultant track down his stolen guns. For her search team, Bee assembled an ex-con, a former loan shark, and Luntz. At one point, as the three questioned the consultant’s cleaning staff, the ex-shylock threatened to break their bones unless they confessed. “No no no no no,” interjected Luntz.

Ted Kennedy and His Brothers
August 27, 2009

I entered politics in 1962 along with Ted Kennedy. Well, not exactly. Actually, I entered politics against Ted Kennedy. No, I was not for Edward McCormack, who was Speaker McCormack's nephew and was running against Teddy in the Democratic primary. And I was also not for George Cabot Lodge, Ted's G.O.P. opponent and descendant of many Massachusetts Cabots and Lodges going back to George Cabot, who served as the Bay State's United States Senator from 1791 to 1796. (The family still lives but not the party of its ancestors.) I actually supported H.

Alone Together
February 12, 2007

The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity By Eric L. Goldstein (Princeton University Press, 307 pp., $29.95) Strangers in the Land: Blacks, Jews, Post-Holocaust America By Eric J. Sundquist (Harvard University Press, 662 pp., $35)   I. IN UNCOUNTED, FLEETING, intimate ways, American Jewish children growing up between Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 lived the changing landscape of Jewish and African American relations. I know I did.

Invisible Man
July 01, 2002

Uh oh. I am standing in the doorway of a hotel banquet hall, searching the room for Howard Dean, the governor of Vermont and Democratic presidential hopeful. He's here to attend a local Greek Independence Day celebration--to give a few remarks, to march in a parade, and, perhaps, to make some political contacts that might help in the 2004 New Hampshire primary. It's an informal gathering, and when I called Dean's press secretary a few days ago, she suggested I just show up as the luncheon was winding down and pull him aside to chat.