Two years ago in a Denver courtroom, when we last encountered the anti-gay rights case Evans v. Romer, Professors Martha Nussbaum of Brown and Robert George of Princeton were wrangling about the proper translation of tolmema, Plato's adjective for homosexuality. Nussbaum said "deed of daring"; George preferred "abomination." (See "Sodom and Demurrer," TNR, November 29, 1993.) In its journey up to the Supreme Court, however, the case has been transformed from one about the definition of homosexuality to one about constitutional limitations on plebiscitary democracy.
Americans today own 63 million cats and 54 million dogs, on whom they rain more than $17 billion a year--and business is booming. These facts should give us paws. More and more we live in proximity to small animals. People come home dog-tired from work, and they find release and consolation in pets: it is medically proven that they lower blood pressure and heal the mentally distressed. Cats have recently become more popular than dogs in this country.
When the new Republican Congress was sworn in last January, the South finally conquered Washington. The defeated Democratic leadership had been almost exclusively from the Northeast, the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest, with Speaker Tom Foley of Washington, Majority Leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri and Majority Whip David Bonior of Michigan in the House, and, on the Senate side, Majority Leader George Mitchell from Maine. The only Southerner in the Democratic congressional leadership was Senate Majority Whip Wendell Ford of Kentucky.
Courtroom Three, on the second floor of the Denver City and County Building, is a neoclassical jewel, with its mustard walls and gray Vermont marble and polished oak backboard. It is a platonic ideal of a courtroom, which is perhaps why Viacom commandeered it in the mid-1980s to film several episodes of the new "Perry Mason." At the producers' behest, local architects installed a pair of ornate, but scarcely functional, beaux arts chandeliers; and their dim orange glow makes it hard for the judge to see the witnesses without squinting.
There was always a special patriotism to the speeches of Martin Luther King. No other American orator could bring audiences to their feet by reciting three full stanzas of "My Country, Tis of Thee." From there he often soared across the American landscape in perorations calling on freedom to ring "from the granite peaks of New Hampshire . . . from the mighty Alleghenies of Pennsylvania . . . from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado . . . from Lookout Mountain in Tennessee! Let it ring . . .
Not long ago Representative Andrew Jacobs Jr. of Indiana filed a bill to replace "The Star-Spangled Banner" with "America the Beautiful" as our national anthem. Many people have long advocated just such a change, and for a number of reasons the bill deserves wide support. "The Star-Spangled Banner" has been the official national anthem only since March 3, 1931. Most people assume that it has been the anthem virtually from time immemorial and that it is thus now sacrosanct.
This is the first of a series of articles on various aspects of the next four years in American life. The other contributors are: Secretary Henry A. Wallace, Under-secretary Rexford G. Tugwell, Morris L. Cooke, John L. Lewis, Dr. Arthur E. Morgan, Professor Thomas Reed Powell, Bruce Bliven and George Soule.—THE EDITORS. In a cloudburst of votes, the people washed away "Jeffersonian" Democrats, assorted big shots, newspapers, in a deluge of hilarious bitterness—and when the sun rose bright and shiny, there was Franklin D.