Moonrise Kingdom is set on an island, but its director Wes Anderson has always seemed like someone who insisted on a small off-shore existence. This is not uncommon in American movies, or necessarily forbidding: Josef von Sternberg lived on a glowing island where the light and its shadows fell on the face of a woman, ideally Marlene Dietrich, because Sternberg had loved her and been humiliated by her. Howard Hawks preferred to find an enclosed cockpit of intense talk and action—the airfield in Only Angels Have Wings or the court newsroom in His Girl Friday.
The Republican Party’s alleged “war” against women is fast emerging as a major trope of the 2012 elections. And the charge is largely true: As the GOP has become increasingly conservative, so too has it become increasingly hostile to feminism and insensitive to women’s issues. But Democrats have not merely been horrified bystanders wringing their hands as this “war” has unfolded. The Democratic Party has actively encouraged the GOP’s descent into antifeminism.
Yes, Caucuses Are Unfair. No, We Shouldn’t Mind.
March 06, 2012
Regardless of whether Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum comes out ahead in Ohio later today, Super Tuesday already promises to make at least one growing segment of America’s political class gleeful: caucus skeptics. Of the ten events scheduled for today, only those in North Dakota, Idaho, and Alaska will tally votes by means of a caucus rather than a primary election, and most attention will be elsewhere. But, even if it’s temporarily pacified, the anti-caucus sentiment that has been burgeoning in the wake of the various vote-counting follies in Iowa, Nevada, and Maine is sure to crop up again.
The Five Senate Seats Democrats Want to Flip in 2012
March 02, 2012
The tables have turned. Just a few days ago, Republicans seemed poised to capture the Senate, with Democrats fearing for their 53-47 majority. Indeed, the math has long seemed to favor Republicans: Of the 33 contested Senate seats in 2012, Democrats hold 23, while the Republicans hold only ten, meaning the GOP has far fewer seats to defend. But as soon as Maine’s centrist Republican Senator Olympia Snowe unexpectedly announced her retirement on Tuesday, the 2012 elections suddenly looked much different.
Romney's Veteran Problem
February 10, 2012
[Guest post by Thomas Stackpole] In the wake of Santorum’s bolstering victory in Colorado Tuesday night, where he carried the state by 5 and a half points, Michael Moschella of the Truman Institute, started circulating the theory that one of the deciding factors was the cluster of military personnel in the areas that Santorum carried (veterans make up 19 percent of the population in El Paso County, against a national average of 10 percent), and raising the inevitable question: Does Romney have a problem with veterans? Moschella argues: El Paso County is home to Colorado Springs and a top “mili
The Guy Who Fires You
January 25, 2012
Randy Lavallee is a proud member of the American working class. A New Hampshire resident, he works as a calibration inspector for a jet-engine plant just across the state line in Maine. Four years ago, the plant went through a downsizing that resulted in the layoffs of one-sixth of its 1,600 workers. After the cuts, Lavallee told me, the “CEO and management got big bonuses.” I met Lavallee, 58, recently in Rochester, New Hampshire, where he lives.
The Wrong Way to Fix Citizens United
January 20, 2012
At the second anniversary of the Citizens United decision, there can no longer be any doubt—the political world has been changed in profound ways, and for the worse. If there’s a general sense in this election cycle that anything goes—at least in terms of political money and advertising—it’s in part because that Supreme Court decision, which struck down limitson independent political spending by corporations.
Why Mitt Says The Things He Says
January 12, 2012
For all the talk this past week about Mitt Romney's latest gems -- his "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me" line and his "There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip" -- I'm surprised more people haven't reckoned with the fact that they were quite inconsistent statements. One was meant to express empathy with economically distressed voters, one was meant to reflect a business-minded toughness and clarity. They were spoken within a day of one another.
Is N.H. Really Going To Give Mitt A Pass?
January 09, 2012
SOMERSWORTH, N.H. -- At several points the past couple days, I thought of a great line in the Concord Monitor's "un-endorsement" of Mitt Romney in late 2007, when, in advance of its endorsement of John McCain, it ran an entire editorial specifically opposing Romney: "When New Hampshire partisans are asked to defend the state's first-in-the-nation primary, we talk about our ability to see the candidates up close, ask tough questions and see through the baloney.
Last Night's Bad News
November 09, 2011
There’s no denying that last night was a pretty good night for liberals across the country—in Mississippi, Maine, and especially in Ohio, where voters restored public-sector collective bargaining rights. That was perhaps the night’s most high-profile win, but it wasn’t all good news from the Buckeye State: While voters rejected a right-wing push against unions, they supported one against the Affordable Care Act. By a huge margin, Ohioans approved Issue 3, a symbolic, Tea-Party backed measure to amend the state constitution (and voice conservative protests against the individual mandate).