Politics

January 16, 2006

Cambridge Diarist
12:00 AM

When Eugene McCarthy died a month ago, I rushed to compose what I wished to be a meditation on what the man had meant to me, to my generation, and to our history. But eulogies always suffer from the press of deadlines, and so I decided to get an opinion of what I wrote from a truth-teller I've known since the 1968 campaign. I read my piece to John Callahan, a professor of English at Lewis & Clark College and the author of books on Ralph Ellison and F. Scott Fitzgerald, the harshest of the truth-tellers.

January 15, 2006

Border War
12:00 AM

John B. Judis: What Arizona teaches us about immigration in America.

January 09, 2006

Past Perfect
12:00 AM

Jerusalem, Israel When Ehud Olmert was a teenage leader of the right-wing Betar youth movement in the 1950s, he would mark May Day by tearing down the red flag that hung over the trade union building in his northern village of Binyamina. For Olmert and his friends, that flag symbolized what they referred to as "the Vichy government" of Labor Zionism, which had betrayed the land of Israel by twice accepting its partition--first in 1923, when the British created Transjordan, and then in 1947, when the Untied Nations divided what was left of historic Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.

December 24, 2005

Twin Pique
12:00 AM

Last week I attended a screening of Munich in Washington. The evening included testimonials to the film's cinematic power from former Clinton officials Mike McCurry and Dennis Ross, both serving as consultants to the movie's rollout, plus more praise from Princeton Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter and Foreign Policy Editor-In-Chief Moisés Naím.

December 23, 2005

Marriage Problems
12:00 AM

The latest Weekly Standard cover story, "HERE COME THE BRIDES: PLURAL MARRIAGE IS WAITING IN THE WINGS," proves something that its author, Stanley Kurtz, most certainly did not intend it to: The conservative case against gay marriage is growing weaker by the day. Opponents of same-sex marriage have traditionally relied on two strategies to drum up support for their cause: the "ick" factor and the slippery-slope argument. But now, even the staunchest of conservatives must admit that America is becoming more tolerant of homosexuality.

December 19, 2005

The Abolition Of Torture
12:00 AM

Why is torture wrong? It may seem like an obvious question, or even one beneath discussion. But it is now inescapably before us, with the introduction of the McCain Amendment banning all "cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment" of detainees by American soldiers and CIA operatives anywhere in the world. The amendment lies in legislative limbo.

American Idle

"Without the Cold War," Rabbit Angstrom asks in John Updike's Rabbit at Rest, "what's the point of being an American?" Rabbit's question, which he posed in 1990, anticipated something in the national mood during the decade that followed. In 1995, social critic Christopher Lasch wrote that the United States had descended into a "democratic malaise," the most telling symptom of which, Harvard public policy scholar Robert Putnam wrote, was a decline in civic engagement.

The Abolition of Torture
12:00 AM

Why is torture wrong? It may seem like an obvious question, or even one beneath discussion. But it is now inescapably before us, with the introduction of the McCain Amendment banning all "cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment" of detainees by American soldiers and CIA operatives anywhere in the world. The amendment lies in legislative limbo.

Christmas Party
12:00 AM

"I think there is a general war on Christians underway in our country. … I think it's clear it is liberals who are the purveyors of an anti-Christmas, anti-Christian bias." --Fox News host John Gibson, author of The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE TO: Leading Democrats FROM: DNC Executive Committee (cc: Howard Dean) SUBJECT: Overcoming the Anti-Christmas Image While our base strongly supports the war on Christians, polling numbers suggest that we're losing independent voters.

December 14, 2005

Fortunate Son
12:00 AM

It has never been entirely clear just who makes up the Republican establishment--businessmen? evangelicals? freepers?--but it is clear that they've never liked John McCain. A look at the coverage of McCain's 2000 presidential primary campaign reveals hundreds of instances in which the Arizona senator is depicted as waging heroic battle against the GOP establishment, and the establishment is depicted as fighting back just as hard, if less heroically.

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