March 12, 2012
In January 1998, in the run-up to the twenty-fifth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, then-First Lady Hillary Clinton held a meeting in the Map Room of the White House with leaders of women’s groups ranging from Planned Parenthood to the National Women’s Law Center. The meeting took place in the aftermath of the painful and polarizing debate on late-term abortion—a debate in which conservatives capitalized on a seemingly extreme abortion position in order to bludgeon progressive leaders.
March 11, 2012
In Defense of Dick Vitale
When I was 18, I met ESPN announcer Dick Vitale on a flight to Charlottesville, Virginia. The photo I had taken with him that day is still, years later, proudly displayed in my apartment. The reason is simple: I absolutely, unapologetically love Dick Vitale. It’s safe to say that many, maybe even most, sports fans would deem this opinion crazy.
As you may have noticed, TNR is running a symposium on what President Obama should do in a second term. Yes, that is tempting fate. I can imagine about a thousand different ways that Obama loses in November. But I'm participating in the symposium anyway, because -- like the series introduction says -- he could just as easily win. Here's how my entry begins: The strangest thing happened outside my house two hours ago. I killed a mosquito. In Michigan.
March 10, 2012
End the Drug War, Mr. President
Yes, we know we’re tempting fate. But we figure there’s a 50 percent chance Obama will get reelected, and in any case he needs an agenda to campaign on. So we’ve asked a number of TNR writers to explain what they think Obama should focus on for the next four years if he wins in November. Click here to read the collected contributions. If he were to earn a second term, Barack Obama should at least initiate the process of ending the War on Drugs. One reason is that the War on Drugs has been a massive failure by any serious estimation.
Ignore Swing Voters at Your Peril!
In the modest guise of a book review, Ruy Teixeira has reopened an important issue in American politics: Who are the swing voters, and how important are they in these hyperpolarized times? The answer matters a lot, both for campaign strategy and for the conduct of elected officials. If swing voters are insignificant, then campaigns and incumbents can focus on mobilization—that is, on whipping up the fervor of those who already support them.
March 09, 2012
To the Readers of The New Republic: Nearly 100 years ago, the founding editors of The New Republic wrote these words to introduce their inaugural issue: The New Republic is frankly an experiment. It is an attempt to find national audience for a journal of interpretation and opinion.
Source: Overall job growth by month, red for Bush presidency and blue for Obama presidency, via Steve Benen at Maddowblog. So when do we start calling it a recovery? This morning's employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the economy added 227,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate did not change: It's still 8.3 percent. But that is not surprising and that is not necessarily bad news.
On Saturday night at 9 p.m., political reporters across the Beltway will gather round their flat-screens swelling with an odd mix of regret and expectation, like paunchy forty-somethings at a college reunion looking at an old video clip from that great blow-out party years past. Boy, did we have it good, then, and boy is life now dull by comparison. Instead of Obama and Hillary, it's Mitt and Rick. And instead of Sarah Palin, it'll be ... Rob Portman?