How The Founders Hated The Senate
January 11, 2011
Rick Hertzberg has been pointing out for years that the founding fathers supporting proportional representation, and only agreed to create a Senate because such a concession was required to win support from smaller states.
Constitutionalism For Me, Not For Thee
January 10, 2011
Rick Hertzberg quotes Alexander Hamilton arguing against a supermajority requirement: What he was attacking was the premise that would one day underlie the McConnell-era filibuster—the notion that a legislature should routinely require supermajority approval for any action to be taken.
Obama Stands On Principle, Defends Muslim Rights
August 14, 2010
The Park51 controversy is bound to blow up now that President Obama has weighed in. I've written a lot on the substance of it. The only new argument I've seen recently comes from Rick Hertzberg, who explains why the Auschwitz-Nun incident cited by the ADL and other opponents of Park51 doesn't hold water: 1. The convent at Auschwitz was to be a purely Catholic institution, with none of the interfaith aspects or broad community-serving purposes that mark the Park51 project. 2.
August 09, 2010
-- Jonathan Cohn (aka Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf) asks: "are public sector employees the new welfare queens?" -- Rick Hertzberg takes on the opponents of the Ground Zero mosque. -- Andrew Sullivan responds to Ross Douthat's column on straight vs. gay monogamy.
August 02, 2010
-- Steve Coll asks us to stop blaming the Afghans. -- Daniel Gross defends the electric car against fellow Washington Post co. employee Charles Lane. -- Rick Hertzberg swats away more uninformed defenses of the electoral college. -- Suzy Khimm highlights the first signs of corporations taking advantage of the Citizens United ruling. -- Steve Benen likes the shifting Republican narrative on tax cuts.
Justifying The Electoral College
July 27, 2010
Psychologists say that people genuinely do not form their opinions on issues by sorting through arguments and arriving at a conclusion. Instead, they arrive at a conclusion and then formulate reasons to justify their decision. You see this dynamic all the time, but it seems especially obvious when you examine the arguments of defenders of the electoral college. Rick Hertzberg takes apart a defense of the electoral college offered up at a Cato debate by Tara Ross: Ms. Ross argues that N.P.V. would undermine the two-party system.
When My Father Cried for Paraguay
July 09, 2010
The always brilliant Rick Hertzberg has been debating our very own Jon Chait about the perils of soccer nationalism and tribalism. I don’t have much to add, aside from some personal anecdote. The other week, my father and I watched Paraguay and Japan play in the first knockout round. It was hardly a match that anyone outside of those two countries will remember, except perhaps for Paraguay enthusiasts like Sasha. But the match droned on, nil-nil, all the way to penalty kicks.
Nooo! The Soccer Zombies Have Gotten To Hertzberg!
July 07, 2010
One thing I've never understood about soccer advocates is that they simultaneously argue for nationalism (how can you not care about the fate of American soccer against the foreigners?) while decrying nationalism among American soccer-haters.
Liberals And Political Reform
June 01, 2010
New York Times political analyst Matt Bai has a story today about right-wingers who favor repealing the 17th Amendment, which requires the direct election of Senators.
Will The Ghost Of Specter Haunt Obama?
May 19, 2010
Rick Hertzberg has a good reply to the notion that Arlen Specter's defeat represents a setback for a White House-selected nominee: Arlen Specter was not “selected by leaders in Washington.” He selected himself. As one of the last of the moderate Republicans, he was headed for defeat in his own party’s primary. He thought (no doubt correctly) that his chances for survival would be better in the other party, so he switched.