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Political History

A Cool-Headed Look at 1939

  • By
  • Anatol Lieven,
  • New America Foundation
September 4, 2009 |

In the Polish-Russian dispute over what happened in 1939, rival myth-making is being driven by domestic political calculations on both sides. Polish right-wing politicians including the present president have used the memory of 1939 and the alleged continuity of Soviet and Russian policy to whip up nationalist feelings and bolster their support.

Master of Opportunity

  • By
  • Mark Schmitt,
  • New America Foundation
August 26, 2009 |
There are two battling story lines about the career of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy: Here at the Prospect, we recall the Lion of Liberalism, treating his 1980 convention speech as the hinge of his long career. Meanwhile, on cable news, or in the hands of Dan Balz at The Washington Post, he is the icon of bipartisan compromise, whose close working partnership with Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah among others was legendary.

Can Obama Give 'Em Hell Before It's Too Late?

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
September 1, 2009 |

"We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace: business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering," President Franklin Roosevelt told an audience in Madison Square Garden in 1936. "They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today.

Conservatives, Yesterday and Today

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
August 31, 2009 |

Think back to the spring of 1968. The U.S. is mired in Vietnam. The country is in turmoil. The sitting Democratic president abruptly pulls out of his campaign for reelection, and the leading conservative columnist of the day neither gloats nor does a victory dance.

It's nearly impossible to imagine this happening today.

Sen. Kennedy's Personal Touch

  • By
  • Michael Dannenberg,
  • New America Foundation
August 28, 2009 |

Soon after my former roommate was killed in Iraq, Sen. Ted Kennedy called me. It was a Sunday afternoon, and I wasn't pleased to get the call. I was on the senator's staff at the time, and he sometimes called on weekends with policy questions, usually about education funding. The calls usually required some quick fact-checking at the least, and sometimes a trip into the office.

Obama, You're No Machiavelli

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
August 18, 2009 |
To judge from his faltering campaign for healthcare reform, President Obama, well-read as he is, appears to have neglected to read Machiavelli. If he had done so, the American president would have learned this from the Florentine statesman and philosopher in "The Prince":

Democracy in Action and the Obnoxious

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
August 17, 2009 |
Don't get too outraged, those of you who are looking down your noses at those unreasonable, misinformed anti-healthcare-reform town hallers. No matter what particular clan, tribe or party you belong to, you can't really disown them any more than you can your own grandmother. You may not agree with them, but their brand of hotheaded, self-righteous, obnoxious, stick-it-to-the-manism is as American as apple pie.

Incompetent Foes

  • By
  • Steven Teles,
  • New America Foundation
August 12, 2009 |

All but the most ostrich-like of conservatives recognize that their movement is at its lowest ebb in more than three decades. Democrats control the presidency and both chambers of Congress, and the polarization of the two major parties has rendered conservatives more isolated and irrelevant to policymaking than in their previous stints in the minority.

Can Obama Be Deprogrammed?

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
August 4, 2009 |

In my first foray into political life in the 1970s, I worked during college on the staff of a liberal Democrat in the Texas state Senate. Only a few years earlier, Patty Hearst had been kidnapped and brainwashed by the Symbionese Liberation Army, and a moral panic about cults seducing college kids was sweeping the nation. One result was the rise of a new, thankfully ephemeral profession: "deprogrammers" who for pay would kidnap a young person from a cult and break the spell, by means of isolation, interrogation and maybe reruns of "The Waltons."

Other Presidents Who Weighed In on Big Cases | NYTimes.com

July 24, 2009
“At the end of the day, these are robust human beings who occupy the Oval Office, and they are skilled with robust language,” said Ted Widmer, a presidential historian at Brown. Original article
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