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American politics

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Jodie Evans Has a Code

There she is, brandishing handcuffs at Karl Rove, interrupting a Beverly Hills book signing to make a citizen’s arrest. Or she’s holding a banner, or marching, or doing a video interview. Sometimes she’s camouflaged under a big floppy hat or b [...]

Election Day

No one picked in the fields on Election Day. 
The trucks drove us to a picnic on the Bluff. 
The children sang songs like it was Sunday. 

Harvey, Maker of Presidents

George Harvey, a Passionate Patriot. By Willis Fletcher Johnson. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. $5.00. Mr. willis fletcher johnson likes to challenge his readers, as one may see from the title of his biography of Colonel George Harvey; for th [...]

Reports From the Political Laboratory

It may well be, as Mr. Commager says, that the American political experience of three and a half centuries has afforded "the most elaborate political laboratory in all history and one whose findings have been pretty well recorded." For thirty years now, roughly since the publication of Mr. Beard's study of the origins of the Constitution, historical investigators in that great laboratory have been reporting findings and releasing odors not always flattering to American democracy and its institutions—often quite unflattering, in fact. Yet it is safe to say that the products of this generation of historians will long be considered monumental.

Pat Robertson speaks to a meeting of the Christian Coalition in Washington DC in 1994 (Wally McNaMee / Corbis).

The Christian with Four Aces

For nearly half a century, Pat Robertson has built a media juggernaut on the twin foundations of religious fundamentalism and hard-nosed politics. He has enjoyed unmatched influence, but is it the end of an era?

Politics: America’s Missing Constitutional Link

n so many respects, today’s political system is broken, and there is currently no reasonable prospect of fixing it. Our schedule of presidential primaries and caucuses is a front-loaded mess, and the Congress, the parties, and the states refuse seriously to tackle its reform. The Democrats are currently tinkering at the edges of reform, just as the Republicans attempted to do in prior years, but little will come of it because of the powerful interests with heavy investments in the status quo. Our scheme of campaign financing incorporates the worst of several worlds, and with each election cycle the process deteriorates further. Our partisan procedure for drawing legislative districts enforces vicious polarization rather than encouraging moderation and compromise. Are these calamities our fault? Certainly. But all these disasters can be traced back to the writing of the Constitution—not so much what was included in the text, but some items foolishly or thoughtlessly excluded from it.


After Reading “The Sleepers”

I am amazed, there is nothing you can do for me, I am content.
I see my mother and father, the night pervades them and enfolds them.  
Everything I've said about them, I take back, and yet I still maintain what I have said.