Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is editor at large of The American Prospect. His email is hmeyerson@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

The Malign Cluelessness of the Billionaire Bourgeoisie

One of our nation’s more festive rites of spring convenes every April or May at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. The Milken Institute’s Global Conference, presided over by Michael Milken himself, is a kind of domestic Davos, minus the swarm of elected officials and social movement leaders who are occasionally brought in to the Swiss gathering to spice things up. The Milken Conference is made of sterner stuff. It’s for financiers, business honchos, and the random superrich, brought together to inform their deal-making, make more connections, and celebrate—well, themselves. Old-timers may recall Milken’s yearly clambakes at the Hilton began in the 1980s, when he was inventing the junk-bond business at Drexel, Burnham, Lambert, and would annually convene high-flying financiers at the Hilton at what was then called “The Predators’ Ball,” a nod to the corporate takeovers and profit extraction that Milken had helped pioneer. That, of...

Trump Did What Nixon Did, but Today’s GOP Won’t Convict

The story is told of the 19th-century Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster, who was also a noted trial lawyer, that he once represented a plaintiff in a patent infringement suit. His client, an inventor, was suing a would-be inventor who’d come up with a small machine that was indistinguishable from the plaintiff’s own invention. As the trial ended, Webster’s opposing attorney delivered a long summation enumerating the ostensible differences between the two devices. When he finished, Webster arose, looked at the two machines, turned to the jury and said, “Well, if you can see any difference between them, that is more than I can see”—and sat down. The jury quickly ruled for Webster’s client. This story (which, like many good stories, may be apocryphal) comes to mind when comparing Richard Nixon’s obstruction of justice—which, had he not resigned, would have resulted in his impeachment and conviction—with Donald Trump’s...

How Think Progress Would Have Attacked Franklin Roosevelt

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
The past few days’ kerfuffle over the attacks that Think Progress has leveled against Bernie Sanders raises a question for the historically minded: How viciously would it have lashed out against Franklin Roosevelt for his presumed hypocrisy in attacking the reactionary rich more directly and vehemently than Sanders ever has? Think Progress, which is the news and commentary website operating under the aegis and with the funding of the Democratic Party–aligned think tank Center for American Progress, accused Sanders last week of just such hypocrisy for his repeated attacks on the rich, even as he had a yearly income in excess of $1 million from the sale of his books. As one article on the Think Progress website put it: It’s all very off-brand and embarrassing, but Sen. Bernie Sanders is a millionaire. Turns out railing against “millionaires and billionaires” can be quite the lucrative enterprise. Sanders, who released his last ten years of tax returns on...

House Democrats Play Dirty to Shut Out Progressive New Voices

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo
In the fall of 1999, a young Democratic state senator from the South Side of Chicago decided to take on the area’s longtime congressman, Bobby Rush, in the following year’s Democratic primary. Convinced he had something new and fresh to offer voters, and encouraged by his political consigliere Dan Shomon, the senator nonetheless received numerous warnings from more established pols that he had embarked on a fool’s errand — and sure enough, when the primary rolled around, he lost decisively . Had the rules put in place last month by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee been in place then, the consultants who’d helped that young senator would have been blacklisted by the party, and that young senator — Barack Obama — would have had the political mark of Cain (a failed Cain, at that) branded on him by the Democratic House. The rules that the DCCC unveiled last month are something new under the Democratic sun. Clearly concerned that...

The Trumpians: A Confederacy of Dunces, a Dunciad of Neo-Confederates

Midway into the third year of his presidency, Donald Trump is still able to find less competent clowns and more brutal thugs than their clownish, brutish predecessors to execute his policies (or, more accurately, his impulses). His nominations of Stephen Moore and Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve would place political hacks with proven records of economic idiocy in key policy-making slots. At one time or another, each advocated a reversion to the gold standard—the one policy guaranteed to turn a recession into a depression—and both warned repeatedly that the low interest rates and federal spending of the Obama era, which were key to the post-2008 economic recovery, would surely lead to ruinous inflation. Now that unemployment is at record lows, however, they have shifted their stance to supporting lowering interest rates to boost the economy—compliantly echoing the position of a desperate Trump hoping that good economic news will boost his re-election prospects...

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