Editor's Page

Editor's Page ent EDITORS MITCHELL COHEN IRVING HOWE 1920-1993 MICHAEL WALZER HE ELECTIONS presage troubling times in American life. The Republicans certainly triumphed. But their claim to a "mandate" for a zealous agenda is, if unsurprising, reckless--especially in wartime. They are bad winners when they prevail, but no less than when they lose, as George W. Bush did the popular presidential vote in 2000. They proceeded as if they had a popular mandate four years ago. Now they proceed, with smug surety, as if they need not heed the 48 percent of the electorate that voted Democratic (and which, presumably, lacks "values"). n "I earned capital in the campaign," declared the president, "and now I intend to spend it." No malapropism here, just translation of the ballot into a business venture--an interesting exercise in democratic "values." As to spending, well, other values--the sort you might find in our pages-- could lead you to pose some questions and connect dots: Spend just what on whose behalf? Does this president's idea of tax "simplification" simply mean more for those who have the most and "sorry, no budget" for those who have less? Will privatization of Social Security ensure American well-being in coming years any more than, say, faith-based vaccines will protect us from flu this winter? n Consider: Republican John Thune, South Dakota's new senator, is a creationist. Will this earn him a seat on the Science, Technology, and Transportation Subcommittee? (Should creationists be given responsibility for the Department of Homeland Security's research into biological terrorism?) His party comrade, senator-elect Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, supports the death penalty for physicians who perform abortions--a "pro-life" position. Newly-elected senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina wants to bar single mothers from teaching ("values" surely dictate that they earn their virtue, I mean living, as maids for married parents). Did "values" persuade the GOP House majority to repeal its rule against assigning leadership roles to congressmen indicted for felonies (their leader, Tom DeLay, is under criminal investigation). When these conservatives inveigh about "values," they are usually reaching for their dogmas . . . or a political prophylactic. n Dissent magazine, a quarterly, doesn't try to cover elections the way weeklies and monthlies do. Our job differs. It demands some immediate observations, but we also take a little time for deliberation. So our Spring issue will bring considerations about the unhappy state of post-election politics. This issue presents articles that address some important, abiding concerns: Clifford Geertz examines the idea of the third world revolution; Andrei S. Markovits analyzes the trajectory of the European left; Joseph A. McCartin argues for "democratizing the demand for workers' rights"; Susie Linfield explores the obscene "dance of civilizations" revealed by the scandal at Abu Ghraib; and we continue our important series of feminist reflections on "the politics of the family." Amid the dogmatic din, there are still authors who evaluate. EXECUTIVE EDITOR MAXINE PHILLIPS BOOK REVIEW EDITOR MARK LEVINSON BUSINESS MANAGER DEBRA PLASTRIK OFFICE MANAGER' CIRCULATION DIRECTOR BOB BERENS WEB SITE PRODUCER MARILYN MCNEAL INTERN TOM SANTILLI EDITORIAL BOARD BERNARD AVISHAI JOANNE BARKAN DAVID BENSMAN MARSHALL BERMAN PAUL BERMAN H. BRAND DAVID BROMWICH LUTHER P. CARPENTER JEAN L. COHEN BOGDAN DENITCH JEFF FAUX CYNTHIA FUCHS EPSTEIN TODD GITLIN MURRAY HAUSKNECHT ROBERT HEILBRONER AGNES HELLER JEFFREY C. ISAAC MICHAEL KAZIN RANDALL KENNEDY MARTIN KILSON ERAZIM KOHAK WILLIAM KORNBLUM JEREMY LARNER DEBORAH MEIER HAROLD MEYERSON NICOLAUS MILLS JO-ANN MORT BRIAN MORTON CAROL O'CLEIREACAIN GEORGE PACKER MARTIN PERETZ ANSON RABINBACH RUTH ROSEN JAMES B. RULE ALAN RYAN PATRICIA CAW) SEXTON JIM SLEEPER ANN SNITOW CORNEL WEST SEAN WILENTZ DENNIS WRONG --M.C. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Dissent University of Pennsylvania Press

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Abstract

ent EDITORS MITCHELL COHEN IRVING HOWE 1920-1993 MICHAEL WALZER HE ELECTIONS presage troubling times in American life. The Republicans certainly triumphed. But their claim to a "mandate" for a zealous agenda is, if unsurprising, reckless--especially in wartime. They are bad winners when they prevail, but no less than when they lose, as George W. Bush did the popular presidential vote in 2000. They proceeded as if they had a popular mandate four years ago. Now they proceed, with smug surety, as if they need not heed the 48 percent of the electorate that voted Democratic (and which, presumably, lacks "values"). n "I earned capital in the campaign," declared the president, "and now I intend to spend it." No malapropism here, just translation of the ballot into a business venture--an interesting exercise in democratic "values." As to spending, well, other values--the sort you might find in our pages-- could lead you to pose some questions and connect dots: Spend just what on whose behalf? Does this president's idea of tax "simplification" simply mean more for those who have the most and "sorry, no budget" for those who have less? Will privatization of Social Security ensure American well-being in coming years any more than, say, faith-based vaccines will protect us from flu this winter? n Consider: Republican John Thune, South Dakota's new senator, is a creationist. Will this earn him a seat on the Science, Technology, and Transportation Subcommittee? (Should creationists be given responsibility for the Department of Homeland Security's research into biological terrorism?) His party comrade, senator-elect Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, supports the death penalty for physicians who perform abortions--a "pro-life" position. Newly-elected senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina wants to bar single mothers from teaching ("values" surely dictate that they earn their virtue, I mean living, as maids for married parents). Did "values" persuade the GOP House majority to repeal its rule against assigning leadership roles to congressmen indicted for felonies (their leader, Tom DeLay, is under criminal investigation). When these conservatives inveigh about "values," they are usually reaching for their dogmas . . . or a political prophylactic. n Dissent magazine, a quarterly, doesn't try to cover elections the way weeklies and monthlies do. Our job differs. It demands some immediate observations, but we also take a little time for deliberation. So our Spring issue will bring considerations about the unhappy state of post-election politics. This issue presents articles that address some important, abiding concerns: Clifford Geertz examines the idea of the third world revolution; Andrei S. Markovits analyzes the trajectory of the European left; Joseph A. McCartin argues for "democratizing the demand for workers' rights"; Susie Linfield explores the obscene "dance of civilizations" revealed by the scandal at Abu Ghraib; and we continue our important series of feminist reflections on "the politics of the family." Amid the dogmatic din, there are still authors who evaluate. EXECUTIVE EDITOR MAXINE PHILLIPS BOOK REVIEW EDITOR MARK LEVINSON BUSINESS MANAGER DEBRA PLASTRIK OFFICE MANAGER' CIRCULATION DIRECTOR BOB BERENS WEB SITE PRODUCER MARILYN MCNEAL INTERN TOM SANTILLI EDITORIAL BOARD BERNARD AVISHAI JOANNE BARKAN DAVID BENSMAN MARSHALL BERMAN PAUL BERMAN H. BRAND DAVID BROMWICH LUTHER P. CARPENTER JEAN L. COHEN BOGDAN DENITCH JEFF FAUX CYNTHIA FUCHS EPSTEIN TODD GITLIN MURRAY HAUSKNECHT ROBERT HEILBRONER AGNES HELLER JEFFREY C. ISAAC MICHAEL KAZIN RANDALL KENNEDY MARTIN KILSON ERAZIM KOHAK WILLIAM KORNBLUM JEREMY LARNER DEBORAH MEIER HAROLD MEYERSON NICOLAUS MILLS JO-ANN MORT BRIAN MORTON CAROL O'CLEIREACAIN GEORGE PACKER MARTIN PERETZ ANSON RABINBACH RUTH ROSEN JAMES B. RULE ALAN RYAN PATRICIA CAW) SEXTON JIM SLEEPER ANN SNITOW CORNEL WEST SEAN WILENTZ DENNIS WRONG --M.C.

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DissentUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Oct 5, 2005

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