Sam Rosenfeld

Sam Rosenfeld is a Ph.D. candidate in history at Harvard University and a former web editor at the Prospect.

Recent Articles


THE F WORD. Ezra 's not on yet, but I figured it should be noted that, in his convo with Ben Affleck , Chris Matthews uttered the word "fascist" in criticizing the politics of fear that he thinks Rudy Giuliani employs on national security issues; I'll link to the transcript when it gets posted. --Sam Rosenfeld


A POX! It may surprise you to hear this: In his column today, David Broder assesses the Democratic and Republican primary debates that happened this week, considers both parties to have engaged in a "dispiriting display of pandering and group-think," and warns that "the dynamic on both sides is trending toward extreme positions that would open the door to an independent or third-party challenge in 2008 aimed at the millions of voters in the center." The door, it's opening! Very slowly, but still opening ... Broder also says that the "danger may be greatest for the Democrats." This is in part because the "broader question of Persian Gulf policy in the likely event of a drawdown of American forces in the coming year is ... a blind spot for the Democrats." For readers who may be wondering, the likely drawdown of American forces he's referencing here is the one that he and other Beltway press sages keep predicting will happen despite the absence of any evidence in support of it and...


THE POLITICS OF RESENTMENT, GLOBAL WARMING EDITION. Last week, the White House touted President Bush 's announcement of a new plan for 15 major countries to forge a climate change policy in 2008 as a bold step forward in tackling the problem. Substantively, it was easy enough to show that this was actually all bunk . But another way of getting at the notion that the White House might not be pursuing a good-faith substantive effort to address climate change here would be to read National Review 's editorial praising the president's plan: From the early days of the Kyoto Protocol, one of the not-so-hidden agendas of the Europeans was to use climate-change agreements to hobble the American economy, so much so that even the Clinton administration felt compelled to push back. Now, with President Bush politically weak and relentless fearmongering over climate "catastrophe," this week's G-8 meeting has been shaping up as another attempted mugging of Uncle Sam. Tony Blair is triumphant in his...


"A BIZARRE NOTION." He ended his answer implying that he'd authorize air strikes against an Iranian nuclear warhead if one's built, but prior to the conclusion Joe Biden made two surprising (for a debate) and welcome points on Iran: that the policy of "regime change" itself -- of making demands on a country like Iran while also touting our intentions to topple the government -- is "bizarre" and should be abandoned; and that, according to actual and credible analyses, Iran is many years further away from developing nuclear weapons than is commonly discussed or assumed. --Sam Rosenfeld


MANDATES! The subject's now health care, and Obama spoke explicitly in defense of his plan's lack of an individual mandate element to it. This was discussed quite a bit on the site last week, and in fact we'll have another piece on the subject published tomorrow. (As you might have guessed, TAP Online 's recent emphasis on individual health insurance mandates is indeed part of a conscious strategy to boost the sexiness and broad appeal of the site.) Obama and Edwards had a fairly substantive exchange on the issue, and then two others made helpful contributions: Clinton made a welcome reaffirmation that her role in the 1993 health-care bid will not hinder her interest in pushing for a universal plan if she were elected (whether she's the person best positioned to make that case, given the history, is a different question); then, Kucinich said this whole mandate issue is beside the point and everyone's ignoring the fact that single-payer is obviously the best answer. UPDATE: Clinton's...