Sam Rosenfeld

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

Recent Articles


THROWING 'BOWS. John Edwards took the first direct shots at fellow candidates in tonight's Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire, on the subject of the war supplemental vote -- he said the way in which Obama and Clinton handled the vote illustrated the difference between "being a leader and being a follower" (those two fell in the latter category). Of course, as Edwards had to acknowledge, both Clinton and Obama voted against the post-veto supplemental bill that lacked a withdrawal timetable, so his criticism is reduced to the complaint that they cast that vote "quietly." This seems ... thin. --Sam Rosenfeld


EMPIRE! There's been some conversation recently about what, exactly, our long-term intentions were and/or continue to be in Iraq -- Josh Marshall has written a few interesting TPM posts on the subject, and of course the president brought the matter into stark relief with his recent comparison of our presence in Iraq to that in South Korea. Kevin Drum discusses what had been, for some reason, the issue that dared not speak its name in respectable venues for years after the invasion: permanent U.S. bases in Iraq: It's nice to finally see a few people in the mainstream press taking seriously the question of why the Bush administration has, for the past four years in Iraq, been busily building permanent military bases the size of small towns to go along with an embassy compound more suited to be NATO headquarters than a diplomatic outpost to a country of 25 million. I think the definitive reported piece on our "enduring bases" in Iraq was written by Spencer Ackerman for the November 2006...


PELOSI VS. HASTERT. In his New York Times web column, Carl Hulse argues that there is a stark contrast between the leadership style of Nancy Pelosi and that of her predecessor Dennis Hastert in that Pelosi seems to have abandoned Hastert's "majority of the majority" doctrine, where only bills that had majority support from the leader's party are pushed. Pelosi broke with that notion in bringing the Iraq supplemental bill to passage. However, that's Hulse's only example. I think the war supplemental has to be thought of as fairly sui generis , not merely given the issue at hand but also the fact that disputes over war policy play out in the American political context as fights over "must-pass" funding bills for troops and personnel on the ground. And the next looming test case that Hulse mentions, on trade, may fail to materialize -- liberals actually managed to get most of what they wanted in terms of standards and concessions included in the pending trade deals with Peru and Panama,...


TODAY IN TAP ONLINE . In his column this week, Terence Samuel discusses the disillusionment of the antiwar movement as one of its iconic figures throws in the towel: With some effort, the most determinedly optimistic among us may be able to find some upsides to the messy U.S. involvement in Iraq; but, in general, the enterprise has produced more than enough disappointment to go around. And if anyone is entitled to hers, it's Cindy Sheehan. But Samuel goes on to caution antiwar liberals against losing heart quite yet. Also today, Erica Lipper reviews Michael Chabon 's new novel The Yiddish Policemen's Union , a noir whodunit set in an alternate history where Jews live in a federally manadated safe haven in Alaska, established after World War II. --The Editors


LIKE A CAT? Sorry, a bit more Friday-and-unserious blogging: As several fellow TAPPED ers know I shave about once every two weeks and generally sport a scraggly not-quite-beard, but I figured I knew what there was to know about facial hair. But Mitt Romney 's kid reports that his beard would "shed"? Beards shed? Is that common knowledge? I guess I gotta go to that museum and learn a thing or two. --Sam Rosenfeld