The Democratic primary field seems to operate under a hidden dictum of reverse momentum, not unlike some new strain of antimatter: Anytime the battle for early advantage in the race tightens, the actual content of the struggle goes slack. The process seemed to veer dangerously toward a final decomposing event horizon with the recent report Read More
By Chris Lehmann 11/06/07 8:25pm
The media makes inevitability narratives, and the media can just as unilaterally break them. Pundits and political observers fabricate them out of little more than their own hack impressions of “What It Takes” and “The Way to Win,” to cite but two headache-inducing, faux-authoritative surveys of the postmodern campaign.
The fallout from last week’s Read More
By Chris Lehmann 11/06/07 6:25pm
FAITH IN THE HALLS OF POWER: HOW EVANGELICALS JOINED THE AMERICAN ELITE
By D. Michael Lindsay.
Oxford University Press, 332 pages, $24.95
Ever since George W. Bush’s narrow reelection in 2004, American evangelicals have bulked up in the country’s political imagination into a near-mystical source of wonder-working power, to quote the old Methodist Read More
By Chris Lehmann 10/23/07 7:32pm
Toward the end of Fair Game, Valerie Plame Wilson recounts how, in the midst of the furor over Washington journalists Matt Cooper of Time and Judith Miller refusing to cooperate with Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation into the White House-orchestrated leak of Wilson’s identity to the press, she and her husband ran into Cooper and Read More
By Chris Lehmann 10/09 6:50pm
It was like watching a mechanical rabbit spring onto the rail of a greyhound track: Over the weekend, the Des Moines Register reported the results of an October poll showing Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton pulling away from her two main competitors for the Hawkeye State’s January caucus vote. And the nation’s pundit corps rallied to Read More
By Chris Lehmann 9/25/07 7:47pm
It’s certainly no news to New Yorkers that former Mayor Rudy Giuliani has a taste for the theatrical. Long before the World Trade Center towers fell, the mayor had a penchant for making morbid cameos at accidents and crime scenes, usually just as 11 p.m. news crews arrived, as though Mr. Giuliani were both Commissioner Read More
By Chris Lehmann 9/11/07 7:45pm
In virtually all the ways it was intended to, the Iraq surge has worked. That is to say, it’s shifted the focus in American politics away from the gaping flaws in the messianic American reflex to remake the Arab Muslim world into its own image and onto crisply technocratic matters of timing and modulation.
By Chris Lehmann 8/28/07 11:30am
With Monday cable coverage caroming back and forth from the resignation of US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to the plea agreement for disgraced NFL quarterback Michael Vick, viewers could be forgiven for thinking that a White House now run by one of the world’s more ineffectual Major League Baseball franchise owners could benefit from a Read More
By Chris Lehmann 8/14/07 7:25pm
It’s true that August is a bad time for a product launch, as Andy Card famously said of the American invasion of Iraq. But it’s an ideal time for a product dump—which is no doubt why Karl Rove waited until Congress had adjourned for August recess and elite media apparatchiks in metro D.C. had repaired Read More
By Chris Lehmann 7/31/07 8:37pm
All the conspicuous alarm over the first-ever YouTube presidential debate becoming terminally inane now seems quite overblown. Trivializing presidential runs is clearly still the specialty of the campaign press—which has devoted a week’s worth of coverage to taking one of the most substantive questions raised in the Charleston, S.C., Democratic forum and reducing it to Read More