On Somali Terrorism

Published: PolicyMic (March 27, 2012)

Of all my experiences as a graduate student, none can match the time I spent as a teaching assistant for Said Samatar. A professor of African History at Rutgers University-Newark, Samatar is the kind of scholar every up-and-coming aspires, or at least should aspire, to emulate: Intelligent, accessible, puckishly funny (he liked to prepare students for tests by quoting Dante: “Abandon all hope ye who enter here”), and armed with a biography that makes one pause before whining about your own petty travails. read more

The Republican War on Women

Published: PolicyMic (March 22, 2012)

Is it fair to claim that the Republican Party is waging a “war on women?”

Let’s look at the facts. Although the phrase in question only regained its political fashionability within the last few months, the sad truth is that the Republican Party’s hostility to women’s rights traces back much longer than that. The days when Senator Margaret Chase Smith electrified Congress with her eloquence and sharp logic subsided long ago; in their place is the party whose much-heralded “Reagan Revolution” was ushered in by a former California governor who proudly made good on his 1980 presidential campaign promise to quash the Equal Rights Amendment. read more

Health Care Reform and the Anti-Injunction Act

Published: PolicyMic (March 14, 2012)


As the Supreme Court prepares to start its hearings on President Barack Obama’s health care reform legislation (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA), it makes sense that conservatives and libertarians are eager for the case to proceed as quickly as possible. After all, any ruling issued before November 2012 will constitute some manner of victory for their cause: A complete overturning of the bill will be celebrated as a vindication of the anti-PPACA position and a humiliation for Obama, a complete upholding of it can be used to freshly galvanize the right-wing base against the president (especially given the failure of party frontrunners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum to accomplish that task), and a ruling rejecting the individual mandate while maintaining the rest of the measure would force Obama into a fight with Congress over an alternative to the mandate (of which there are at least nine), one that could be used to paint him in an unflattering light at the height of the election season. read more

Defending My March 8th Editorial

Published: PolicyMic (March 12, 2012)

Editor’s Note: The author is responding to Michael Suede’s article here. Suede responded to the author’s original article.

This is my response to PolicyMic pundit Michael Suede’s editorial “America’s Founders Were Pro-Big Government, But Only Because it Suited Their Interests.” I respond to each passage in its own right, with the different sections indicated by quotes and ellipses.

“Recently, PolicyMic pundit Matthew Rozsa… On this point, I disagree with him 100%.” read more

On Mitt Romney’s Mormon Background

Published: PolicyMic (March 4, 2012)

Thanks to his recent victories in the Michigan and Arizona primaries, Mitt Romney once again has emerged as the strongest contender for the Republican presidential nomination. As such, I think it is appropriate to draw attention to the unique dilemma he will pose to liberals in the event that he is the ultimate victor in Tampa.

Up until now, the non-Protestants who have overcome barriers of religious exclusivity through their presidential nominations have all been liberal Democrats, including Al Smith in 1928 (the first Catholic presidential nominee), John F. Kennedy in 1960 (the first Catholic to actually win the presidency), and Michael Dukakis in 1988 (the first Eastern Orthodox presidential nominee). As such, the challenge for liberals in 2012 will be making sure that we stand firm in our opposition to religious prejudice when the target is Romney, a conservative Republican, instead of one of our own. read more