W. Is for WASP

Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
Feb. 25 2000 9:30 PM

W. Is for WASP

New Republic, March 6

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The magazine issues its presidential endorsements. On the Democratic side, the editors endorse—gasp— Al Gore because he is a decent New Democrat and Bill Bradley is a pompous paleoliberal. On the Republican side, the editors select John McCain because he is earnestly seeking "to remake his party into something other than the political arm of the privileged few." As it did last week, " TRB" pooh-poohs the idea of "Clinton fatigue." Right-wingers claim that voters are intent on electing an "anti-Clinton" and left-wingers explain away Clinton's popularity as "mass false consciousness" because neither side can abide the success of New Democrat policies. An article argues that the religious right backs George W. Bush because he symbolizes the WASP aristocracy that Christian conservatives long to join.

Economist, March 2

The cover editorial almost endorses John McCain. McCain is "clean, heroic, straight-talking, likely to stand up strongly for democracy's interests around the globe" and appealing to swing voters. George W. Bush "risks finding himself trapped by the relentlessly rightward path he has adopted." A column claims that McCainmania rehabilitates the Vietnam War. His candidacy assuages "the professional classes' guilt about not serving in Vietnam" and "the Reagan Democrats' anger about serving and being betrayed. "  

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Rolling Stone, March 16

In a softball interview, Al Gore suggests that if science supports the efficacy of medical marijuana, he will be open to legalizing weed for sick folks. Gore vows to make global warming a big campaign issue. He says his favorite artists are Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Hank Williams, John Mayall, and k.d. lang.

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Washington Monthly, March 2000

A provocative cover debate considers whether the United States should universalize health care. One writer argues that health care should be considered a human right, not a good to be rationed by the market. The other counters that medicine is too dynamic to bureaucratize: Universalizing health care will diminish the quality of treatment. An article lambastes the Federalist Society for masquerading as a nonpolitical organization. The 25,000-member society has evolved from a law-school club into the engine for rolling back civil rights, abortion rights, and consumer rights. The society stocks the National Right to Life Committee and counts Kenneth Starr among its members.

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New York Times Magazine, Feb. 27

The cover story spotlights a family of Christian fundamentalists withdrawing from mainstream society. The Scheibners are home-schooling their seven-kid brood in a pop-culture-free home. Christian counterculture—a "parallel world" of evangelical films and music—sustains their separatism. An article empathizes with the "Grunts of Grozny." Russian soldiers are underpaid, underequipped, and undertrained. An accompanying photo essay about the ragtag Chechen rebels includes a picture of one fighter showing his technique for lassoing Russian helicopters with a rope. He has not yet caught one.