Michael Tomasky

Michael Tomasky is the American editor-at-large of the Guardian (UK). He was executive editor of the Prospect from 2003 to 2006.

Recent Articles

(Mostly) Wrong Again

As infuriatingly as ever, liberal and Democratic hawks are out peddling a new round of admonitions against us America-hating, intellectually incoherent, abject pacifists. We may have been right to oppose the war in Iraq, but being right can be overrated ; the war has been a disaster, yes, but far greater disaster may loom if we don't escalate the war that has been a disaster; and so on. The material -- still -- writes itself . This is really too much. The great, and inexcusable, fallacy at the center of many of these reprimands is the argument, usually implicit but occasionally not, that if we lose the war, it will somehow be the doves' fault for having opposed it. To which one must respond with a thousand, a million, 1.27 trillion (one estimated cost of the war) no's: If we lose the war, it will simply and obviously be the fault of the people who prosecuted it -- who decided in the first place that it was a necessary part of the fight against terrorism; who twisted intelligence to...

Things to Do in Denver When You're A Dem

Like the man who warned King Louis on July 13 that there seemed to be a little trouble brewing out there, I realize I may be coming to this late. It appears from most of what I read that Denver is now the front-runner over New York for the site of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, especially since Mayor Bloomberg all but disinvited the party a few days ago by announcing that he didn't think Gotham could raise the dough. But as the choice has not yet been made, and as it still seems possible that New York might attempt some eleventh-hour, September 11-related emotional blackmail, there's still time for me to cast my full-throated vote (whatever its value) for Denver. Al Eisele, over at the Huffington Post, put the straightforward case well: "What better place for the party to stake a claim in the once-red-but-increasingly-blue Rocky Mountain West?" Denver has a Democratic mayor (and evidently quite an effective and popular one), John Hickenlooper; Colorado just this week is...

Rudy Can Fail

If I were doing the television ads for one of the Republican presidential candidates running against Rudy Giuliani, I know the ad I'd prepare for 'round about the time of the South Carolina primary. I'd open with images of September 11 -- the huge clouds of dark smoke, the mangled steel, the army of people fleeing across the Brooklyn Bridge, the head shots of the fatigued fire fighters and cops. Against appropriately somber, Russian-style music, my voice-over starts: Rudy Giuliani was a hero, all right, on the day of September 11. He directed his city's response. He comforted grieving families. He himself was almost killed by falling debris. Then I'd cut to a visual of the inside of an elevator. The camera gives the viewer the vantage point of a person standing in the elevator and is trained on the floor buttons above the doors as they light up as the elevator ascends -- 21, 22, 23, 24 ... The Russian music has faded, and now we hear just the bells going off in coordination with the...

Map Quest

I was intrigued to read in early October about the sale at auction, for nearly $4 million, of a map. It wasn't, naturally, just any map: It was the first atlas of the world ever printed, from 1477, based on the cartographic calculations of Claudius Ptolemaeus, the chap we call Ptolemy, who lived in Roman Egypt in the second century AD. I was intrigued to read this for a straightforward reason: I love maps. I can study them for hours. I leave road atlases of the United States strewn around the house -- in the bathroom, in the TV room -- so that, when the mood strikes me, I can dip in and bone up on the state parks of Oregon, the path of Interstate 70 as it roams from Baltimore to its less distinguished western terminus in central Utah, or the rather elaborate Kentucky parkway system (the Daniel Boone, the Bluegrass, the exotically named Pennyrile), obviously conceived and built in a once-upon-a-time Kentucky that believed in large public expenditure. That parkway system explains what...


WATCH IT, PAL. Listen, Pierce : Andrew Natsios is my next-door neighbor. I�ve never met the man, but I consider an attack on him to be an attack on all of Woodside Park. And those rumors that he wants to build a $312 billion vehicular tunnel under Clement St. are just that! --Michael Tomasky