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Leonard Steinhorn
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Leonard Steinhorn is a professor of communication and affiliate professor of history at American University, where he teaches politics, strategic communication, and courses on the presidency and recent American history. He is the author of the much discussed book on baby boomers, The Greater Generation: In Defense of the Baby Boom Legacy, and co-author of the critically acclaimed By the Color of Our Skin: The Illusion of Integration and The Reality of Race. He's written on American politics and culture for major publications, including the Washington Post, New York Times, Salon, Politico, and History News Network, and he is the founding editor of, where political speechwriters comment on the news. Steinhorn appears regularly in the media, and during the 2012 election he served as a political analyst for CBS News. Before joining the American University faculty, he spent 15 years as a speechwriter and strategist for causes, candidates, and members of Congress.

Entries by Leonard Steinhorn

War, Liberalism, Trust in Government: The Many Casualties of LBJ's Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 6:41 PM

Fifty years ago, on August 10, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed what is known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. It is a day that should live in infamy.

On that day, the president gave himself the power "to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed...

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In Defense of Student Commencement Protests

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2014 | 2:24 PM

Has America entered a Bizarro world in which money equals speech but speech itself gets labeled intimidation?

That's not a far-fetched conclusion to draw in a political culture that has unleashed campaign spending and given it First Amendment protection while at the same time branding the supposed free speech of...

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Armed, Locked and Loaded: The Worst and Most Intimidating Gun States

(84) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 12:36 PM

No one should feel safe in the following states. And it is time to take a stand and do something about it.

These are states with the most Wild West gun laws where you are most likely to encounter someone -- anyone -- with a gun: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia,...

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White Men and Their Guns

(19) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 4:18 PM

Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions in our national gun control debate. The issue is not whether we should have gun control laws in this country -- or what they should be.

The issue, really, is why so many white middle-American men view any effort to regulate firearms as...

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The Tea Party Luddites

(22) Comments | Posted October 17, 2013 | 2:05 PM

Ask Tea Party adherents what inspires them most and many will say their reverence of history. Indeed it's not unusual at Tea Party rallies to see bands of self-referential patriots dressed up in Revolutionary War garb, wearing tricorn hats and carrying their defiant Don't Tread on Me flags.

But there...

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Boomer Suicides and the Washington Post: A Flawed Generational Narrative

(7) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 3:57 PM

"How did a generation that started out with so much going for it end up so despondent in midlife?"

So asks the Washington Post in its recent front page story, "Why the sharp rise in suicides by boomers?"

The Post supports its claim by drawing on a

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The Irony of Mitt Romney's 47 Percent

(21) Comments | Posted September 20, 2012 | 5:45 PM

Here's the irony of Mitt Romney's 47 percent: he hails himself as an economic savior because he knows how to create jobs, yet many of the jobs he had a hand in creating through his work at Bain Capital fall right into that 47 percent.

To Mitt Romney, the very...

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How Obama Should Respond To Romney On Jobs

(16) Comments | Posted September 4, 2012 | 3:52 PM

Mitt Romney has said that this election is about one thing: jobs. If I were drafting President Obama's convention speech, here's how I would re-frame and respond ...

... Now my challenger says that this election is all about jobs -- that what our country needs today isn't all...

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Tired of Chest-Thumping Patriotism

(70) Comments | Posted July 3, 2012 | 10:10 PM

From the July 4th season through the fall election, the American people will be hearing nothing but uber-patriotic rhetoric coming from their politicians and national leaders.

They will be telling us how America is a great nation and how Americans are a good people, and they will be lathering...

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Mitt Romney: Gordon Gekko or Thurston Howell?

(9) Comments | Posted May 31, 2012 | 3:06 PM

Is Mitt Romney more like Gordon Gekko, the greedy anti-hero in the movie Wall Street, or Thurston Howell, the elitist millionaire in the TV show Gilligan's Island? Is he a rapacious, heartless capitalist with no conscience, or a conceited man of privilege who doesn't have a clue how the rest...

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Give Students A Break -- An Election Break

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2011 | 12:28 PM

Around this time next year, right after Election Day, the chattering class might once again bemoan the fact that young people are disenfranchising themselves by not voting in numbers even close to their proportion of the population. As in elections past, college presidents will lecture about civic responsibility and professors...

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Blame Wall Street, Not Boomers

(67) Comments | Posted October 7, 2011 | 3:45 PM

A hemorrhaging economy. A tough and frustrating job market. Downward pressure on wages. Housing out of reach. High energy costs. Government strapped for cash. Questions about our global standing. Wondering about the American Dream.

That describes America all right, but it's the America of the late 1970s and early 1980s,...

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How the GOP Became the Anti-Science Party

(265) Comments | Posted September 21, 2011 | 12:32 PM

How did it come to pass that the GOP is in danger of becoming, in the memorable words of Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, "the anti-science party"?

Huntsman, the former Utah governor and U.S. ambassador to China, is the lone GOP candidate who hasn't hedged on his embrace...

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When Did Swimming Become a Privilege in the United States?

(63) Comments | Posted July 25, 2011 | 9:21 AM

This piece was previously published at PunditWire.

Amid all the debt ceiling and default stories and all the gamesmanship between President Obama and the Republican leadership, one little news item may say a lot more about our country than how much we lower the deficit.

In May the Associated Press...

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