Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect. She is research director of People for the American Way, and a winner of the Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism.

Recent Articles


Hmmm...a sanctuary mansion sounds to me like a good, maybe, what Jesus was talking about when he said, "In my Father's house are many mansions: If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." Sounds like a sanctuary mansion to me. --Adele M. Stan

The Struggle to Shift the Immigration Narrative

Who won last week's Democratic presidential debate? Thanks to the immigration question, the winner was Rudy. Or Mitt. Or whoever stands to win the Republican nomination.

Thanks to the Republican resentment machine, the 2008 presidential contest is shaping up to be a referendum on immigration, and, in an effort to differentiate themselves from one another, Democrats are buying into the story as the Republicans have framed it -- which happens to be a perfect wedge issue for cleaving apart the Democratic base. In the last two Democratic presidential debates, first Hillary Clinton, then Barack Obama were excoriated for fumbling their answers to the question of driver's licenses for undocumented workers. Yet, for Iowa's likely Democratic caucus-goers, immigration barely ranks among the top 10 issues, according to a poll by the University of Iowa , which found that only 2.4 percent of caucus-goers claimed immigration as their top issue. The tale of perils posed by immigrants to hardworking Americans is a false issue trumped up by Republicans as a terrific diversion from the woes of war and a tanking economy. It's scapegoating at its most rank. So why do...


At this morning's meeting, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said saving the Constitution is of paramount importance -- of such importance that the freshman class has been tasked with whipping votes on the contempt of Congress citations for White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolton and former Deputy Chief of Staff Harriet Miers . (Both have refused to testify on their role in the controversial firings of eight U.S. attorneys.) In response to a question by Elana Schor of Guardian America , the speaker said, "If we let the status quo stand, on their refusal to turn over the documents or have the show up to answer the questions of Congress, then we might was well invalidate our oath of office." That's a wonderfully strong statement. But then why, in the House, where seniority is everything, has the fate of the U.S. Constitution been left in the hands of the freshman members? It's a question I ask with all due respect. Why is this fight not being fought without quarter, floor vote after floor...


Thong or tap pants? Diamonds or pearls? Hillary Clinton was just asked the stupid question of the night, one that was gender-specific. About jewelry, alas, and not underwear. She answered that she liked both pearls AND diamonds, after noting that she's been accused of not being able to make a choice. Woman's prerogative, anyone? I'd like to ask the gentlemen if they prefer to dress to the left or the right. --Adele M. Stan


In a question about their criteria for Supreme Court appointments, Joe Biden turned the question over Roe v. Wade back from a question over the legitimacy of the right to abortion as a legal principle to one about the right to privacy: the principle on which Roe is predicated. Every candidate then asserted their belief in the right to privacy, which is not spelled out specifically in the Bill of Rights. In fact, the privacy right is most commonly cited as part of the 14th Amendment. I have long advocated that if the Democrats wanted to make a decent fight over Constitutional principles, they would offer a Constitutional amendment that would explicitly spell out a right to privacy. Let the Republicans lead the fight against a right that most Americans already think they have. --Adele M. Stan