Robert Kuttner

Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, and professor at Brandeis University's Heller School. His latest book is Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism? In addition to writing for the Prospect, he writes for HuffPost, The Boston Globe, and The New York Review of Books. 

Follow Bob at his site, robertkuttner.com, and on Twitter. 

Recent Articles

Trump’s Bastard Children

Political scientists use the word legitimacy to mean a government that is broadly seen as having the right to govern. Consent of the governed was also a prime concern of America’s Founders. For most of America’s history, our government enjoyed broad legitimacy. It look a long time, of course, for the national government to regain legitimacy in Dixie. And if you scratch below the surface, many Southern whites still question its legitimacy. But for most of the post-World War II era, our government was seen as broadly legitimate. Alas, it has not been legitimate since 2000, when George W. Bush, with the complicity of five Supreme Court justices, stole the election. That means citizens might rightly question the legitimacy of policies enacted by Republican presidents and their Supreme Court appointees ever since. Under President Obama, Democrats soldiered on and sought to find common ground. But Republicans spat in their eye, and doubled down on their own claims that Obama...

Sweden Shows No Country Is Immune to Far-Right, Anti-Immigrant Backlash

Anders Wiklund /TT via AP Jimmie Åkesson, leader of the far-right Sweden Democrats, speaks at the election party in Stockholm. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post. Subscribe here . Sweden has long been one of the world’s most generous and tolerant countries. Its outlays on foreign aid and relief efforts are among the world’s highest, and with just 9.9 million inhabitants, Sweden has taken in far more than its share of migrants and refugees. Sweden has also had one of the world’s most inclusive social contracts, allowing prosperity to be broadly shared. The Swedes have long had a secret sauce of dynamic entrepreneurship, strong labor unions, and a comprehensive welfare state. But in Sunday’s election, Sweden demonstrated that no country is immune from the anti-immigrant, far-right backlash. The neo-fascist Sweden Democrats gained 17.6 percent of the vote , upending the country’s traditional party system, and leaving both the...

How Democrats Can Make Race a Winning Issue

This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post. Subscribe here . A year ago, in my interview that cost Steve Bannon his White House job, Bannon said the following about race: The Democrats—the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats. Is Bannon’s dream and the Democrats’ nightmare about race coming true this election year? Or have Democrats found a way of talking about race that is both inclusive and effectively mobilizes the African American vote? They managed that balancing act, of course, in the era of Barack Obama. Candidate Obama took pains to run as a reformer who happened to be African American rather than as an African American candidate, though his identity and the racial significance of his election were inescapable. Obama’s greatest yearning as president was to bridge...

Republicans Can Honor John McCain by Putting America Before Trump

This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . Subscribe here . The death of Senator John McCain throws into relief a new and even more alarming phase of the crisis facing American democracy. McCain was one of the few Republican senators willing to publicly warn Donald Trump of the bright lines that he must not cross. Last week, as the latest successful prosecutions of Trump associates connected more dots between the criminal misconduct of his underlings and the president personally, we all waited for Republican leaders to distance themselves from Trump and to repeat warnings that Trump must not attempt to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions or his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, much less Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But few such declarations were forthcoming. On the contrary, Senator Chuck Grassley actually walked back a previous red line warning. Grassley, as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, declared last summer , seconded by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham,...

NAFTA: More Fake News from Trump

The White House threw together a rushed announcement of a “preliminary” agreement with Mexico on auto industry tariffs and perhaps wages. This was conjured up on short notice to divert attention from Trump’s rising legal woes and the appalled reaction from legislators of both parties to his refusal to keep the White House flag at half-staff to honor Senator John McCain, who passed away on August 25. What makes the NAFTA announcement fake? First, an agreement to raise slightly the North American content (from 62.5 percent to 75 percent) required to qualify autos for tariff-free import into the U.S. has always been the low-hanging fruit of the deal. It’s all the other provisions—on the environment, on the ability of corporations to sue in special tribunals to block regulations, on farm and energy provisions, and on myriad others, that have and continue to be the sticking points. Second, there is no revised NAFTA deal on autos without Canada, and it’s...

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