Robert Kuttner

Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, as well as a distinguished senior fellow of the think tank Demos. He was a longtime columnist for Business Week and continues to write columns in The Boston Globe. He is the author of Obama's Challenge and other books.

Recent Articles

Beyond The Spin, Deep Differences

After one of the emptiest political conventions on record, the stage is actually set for a very consequential November election. Though the Republicans did their best to camouflage it,theirs remains a highly conservative program. There really are enormous differences of substance between the two major candidates.

If the election can be made to turn on issues, it probably cuts in Al Gore's favor. If it turns on atmospherics and personality, the winner will likely be George W. So all eyes now shift to Gore: Can he rouse the electorate to focus on issues? Can he rouse himself to be a plausible messenger? And can the voters grow up?

What Makes People Think Bush Has Won?

''Politics ain't beanbag''

-- Finley Peter Dunne

One of the many oddities of this cliffhanger election is what might be called the entitlement gap. Right from election night, the Republicans have behaved as if the election was theirs, while Vice President Gore has temporized. This sense of Republican entitlement in turn translates into a partisan rage that if Gore should win,the election will have been stolen.

Two Bad Calls: The Faulty Ballots, The Bumbling Process

Americans will be asking questions about the 2000 election for some time to come. Here are two big ones:

How could the world's most secure democracy have ended up with a balloting system in which millions of votes routinely get lost, miscounted, stolen, or spoiled? The premise seems to be: What the hell, it's close enough for politics.

There is nothing more fundamental to a free and fair election than an accurate count. But on the way to the 21st century we belatedly realized that we're stuck with 19th-century voting technology.

The Lynching of The Black Vote

Many books will be written about the stolen presidential election of 2000. And when they are, one prominent factor will be the Republicans systematic and extra-legal effort to reduce black voting, details of which are just now being pieced together.

Black turnout was way up this year, and nowhere more dramatically than in Florida. Black voters there were upset with Governor Jeb Bush's retreat on affirmative action.

They were mobilized by effective registration and get-out-the-vote drives by civil rights groups and black churches.

Jesse Jackson spent weeks in Florida, speaking to large African-American crowds, with a punchline that became a familiar refrain: Stay out of the Bushes!

The Two-Party System is Letting us Down

This year voting turnout could fall to a record presidential low. The decline partly reflects two dreadful candidates but also the long-term impoverishment of politics.

Membership organizations have been displaced by professional fund-raisers and TV spots. The time squeeze leaves no leisure for ordinary people to go to meetings. Civic values are crowded out by entertainment, celebrity, and marketing. If the Bush-Gore show has to compete as entertainment, it loses, and so do we.