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 Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility. He writes columns for The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe and the New York Times international edition. 

Recent Articles

A Tale of Two Conventions and One Electoral College

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin Among the waving of campaign signs, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Tucson, Arizona. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . T he Republican National Convention meets in Cleveland July 18 through 21. A week later, the Democrats gather in Philadelphia. Let’s look into the crystal ball and imagine the scenes. In Cleveland, it may be a coronation of Donald Trump, but more likely, the GOP elite, which is belatedly getting its act together, will cause Trump to fall short of a first ballot victory by a few votes. Then things will get truly ugly. Right now, Republicans have what game theorists call a collective action problem. If Cruz and Kasich could agree on a block-Trump alliance, each could ask his supporters to vote for whichever of the two is stronger in a given primary. Then, depending on who has more delegates, they could duke it out for the nomination in Cleveland,...

Election 2016: Nightmare or Daybreak?

Christina Horsten/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Christina Horsten/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . H ere is a scenario that should keep Democrats awake at night. Bernie Sanders keeps doing well in the big Northern and Midwestern states. On Tuesday, he wins Ohio, maybe Illinois and Missouri, which sets him up to be competitive in the big, late primaries, notably New York and California. Those wins may not be quite enough to deny Hillary Clinton the nomination, but the momentum is clearly with Sanders. The contest goes all the way to the convention. If Sanders is denied nomination, there will be a lot of deflated and disappointed Democrats. Clinton supporters may hope they will turn out in force in November, if only to stop Donald Trump. But there has to be more to it than that. A lot of the independents who went for Sanders could stay home, or even switch to Trump. Somehow, she needs to discover her inner progressive. Meanwhile, on the Republican side, the stakes this Tuesday...

Constitutional Crisis and Political Stalemate

AP Photo/Paul Sancya
AP Photo/Paul Sancya Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz argue a point during a Republican presidential primary debate at Fox Theatre, Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Detroit. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . T he 2016 election year is shaping up to be America's most serious constitutional crisis since the Civil War—and the most important partisan realignment since 1932 or maybe since 1860. To appreciate what's at work, it's important to understand these two trends, and how they interact. The essence of the constitutional crisis is that one of our two parties, the Republicans, has stopped conceding the legitimacy of the Democrats. This has been building for decades, but it became critical under Obama. The Republican leadership, and most of the 2016 presidential field, basically don't concede that Obama is a legitimate President of the United States. You see this in charges of his alleged Muslim religion and foreign birth and his...

Trump, Berlusconi, Hitler, and the Populist Moment

AP Photo/Steve Helber
AP Photo/Steve Helber Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump gets a fist bump from supporters during a rally at Radford University in Radford, Virginia, Monday, February 29, 2016. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . R ight-wing populists ascend when three toxic forces converge. First, the economy needs to be really lousy for most citizens. Check. Second, the political system ceases to be able to solve problems and loses legitimacy with regular people. Check. Third, some foreign menace causes people to seek shelter in a strongman. Check. Other factors common to successful rightwing populists are these: · They tend to be very good at breaking the rules of conventional political discourse, and at using mass media. · They are not conservatives. They love to use big government to help the masses. More on that in a moment. · They are not accountable to politics-as-usual. Because of their direct rapport with the folk (or if you like, the volk ) their rise...

The Year the Voters Took Back Politics

AP Photo/John Bazemore
AP Photo/John Bazemore Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders cheer during a rally Sunday, February 21, 2016, in Greenville, South Carolina. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . F or nearly 40 years, working and middle class families have been taking an economic beating at the hands of political and economic elites. Forty years! (I first wrote a major piece on these trends, titled " The Declining Middle ," for The Atlantic in 1983.) And for the same 40 years, economic elites have kept tight control of the political system, preventing those grievances from breaking through. Instead, regular people increasingly gave up on politics. Or they embraced heroes who promised change, but didn't or couldn't deliver much (Obama), or who turned out to be total phonies (John Edwards), or who represented flash-in-the-pan moments (Howard Dean), or who were all things to all people (Bill Clinton)—deepening voter cynicism that the system was rigged...

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