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

Orwell, Hitler, and Trump

Andrew Harrer/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Andrew Harrer/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images President Donald Trump speaks during an Inaugural Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders Reception in the Blue Room of the White House. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . Subscribe here . L ast week, I reached for my Philip Roth―his splendid novel, The Plot Against America . This week, I reached for my George Orwell. In 1946, as Europe was digging out from the ruin of World War II―a genuine case of mass carnage as opposed to President Donald Trump’s fantasy carnage―Orwell wrote the classic essay on the seductions of propaganda, “Politics and the English Language.” Much of the essay, widely assigned in English classes, warns how stale writing leads to sloppy thinking. But the most original part is Orwell’s evisceration of propaganda. Combined with his great novel 1984 , written in 1949 as a dystopian warning about the way totalitarian practice becomes internalized in totalitarian thinking, these two great works...

Q&A: A New 50-State Strategy

A conversation with former DNC head Howard Dean on the race for party chair, looking beyond the Beltway, and rebuilding the Democratic Party.

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Howard Dean participates in "The Contenders: 16 for 16" panel during the PBS Television Critics Association summer press tour on Friday, July 29, 2016, in Beverly Hills, California. H oward Dean, former Governor of Vermont, is widely considered among the most successful chairs of the Democratic National Committee in many decades. After losing the 2004 Democratic nomination for president to John Kerry, Dean ran for party chair, vowing what he called a “50-state strategy” of rebuilding the Democratic Party even in the most Republican of states. He was elected in 2005 and served for four years. Under Dean, the DNC increased its fundraising dramatically, but shared the proceeds with state parties, in order to build up the grassroots. The strategy paid off when Democrats took back Congress in the 2006 elections. Candidate Barack Obama also benefited from Dean’s success, by doing better in red state primaries and caucuses than his 2008 rival, Hillary Clinton...

The Plot Against America: Desperately Seeking Philip Roth

AP Photo/Richard Drew, file
AP Photo/Richard Drew, file Author Philip Roth poses for a photo in the offices of his publisher, Houghton Mifflin, in New York. An earlier version of this article appeared at The Huffington Post. Subscribe here . I n 2004, Philip Roth published an eerily prescient novel titled The Plot Against America . The novel looked backward to shed light on the present. Roth’s premise was that the pioneer aviator, isolationist and Nazi sympathizer, Charles A. Lindbergh, won the Republican nomination in 1940 and defeated Franklin Roosevelt. Roth goes on to imagine what life would have been like, both in the Roth household and in America, as Lindbergh keeps the country out of World War II and makes a tacit alliance with Hitler. As the Roth family comes to Washington on Inauguration Day, Philip’s mother catches a glimpse of the White House and begins to cry, “It isn’t like living in a normal country anymore.” It isn’t like living in a normal country anymore. Lindbergh goes on to steer America into...

Trump, Putin, and the Pacifist Left

Danil Shamkin/NurPhoto/Sipa via AP Images
Danil Shamkin/NurPhoto/Sipa via AP Images Traditional Russian wooden matryoshka doll with a picture of President-elect Donald Trump (right), Vladimir Lenin, a Soviet politician and statesman (center) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) at the fair on the Red Square in Moscow. An earlier version of this article appeared at The Huffington Post. Subscribe here . O ne of the oddities of the whole Trump/Putin/CIA affair is that some on the left are sounding not all that different from Donald Trump. The idea is that maybe the United States really should try some kind of entente with Vladimir Putin―that’s he’s not such a bad fellow. This is more than a little strange, since it puts intellectually serious leftwing defenders of Putin’s Russia, such as emeritus Princeton professor and Nation magazine contributor Stephen Cohen , in roughly the same camp with Trump apologists. My favorite recent example of the latter was an op-ed by Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, one of...

Impeaching Trump

Gregor Fischer/dpa via AP
Gregor Fischer/dpa via AP Demonstrators protest near the American Embassy in Berlin, Germany, Saturday November 12, 2016. An earlier version of this story appeared at The Huffington Post. Subscribe here . D onald Trump is wildly unfit to be president. He will repeatedly demonstrate that, in ways that break the law and violate the Constitution. Since the election, there have been three wishful efforts to keep Trump from the presidency: a recount doomed by a lack of evidence, a futile campaign to flip Trump electors, and an even more improbable drive to get the Supreme Court to annul the 2016 election. These moves, indicative of magical thinking, make Trump’s opposition look a lot weaker than it is—at a time when the stakes for the Republic could not be higher. There will also be marches and demonstrations, but they will also look weak unless they have a strategic focus. Yes, Democrats should be challenging Trump’s cabinet nominees and looking for ways to embarrass and divide...