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

Comment: Politics and Beanbag

Politics, as Finley Peter Dunne's Mr. Dooley had it, ain't beanbag. But lately the Republicans have been playing political hardball while too many Democrats play beanbag.


Candidate George W. Bush managed to have it both ways, casting himself as a uniter but offering raw partisan rhetoric against the Democrats. During the debates, Bush kept faulting Al Gore for failure to accomplish in eight years many of the things Gore was now promising. But the vice president couldn't bring himself to utter the obvious rejoinder--that the culprit was Republican obstructionism--lest he sound partisan.

Comment: The Business of America

Liberals confront the charge that we are anti-business. Modern liberals like
to strike a "third-way" pose of being pro-entrepreneur and pro-market while
socially liberal on such issues as tolerance and the environment. Old-time
anti-corporate liberals, such as trade unionists and Naderites, are said to be
stuck in a 1930s time warp.

Comment: Party Poopers

Not long ago, the Democrats were taking comfort from their five-seat gain in
the Senate and their 50-50 tie. But the Senate, it's now clear, is far from truly
tied.

On the John Ashcroft confirmation vote, Republicans held all their troops and
eight Democrats defected, four of them northern liberals. On the outrageous vote
to scrap new safety standards on ergonomics, six Senate Democrats crossed the
aisle. In the House, 16 Democrats joined 207 Republicans. If the Democrats had
voted as a bloc, they might have held the line.

Can Insiders Be Outsiders?

Imagine that you're Senator Tom Daschle. You have two somewhat conflicting goals. One is to block the worst parts of the Bush program, this year. The other is to move down the hall to the big office, the one that says Majority Leader instead of Minority Leader, probably in November 2002.


You could get lucky, so to speak. Either of the doddering ultras from the Carolinas, Thurmond or Helms, could tip partisan control of the 50–50 Senate by passing on to their respective rewards before the midterm elections (maybe to some integrated private hell where they will be eternal servants to black, lesbian millionaire performance artists). But I digress.


Comment: Lose that Eyeshade

Senate Democratic leaders, stung by criticism that they
have failed to challenge the Bush administration's assault on civil liberties,
are taking comfort from their goal-line stand against the latest round of
proposed tax cuts. Yet as we approach the 2002 off-year elections, the Democrats
could easily repeat the mistakes of the Clinton era by trying to make fiscal
rectitude their mantra.

The other day, White House budget director Mitch Daniels told Congress that
he expected the budget to be in deficit for the next three years. That admission
ought to whet Democrats' appetite for repealing Bush's $1.35-trillion tax cut.
However, far too many Democrats are reverting to an old, discredited playbook.

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