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

How ISIS and Trump Enable Each Other

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Saturday, December 5, 2015, in Davenport, Iowa. This is an updated version of an article that originally ran at The Huffington Post . I SIS is the best thing that happened to Donald Trump since he narrowly averted bankruptcy as a real estate mogul. And Donald Trump is the best thing to happen to ISIS since George W. Bush blew up the status quo in the Middle East by needlessly invading Iraq. The new normal is random acts of mayhem, inspired but not coordinated by ISIS. We have feared something like this ever since the attacks of 9/11. Until now, these were problems for somebody else’s country like Spain or France, places where homegrown, deeply alienated Muslim young people were either recruited and orchestrated by radical Islamists or looked to ISIS for inspiration. Now the reality of freelance terrorists has come home. If mayhem can strike an obscure health facility in San...

Black Lives Matter—And Beyond

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File In this November 9, 2015, file photo, a member of the black student protest group Concerned Student 1950 gestures while addressing a crowd following the announcement that University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe would resign, at the university in Columbia, Missouri. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . C ollege campuses, from Yale to Claremont, are awash in black protest, to a greater extent than any time since the 1960s. It has struck conservatives as odd that protest against lingering racism is coming from the most privileged of African Americans, most of them on full scholarships at elite universities, places that are about as accepting and politically correct as white America gets. But think again. The several police murders since Ferguson have reminded blacks of all ages and stations just how little has changed in terms of the elemental vulnerability of even the most mannered and well educated of African Americans. You...

Quiet Desperation and American Fascism

AP Photo/The Advocate Messenger, Clay Jackson
AP Photo/The Advocate Messenger, Clay Jackson Voting precinct booths are empty early Tuesday, May 17, 2011, in Danville, Kentucky. This is an updated version of an article that ran in The Huffington Post . T here’s a must-read article if you want to understand why Democrats are losing the support of low income people who benefit from government programs like Medicaid and food stamps and logically should vote for Democrats based on pocketbook interests. Alec MacGillis of ProPublica , writing in The New York Times Sunday Review, observes that for the most part, the poor aren’t defecting to Republicans— they are not voting at all . His exhibit A is eastern Kentucky, one of America’s poorest and most government-dependent regions. But the poor are so marginalized and disaffected that they are disconnected from civic life entirely. Looking more broadly, MacGillis reports that non-voters are far more likely than voters to have incomes under $30,000, not to have health insurance, not to have...

A Grand Bargain with Putin Against ISIS?

AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the media during his news conference after at the G-20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey, Monday, November 16, 2015. This is an update of a piece that ran at The Huffington Post . W hat follows is not very pretty. But it may be the best option available in a crisis without good options. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made no secret of the fact that he would like some kind of political settlement with the West. The German magazine Der Spiegel has just published a leaked official Russian memo outlining a proposed grand bargain in which Putin eases out its close ally, Syrian President Assad, in favor of a still pro-Russian regime that at least stops killing its own people. In return the West acknowledges what has been an open secret for several decades—that Syria is Russia’s sphere of influence in the Arab world. Then the U.S., Russia, Iran, and the rest of the grand coalition can get on with the urgent business...

French Connections: The Knock-On Effects of the Paris Attacks

How might the terrorist attacks affect civil liberties, U.S.-Russia relations, Israel, and the 2016 election?

(Photo: AP/Craig Ruttle)
(Photo: AP/Craig Ruttle) An NYPD police car sits in front of the French consulate in New York after the attacks in Paris. T he Paris attacks signal a new and far more challenging phase of the era that began on September 11, 2001. As awful as that day was, Al-Qaeda was centrally directed and could be centrally disrupted. Not ISIS. After 9/11, most of us felt that this was the beginning of a new normal; that daily life would never be the same. And then weirdly, life did return to something close to normal—until ISIS. Despite the revelations of the Snowden files of a disturbing and far-flung surveillance apparatus that often combined overreach with ineptitude, the new national security state did not touch the vast majority of Americans the vast majority of the time. But the new wave of attacks on seemingly random soft targets, by an array of home-grown, freelance terrorists who are unknown to police, and inspired but not necessarily managed by ISIS, really does signal a new normal, in...

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