Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich, a co-founder of The American Prospect, is a Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. His website can be found here and his blog can be found here.

Recent Articles

The Democrats Aren't "Just Resting"

The Washington Post If I were a political consumer, I would -- with apologies to the late Monty Python parrot -- be going back to the store right about now and registering a complaint: "This political party -- the Democratic Party. It's dead." "No, no, no no," he replies. "It's just resting." But I know a dead party when I see one, and I'm looking at a dead party right now. Just consider the past eight years: lost the presidency, both houses of Congress, almost all its majorities in state legislatures, most governorships. Will lose additional House seats in the next redistrictiing. Most of the current justices of the Supreme Court appointed by Republicans, also most current federal judges. And the interminable Bill Clinton scandals. The Democratic Party is stone dead. Dead as a doornail. Not at all, he says. After all, the Democrats are only one seat away from taking over the Senate. If Katherine Harris and the Supreme Court hadn't mucked it up, Al Gore would be in the White House...

Electoral Dysfunction

T he wrong lesson to be drawn from Super Titanic Tuesday is that both Bradley and McCain were too far to the left of their respective parties. The right lesson is that there's a large and growing party of independents and nonvoters in America that neither party's establishment has been interested in courting. The question now is whether Bush or Gore will try to attract them, or whether these potential voters will go back to sleep. Bill Clinton famously repositioned the Democrats in the middle of people who vote, but not in the middle of people who are eligible to vote. Note the distinction. In 1960, 62.8 percent of voting-age Americans chose between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. In 1996 just 48.9 percent of voting-age Americans chose between Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, and Ross Perot. Apart from the old South, where the 1965 Voting Rights Act has had its largest impact, the drop in voter participation between 1960 and 1996 marks the longest and most persistent decline in voting in...

Bush Will Be Feeling Tugs Right And Left

THE BITTER POST-ELECTION OF 2000 IS OVER, AND EVERY POLITICIAN IN AMERICA IS MAKING GRAND, GRACIOUS OVERTURES TO THE OTHER SIDE IN AN ORGY OF CONCILIATORY BLATHER. THEY'RE USING NICE WORDS THAT THE AMERICAN PUBLIC NEEDS TO AND WANTS TO HEAR. BUT ALL THIS KISSY-KISSY SWEET TALK IS SHEER BALONEY. Americans patiently waited out the wild five weeks of trying to sort out who won this most unusual election because, as a whole, the American public is not especially partisan. It was America's political establishment - career politicians, party activists, and the staffs of partisan think tanks and Washington-based interest groups - that went ballistic. They're still angry. In a larger sense, the episode marked another escalation of a bitter civil war in Washington whose beginnings can be traced to 1987, when Ronald Reagan's nomination of Judge Robert H. Bork to the Supreme Court was rejected by the Democratic-controlled Senate after an extensive media campaign by his opponents. The same civil...

How Bouncing Bush has Cornered Gore

The London Observer The consensus among political junkies and talking heads on this side of the Atlantic is that Al Gore's pick of Joe Lieberman as his running mate saved Gore's tush. But the new Gore-Lieberman brand has yet to be tested. And the first big test is whether it will fall into the trap the Republicans have set for it this week in Los Angeles. Gore's choice of Lieberman was smart on three grounds. First, the chutzpah of picking an orthodox Jew grabbed the political momentum away from George W. Bush right after Bush's perfectly-scripted Republican convention, thereby checking Bush's convention 'bounce' in the polls. Second, given Lieberman's concern about moral values in America and his outspoken criticism of President Clinton's liaison with Monica Lewinsky, the pick gives Gore some protection against Republican attempts to tar him with Clinton's turpitude. Finally, Lieberman is a conservative...

Amid the Mess, It's the Same Ol' Same Ol'

So who will be in charge of the most powerful nation on Earth come January? Neither George W. Bush nor Al Gore. The new center of power in Washington will lie with the moderates in both parties--liberal-leaning Republicans and conservative-leaning Democrats who together will be the only ones capable of setting Washington's agenda. A president will occupy the Oval Office, but he will be dependent on the approval of congressional moderates for almost anything he'd like to accomplish. Forget George W.'s proposal to use much of the government's projected budget surplus for a large tax cut. The congressional moderates will whittle it down. Gore's proposals for an expensive new prescription-drug scheme for retirees and for a new government-subsidized savings plan on top of Social Security will be similarly downsized. In fact, you can safely forget most of what the presidential candidates proposed during their interminable campaigns. None of it matters any longer. In...

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