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 Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism? In addition to writing for the Prospect, he writes for HuffPost, The Boston Globe, and The New York Review of Books. 

Follow Bob at his site, robertkuttner.com, and on Twitter. 

Recent Articles

Can Trump Really Use Emergency Powers to Build a Wall?

President Trump has threatened to use his emergency powers as president to build his $5 billion vanity wall. Can he do this? Maybe he can. A series of laws gives extraordinary emergency powers to the president—in a true emergency. One emergency law authorizes the secretary of the army during a presidentially declared emergency to direct troops to help construct “authorized civil works, military construction and civil defense projects that are essential to the national defense.” Another law allows the secretary of defense, to reprogram funds to build necessary military projects, if so directed during a presidentially declared emergency. These laws, however, are in conflict with the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which generally prohibits he use of the military on American soil, except in very narrowly specified circumstances. It all turns on whether this is a bona fide national emergency. Who decides what’s a true emergency? In the first instance, the president...

Republicans Finally Find Major Perpetrators of Ballot Fraud—and It’s Them!

For decades, Republicans have been claiming that ballot fraud was endemic. Supposedly, thousands if not millions of people were improperly voting, for Democrats. This was the basis for photo-ID requirements and excessive purges of the voting rolls, and felony penalties for people found to have voted improperly. Any serious person understood that all of this was a cynical smokescreen for depressing the votes of Democrats. The people targeted were from groups inclined to vote Democratic, notably African Americans, Latinos, the foreign born, poor people, and college students. The targeting reached an extreme where in some states gun licenses could be used as photo ID, but not ID cards from state universities much less welfare, food-stamp or Medicaid cards. Serious research found that the actual number of verified improper voting, over several decades, was in the low double digits. The New York Times , in an exhaustive investigation, found just four cases. The Washington Post , going back...

As Trump Comes Apart, Can Democrats Come Together?

This article appears in the Winter 2018 issue of The American Prospect. Subscribe here . The Democrats have much to celebrate. They did better than expected in the House, made notable gains in the states, and Donald Trump is on the ropes. House Democrats are primed to launch several investigations, showing the nation what serious governing and legislative comity look like. It’s possible to be both partisan and respectful of democratic norms. George H.W. Bush, object of extended eulogies for his decency, used his veto pen 44 times, a modern record for a one-term president, yet he displayed a courtesy that further shames Trump. Trump’s moves have increasingly backfired both politically and legally. His efforts to turn a refugee caravan into a national security threat disgusted more voters than they rallied. Hatred failed to galvanize his supporters. The election of 11 minority Democrats in heavily white districts, some deep in Trump country, suggests that the spasm of racism...

Donald Trump and Robert Mueller: The End Game

This article originally appeared at HuffPost. Subscribe here . At several previous points in Donald Trump ’s presidency, it looked as if he could not possibly survive to the end of his four-year term. Yet Trump always managed to change the subject, his public shrugged, Republicans continued to support him, and Trump rolled merrily on. This time could be different. The stage is now set for what appears to be an inexorable path to impeachment or resignation. Let’s review what special counsel Robert Mueller has on Trump. Based on the most recent combined filings of the special counsel and prosecutors at the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, the evidence is piling up to document the following: 1. In September 2015, Trump personally approved the plan of personal lawyer and longtime fixer Michael Cohen to make high-level contacts with the Russian government to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Cohen, according to Mueller’s seven-page memo, continued to talk with...

With Glut Of 2020 Candidates, Progressive Democrats Need To Get Their Act Together

This article originally appeared at HuffPost. Subscribe here . The good news is that at least six progressives are likely to run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. That’s also the bad news. If things break wrong, they could cancel each other out, opening the door to yet another centrist corporate Democratic nominee. The failure of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to stand four-square with working Americans allowed Donald Trump to pose as a fake populist. There were a lot of things to like about Obama, but he made the catastrophic misjudgment of appointing an economic team composed mainly of protégés of Robert Rubin, secretary of treasury under Clinton and the prime architect of the deregulation that caused the 2008 financial collapse. The close connection between Democrats and Wall Street, reinforced by Hillary Clinton, made billionaire developer Trump seem the outsider. The Democratic victories in the midterms prefigure a clean break with the...

Pages