Monthly Archives: November 2018

The Next Blue Wave Could Be a Tsunami

Forgive me for counting chickens, but one needs to cherish good news. Here are some reasons to be hopeful for 2020, big-time. The Trump presidency is finally coming apart, just as the voters are repudiating it. This took longer than a lot of commentators expected, given Trump’s sheer lunacy. But his several moves to dislodge Special Counsel Robert Mueller backfired, and Mueller’s report, now expected imminently, will be seriously damaging. Secondly, the election news keeps getting better. The Dems [...]

By |2018-11-28T21:12:28-05:00November 28th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Memo to Mike Bloomberg: Go Fund the New York Subways

Billionaire financier and sometime politician Michael Bloomberg has announced a $1.8 billion gift to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins, to use for financial aid. This is splendid, but it got me thinking. Bloomberg’s net worth is about $51 billion, making him the eighth-richest person in the U.S. and the 11th richest in the world. The subway system in New York, where Bloomberg was mayor for 12 years beginning in 2001, is in a state of advanced collapse. Bloomberg was [...]

By |2018-11-20T19:25:52-05:00November 20th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Maybe Trump Will Resign?

You get the feeling that Trump isn’t having much fun. He got his clock cleaned on his Europe trip. His effort to make the midterm election a referendum on himself worked all too well—for Democrats. His Trumped-up claim against CNN’s Jim Acosta backfired. As did his effort to hem in Special Counsel Robert Mueller. And with Democrats now in charge of the House, blocking bad Republican legislation and readying all manner of investigations, Trump is in for two more [...]

By |2018-11-16T20:09:45-05:00November 16th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Wanted: A Smoke-Filled Room

It was a great Election Day for progressives, suggesting a path to victory in 2020. But now, progressives are at risk having an embarrassment of riches. Sherrod Brown, fresh from his re-election as senator from Ohio, has said he’s taking a serious look at the presidential race. Ditto Elizabeth Warren. Now Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon is looking into changing Oregon election law so that he, too, can run. And Montana’s populist Democratic governor, Steve Bullock, has signaled that [...]

By |2018-11-14T23:37:33-05:00November 14th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

What Next for Mueller’s Investigation?

Trump may have seriously overreached this time. His impulsive decision to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions was vetted by nobody. And the pushback that he got, including from many Republicans, was sufficient to cause him to try to distance himself (preposterously) from the thuggish Matt Whitaker, whom Trump named as acting attorney general, but suddenly claimed he didn’t know. But what of Special Counsel Robert Mueller? Constitutional scholars I’ve interviewed make the following points. Mueller has obviously been preparing [...]

By |2018-11-12T15:15:30-05:00November 12th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Pelosi: The Next Speaker By a Wide Margin

Republicans did their best to demonize House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and it didn’t work. Democrats took back the House, and in nearly all races, Pelosi simply wasn’t an issue. In a handful of close House races in deep-red districts, the Democratic challenger felt the need to take Pelosi off the table by pledging to vote for someone else for speaker. But only about a dozen of those candidates got elected. Why did Republicans make such an issue of [...]

By |2018-11-09T14:31:07-05:00November 9th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

How a Progressive Message Won House Seats

In my election-eve column yesterday, I suggested that we take a close look at Democratic candidates who ousted Republican incumbents, to see where a progressive message worked. Here are some early verdicts. At this writing, according to, there are 29 projected Democratic pickups, and another seven where Democrats are leading and likely to take the seat. Of these, 12 Democrats won in heavily Republican territory by advocating Medicare for all, a significant expansion of Medicare, or a buy-in [...]

By |2018-11-07T21:12:40-05:00November 7th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Did Trump Out-Fox Himself With His Hate and Fear Theme?

Trump’s grand strategy for the midterms is to double down on the kind of us-versus-them alarmism that helped him narrowly win in 2016. The problem is that the blatant ugliness of the appeal, combined with Trump's campaigning around the violence of the past ten days, is sheer poison in swing districts held by Republicans, especially in upscale suburban seats. At least nine of those Republican seats look like they are lost causes for the GOP, including seats in suburban [...]

By |2018-11-05T13:31:55-05:00November 5th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Born in the U.S.A.

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution holds that whoever is born in the United States is a citizen. Trump’s claim that he can annul birthright citizenship by executive order if the parents of a native-born child are here illegally has been widely ridiculed. The courts have long held that the provision means what it says. And there’s the rub. The legislative history and plain intent of the 14th Amendment are crystal clear. But in the end, it means what the Supreme [...]

By |2018-11-02T21:31:26-04:00November 2nd, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Economic Grievances or Racism?

I keep getting into arguments with smart people about whether the rise of Trump, the Tea Parties, and the 2016 election is mainly about the long economic slide of white non-college-educated people—or simple racism. Obviously, the story has elements of both. There have been several op-eds lately pointing to the paradox of a low unemployment rate and the persistent white working-class support for Trump, with headlines like, "It’s NOT the Economy, Stupid." There have also been scholarly studies based [...]

By |2018-11-01T15:03:58-04:00November 1st, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments