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+00:00November 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+00:00November 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+00:00November 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+00:00November 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+00:00November 1st, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Trump in Pittsburgh

I am imagining Donald Trump’s visit to grieving Pittsburgh—the carefully scripted words of consolation and unity—during a quick break from his rabid campaigning. And then Trump goes off-script and can’t resist blaming the media, and repeating his line that the massacre is the victims’ fault for failing to post guards at Shabbat services, and that assault weapons are not the problem. And I wonder, given the soft anti-Semitism prevalent in America, whether Trump’s latest examples of apparent tin ear [...]

By |2018-10-29T16:14:27+00:00October 29th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Trump’s Feral Genius

You have to hand it to Trump. Mostly he is totally in bed with big business, but he knows when to throw an industry under the bus. Big Pharma is monumentally unpopular, and for good reason. Trump’s first gambit was to require companies to mention the price of a drug in their ads. That fell flat; drugs have multiple prices—another defect of our lunatic, hyper-commercialized system. So now Trump has moved to benchmarking drug prices charged to Americans against [...]

By |2018-10-26T16:26:10+00:00October 26th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

China Keeps Displacing U.S. Jobs. Where’s Trump?

Here is today’s must read: the definitive piece on just how much Chinese abuses of the trading system are costing U.S. workers. Economists Robert E. Scott and Zane Mokhiber, in the most exhaustive study yet of the costs of the lopsided U.S.-China trade, report in an Economic Policy Institute study that since China was admitted to the World Trade Organization in 2001, U.S. trade with China has been responsible for a $100 billion increase in the annual trade deficit—and [...]

By |2018-10-24T15:54:17+00:00October 24th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Some Good News, From Munich of All Places

Bavaria has been one of the hotbeds of neo-fascist resurgence in Germany, mainly as a backlash against the Merkel government’s relatively tolerant policy toward refugees. Merkel’s coalition partner, the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), has moved sharply to the right in the hope of heading off gains by the far-right AfD. So who do you think was the biggest gainer in Sunday’s Bavarian election? The pro-immigrant Green Party, that’s who. And in Hitler's former stomping grounds, Bavaria's capital of [...]

By |2018-10-15T14:08:10+00:00October 15th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Depart, I Say, and Let Us Have Done with You

That’s what Oliver Cromwell said to the Long Parliament in 1653. In May 1940, the British Conservative M.P. Leo Amery flung the same words at Neville Chamberlain, demanding that Hitler’s appeaser step down as British prime minister. The words came back to me as I read about the paid speaking tour just announced by Bill and Hillary Clinton. The 13-city tour, billed as "An Evening with the Clintons," begins two weeks after the midterm elections. And billed is right. [...]

By |2018-10-12T19:01:29+00:00October 12th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments