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What I learned on my Red State book tour

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | November 16, 2015

I’ve recently returned from three weeks in “red” America. It was ostensibly a book tour but I wanted to talk with conservative Republicans and Tea Partiers. I intended to put into practice what I tell my students – that the best way to learn is to talk with people who disagree you. I wanted to learn from … Continue reading »

Trump 2016: Archie Bunker runs for President

Lawrence Rosenthal, executive director, Center for Right-Wing Studies | August 12, 2015

Over the course of the past three and a half decades, the Republican far right has resembled the successive generations of William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, offering up politicians who act more and more inbred over time. Their stunted thinking frequently makes sense only within their own circles; their words and actions can not only be … Continue reading »

The Stakes: Koch & Co. aim for a revolution in 2016

Lawrence Rosenthal, executive director, Center for Right-Wing Studies | June 17, 2015

The 2016 election ambitions of the Koch brothers and what they represent on the Republican right wing, free-market absolutism, are nothing short of breathtaking. They feel within their grasp a historical opportunity they have been dreaming about for decades to turn back liberal institutions and customs. Things have lined up their way. Congress is in … Continue reading »

Lightbulb wars: the saga continues

Dan Farber, professor of law | January 21, 2014

Republicans have won a largely symbolic victory for an obsolete technology. Among the sleeper provisions of the new budget deal is a ban on enforcing federal lightbulb standards.  This is a great example of symbolic politics — it makes Tea Party Republicans happy, has limited practical effect, and makes little policy sense. Or to put it … Continue reading »

What last week’s election results really mean

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | November 6, 2013

Pundits who are already describing the victories of Terry McAuliffe in Virginia and Chris Christie in New Jersey as a “return to the center” of American politics are confusing the “center” with big business and Wall Street. A few decades ago McAuliffe would be viewed as a right-wing Democrat and Christie as a right-wing Republican. … Continue reading »

The sequester and the Tea Party Plot

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | March 1, 2013

Imagine a plot to undermine the government of the United States, to destroy much of its capacity to do the public’s business, and to sow distrust among the population. Imagine further that the plotters infiltrate Congress and state governments, reshape their districts to give them disproportionate influence in Washington, and use the media to spread … Continue reading »

Why is each sequel worse than the last?

Dan Farber, professor of law | February 15, 2013

Some movie franchises last way too long: Friday the 13th, Rocky, Nightmare on Elm Street.  Each new film is worse than the last, and they’re all worse than the original, which wasn’t so great itself.  The GOP war on energy-efficient light bulbs has the same characteristic — you wish someone would just drive a stake through … Continue reading »

Vulgar Borkians: The Tea Party and the Judge

Lawrence Rosenthal, executive director, Center for Right-Wing Studies | December 24, 2012

One of the great riddles of the 2009 and 2010 Tea Party heyday was contained in the famous sign that appeared in many of their anti-Obamacare demonstrations: “Government hands off my Medicare.” How could they think that? It’s a plain contradiction since, obviously, Medicare is a government program in the first place. The key to … Continue reading »

It’s the Tea Party, stupid

Lawrence Rosenthal, executive director, Center for Right-Wing Studies | November 5, 2012

Apart from certain quarters on the Right predicting a Romney victory on Election Day, the final weeks of the campaign witnessed a gathering sentiment, almost a last-minute conventional wisdom, about the election’s outcome. It went something like this: Obama had a significant and reliable lead until the first debate. Pre-debate, Republicans lamented a lackluster Romney … Continue reading »

Mapping Paul Ryan

Lawrence Rosenthal, executive director, Center for Right-Wing Studies | August 14, 2012

Paul Ryan represents one of two branches of the Tea Party. Let’s call it the libertarian branch. These are people who are single-minded and absolutist about “free-market economics.” Theirs is a passion that leads to across-the-board opposition to taxes and government regulation of economic life, to bemoaning public debt, and to the aim of whittling … Continue reading »

Republican Agonistes: After Michigan

Lawrence Rosenthal, executive director, Center for Right-Wing Studies | March 1, 2012

The narrowness of Mitt Romney’s victory over Rick Santorum in Romney’s home state of Michigan ensures that the ever more scathing struggle for the Republican nomination is far from resolved. In 2010 the Tea Party established that it owned a chokehold on the Republican nominating process by way of its outsized representation as participants in … Continue reading »

The GOP ticket in 2012: Romney-Rubio

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | January 3, 2012

Since my New Year’s prediction that Obama would select Hillary Clinton for his running mate in 2012 (and Joe Biden would become Secretary of State), I’ve been swamped by requests for my GOP prediction. Here goes. You can forget the caucuses and early primaries. Mitt Romney will be the nominee. Republicans may be stupid but … Continue reading »

Why the Republican crackup is bad for America

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | December 22, 2011

Two weeks before the Iowa caucuses, the Republican crackup threatens the future of the Grand Old Party more profoundly than at any time since the GOP’s eclipse in 1932. That’s bad for America. The crackup isn’t just Romney the smooth versus Gingrich the bomb-thrower. Not just House Republicans who just scotched the deal to continue … Continue reading »

Occupy! Now what?

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | November 8, 2011

One can sympathize with the central message of the Occupy movement that economic inequality and injustice have gone too far (a message recently reaffirmed by the Congressional Budget Office’s report on inequality, the Census Bureau’s new report on poverty, and the Justice Department’s criminal complaints against financial operators) and still have the foreboding that things … Continue reading »