I’ve never lived through a political period like this one. Even Richard Nixon’s second term had its intermissions, but the Trump presidency hurtles from one self-inflicted crisis to another. The result is that many pressing issues get overshadowed – from the fate of Obamacare (upon which the health coverage of 20 million or more rest) to continuing instability of the global economy, which suffers from huge trade imbalances and the unregulated flow of finance.
The world has by means freed itself from the conditions that led to the Great Recession – and if the Republicans are able to repeal Dodd-Frank, as the House has already voted to do, they will have eliminated the few roadblocks that the Obama administration erected against another crash. Dani Rodrik, an economist at Harvard’s Kennedy School, knows about this stuff better than anyone. I did an interview with him just as Trump was tweeting about the evil of Germany’s trade surpluses, but by the time I had transcribed and edited it, Trump and the press had moved onto Comeygate. I hope TPM readers take time off from contemplating Trump’s latest to read this interview and afterwards to read some of Rodrik’s writings.
John B. Judis is Editor-At-Large at Talking Points Memo. He was a senior editor of The New Republic and senior writer for The National Journal. He is the author most recently of The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics (Columbia Global Reports, 2016). He has written six other books, including Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origin of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014), The Folly of Empire: What George W. Bush Could Learn from Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson (Scribner, 2004), The Emerging Democratic Majority with Ruy Teixeira (Scribner, 2002), and The Paradox of American Democracy: Elites, Special Interests, and Betrayal of Public Trust (Pantheon, 2000). He has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, and The Washington Post. Born in Chicago, he received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Silver Spring, MD.