Peter Dreier

Peter Dreier teaches politics and chairs the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College. His latest book is The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books, 2012).

Recent Articles

Should Democrats Hope that Joe Arpaio Wins Arizona’s GOP Nomination for Senate?

Will the retired sheriff’s candidacy put the Grand Canyon State in play?

(AP Photo/Matt York) Former Maricopa County Sheriff and U.S. Senate candidate Joe Arpaio at his office on January 10, 2018, in Fountain Hills, Arizona S hould liberals and Democrats pray for a Joe Arpaio victory in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate? On the one hand, his primary victory would further poison the political atmosphere and embolden white supremacists, anti-immigrant haters, and other bigots. On the other hand, an Arpaio candidacy would make it more likely that a Democrat will win the Senate seat next November, similar to Doug Jones’s defeat of Roy Moore for the Alabama Senate seat last month. A Democratic victory could help the party gain a majority in the Senate, where the Republicans now have a slim 51-49 edge. On Tuesday, the 85-year-old Arpaio declared his intention to seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Jeff Flake, who declined to run for re-election after polls revealed he would have a hard time winning his party’s...

Why Trump Keeps Telling the World 'I’m Smart'

The president has tons of bravado, which masks a myriad of other problems.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File President Donald Trump, accompanied by Republican congressmen and members of his cabinet, departs after speaking at a news conference following a congressional Republican Leadership Retreat at Camp David L ong before he started running for president, Donald Trump repeatedly claimed that he’s both brainy and well-educated. It is one of his most persistent lies. He did it again on Saturday. In a series of tweets, Trump told the world not only how smart but also how mentally fit he is. “Throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart,” Trump wrote , Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star ... to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius ... and a very stable genius at that! Later in the day he told reporters that “I went to the...

2017: A Year of Reaction and Resistance

Can progressives build on that in 2018?

Albin Lohr-Jones/Sipa via AP Images
Albin Lohr-Jones/Sipa via AP Images Activists hold aloft signs a rally and march opposing President Donald Trump's decision to eliminate the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) near City Hall in New York. 2 017 began with President Trump lying about the size of his inauguration crowd and ended with his lying about the size of the benefits he’ll get from the new tax bill. The year began with the largest protest marches in American history—the five million strong Women’s Marches on January 21—and ended with an upsurge of pent-up anger and activism around sexual assault toward women. It was a year punctuated by an upsurge in hate crimes and a controversial march of neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, but also an unprecedented wave of Democratic victories in the Virginia state legislature as well as a commanding win by the Democrats’ candidate for governor. It began with liberals traumatized by the results of the presidential election and ended with a surprising Democratic...

Bill Moyers, America’s Conscience, Retires Again—This Time for Real

The PBS journalist steps down from his long-time mission to document the lives of Americans and uncover waste, fraud, and abuse in corporate America and beyond.

Dennis Van Tine/Geisler-Fotopres/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Dennis Van Tine/Geisler-Fotopres/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images Bill Moyers attending the 2015 Writers Guild Awards New York Ceremony at the Edison Ballroom in New York City B ill Moyers has threatened to retire several times. Each time, the many fans and friends have urged the legendary PBS journalist to reconsider, and each time he did. But today, at age 83, Moyers announced his farewell, and this time it is real. Moyers ended his celebrated PBS interview program, Moyers and Company , in 2014. Since then, he’s hosted BillMoyers.com, with original articles by Moyers and others on political topics. The website will continue to serve as the archive of the television journalism that Moyers has produced over the past 44 years. Moyers has been one of the most prolific and influential figures in American journalism. Not content just to diagnose and document corporate and political malpractice, Moyers regularly took his cameras and microphones to cities and towns where unions, community...

How Doug Jones Won and the Takeaway for Democrats

What progressives need to do to retake Congress

AP Photo/John Bazemore Senator-elect Doug Jones is greeted by a supporter before speaking during an election-night watch party in Birmingham I n his victory speech Tuesday night, Doug Jones made sure to wish his Jewish supporters a “Happy Hanukkah.” His stunning victory over Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate seat from Alabama coincided with the first night of what Jews call the Festival of Lights. The holiday celebrates the Jews’ triumph over a tyrant king and the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem. As the story goes, they only had enough oil to light the temple’s lamp for one day, but the oil lasted a full eight days. During the holiday, Jews play with a four-sided spinning top called a dreidel, whose Hebrew letters represent the saying, “A great miracle happened there.” Many voters and pundits think that a great miracle happened in Alabama on Tuesday. Who can blame them? Jones is the first Democrat to win a U.S. Senate race in Alabama in 25 years. Even a month ago, a Jones victory...

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