Gabrielle Gurley

Gabrielle Gurley is The American Prospect’s deputy editor. Her email is

Recent Articles

How Maine’s Medicaid Expansion Campaign Got to Yes

Frustration with the status quo and a powerful GOTV campaign helped produce the country’s first Medicaid expansion directly decreed by the voters.

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty
Imagine that expanding Medicaid coverage to tens of thousands of people somehow meant that hunting and fishing licenses would be more expensive. Fearing a price hike, hunters and fishermen would surely surge to the polls in off-year election to vote no on a Medicaid expansion ballot question. Which is why one of the ads unleashed by opponents of Maine’s Medicaid expansion voter initiative made that very—and very ridiculous—claim. Maine’s Republican Governor, Paul LePage, pugnacious as usual, was the face of the anti-expansion campaign. He took to Maine’s influential talk radio programs to dial up his base, backed by a PAC called Welfare to Work launched by one of his former advisors in August to fight the Medicaid measure. The message? “Able-bodied people” looking “medical welfare” should get off their collective butts and get to work. Those scare tactics backfired. Mainers voted 59 percent to 41 percent to expand Medicaid, making...

Three Minutes with Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards

The women’s reproductive-rights leader shares some thoughts on President Trump and community activism.

(Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
With President Trump and the Republican Party determined to bulldoze over decades of women’s health-care gains, reproductive-rights advocates like Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, have been on the front lines of an all-consuming battle to beat back that onslaught. “If we had a majority of people in Congress who could get pregnant, we wouldn’t be fighting about birth control,” she told The American Prospect, underlining one of her signature phrases. “I look forward to that day.” After the 2016 election, Planned Parenthood and Richards (whom The American Prospect featured in a cover story last year) emerged as a kinetic force in the resistance movement. In tandem with dozens of other progressive organizations, Planned Parenthood has spearheaded get-out the-vote drives, town hall meetings on health-care policies, and immigrant-rights and racial-justice marches. The Prospect spoke to Richards before she and Danielle Henry, of the...

The Vietnam War: A Conversation with Ken Burns

America’s foremost documentary filmmakers lift the curtain on the country’s psychic wounds in this stunning new history of our most divisive conflict since the Civil War.

Courtesy of Larry Burrows/Getty Images
I n fall of 1967, the Vietnam War was unraveling. The Marines had been battling North Vietnamese Army troops from their hilltop outpost at Khe Sahn near the Demilitarized Zone since the spring. “ The true peace-keepers are those men who stand out there on the DMZ at this very hour, taking the worst that the enemy can give,” President Lyndon Johnson said in September speech in San Antonio. He was “ready to talk peace … tomorrow,” with Ho Chi Minh, North Vietnam’s nominal leader, Johnson said. Weeks later, little had changed and 50,000 antiwar protestors marched on the Pentagon. Half a world away in the DMZ, Roger Harris, a 19-year-old Marine Corps volunteer , tried to come to terms with the killing, the dying, and the unspeakable atrocities. In The Vietnam War , he recalls that his fellow soldiers told him: “this is war; this is what we do.” The Vietnam War is the product of a more than decade of work by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick who...

Will Harvey Dent Trump’s Climate Change Denial? (Probably Not)

Trump brings his un-presidential touch to the Southeast Texas disaster-in-progress

AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Absent an 11th-hour conversion, President Donald Trump, who believes that climate change is a Chinese hoax, is unlikely to concede that the warmer waters of the Gulf have played a role in the country’s worst hurricane since Katrina in 2005 and Sandy in 2012. He’s not likely to urge the climate-change deniers he’s placed atop the Environmental Protection Agency to change their tune. And if his climate denial were not enough, his stream-of-deranged-consciousness tweets in the hours as Harvey approached and made landfall continue to demonstrate his total unfitness for the office of presidency. Like New Orleans, Houston has always been a city at risk from hurricanes and tropical storms. Americans will debate for years to come who was responsible for what in the country’s fourth largest city. This much is known: Houston failed to prepare and was bound to suffer the devastating blow which Harvey delivered— as a recent Texas Tribune and ProPublica investigation...

Trump Sets His Sights on Phoenix

Nothing good can come from a presidential visit by a man determined to lead the country to the dark side after Charlottesville.

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
If Donald Trump’s schedule holds, the latest chapter in the detestable saga of his presidency opens next week in Phoenix, where Trump is set to speak at a rally of his faithful, deranged followers. Despite public outrage, negative headlines, and many Republicans in Congress ever so faintly humming kumbaya, the president of the United States continues to revel in a perverse sort of post-Charlottesville euphoria that only he and his white-supremacist and neo-Nazi brethren can experience. As the president gleefully blabs and tweets his way to civil discord, Phoenix braces for the worst. Arizona’s two senators, Republicans John McCain and Jeff Flake, have excoriated him, while Greg Stanton, the city’s Democratic mayor, has asked him to stay away, to no avail so far. So the Tuesday rally could rip open angry wounds in a city still smarting from the excesses that S.B. 1070, the state’s harsh immigration law, produced. All the more so if Trump decides to pardon Joe...