Paul Waldman

Paul Waldman is a contributing editor for the Prospect and the author of Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success.

Recent Articles

Tea Party vs. (Certain) Corporations.

In their ongoing project to expand their influence, the Tea Party -- or in this case, Dick Armey's FreedomWorks -- is about to start targeting corporations for their bottomless wrath. "We are going after the rent-seeking corporations feeding at the public trough," says the organization's spokesperson.


As you probably know, Fox News employs many of the 2012 Republican presidential contenders as "contributors," which mostly means they come on the air periodically, get tossed a few softballs by a Fox host, and talk a bit about what a jerk Barack Obama is. You may have wondered, just what is this free air time worth? Media Matters does the math:

Fox ad value.jpg

Destroying the Village

Just how far will Republicans go in opposing Obama?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

When the International Olympic Committee announced last October that London would host the 2016 Olympics, the reaction on the right was truly remarkable. America's bid for Chicago to host the event -- for which President Barack Obama had personally lobbied -- fell short. Anything that could be seen as a defeat for Obama, even if it was also a defeat for America, was cause for celebration. According to a writer for The Weekly Standard, "Cheers erupt[ed]" in the magazine's offices when the news was announced. And these are the serious conservatives, the ones with a direct line to Republican leaders.

Elite Rhetorical Agenda-Setting.

How does an argument move from the "fringe" to the mainstream? The easiest way is if those already considered mainstream figures in good standing begin making it. Right now, people on the left are making an argument -- that Republicans are intentionally doing everything they can to sabotage the American economy (at least by standing in the way of efforts that might improve it) in order to maximize their chances of winning the White House in 2012. Let's put aside for the moment the question of whether Republicans are, in fact, doing this. As of yet, this argument hasn't moved into the mainstream. Kevin Drum explains: