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

Now I Understand the Future of News.

Been wondering about whether you completely understand the nature of the competition between The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal ? This video from Next Media, the Taiwanese company behind that computer animation of Tiger Woods fighting with his wife that swept the Internet a few months ago, should clear it up. Or maybe not: My favorite part has to be the dance-off, which may or may not be a homage to the Jets and the Sharks in "West Side Story." Before you start ridiculing Next Media for their bizarre editorial choices, surrealistic visual metaphors, nonexistent commitment to accuracy, and crude animations, check out this article from Wired magazine on the company, which explains the magnitude of what they accomplish: [Company cheif Jimmy] Lai didn't know much about animation, but he knew a lot about assembly lines—he made his first fortune in the garment industry. After two years of trial and error, experimenting with various technologies and seeing exactly how many...

Health Care, Again

Is there really a chance the ACA will be repealed?

During Bill Clinton's first administration, commentators began to condemn the "permanent campaign": Even after an election was over, officials continued to obsess over political positioning and media coverage instead of getting down to the hard business of governing. To see how the health-care reform that was passed earlier this year is talked about, you might think we've entered into a condition of permanent legislating, when even after a bill is signed into law, the battle goes on. That's because there are now people and organizations on the right that have made it their mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act. Fortunately for them, many of the ACA's most consequential provisions won't take effect for three more years, leaving ample time -- and potentially multiple swings of the political pendulum -- for them to hack away at the act's trunk and limbs in the hopes of felling the entire tree. Their chances of success may be slim, but that the effort is being undertaken at all tells...

Reading Obama's Mind.

Not to harp too much on Dinesh D'Souza 's incredible Forbes cover article about how all of Barack Obama 's presidency can be explained by the fact that his absent father injected him with an ideology of "Kenyan anti-colonialism" that to this day determines his every decision, but this bit of wingnuttery actually can be instructive for all of us as we think about the information and opinions we use to understand the political world on an ongoing basis. First, you should read what Adam has to say about D'Souza. Now that you're back, let's think about a passage like this one: It may seem incredible to suggest that the anticolonial ideology of Barack Obama Sr. is espoused by his son, the President of the United States. That is what I am saying. From a very young age and through his formative years, Obama learned to see America as a force for global domination and destruction. He came to view America's military as an instrument of neocolonial occupation. He adopted his father's position...

You Want Crazy? Newt Will Give You Crazy.

Successful political leaders know how to read the prevailing winds and rush to the front of the parade that is passing by. And few people do this with more seriousness than Newt Gingrich , who somehow manages to remain a key Republican figure despite having left the speakership of the House in disgrace after scandals both personal and professional. Today, the prevailing wind on the right is, well, crazy. The president is not simply wrong about this or that but is actually trying to destroy America. Our current conflicts are a sign of the End Times. If a Democratic agenda continues to be enacted, it will literally mean the end of freedom itself. And so on. So Newt isn't going to let anyone out-crazy him -- no siree. Yesterday, keying off an unhinged article by longtime "wingnut welfare" recipient Dinesh D'Souza , Gingrich told Dave Weigel and Robert Costa that Barack Obam a's dismantling of all that is right and true now has its explanation. D'Souza has discovered that Obama is not...

Can the White House Turn John Boehner Into a Villain?

Lots of people noticed that in his speech in Cleveland earlier this week, President Obama mentioned House Minority Leader John Boehner eight times. This may or may not mean that turning Boehner into a villain is a key part of the White House's strategy going into the fall elections. But if it is, can it be successful? You might think, well, Boehner's not the most charming guy in the world, but he's not as repellent as, say, Newt Gingrich . But let's look at the numbers. There haven't been many polls testing people's feelings about Boehner, but one from Gallup in April found 29 percent with a favorable view of him, 32 percent with an unfavorable view, and 39 percent with no opinion either way. Frankly, it's surprising that 61 percent of the public claims to have an opinion about him, but this is the kind of thing polls tend to overstate -- people want to seem informed, and it doesn't really cost anything for a respondent to say "favorable" or "unfavorable" to the interviewer, when in...

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