Paul Waldman

Paul Waldman is a weekly columnist and senior writer for The American Prospect. He also writes for the Plum Line blog at The Washington Post and The Week and is the author of Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success.

Recent Articles

Probably Not the GOP's Next Great Black Leader.

As you may have heard, the Republican Party is enthusiastic about the fact that 32 African American Republicans, a record number, are running for Congress this year. But they may not be so enthusiastic about one of the people leading the recruiting efforts: Timothy Johnson , the vice chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party. As TAP senior correspondent Sarah Posner reports in a revealing investigative report over at Alternet, Johnson doesn't seem like the kind of guy any political party wants to associate with: At first glance, Dr. Timothy F. Johnson appears to be everything the Republican Party -- and its allies in the religious right and the Tea Party movement -- would want in a point man for the recruitment of African-American candidates to the GOP ticket. Tall, trim and good-looking, with a Ph.D., according to his bio, and a 21-year military career -- from which he retired as an officer, according to his resume -- Johnson presents himself as a committed Christian family man...

Elect Me to Congress and Your Worries Are Over

David Weigel flags for us an amusing case of two politicians, one a congressional candidate in Tennessee, and one a candidate for agriculture commissioner in Alabama, who are running virtually identical ads produced by the same media consultant. It's not just the stock footage and the scripts that are almost identical but the fact that the two are standing in the same field next to the same tractor, and in one candidate's ad, you can see him talking to the other candidate. But that's not what I want to point out. The ad from Stephen Fincher tells you a lot about why Americans are cynical about politics: Career politicians have failed us from Harbinger International on Vimeo . "Stephen Fincher will stand up to Washington," it says. "Cut taxes to create jobs. Control wasteful spending. Stop expanding government. Expand freedom instead." Really? Here's a bold prediction: No he won't . Not because he'll be seduced by Washington's ways or because he doesn't actually want to do those things...

Crank Up the Outrage Machine.

Steve Benen explains how absurd Republican demands are that a special prosecutor be appointed in the question of Joe Sestak 's alleged White House job offer, and this raises a rather important issue. In case you are unaware, Sestak says that someone in the White House told him that if he would shelve his primary campaign against Arlen Specter , they'd give him a job. What job it was, he won't say, and the White House doesn't want to talk about it. In any event, this is fairly standard political horse-trading, which Republicans are now expressing faux outrage over. But here's why it's important: If Republicans were in charge of Congress right now, they'd be holding endless hearings on not just this issue but a hundred other cases of alleged Obama administration malfeasance. For those of you too young to remember, the Clinton years were a parade of ridiculous "investigations" into things like whether aide Vince Foster was murdered by a nefarious conspiracy. The Republican Congress heard...

Is Sarah Palin Being Gaslighted?

I think I figured it out: Democrats, the lamestream media, and a shadowy group possibly involving the Trilateral Commission have gotten together to gaslight Sarah Palin . That's right, they're trying to drive her insane. The latest plot twist in the never-ending soap opera that is Palin's life is that investigative journalist Joe McGinniss , author of "Fatal Vision" and "The Selling of the President," among other books, has rented a house next door to the Palin manse while he writes a book about her. Palin put up an outraged post on her Facebook page, saying, among other things, "Wonder what kind of material he’ll gather while overlooking Piper ’s bedroom, my little garden, and the family’s swimming hole?" Which as David Weigel points out , implies that McGinniss is not an award-winning investigative journalist writing a book but some kind of creep who just wants to leer at Palin's daughters in their bathing suits. Look over that Facebook page , and you see one entry after another...

The Deep Thoughts of Newt Gingrich.

Over at 538, Tom Schaller has an interesting interview with Newt Gingrich about both politics and policy. As you may know, Gingrich is currently promoting his latest book, titled To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine , and Tom gets him on record making some very positive noises about running for president in 2012. Schaller starts by asking Gingrich to explain what he means by "secular-socialist machine," and his answer includes this passage, about the socialism of Barack Obama 's administration: They designed Obamacare so there’s a backdoor road to socialized medicine because it creates an incentive for companies to drop their employees. There’s evidence that hundreds of companies may drop millions of employees from their health insurance and have them go buy individual insurance. So there’s a lot of different practices that would lead us to believe this is socialist operation. So the Affordable Care Act is "socialist," because Gingrich thinks that companies will...

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