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

The Midterms Showed that the Real America Is Democratic

AP Photo/John Bazemore Former President Barack Obama stands with Georgia Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor Sarah Riggs Amico, left, gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and congressional candidate Lucy McBath, right, during a campaign rally at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Y ou've heard lots of figures from the 2018 election, but here's what may be the most remarkable one: Once the last couple of House races finish counting, Republicans will have only between 12 and 14 women in their caucus, out of around 200 members. You'll be able to fit all the Republican congresswomen in one van. Before the election there were 23 of them, which was nothing to be proud of, but between retirements, defeats, and some running for higher office, the number was slashed almost in half—even as a wave of successful Democratic women candidates brings the total number of women in the House over 100 for the first time. Democrats are an even more diverse party, and Republicans are almost entirely...

Republicans Undertake Last-Minute Wave of Voter Suppression

(AP Photo/Mike Stewart)
(AP Photo/Mike Stewart) People cast their ballots ahead on October 27, 2018, in Marietta, Georgia. I f voting weren't important, it's been said, Republicans wouldn't work so hard to keep people, especially African Americans, from doing it. And with the 2018 midterm elections upon us, they're doing everything they can to put up a few last hurdles in front of those trying to exercise the franchise. You can see why they're worried. Democratic enthusiasm is extraordinarily high this year, even among the young, who normally sit out midterms. States, counties, and districts from all over are reporting record turnout in early voting. Instead of the usual turnout of 30 percent or so we see in a midterm, this year it could approach 50 percent, more like a presidential year. Places where Republicans would ordinarily expect to win without expending much effort are competitive for the first time in years. Even before they knew that they'd face a backlash against their repellent president,...

The First Family of Fraud

(Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx/AP Images)
(Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx/AP Images) Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump, and Donald Trump, Jr. at a press conference in New York City on January 11, 2017. W hen Donald Trump was wondering what mocking nickname to affix to Hillary Clinton, he quite cleverly settled on "Crooked Hillary," playing off the years of Republican investigations into faux scandals and the widespread sense that she and her husband Bill sometimes danced too close to the ethical line. The most brilliant thing about it was that it managed to muddy the waters about just who the crooked one was. "I know you are but what am I" is a common Republican strategy, so it shouldn't have been too surprising. But when we look back now and recall that there was actually a vigorous debate in the media in 2016 about whether not Donald Trump but Hillary Clinton was too corrupt to be president, the mind boggles. That's because, as I've argued repeatedly for some time now, even as he ran for president it was obvious that...

If Democrats Take the House in November, They Need a Plan for What Comes Next

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill. M itch McConnell was right. When he said in 2010 that "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president," the only surprising thing about it was that it was more forthright than politicians usually are. He was only saying what everyone already understood by then: Not only that Republicans were already trying to make Obama's life miserable, but that if they took the House in that fall's elections (which they did), then destroying his chances at winning a second term would be their primary goal. That, and stopping Obama from passing any meaningful legislation; as John Boehner said about Obama's agenda right before the election that made him speaker of the House, "We're going to do everything—and I mean everything we can do—to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can." Right now Democrats are in the position Republicans were eight...

Everything Is Backlash

Emily Molli/NurPhoto/Sipa USA via AP Images Protesters gather to demonstrate against Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington. T he battle over Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court will have effects for years to come—legally, sociologically, and politically—and to understand the political question, you need only ask who was made angrier by the spectacle we just witnessed. Is it Democratic voters, who watched while the GOP rallied around a man credibly accused of sexual assault, belittled his accuser, then celebrated their triumph in putting him on the court to (among other things) eviscerate women's reproductive rights? Or is it Republican voters, who were terribly offended by what a fine upstanding son of the elite like Kavanaugh had to endure? In other words, whose backlash is going to be bigger? The answer will determine what happens in November and beyond. It's too early to know for sure, though I have my suspicions. But...

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