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

Why Nothing Can Quell the Media's Addiction to Clinton Scandals

No matter what Hillary does, the media thirst for scandal will be unquenched. 

AP Photo/John Locher
AP Photo/John Locher Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a town hall meeting Tuesday, August 18, 2015, in North Las Vegas, Nevada. I f there's any constant in presidential campaigns, it's that at the first sign of difficulty, everyone who wants one particular candidate to win has an iron-clad critique of the candidate's decisions thus far, which goes something like, "If only they'd get their heads out of the sand and listen to what I have to tell them, they wouldn't be having these problems." You only have to get two or three partisans in a room (or an exchange on email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to quickly learn that the answers to what the candidate should have done before and ought to do now are as clear as a bright spring morning; it's just that the candidate and his or her advisers can't see the wisdom of the true path to victory. The fact that this complaint is as predictable as the sunrise doesn't mean it's always wrong; candidates do screw up, and...

Republicans Find Their Next Anti-Choice Innovation

(Photo: AP/Tony Dejak)
(Photo: AP/Tony Dejak) A woman walks past an abortion clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican Governor John Kasich has overseen some of the strictest anti-abortion measures in the U.S. I f you're looking for true Republican policy innovations, don't bother with tax policy or national security; the place where the GOP is really exercising its creativity is in coming up with new ways to restrict abortion rights. In the latest inspired move, Republican state legislators in Ohio have introduced a bill to make it illegal for a woman to terminate her pregnancy because she has discovered that the baby would have Down syndrome. The bill is expected to pass, and though he hasn't yet taken a position on it, it would be a shock if Governor John Kasich—who is both an opponent of abortion rights and currently in search of votes in the Republican presidential primary—didn't sign it. After it passes in Ohio (and even if by some strange turn of events it doesn't), look for identical bills to come up in...

The GOP Primary Is a Mess. Can Anyone Unite This Party?

(Photo: AP/Andrew Harnik)
(Photo: AP/Andrew Harnik) The Republican presidential candidates stand on stage before the first GOP primary debate in Cleveland on August 6. J eb Bush is starting to remind me of someone. Tall guy, former governor, worshipped his politician dad? That's right, I'm talking about Mitt Romney. It isn't just the part about their fathers, or the fact that like Romney, Bush is the representative of the "establishment" and doesn't get a lot of love from the Tea Party base, or even that he seems to share Romney's propensity for reinforcing his most glaring electoral weaknesses. (Jeb spent much of the last week explaining how the Iraq War was actually a tremendous success and we just need to bring back the Bush Doctrine, which is a great way to win over the many voters pining for a rerun of George W.'s term in office.) It's also that Bush's only path to his party's nomination may be to duplicate what Romney did successfully in 2012: use his money (and dogged persistence) to hang around while...

The Party Strikes Back—Or Tries to, Anyway

(Photo: AP/Andrew Harnik)
(Photo: AP/Andrew Harnik) Donald Trump speaks during the Fox News Republican presidential debate in Cleveland on August 6, as Jeb Bush watches. " It amazes me that other networks seem to treat me so much better than @FoxNews," Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday. "I brought them the biggest ratings in history, & I get zip!" Trump may not quite understand why Fox might be tough on him, but it's for the same reason that the Republican Party's leaders, conservative activists, and his primary opponents are trying to find ways to undermine him. The idea of him winning the presidential nomination—or even just staying in the race for an extended period of time—is horrifying for them. And every couple of weeks, Trump does or says something outrageous and they say to themselves, "OK, now this time we've really got him." So when Trump mixed it up a little with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly at the first debate last Thursday, then followed it up by seeming to imply that Kelly asked him tough...

Why the Koch Brothers Are Heroes In Their Own Minds

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan David Koch, Executive Vice President of Koch Industries, Inc., attends The Economic Club of New York, Monday, December 10, 2012. W hen Charles E. Wilson appeared before a Senate committee in January 1953 as President Eisenhower's nominee to become Secretary of Defense, he was asked whether his large holdings of stock in General Motors, where he had been president and chief executive, might cause some conflict of interest. " I cannot conceive of one," he replied, "because for years I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors and vice versa. The difference did not exist. Our company is too big. It goes with the welfare of the country." While Wilson is often misquoted as saying that what's good for GM is good for America, a quote often used as a symbol of corporate arrogance, his intent seemed at least somewhat more benign. But however you interpret it, Wilson was almost certainly sincere in believing that when you get right down to it, the...

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