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 Selling the Public on the AHCA Will Not Be Easy

Cheriss May/Sipa via AP Images
Cheriss May/Sipa via AP Images House Speaker Paul Ryan shakes hands with President Donald Trump upon the passage of legislation to roll back the Affordable Care Act in the Rose Garden of the White House. O ne of the foundational principles of Donald Trump's business career, one that he transferred over to politics, is to always act like you're winning whether you actually are or not. So it was that he and House Republicans gathered in the Rose Garden on Thursday to stage a giddy celebration of the passage of a bill through the House that most (if not all) of the assembled legislators hadn't read, that the Congressional Budget Office hadn't scored, that was dead on arrival in the Senate (where Republicans will start over to write a new bill), and that every sensible observer agreed was practically a political suicide pact. You have to give them some credit for successfully passing this malignant tumor of a bill through the House; given his record as a legislative leader, I doubted Paul...

Why Liberals Are So Worked Up About Barack Obama Giving a Paid Speech to Wall Street

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast Former President Barack Obama hosts a conversation on civic engagement and community organizing, Monday, April 24, 2017, at the University of Chicago. I n a decision that launched a thousand Hot Takes, former President Barack Obama has accepted a $400,000 fee to give a speech at a health-care conference sponsored by the Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald. Given the intensity of the reaction from liberals (sample headline: " Obama's $400,000 Wall Street speaking fee will undermine everything he believes in "), you'd almost think Obama had begun lobbying for the repeal of Dodd-Frank, or maybe gone on a seal-clubbing expedition. While he had some defenders, the dominant sentiment from his supporters seemed to be either disappointment or anger. I'm not going to make an argument for why Obama should or shouldn't give paid speeches, and to whom (though I will say that by today's standards, $400,000 is pretty modest—it'll cost you a lot more to get Kim...

100 Days of Winning

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
AP Photo/Susan Walsh President Donald Trump walks up the steps of Air Force One at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee. D ear America, I write you to mark my first 100 days in office, an era of unprecedented greatness in American history. Let's be honest: Just a few months ago, America was like a woman in her 40s—saggy, wrinkled, no reason to pay her any mind unless it's to elbow her aside on your way to some hot young Eastern European supermodel of a country. But today, America is that young supermodel. If you saw her, you'd want to grab her by the ... well, you know. I fear that some of you who don't watch the full three hours of Fox & Friends every morning might not appreciate the true majesty of what I like to think of as 100 Days of Winning. I promised you that "We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with the winning," and that's what I've delivered—not the bored part, because c'mon, who could ever get bored with me? But the...

The Vital Purpose Behind Protesting Over Trump's Tax Returns

(Photo: AP)
(Photo: AP) Protesters walk during the Tax March in Washington, D.C., on April 15, 2017. D onald Trump's tax returns seemed like the kind of second- or third-tier issue that people might have opinions about, but that wouldn't ever rise to the top of the list of their concerns. Sure, most Americans (as many as three-quarters ) say he ought to release them. But it isn't something people will march in the streets about, right? Well, actually, it is. On Saturday, tens of thousands of Americans turned out in cities and towns all over the country (in 48 states in all ) to demand that the president release his tax returns to the public, which he has steadfastly refused to do. No amount of protesting could convince him to change his mind; Trump long ago decided that whatever is contained in those returns is so embarrassing or damaging that avoiding the revelation is worth whatever political fallout he gets from keeping them secret. But it shows that Americans haven't lost their ability to be...

Could Bill O'Reilly, the King of Cable News, Be Going Down?

Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File
Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter's 2016 "35 Most Powerful People in Media" celebration in New York. " When you're a star, they let you do it," said Donald Trump about the joy he took in grabbing women by the genitals without their consent, back when he was eager to impress the likes of Billy Bush. "You can do anything." In a way, he was proven right, since for all the controversy around the release of that recording, he still managed to get elected president. And now his good friend Bill O'Reilly is testing the theory. Cable news's biggest star is confronting the most serious threat to his position he's ever faced, as a result of the revelation by The New York Times that O'Reilly and his employer have settled at least five sexual harassment claims against him, paying out $13 million—of course, always with the condition that the accuser keep her mouth shut. It would be deeply ironic for O'Reilly to lose his position just as he watches the...

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