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 News Media Has to Change or It'll Get Steamrolled by Trump

(Photo: Rex Features via AP)
(Photo: Rex Features via AP) Trump speaks at a news conference at Trump Tower in New York on January 11. F or months, foolish people like myself suggested there was something problematic about the fact that Donald Trump had not held a press conference since July. How could he be held accountable without subjecting himself to interrogation by the press corps? Don't we need to at least see him confront some tough questions, in a situation where he can be called out when he lies and be forced to answer questions he'd rather avoid? But Trump has a unique ability to make you question your assumptions. And after watching his first post-election press conference, one has to wonder whether there's much point in demanding that he do any more. In fact, it only highlighted the urgency for the nation's press corps to understand that covering this unusual president requires them to figure out a new way to do their jobs. That press conference was no less of a dumpster fire than Trump's entire...

How Democrats Can Defeat the Repeal of Obamacare

Ron Sachs/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Ron Sachs/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Chris Van Hollen, and US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi after their gathering with President Barack Obama to strategize on how to counter Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. A s we begin 2017, despondency covers America's progressives like a dark and enervating fog. With good reason—these are going to be a hard four years, with a great deal of suffering to come. But perhaps the biggest legislative battle of the Trump administration is beginnning, and it's one Democrats can win, if they're smart about it. As Republicans themselves are now realizing, it's easy to criticize a complex health-care law when the other party is getting blamed for everything anyone doesn't like about the system, but it's a lot harder to come up with an alternative that won't do real harm to at least some Americans. That's their dilemma, and it provides the opening Democrats need to kill the repeal of the...

Republicans Have No Choice But to Repeal Obamacare -- No Matter the Cost

(Photo: AP/Susan Walsh)
(Photo: AP/Susan Walsh) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill on December 12, 2016. W e're less than three weeks away from the dawn of a new era in Washington, and the engine of that transformation will be the Republican Congress. Having suffered for eight long years under a president who stood in the way of their noble efforts to turn America into a paradise of prosperity and morality, they are counting down the days until they finally get what they want, until their legislative blessings burst from the Capitol building in a wondrous eruption of virtue and wisdom, make a quick stop on Pennsylvania Avenue for President Trump's signature, then wash over a grateful nation. Some of the items on their long, long list of priorities may be relatively easy to accomplish, but others are trickier. And none is more fraught with political peril than their single most important goal: repeal of the hated Affordable Care Act. Since the election,...

The GOP Is Becoming a Pro-Putin Party. Where Is Trump Going to Lead Them Next?

Sergey Guneev/Sputnik via AP
Sergey Guneev/Sputnik via AP Russian President Vladimir Putin during the signing of Russian-Japan documents following a meeting in Tokyo. B efitting a man who came from a television genre in which contrived situations carefully edited to tell stories are referred to as "reality," Donald Trump is in the process of creating his own reality for his party. We should be profoundly concerned about the way in which Trump not only lies but encourages his supporters to believe the lies he tells. But can he actually remake the Republican Party in the process, to change its very identity and ideology? Consider this: Donald Trump is making the GOP, the party of Cold Warriors from Nixon to Reagan and beyond, into the most pro-Russian party we've seen in generations, if ever. Not only has Trump surrounded himself with advisers friendly to the Russian government, he himself praised Vladimir Putin again and again during the campaign, and now refuses to believe the consensus of the American...

Donald Trump's Epistemological Netherworld

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File A supporter holds a sign while waiting for President-elect Donald Trump to arrive at a rally, Thursday, December 8, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. G et ready, America: You're traveling into another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind, a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are those of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead, your next stop ... the Trump presidency. OK, maybe it's not quite the Twilight Zone . But the dimension we're entering is one where the president of the United States doesn't just live in an alternate reality, he exists in a place where there are no facts, where knowledge is for stupid people, where the most unqualified person ever to occupy the country's highest office can declare with his words and actions that he has contempt for the very idea that he might try to figure out what's going on and what he ought to do. It's a world where there is no relationship between cause and effect, between...