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

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...

How Donald Trump Is Turning the GOP into a Postmodernist Party

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File President-elect Donald Trump arrives to speak at a event, Thursday, December 1, 2016, in Cincinnati. W e've endured presidents who told big lies before. Ronald Reagan said he didn't trade arms for hostages. Bill Clinton said he didn't have sexual relations with that woman. George W. Bush said Iraq had huge stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. Sometimes those lies were disproved quickly, sometimes it took a while, but in every case the president and those around him not only worked to convince us that the lie was true, they never questioned the presumption that it was not a good thing for the president of the United States to lie to the public. Well that's just one more norm that Donald Trump is going to tear down. While Trump told hundreds and hundreds of lies over the course of the campaign, the most striking thing about them wasn't the sheer volume, it was the unapologetic way he told them, without even the barest attempt to be honest. He didn't care...

Why the Trump Era Could Be an Opportunity for Democrats

Albin Lohr-Jones/Sipa via AP Images
Albin Lohr-Jones/Sipa via AP Images President-elect Donald Trump is seen in the lobby of The New York Times ' offices on Eighth Avenue in midtown Manhattan in New York City on November 22, 2016 T he late Israeli diplomat Abba Eban famously said of the Palestinians that they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And today, Democrats and liberals have the opportunity to show that they won't miss this opportunity. I say that not to discount or minimize the horrors that the next four years will bring. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the cancellation of climate regulations, the war on unions, the evisceration of the safety net, mass deportations, potentially the repeal of Roe v. Wade —it's all on the table. And that's before we even get to the kind of catastrophes that could be produced by Donald Trump's unique combination of ignorance, impulsiveness, and vindictiveness. The cost will be enormous, and in some cases it may take decades to undo the damage. But the left can...

The Greatest Grift of All

Sipa via AP Images
Sipa via AP Images Donald Trump gestures a thumbs up at the clubhouse of Trump International Golf Club, in Bedminster Township, New Jersey, November 20, 2016. A s he stands in his gold-plated apartment in Trump Tower gazing out over Manhattan, Donald Trump has no doubt marveled at how in becoming president he has finally achieved the power and influence he so richly deserves. He always knew he was smarter than everyone else and more of a winner than all those nobodies who would carp and criticize, when they don't even have their own planes or are so weak they're still married to their first wives. He showed them all. And now, it's time to really cash in. He's got the greatest business opportunity he's ever had, and he's not going to let it pass him by. Surely you weren't naïve enough to believe him when Trump said his network of businesses and partnerships didn't pose any conflict-of-interest problems, because his grown children will run the business while he's president and he'll be...

The Unpersuadables

AP Photo/Charles Krupa
AP Photo/Charles Krupa Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wait in line prior to a campaign rally in Tyngsborough, Mass., Friday, October 16, 2015. A s we conduct our national autopsy on the 2016 presidential campaign, one of the most common arguments in circulation is that Hillary Clinton failed to do enough to persuade people in places where Donald Trump ended up showing unusual strength, particularly the Rust Belt. And indeed, she lost a group of states—Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin—that had gone for the Democratic candidate in election after election. She might have spent more time there, or spoken more to the issues that concern those voters, particularly the longstanding economic problems in that region. Had she done that, the story goes, she would have maintained that "blue wall" and she'd be president today. Now there's plenty you can criticize about Clinton as a candidate and her campaign, including where she devoted resources in the closing...