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

Would Liberals Support a Donald Trump of the Left? In the End, They Probably Would

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
AP Photo/Evan Vucci Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Friday, August 5, 2016, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. W e all like to think of ourselves as principled, thoughtful, and courageous. So ask yourself this: If the Democrats nominated their own version of Donald Trump, what would you do? When we're not horrified by the Republican nominee for president, those of us on the left have been soaking in schadenfreude this year, watching the Republican Party reap what they've spent the last eight years (and more, depending on how you look at it) sowing. All the race-baiting, all the immigrant-bashing, all the establishment-vilifying, all the government-delegitimizing has come to its logical fruition in Trump's nomination. So over on this side we say they deserve every bit of what Trump has reduced them to—and we pay respect to the few with the guts to stand up and say that they will not be party to this abomination of a candidacy. The greatest scorn is...

Donald Trump's Fight With the Parents of a Fallen Soldier Is Just What His Supporters Want

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
AP Photo/Evan Vucci Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally, Wednesday, July 27, 2016, in Toledo, Ohio. D onald Trump is no professional politician, that's for sure. Because if he were, he'd understand that even if you're incapable of anything resembling human empathy, at least you have to fake it. Perhaps I'm being unfair. Perhaps he really does care for the welfare of others, and it's just a little hard for those of us without access to his private thoughts to tell. But Trump's squabble with the parents of a soldier who was killed in Iraq will certainly live on as one of the strangest and most memorable episodes in an already bizarre campaign. You've no doubt already heard about the parents of Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq; they appeared at the Democratic convention to criticize Trump for the things he has said about Muslims and immigrants like themselves and their son. Had Trump been an ordinary politician—or an ordinary person—he...

Why Tim Kaine Is the Progressives' Dream

The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images
The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine appear for the frst time together on the stage in Miami, Florida, on July 23, 2016. T he vice presidency tends to be vastly overrated during the presidential campaign and then underrated once the administration takes office. So it has been since Hillary Clinton announced Friday that Virginia Senator Tim Kaine would be her running mate. Progressives rushed to tell reporters how disappointed they were that one of their preferred choices like Elizabeth Warren or Sherrod Brown wasn't the one picked, expressing how deeply troubled they were about the rightward pull Kaine would supposedly have on Clinton's prospective presidency. But they shouldn't be worried; in fact, Kaine is likely to be a genuine boon to progressive goals. That might sound odd if you've been listening to some of the Bernie Sanders dead-enders (a group that, it should be noted, does not include Bernie Sanders himself) over the last couple of days. But hear...

Trumpapalooza Should Be One Hot Mess of a Convention

Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx/AP Images
Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx/AP Images Donald Trump with Ivanka Trump announces Mike Pence as his VP pick, July 16, 2016. I n most election years, you can count on at least a few pundits to lament that all the time, effort, and expense of the party conventions is for little purpose other than airing a four-night-long advertisement for the nominee, an endless recitation of already-tired talking points issued to drunken delegates while journalists prowl the hall in a fruitless effort to find some interesting news to report. But not this year! The Democratic convention in Philadelphia may turn out that way, but the Republican gathering in Cleveland promises to be as much of an angry, chaotic mess as the campaign of the man the delegates will raise up. It should be great fun, provided no one actually gets killed. Which isn't out of the realm of possibility. Republicans will insist that it's all going according to plan, and any other impression you might have could only be the fault of a...

Why 2016 Could Be a Turning Point on Guns

(Photo: Chelsea Purgahn/Kalamazoo Gazette via AP)
Chelsea Purgahn/Kalamazoo Gazette via AP Adriana Echols, center, at a July 9 vigil in Kalamazoo, Mich., held in response to recent violence across the nation. I 've been a gun control pessimist for about as long as I've been writing about the issue of guns. No matter what happens—no matter how many mass shootings there are, no matter how many abusive men kill their wives and girlfriends, no matter how many terrorists figure out how easy it is to kill huge numbers of people with our readily available firearms, no matter how many children accidentally shoot their siblings and friends—the marriage between the National Rifle Association and the Republican Party will prevent any meaningful national legislation from being passed. That even applies to measures like universal background checks, which somehow can't be enacted despite support from 90 percent of the public. You couldn't get 90 percent of the public to agree that ice cream is tasty, and yet we can't even get a vote on that in the...