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

Does the Iowa Caucus Still Matter?

Why the Ames Straw Poll is not the bellwether it once was. 

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak A voter who voted for Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, shows his finger marked with indelible ink as he picks up a free shirt at the Republican Party's Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011. C ould 2016 be the year that Iowa's iron grip on the attention of our nation's political class begins to slacken? It's an odd thing to contemplate as the hundreds of Republicans running for president continue to make pilgrimages to Cedar Rapids and Dubuque and Council Bluffs, but there are signs that all kinds of interested parties are asking themselves whether the Iowa caucuses—a mere eight months away!—are really worth getting too worked up about. People have been griping about the hallowed place of Iowa in the presidential election process ever since 1976, when an obscure former Georgia governor practically moved to the state and parlayed his win there into the Democratic nomination and then the presidency. But there are signs of a...

Honor Our War Dead On Memorial Day -- They Won't Be the Last

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana Visitors look at the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall, ahead of Memorial Day in Washington, Sunday, May 24, 2015. T his Memorial Day, the day set aside to honor those who died in America's many wars, we find ourselves still debating the last war we fought, arguing over what the nation consented to in 2003 and what its leaders delivered. Just imagine if George W. Bush had come before the American people then and said, "I want to invade Iraq, and here's what's going to happen. The war will last over eight years, during which time just short of 4,500 American servicemembers will die. It'll cost us a couple of trillion dollars, and the justifications I'm offering for the war will all turn out to be false. It will result in a huge wave of anti-Americanism, and it will greatly increase Iran's influence in the Middle East. After my successor finally gets us out, Iraq's government will be so fragile and riven by corruption and sectarianism that it won't be...

Why Everyone Wants the Military Budget to Be Bigger

It's not about "defense." 

Vito Palmisano/Getty
Vito Palmisano/Getty N ow that we've finally ( almost ) clarified who would have invaded Iraq and who wouldn't have, it's time for a little perspective. Yes, it's a good thing that elite Republicans are moving toward agreeing with the rest of us that invading Iraq was a mistake, even if they base their argument on the myth of "faulty intelligence." But there's another consensus in Washington, one that says that our military should never be anything short of gargantuan, ready to start more wars whenever a future George W. Bush wants to. At the end of last week, the House passed a defense authorization bill worth $612 billion, a number that was possible to reach only with some budgetary hocus-pocus involving classifying $89 billion of it as "emergency" spending, thereby avoiding the cuts mandated by sequestration. While the White House has objected to the way the bill moves money around, that $612 billion number is exactly what President Obama asked for. Even the guy who's supposedly...

Programming Note

Flickr/Hernán Piñera

We just celebrated our 25th anniversary here at The American Prospect, and I've been writing for the magazine for half that time—my first piece for the Prospect appeared in late 2002, and since then I've written thousands of articles, columns and blog posts. But all things must change, and starting Monday, I will no longer be writing this blog. The good news is that I won't be going away completely—I'll still be doing a weekly column, which will appear every Monday. But if you need a daily fix of whatever I have to offer, you can head over to The Washington Post's Plum Line blog, where I've been writing for the last year or so, and The Week, where I'll now be a near-daily columnist.

Thanks for reading!

Photo of the Day, Another Brick In the Wall Edition

A visitor at an exhibition of artist Nathan Sawaya's Lego sculptures in Paris takes a moment to reflect. Are we all merely collections of interchangeable blocks, formed into temporary coherence only to be disassembled before we slip into the eternal void? Who is real, and who is the simulacrum? Will there be Lego-shaped candy bars in the gift shop? These are the questions we ask ourselves, only to find that the universe is mute, mocking us with its silence.