Paul Waldman

Paul Waldman is a contributing editor for the Prospect and the author of Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success.

Recent Articles

Will the Republicans Impeach Obama?

Jonathan Chait looks into the future:

Hear me now and believe me later: If Republicans win and maintain control of the House of Representatives, they are going to impeach President Obama. They won’t do it right away. And they won’t succeed in removing Obama. (You need 67 Senate votes.) But if Obama wins a second term, the House will vote to impeach him before he leaves office.

The Craziest Quote You'll Read Today.

No, it's not a new head-scratcher from some Tea Party candidate. It's Barack Obama, in an interview with The New York Times:

In an hour-long interview with Times White House correspondent Peter Baker, Mr. Obama predicted that his political rivals will either be chastened by falling short of their electoral goals or burdened with the new responsibility that comes from achieving them.

Getting Beyond Hypocrisy

I've often lamented, right here on TAPPED, the degree to which campaigns ignore the stuff government actually does (so-called policy) and obsess over the "character" of candidates, focusing on questions like which one is the bigger liar or who loves America more. These things are largely irrelevant -- whether someone likes a little eye of newt in their stew doesn't tell you whether they'll be a good legislator or not. But they're not completely irrelevant -- we do want to know whether candidates are criminals, or incompetent, or mistreat their employees, and that sort of thing. So I'm a bit conflicted about the travails of Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller:

Will the "Foreign Money" Attack Work?

One of the main leitmotifs of conservative criticism of Barack Obama since he began running for office is that there's something foreign about him -- maybe he wasn't born here, maybe he doesn't worship America's dominant religion, and even if those things aren't true, well, he's just somehow not American. These attacks have always been false, ugly, and xenophobic, and there isn't much evidence that they really worked, other than to rile up people who would never have supported him anyway.

Their Own Facts

How basic misunderstandings about government benefit the right

Sarah Palin, who called President Barack Obama's health plan "downright evil" because, she alleged, it would create "death panels" denying care to the neediest Americans (AP/Stephan Savoia)

When someone is propagating falsehoods about a matter of public debate, someone else will often say, "You're entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts." In other words, we can only have a reasonable debate if we agree on what the facts are. We may disagree about which facts are more important than others, but if you believe, say, that the Affordable Care Act establishes "death panels" before which seniors and the disabled have to beg for their lives, and I assert that the act does no such thing, we won't be able to have a fruitful discussion about whether the ACA is a good thing until we can get past the factual disagreement. Without a common set of facts, we can't come to conclusions, because all we will do is argue about what's true.