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

One Pill Makes You Larger, and One Pill Makes You Small

If we know one thing about Nancy Pelosi , it's that she's a hippie. Sure, she wears designer suits and lives in a really, really nice house in Pacific Heights, but you know where that is, don't you? San Francisco . As any good Republican knows, that's about as far as you can get from Real America. This is an argument Republicans make with some regularity, and here ( via Ben Smith ) is the latest attempt. Only this time, it comes from a Democrat, Rep. Jim Marshall of Georgia: Let's put aside the fact that this is just about the lamest argument one could make in favor of one's candidacy -- it's not "I'm an independent voice for Georgia," it's just "Do you hate Nancy Pelosi? Me too!" Something tells me Marshall's Republican opponent hates her even more. But hippies? Really? Come on. And they're hardly trying -- they just took three girls, threw some bandanas on them, and told them to smile and dance around. Where are the love beads? The tie-dyes? The skull bong? You couldn't even throw...

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. This isn't a bad bet -- let's not forget that 18 Republican members of Congress introduced a resolution to impeach Bill Clinton two months before the Lewinsky scandal broke, on the vague grounds that Clinton had "engaged in a systemic effort to obstruct, undermine, and compromise the legitimate and proper functions and processes of the executive branch," also known as "How dare he pursue policies with which we disagree!" And as I've been pointing out again and again, as a group the Republicans in the next Congress are going to be substantially more radical than those who were elected in 1994. But (and forgive...

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. "It may be that regardless of what happens after this election, they feel more responsible, either because they didn't do as well as they anticipated, and so the strategy of just saying no to everything and sitting on the sidelines and throwing bombs didn’t work for them," Mr. Obama said. "Or they did reasonably well, in which case the American people are going to be looking to them to offer serious proposals and work with me in a serious way." Obama's not an idiot, so I find it hard to believe that he actually believes this. Often in the past I've argued that his nods to bipartisanship are mostly...

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 : Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller said Monday he will not answer any more questions about his personal background for the rest of the campaign. ... He has said the Alaska media is reporting what he considers irrelevant issues, such as his past government benefits. That includes coverage of the fact he and his wife obtained...

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. Which is why it's a little odd to see Democrats, and some of their supporters, seizing so heartily on the charge that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which plans to spend $75 million in its biennial effort to elect Republicans, is getting money from foreign sources. Look at this ad from the Democratic National Committee: "It appears they've even taken foreign money to influence our elections," the ad says, as Chinese currency piles up. The evidence for this claim is somewhat thin -- the Chamber does...

Pages