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

Blue Dogs Neutered.

A couple of weeks ago, I argued that this election was going to cause more polarization, because you'd have a lot of incredibly conservative Republicans getting elected and a lot of moderate-to-conservative Democrats losing. Lo and behold, that's what happened. In particular, the Blue Dogs who have made life so miserable for the Democratic leadership were pretty much decimated : According to an analysis by The Huffington Post, 23 of the 46 Blue Dogs up for re-election went down on Tuesday. Notable losses included Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-S.D.), the coalition's co-chair for administration, and Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.), the co-chair for policy. Two members were running for higher office (both lost), three were retiring and three races were still too close to call. Nevertheless, I think it would be a mistake to conclude that the strategy employed by many Blue Dogs of running against the Democratic Party was what caused their defeat. The fact is that if you were running in a...

Sarah Palin, Seinfeld Fan?

Well this is odd. In reaction to a Politico story about other Republicans worried about the consequences of her running for president, Sarah Palin -- in what seems to be a perpetual snit about the fact that people criticize her -- e-mailed the Daily Caller her complaint, including this riff on the fact that Politico used anonymous sources: "I suppose I could play their immature, unprofessional, waste-of-time game, too, by claiming these reporters and politicos are homophobe, child molesting, tax evading, anti-dentite , puppy-kicking, chain smoking porn producers…really, they are… I’ve seen it myself…but I’ll only give you the information off-the-record, on deep, deep background; attribute these 'facts' to an 'anonymous source' and I'll give you more." Wait a minute -- anti-dentite? How would a real American like Sarah Palin even know that reference, much less assume that other people know it? It's a reference to an episode of "Seinfeld" -- that program about Manhattanites who...

I Predict That No One Will Remember the Accuracy of Your Predictions.

The Daily Beast 's Benjy Sarlin gives us an interesting flashback to 1994, when the prognosticators -- Charlie Cook , Stu Rothenberg , Larry Sabato -- all gave their confident predictions that Republicans would pick up around 25 seats in the House. In the end, they actually picked up 54. My favorite part is when Sabato says, "My slogan has always been: 'He who lives by the Crystal Ball ends up eating ground glass,'" by which I guess he means to say that if your predictions turn out wrong, you'll be held to account. But you won't. Cook, Rothenberg, and Sabato are still successfully plying their trade, and 1994 was hardly the only wrong prediction they ever made. Here's the thing about this game: There is no accountability . You might get rewarded for making a surprisingly accurate prediction, but you will never, never, never get punished for making an inaccurate prediction. Let's say that it turns out that Republicans pick up only 30 seats, or 90, instead of the 50-60 everyone is now...

It's Not the End of the World

Why we can survive a Republican Congress

Days before the midterms, President Obama makes a final get-out-the-vote push for Democratic candidates in Bridgeport, Connecticut. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, many Republicans went berserk. The governor of Texas began talking about seceding from the Union, religious conservatives literally saw the new president as the Antichrist and decided Armageddon was around the corner, and people even started listening to Glenn Beck. Now, faced with the likelihood of a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives (and the small but real possibility of the Senate turning Republican as well), Democrats have to decide just how freaked out to be. There's a lot to be concerned about, and it would be naive to say that having Republicans back in possession of a house or two won't bring some very bad things. But we shouldn't get too carried away. This too shall pass. This is probably not the prevailing opinion on the left, even among those not normally inclined toward panic. "This is going to be terrible," Paul Krugman wrote last week. "In fact, future historians will probably look back at the 2010 election as a...

Stimulicious Rail Projects Go Forward.

Image from the Department of Transportation A lot of the debates we'll have over the next two years are going to sound like this: OBAMA: I'd like to do something to help the economy. GOP: Tax cuts? Because we were hoping to pass some tax cuts. OBAMA: Well actually, I was thinking about a program to... GOP: Hell no! But in the meantime, it's nice to know there's still some money to spend on investments. The other day, the Department of Transportation announced a new round of grants for high-speed rail construction. Here are some highlights (via Popular Science ): California received more than $901 million, including $715 million for the construction of new high-speed rail lines in the Central Valley. The state has made significant investments in passenger rail that have led to remarkable ridership growth; Florida received $800 million for the Tampa to Orlando high-speed rail corridor. The state's long-term vision is for a high-speed rail line that connects Tampa, Orlando, Miami, and...

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