Paul Waldman

Paul Waldman is the Prospect's daily blogger, and a contributing editor. He also blogs for the Plum Line at the Washington Post, and is the author of Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success.

Recent Articles

NPR Boots Juan Williams.

The media news of the morning is that NPR gave Juan Williams the boot after some comments he made during an appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor": The move came after Mr. Williams, who is also a Fox News political analyst, appeared on the "The O'Reilly Factor" on Monday. On the show, the host, Bill O’Reilly , asked him to respond to the notion that the United States was facing a "Muslim dilemma." Mr. O’Reilly said, "The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet." Mr. Williams said he concurred with Mr. O’Reilly. He continued: "I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous." Mr. Williams also made reference to the Pakistani...

There's Suckers in Them Thar Hills.

(Flickr/ bullionvault ) If you've been following the Tea Party, you may have noticed that many different reporters have spoken to Partiers who say that they didn't realize how bad things were until they started listening to Glenn Beck , and their eyes were opened. And if you've listened to Beck, you've noticed that his show isn't just an hour's entertainment; it's a way of life -- once you enter his world and understand that Armageddon is around the corner, there's no going back. Part of this message comes in the products Beck hawks to his viewers, which include things like " survival seeds " and " food insurance ," which is a survival kit of freeze-dried food you and your family can subsist on while you're waiting for your seeds to germinate, after society collapses and the undead are clawing at your underground shelter. But no product gets more attention from Beck than gold, particularly gold sold by a company called Goldline. As Beck tells it, one of the consequences of Barack...

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.

Today's New York Times has an interesting story about a periodic meeting conservative über-donor David Koch organizes, where he and other masters of the universe plan how to advance the cause of "freedom," i.e. remove themselves from the burden of paying taxes and obeying regulations on things like the environment and worker safety: A secretive network of Republican donors is heading to the Palm Springs area for a long weekend in January, but it will not be to relax after a hard-fought election — it will be to plan for the next one. Koch Industries, the longtime underwriter of libertarian causes from the Cato Institute in Washington to the ballot initiative that would suspend California’s landmark law capping greenhouse gases, is planning a confidential meeting at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa to, as an invitation says, “develop strategies to counter the most severe threats facing our free society and outline a vision of how we can foster a renewal of American free enterprise...

One More Thing the Administration Did Wrong.

Ben Smith has an article in Politico that tells us quite a bit about what has happened in the last couple of years. The basic thesis is that in 2008, Obama actively discouraged donors from giving to the outside groups that were forming to help him get elected, and now he's paying the price. Here's an excerpt: That active discouragement began in earnest in May 2008 as Democratic fundraisers began joining hands to try to take back the White House. A first effort, a 527 called the Fund for America, had boasted in March that it would spend $150 million. As it fizzled, a new nonprofit group called Progressive Media USA announced in April that it would raise and spend $40 million from anonymous donors to attack John McCain. Then, in early May, in a conference call and at a meeting of Obama's national finance team, Finance Chairwoman Penny Pritzker told donors and fundraisers that Obama didn't want them helping outside groups. The money stopped so abruptly that Progressive Media was left...

Prostitutes and the Audacity Gap.

There are certain things we expect of politicians. They're supposed to kiss babies, and wear flag pins, and care deeply about whatever is most important to the person they are talking to at a particular moment. Also, when they get caught with hookers, they're supposed to slink off shamefacedly, never to be heard from again. But it doesn't have to be that way, as probably soon-to-be-reelected Sen. David Vitter has shown us. Matt Yglesias makes the contrast with Eliot Spitzer : I think the contrasting fates of Spitzer and guys like Clinton or Senator David Vitter (R-LA) shows that Spitzer’s problem was much simpler than that—he resigned. When a reasonably popular public official is hit with a scandal of a personal nature, the natural immediate first reaction of his same-party colleagues is to want to get rid of him. After all, no reason this guy should be a millstone around all of our necks. That leads to an initial torrent of criticism from friendly-ish sources and a wave of pressure...

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