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

Rand Paul Returns to TV, Whines About Being Criticized.

I'd never want to run for public office, for a number of reasons. But if I did, I'd go into it knowing that part of the deal was suffering a whole lot of slings and arrows. No one should accept people lying about them, of course, but if you become a candidate, people on the other side are going to criticize you. Some may even mock you. That may not be fun to endure, but if you think you can run for office and not be the target of rhetorical assaults, you're a fool.

Stand Back, Folks -- We're Doing Journalism Here.

Greg Sargent informs us that important journalistic organizations are deeply concerned about reporting important news:

Even before the controversy erupted over Helen Thomas' remarks, Fox was locked in a behind-the-scenes "death match" with Bloomberg News over who would next inherit her front-row seat in the White House press room, according to a source close to ongoing discussions over the seat. 

Our Multiracial Future

The Pew Research Center has an interesting report out about interracial marriage. You won't be surprised to learn that it has increased significantly: In 1980, 6.7 percent of the newly married were married to someone of a different ethnicity; in 2008 the number had risen to 14.6 percent:


California Follies

Tuesday's primary was yet another illustration of the limits of the state's complex ballot-initiative process.

California residents protest Proposition 8. (Flickr/Steve Rhodes)

Today is primary day in California, and voters will be doing more than choosing party nominees for governor, senator, and various other offices. They'll also be voting, as they do in every election, on a series of ballot initiatives. Some are righteous, some are nefarious, and some are downright confusing. But if you're a voter in the country's largest state, you're called upon to do much of the work that legislators ought to be doing.

In fact, politics in California today contains just about every distortion and perversion of democratic processes and intentions that you could imagine -- using elections for things they should never be used for, the excessive power of money in politics, and the disaster that comes from supermajority requirements, to name just a few.

Don't Just Do Something, Appear to Be Doing Something!

Let's face it: Pretty much nobody knows what to do about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. To even begin to assess your options, you need very specialized knowledge that few people have, and even then it doesn't appear to be much help. This doesn't stop untrained political consultants and elected officials from criticizing President Obama. Take Rudy Guiliani:

[Obama] should have gone there, should have been there more than twice. He should have been leading the charge from the front. ... He should have brought in the best experts. He should have set up a team of independent advisers to be advising him directly.