Paul Waldman

Paul Waldman is the Prospect's daily blogger and senior writer. 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

Happy Koufax Day.

(Flickr/ rbglasson ) Over at The Atlantic , Alan Siegel reminds us that it was 45 years ago today (by the Jewish calendar, anyway) that Sandy Koufax decided that he was not going to pitch on Yom Kippur. His decision still resonates, particularly since we continue to fight about who counts as a real American. This was at a time when being Jewish was decidedly not cool, in the way it sort of is today (the phrase "Judeo-Christian heritage," including Jews in the American canon, hadn't yet been invented). Koufax's quiet stand wasn't even particularly religious -- he didn't go on and on about the meaning of Yom Kippur or anything (he wasn't all that observant). He just said that as a Jew, it wouldn't be right for him to play on this day. And in doing so, he made a powerful statement, one that every Jewish kid learns about with awe. Koufax's story tells those Jewish kids something important about America: Here, you don't have to hide who you are. Even if you sometimes feel like an outsider...

Now They're Really in Trouble.

Yesterday, Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine unveiled the DNC's new website , logo, and slogan ("Change that matters"). I looked at the site and the logo, and my first reaction was, "This kind of sucks." See for yourself: I'm all for getting past the donkey, but that "D" in a circle almost looks like a placeholder for when they get a real logo later on. That serif font, furthermore, is used for titles throughout the site, and it just doesn't work here. It's not nearly as strong and confident as Gotham , the font that became so identified with Barack Obama (and which you can still see all over sites like this one ). Since I wasn't sure if my own instincts were correct on this, I got in touch with a friend who's a graphic designer, and this is what he had to say about the logo: It looks like they are trying to both embrace and distance themselves from the Obama O. The defining outline evokes the weight of Obama's mark, but the emptiness inside, and the hard D leaves me...

How Much of a Problem for the GOP Is the Tea Party?

Marc Ambinder makes a useful comparison between the Tea Partiers and the Netroots: The Tea Party movement has been very successful in finding and running candidates for Senate because of the political economy of scale. But the gap between the threshold level of acceptability between the party and its activist base is wider than the gap between Democrats and the Netroots ever was. Even as Harry Reid has had to herd cats at times, as many headaches as Democrats have developed from having to deal with an internal affairs force within the party, it will pale in comparison to what Republicans will face in power if they try to adhere to their current norms. The people who made things hard for the Democratic leadership are the centrists, who abandon them on tough votes and do a lot to undermine the messages they want to send (as some did on health care, and are doing right now by coming out in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy). But there's no real comparison with the...

God Is My Campaign Strategist.

Not to pile on or anything, but I just had to pull out this quote from a TPM story about our new friend Christine O'Donnell : "During the primary, I heard the audible voice of God," she said. "He said, 'Credibility.' It wasn't a thought in my head. I thought it meant I was going to win. But after the primary, I got credibility." I realize that criticizing someone's religious beliefs gets one into dangerous territory, but crazy is crazy. There are lots of people who believe that whatever thought that pops into their head has been injected by God with his heavenly hypodermic needle, that if you're wavering between ordering the tuna melt or the chicken salad, and then you just get a feeling you're in the mood for tuna, it's because God put that tuna feeling on your heart, and the tuna is a vitally important part of his divine plan for you. That may be inane, but it's at least open to interpretation. Who's to say what the tuna feeling really means? In this case, however, O'Donnell isn't...

Christine O'Donnell: The Rational Conservative's Candidate

The battle within the Republican Party over Christine O'Donnell , erstwhile anti-masturbation activist and newly minted GOP candidate for Senate in Delaware, appears on the surface to be between party insiders who are pragmatic and reasonable, and Tea Party outsiders who are idealistic to the point of stupidity. After all, they just threw over a guaranteed pickup of a Senate seat in favor of a candidate almost sure to lose. But seen another way, pushing candidates like O'Donnell is perfectly rational -- it's just a matter of how far down the road you want to look. Sure, O'Donnell will probably lose. But at least one or two of her fellow teabagging nutballs who also beat establishment candidates in GOP primaries -- like Rand Paul in Kentucky or Sharron Angle i n Nevada -- will probably win. Then they'll be United States senators, with all the attendant ability to garner attention for their views. And before you know it, we'll be having serious debates about the Kenyan socialist...

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