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

Make It Work, People.

It’s easy to get caught up in the daily machinations behind health care reform – how many votes the vile Stupak amendment limiting reproductive rights was able to secure, what kind of payoffs will be necessary to buy the assent of conservative Democrats in the Senate, the latest threat from the festering ball of bitterness and resentment that is Joe Lieberman. But what Democrats need to do more than anything else is take a deep breath, step back, and look at the long term.

Can Reason Win the Drug War?

Stoner jokes aside, the debate over America's drug policy is sounding increasingly sane.

Sarah Armstrong joins demonstrators protesting the federal government's arrest of those who sell medical marijuana in California. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

In these times of economic strife and fervent debate over health care, our great national culture war has been pushed to the side. But once in a while, it pops up its mischievous little head to remind us that the eternal battle between the hippies and the squares continues on, even if we can ignore it from time to time.

Letting Lieberman Off the Hook.

The big news coming out of the Sunday shows is that Joe “with Democrats on everything but the war” Lieberman told Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation that he is so vehemently opposed to the inclusion of a public option in health-care reform that he would join Republicans in their filibuster of the bill if it contains the provision. When Schieffer noted that that would mean no reform at all, Lieberman happily proclaimed that he would prefer no reform to reform that included the public option.

Fox and Foes

The Fox debacle isn't a tale of media versus government -- it's about a television network trying to rewrite journalism's rules.

This past week, we learned that the White House is "waging war" on Fox News. And what terrifying weapon is the administration wielding? What sinister tactic has the Fox faithful rending their garments? Well, the White House has said that Fox is more a political operation than a news organization, committed to advancing the Republican Party's goals. In other words, the White House is leveling the same charge people have made about Fox for its entire history. Watch the station for more than a few minutes, and you'll see it's true.

What's really been revealed in this little dustup is the way television journalists think that they should get to follow a set of rules different from the set their colleagues whose work appears in other media follow.

Twilight of the Op-Ed Columnist

Are syndicated opinion writers a dying breed?

The influential French sociologist Gabriel Tarde wrote in 1898 that newspapers "both enriched and leveled ... the conversations of individuals, even those who do not read papers but who, talking to those who do, are forced to follow the groove of their borrowed thoughts. One pen suffices to set off a thousand tongues."