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

Why It's Impossible to Interview Karl Rove.

NPR's Terry Gross interviewed Karl Rove yesterday about his new book (spoiler alert: George W. Bush was strong and resolute!) and showed why he may be the most difficult person in politics to interview effectively. Gross wasn't trying to "get" Rove -- along with some tougher questions, she also asked him about his youthful interest in politics, about his early relationship with Bush, and other things on which Rove might have something interesting to say. But Rove has an almost impenetrable style. He starts every answer by challenging the premise of the host's question. If the question relays someone's criticism of him, then he turns that criticism around on the person who made it: Gross : Let me read something that Todd Purdum wrote in Vanity Fair in December of 2006. He described an approach of campaigning that "always found villains - gays, unions, trial lawyers, liberals, elitists, terrorists" - and that candidates "could both use this to crack the electorate at a vulnerable spot...

Amanpour to Host "This Week"? Let's Hope So.

So The New York Times ' Media Decoder blog is reporting that "ABC News is close to concluding a deal to install the longtime CNN foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour as the new host of its Sunday political discussion show "This Week.'" This is extremely good news, for a couple of reasons. First, it's nice to see that a woman can get in this chair (Amanpour would follow CNN's Candy Crowley , who recently took over their Sunday program "State of the Union"). Second, Amanpour has always been known as an excellent reporter and a tough interviewer. But more important, Amanpour brings a profoundly different perspective than the other Sunday show hosts. As the Times piece says: One concern raised by at least one of these contacts has been that she is not primarily known for reporting on Washington or American politics. But one ABC News staff member said that Ms. Amanpour had been convinced that she could make the switch from international to political reporting. Let me be the first to...

Petraeus Goes Off the Republican Reservation.

Remember how Republicans used to gaze in worship at Gen. David Petraeus ' stony visage, dreaming of the day he would run for the GOP nomination for president? When an insult directed the Great Man's way was enough to generate a congressional resolution of condemnation ? Well, I think we can start packing up the boxes at the "Draft Petraeus Committee." First, the general informed his superiors that the continued Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- and particularly Israeli intransigence -- is harming U.S. military interests in the Middle East. Not quite what conservatives want to hear. In their current dogma, everything that's wrong in that conflict is the Palestinians' fault, and Israel is without sin. Then, Petraeus came to Capitol Hill today and said this about the ban on gay Americans serving in the military: “I believe the time has come to consider a change to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but I think it should be done in a thoughtful and deliberative matter that should include the conduct of...

The End of Process Is Nigh.

In case you haven't been paying attention to the moment-by-moment maneuvering over health care, the latest twist is a suggestion that the House might pass the bill using a parliamentary device known as a "self-executing rule," which works like this: Instead of having a vote on the Senate bill and then a vote on the package of fixes to the Senate bill (the latter of which would then be passed by the Senate), the House will have one combined vote, in which they will "deem" the Senate bill passed and pass the package of fixes. Naturally, Republicans are reacting as though this is a crime on the level of genocide, even though -- you know what's coming -- it turns out Republicans used the technique all the time when they were in charge. The supposed purpose behind this is to allow members who don't like the Senate bill to avoid casting a vote directly on the Senate bill. The idea that they would somehow insulate themselves from attacks on the particulars of the Senate bill is pretty...

This Crazy Goes To 11.

(Flickr/ Jonathan McIntosh ) Is Fox News' Glenn Beck going to turn out to be the Icarus of the current political moment, flying too close to that giant fiery ball of crazy in the sky and falling back down to Earth? He's gotten into some trouble recently after attacking churches who advocate social justice, which is ... well, nearly every Christian denomination. "I beg you look for the words social justice or economic justice on your church Web site," he said. "If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. ... Am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!" He went on to explain what those are code words for: socialism and Nazism. Yes, Nazism. Churches from across the political and theological spectrum have condemned Beck, and even representatives of his own Mormon faith were appalled. Then we learned yesterday from Howard Kurtz that "there is a deep split within Fox between those -- led by Chairman Roger Ailes -- who are supportive...

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