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

Hopey-Changey at the Department of Labor

During the Bush administration, when I encountered those who wondered whether a particular Democrat (say, John Kerry ) was progressive enough, I would often make the point that at that moment, there were literally thousands of people in positions of power in the federal government who went to work every day attempting to undermine everything those progressives believed in. As we've gotten so focused on big legislative issues like health-care reform, we shouldn't forget that there is a lot of activity going on in federal agencies that normally escapes notice. And progressives ought to be pretty pleased about it. Over at The Nation , Esther Kaplan profiles Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and finds that she has done a pretty remarkable job returning the Labor Department to -- get this -- advancing the interests of working people. It's in large part a product of personnel. For instance, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is now not headed by a former mining-company executive...

Conservatives for Corporate Tax Giveaways.

If like me you receive the Heritage Foundation's daily e-mail alert (which could be titled "How Barack Obama is destroying America today"), this morning you would have learned the latest bit of outrage over health-care reform, which is that "companies used to be able to deduct part of their costs for providing drug benefits to their retirees, but Obamacare cancels that deduction." Turns out that a bunch of big corporations like AT&T, Caterpillar, and 3M made virtually simultaneous announcements (Could it have been coordinated? Nah.) that they were putting charges on their balance sheets because they'll be losing this deduction. First of all, it's a little odd that they're doing it this quarter, since the change in the tax law doesn't kick in until 2013. But the more important thing to note is this: The loophole the reform is eliminating is no ordinary tax deduction. It's a sweetheart deal so absurd that no honest person could defend it. Turns out that as part of the prescription-...

Code Pink: Still Ridiculous

Via Think Progress , we see that members of the anti-war group Code Pink tried to make a citizen's arrest of Karl Rove at a book-signing. While I too chuckle at the idea of Rove in leg irons, one must ask: Is this really the best use of your time? Aren't there some more pressing problems at the moment? I have an interest in this, because two years ago I wrote a column about Code Pink, calling them "possibly America's silliest anti-war organization" and making the argument that the actions they engaged in were so unlikely to have any effect on the future of the Iraq War that they were just pointless attempts to make the participants feel good -- more masturbatory than anything else: And this week, which will see the fifth anniversary of the start of the war, Code Pink plans to "step up the pressure," as its leader Medea Benjamin said. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "Code Pink has a full roster of activities planned for the week, including: yoga every morning at 8:30; organic...

Desperate for High-Speed Internet

Back in February, Google announced that it was going to provide ultra-high-speed broadband -- 1 gigabyte per second downloads, or about 20 times as fast as what your typical broadband subscriber gets today -- to a couple of lucky communities in the United States. This would be accomplished by as-yet-undeveloped technology, and the pipes would be open to multiple Internet-service providers, providing competition of a kind that has become virtually nonexistent. What happened next was kind of remarkable. By the time the deadline came on Friday, over 1,100 cities and towns applied to be one of the fortunate few. The map above shows where they are -- the smaller dots are municipalities that applied, and the larger dots are places where over 1,000 people wrote in support of their town. You've got every region of the country represented. Some of them went a little crazy, coming up with stunts like jumping into shark tanks to get Google's attention. Members of Congress even got involved --...

Playing the Long Game

Obama realizes that transformative presidents look past day-to-day disasters.

(White House/Pete Souza)
On March 4, 2008, Hillary Clinton won surprise victories in primary elections in Texas and Ohio. At first, it seemed to be a momentous shift of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, making Barack Obama's victory seem not so inevitable after all, as some had believed it to be since he won the Iowa caucus two months before. But it quickly became apparent that Clinton's popular-vote wins were almost meaningless. In the contests that took place that day, Obama had actually garnered more delegates than Clinton. His march to the nomination continued unabated. By executing a carefully planned strategy of delegate accumulation and worrying less about the campaign's daily ups and downs, Obama bested a more seasoned rival to become the Democratic candidate. That ability -- to see the entire contour of a lengthy political battle -- may be the most important factor in Obama's success. It got him to the White House, and it enabled him to achieve the most meaningful piece of social...

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