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

It's Gingrich Time

The return of the former House speaker is not only due to the leadership vacuum in the GOP. Republicans are back in opposition, and nobody opposes quite like Newt.

You just can't escape him. He's on Meet the Press, detailing the Democrats' unconscionable perfidy. He's on the op-ed page of The Washington Post, explaining why an anti-Obama backlash is about to sweep across the country. He's on The Daily Show, telling jokes to Jon Stewart. He's profiled in an 8,000-word opus in The New York Times Magazine. The man is positively everywhere.

It's Gingrich time.

The Health-Care Time Warp

With the health-care debate underway once again, Republicans are dusting off the same rhetorical playbook they used during the Clinton years.

For all the partisan back-and-forth over the measures Barack Obama has taken to address the economic crisis, the biggest battle of his first term -- and the one that could determine whether he gets a second -- is just now ramping up. If Obama can reform this disaster of a health-care system and do what Bill Clinton couldn't, then his place in history will be assured. It already appears that the administration has studied the failures of 1993. But what will really determine health care's outcome is what reform opponents do, and the contours of their campaign are starting to take shape.

Not Even Chuck Norris Can Save the GOP

Celebrities and everymans are the pundits of choice for the GOP. Is it any wonder Republicans are directionless?

Before the 2004 election, no small number of progressives were heard to say to their friends, "If George W. Bush gets re-elected, I'm moving to Canada." With but a few isolated exceptions, they weren't serious -- just expressing their exasperation that a majority of their fellow citizens could sign up for another four years of what was already a disastrous presidency. Conservatives saw the sentiment as yet more evidence of liberals' shaky loyalty to the Land of the Free.

A Taxing Argument

Republicans think they'll revive their party by repeating the refrain of "small government, lower taxes." Unfortunately for them, taxation isn't quite the problem they imagine it to be.

Over the last few months, progressives have had a lot of fun ridiculing the right. New media stars like Glenn Beck and Rep. Michele Bachman of Minnesota bring before the public a spectacle of idiocy and craziness that is truly wondrous to behold. Then there are the conservatives who believe that when one of the last moderates you have defects to the other party, it's good news demonstrating that you're poised for a comeback.

Trickle-Down Politics

The influence held by partisan elites is a disperse -- but far-reaching -- kind of power.

"How can they possibly think that?" It's a sentiment you've probably expressed at one time or another when witnessing the wrong-headedness of people on the other side of a political debate. And it comes up not just on matters of philosophy but on matters of fact. It's not just politicians and pundits anymore: We're seeing substantial portions of the public coming to positions that seem absurd or reprehensible -- and that they might not have believed just a short time ago.

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