Paul Waldman

Paul Waldman is a weekly columnist and senior writer for The American Prospect. He also writes for the Plum Line blog at The Washington Post and The Week and is the author of Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success.

Recent Articles

The IRS Gets Mobile.

As tax time approaches, you've probably been asking yourself: Can I track the status of my refund on my smartphone? Well, the answer is, you betcha! Get yourself on over to the App Store or the Android Market, and download the IRS' slammin' new app, IRS2Go ! OK, maybe you haven't been asking yourself that. It's true that everything in the world need not be turned into a mobile app – there are some things that can wait until you get home or to the office to access. But it's good to see the tax man making efforts to be user friendly. Now if they can do something about their ghastly web site , they'd really be getting somewhere. As you may know, the Obama administration has been making serious efforts to web-ify as much of the federal government as possible, with things like , , and . It makes one wonder what the state of the government's technology efforts would be had John McCain – who in 2008 said , "I am learning to get online myself, and I will...

Giving Them the Business.

Few things have been stranger to those of us on the left over the last couple of years than the continued insistence of the moneyed class that Barack Obama is "anti-business." After all, the stock market has soared since he's been president -- the Dow is up nearly 50 percent since he took office -- corporate profits are at near record levels, the banks are doing great, and if anything, it looks like the capitalist class has fully recovered from the recession, even if regular people haven't. So why do they think he's against them? The answer, of course, is feelings. We tend to think of business leaders as hard-nosed men immersed in a world of facts, poring over balance sheets until the numbers add up. But they're also human beings, who can be as irrational, emotional, and biased as anyone else. So they were terribly hurt by the fact that a couple of times, Obama used the term "fat cats." Who can forget the Wall Street broker who whined , "When are we going to stop whacking at the Wall...

Our Opponents Are Not Guilty of Everything.

Remember when that statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in Baghdad in the early days of the Iraq War, back in 2003? If you're like many liberals, you probably encountered the theory that the entire thing was staged by the Pentagon to look like a spontaneous uprising of cheering, grateful Iraqis. I remember reading something about how according to knowledgeable people, some of the crowd looked Kurdish, so the suspicion was that they had been bused in for the occasion. A couple of weeks ago, Peter Maass -- a journalist who was there at the time -- published a fascinating exploration of the event in The New Yorker , and he paints a picture that's slightly different. It's worth reading the whole thing, but the summary is this: The picture that was presented to the world was in fact highly misleading, but it wasn't because of some sinister plan hatched by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld . The involvement of U.S. troops was largely spontaneous. But because it happened in Firdos square,...

Tim Pawlenty Will Crush the Alien Invaders With His Bare Hands.

You thought the former governor of Minnesota and soon-to-be presidential candidate was a boring Midwestern milquetoast? Well strap in and prepare to have your mind blown: I think what Pawlenty needs is to have all his speeches delivered through a microphone that gives it that distortion, as though he's broadcasting from a bunker between episodes of hand-to-hand combat. And maybe have F-16s do a flyover every time he steps into an Iowa living room to make his pitch. While TPM compared it to the trailer for "Armageddon," I think this may be the better comparison: Let me go out on a limb here and say that this will not be the last moment of unintentional hilarity in the 2012 Republican primary. -- Paul Waldman

Let's Get 2012 Started!

On the virtues of a long presidential campaign cycle

Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama,campaigning in Ohio in 2008 (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Four years ago, the press was full of complaints that the presidential campaign had started way too early. It was preposterous, we were told, to have candidates trudging through the snow in Iowa and New Hampshire asking for voters' support in primary contests more than a year away. This, though, was supposed to be the new reality. With an increasing amount of money spent on the campaign, a more complex media environment, and sophisticated new tools to target and persuade voters, we were just going to have to suffer through presidential campaigns that lasted a full two years. Yet here we are at the end of January, with the 2012 election a mere 93 weeks away, and not a single major political figure has declared his or her candidacy for the presidency. The only one who has even formed an exploratory committee is talk-radio host Herman Cain , who is not exactly what you'd call "major." It's enough to make a political junkie cry out: Let's get this show on the road! I realize I may be...