Paul Waldman

Paul Waldman is the Prospect's daily blogger and senior writer. 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

How Many Chickens Is My Co-Pay?

Over at Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall brings us the alarming tale of one Sue Lowden , who believes that the answer to our health-care woes lies in shifting from a system based on insurance to one based on barter. Pressed on this rather quaint 17th-century notion by a local news station, Lowden stuck to her guns. "I'm telling you that this works. You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor." Well look, you might say, the country is full of idiots and crazy people. What's the big deal? Who is this person, anyway? Some Tea Party protester? A misguided local store owner who got herself on TV? No, she's the probable Republican nominee for the United States Senate in Nevada, and according to current polls , she could well unseat Harry Reid and be a senator this time next year. Every legislature has a divide between "workhorses" and "show horses," the ones who care about legislating and the ones who...

New Conservative TV Channel To Bore People Silly, Quickly Go Out of Business

Every once in a while, like Judy and Mickey saying, "Let's put on a show!", conservatives decide that instead of just complaining all the time about the perfidy of the America-hating liberal media, they ought to create some media of their own. This happens despite the fact that they already have lots of media of their own. And that's why these ventures usually fail -- enterprises like the Fox News Channel or the many conservative talk-radio programs were created with the intention of making money, using conservative politics as a vehicle to that end. When conservatives try to use entertainment to advance the conservative cause, they run into problems. Why? While every situation is a little different, it seems that most of the time, they aren't all that funny or creative. So you get things like Fox's 1/2 Hour News Hour , which was an attempt at a conservative Daily Show . It was spectacularly unfunny, a fact made all the more painful by a laugh track turned up to 11 (you can see a clip...

The Future of the Newspaper?

A year ago, I wrote a column lamenting the effect the inevitable death of the newspaper would have on my breakfast ritual. Until Apple comes out with the iDiningTable -- which will be totally overpriced, no doubt -- you just can't beat having the paper spread out beneath your coffee and cereal, as you start your day with a gentle engagement with the world. Before long, saying you enjoy the newspaper will be greeted with, "Whatever, grandpa. Don't fall off your horse and buggy." But is there hope? Perhaps. Take a look at what some designers have created -- a model of the newspaper of the future (via Gizmodo ): THE PAGE_Adaptive Delivery Device from Scott Liao on Vimeo . The technology doesn't quite exist yet, but it's not so far-fetched to imagine we could have something very similar within a few years (there are more pictures here ). And the best thing about it? You can put your coffee on it. -- Paul Waldman

You Go, Mitt.

I kid Mitt Romney a lot, because in a country full of phony politicians, his phoniness is so transparent and encompassing. But let's put that aside, and offer Romney some qualified praise. Newsweek has an interesting interview with Romney on the subject of health care, one that shows both the promise and the peril of Romney's situation. Here's the promise part: If Romney became the Republican nominee in 2012, we could actually have an interesting debate about where to go from here on health-care reform. Romney understands the issue better than any of the other Republicans running for president -- not just because he's smarter than they are but because he wrestled with it at length when he was working on Massachusetts' reform, which looks almost identical to the one that was just passed by Congress. Romney's quandary, of course, is that he is forced by the requirements of GOP primary politics to agree that Obamacare is the worst thing that has ever happened to America. He attempts to...

Judicial Drama

Why you don't need to pay attention to Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
With John Paul Stevens' impending retirement, Barack Obama now has his second opportunity to appoint a justice to the Supreme Court. Republicans surely know that they won't be able to actually stop Obama's nominee from being confirmed. So they are no doubt hoping to create a teachable political moment, one that clarifies distinctions between the parties and keeps our political clash of civilizations humming along. At times like this, when the outcome is not much in doubt, we should ask: Is there anything to be gained from the theatrical presentations we will soon be witnessing? The answer to that probably depends on where you sit. The last time around -- during the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor -- the Republican opposition was able to steer the conversation, unified in its approach and rhetoric. Unfortunately for Republicans, the message was one of hostility toward minorities in general and Latinos in particular. All of the core arguments they made against Sotomayor were variations...