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

I GOT YOUR ELITISM RIGHT HERE.

As Dana mentioned earlier, in a bold move to aggressively combat high gas prices, John McCain today proposed a temporary suspension of the federal gas tax, which is currently 18.4 cents per gallon. So if your car has a 15-gallon tank, that means when you fill up, you'll save a whopping $2.76. Thanks, President McCain! I'm not worried about losing my job or paying for health insurance anymore! Who says Republicans don't have solutions to our economic problems? -- Paul Waldman

How Blue Is Your Collar?

The bloviating white men of political television are obsessed with maintaining their blue-collar cred. But their obsession with keeping it real blinds them to their own wealth and leads them to mindlessly victimize Democrats.

How Blue Is Your Collar? The bloviating white men of political television are obsessed with maintaining their blue-collar cred. But their obsession with keeping it real blinds them to their own wealth and leads them to mindlessly victimize Democrats. The cover story of last Sunday's New York Times Magazine profiled Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews and leading light of the political-media universe. The article portrays Matthews as a pathetically insecure man, searching for his face on barroom television screens -- desperate for everyone to acknowledge his importance. In a different time, someone like Matthews would be eagerly casting off his modest Philadelphia upbringing and embracing the accoutrements of the upper crust, assuring all who cared to look that he indeed belonged among the country's elite. But not today. With Matthews, as with so many of our media and political figures, the premium now is on those with collars dyed the deepest blue, claiming to...

How Blue Is Your Collar?

The bloviating white men of political television are obsessed with maintaining their blue-collar cred. But their obsession with keeping it real blinds them to their own wealth and leads them to mindlessly victimize Democrats.

The cover story of last Sunday's New York Times Magazine profiled Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews and leading light of the political-media universe. The article portrays Matthews as a pathetically insecure man, searching for his face on barroom television screens -- desperate for everyone to acknowledge his importance. In a different time, someone like Matthews would be eagerly casting off his modest Philadelphia upbringing and embracing the accoutrements of the upper crust, assuring all who cared to look that he indeed belonged among the country's elite. But not today. With Matthews, as with so many of our media and political figures, the premium now is on those with collars dyed the deepest blue, claiming to speak for the man and woman in the street. "I don't think people look at me as the establishment, do you?" Matthews plaintively asks the profile's author, Mark Leibovich. "Am I part of the winner's circle in American life? I don't think so." Please,...

AND THIS MEANS WHAT?

The Reverend Wright “issue” is still with us, amazingly. But one thing I’m still waiting to hear from anyone is exactly what it is supposed to tell us about Barack Obama that is so troubling. Does anyone believe that Obama holds the views for which Wright was criticized? Does someone expect Obama to cry out “God damn America”? Does anyone think Obama believes that the government created AIDS to destroy the black community? Does anyone think Obama is going to appoint Wright to be Secretary of Health and Human Services? Are there any real questions -- by which I don’t mean “questions Sean Hannity might ask” -- that Obama’s association with Wright actually raises, questions that bear on what an Obama presidency might look like? Obviously, the answer to all these questions is “no.” So what, then, is the controversy actually about? Some have said, well, he sat in that church for 20 years, and didn’t walk out. OK -- so what does that portend for an Obama presidency? Anything at all? Let’s...

Is America a Center-Right Nation?

John McCain is counting on the idea that the country is center-right at heart. The Democrats are going to have to convince Americans that bad government is the result of conservative contempt for basic institutions of governance.

John McCain faces a serious challenge in this election year -- a struggling economy, a war the public is eager to see ended, a deeply unpopular president, and perhaps most importantly, the natural swing of the pendulum after eight years of Republican rule (only once since the 1940s has a party won three consecutive presidential elections). Nonetheless, conservatives continue to assure themselves that in the end, they reside where the country sits ideologically. McCain, avers George Will, is "a center-right candidate seeking to lead a center-right country." Tom Cole, the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, agrees: "I believe that it is still a center-right country, and I think this election will show that," he told the New York Times Magazine. "America is a center-right country and in modern times has not elected a thoroughgoing liberal as president," pleaded former Bush adviser Peter Wehner last week in the Wall Street Journal . You can hear the hint of...

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