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

How Republicans Are Digging Their Own Grave for 2018

(Albin Lohr-Jones/Sipa USA via AP Images)
(Albin Lohr-Jones/Sipa USA via AP Images) Protesters hold signs at a rally opposing the GOP tax bill in New York City on December 2, 2017. I n the wee hours of Saturday morning, Senate Republicans passed their version of tax "reform," and you could feel the relief flooding over the Capitol. Yes, they were joyful that at long last, corporations and the wealthy will find the terrible burden of taxation under which they struggle lightened considerably. But even more, Republicans knew that they had averted political disaster by finally accomplishing something, sparing themselves the wrath of their ever-wrathful base. The fight isn't over—there still has to be a conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate versions, and once it comes up with a compromise, that bill will have to pass both houses. But if the conference committee fails, the House could merely pass the Senate's version and be done with it. In other words, the chance that Republicans won't get their tax cuts is not...

Why We All Should Be Sick and Tired of This Tax Debate

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images) Senators Debbie Stabenow, ranking member Ron Wyden, Chairman Orrin Hatch, and Chuck Grassley participate in the Senate Finance Committee markup of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" on November 15, 2017. O rrin Hatch is sick and tired, and so am I. Hatch, however, has the benefit of knowing that his illness and fatigue will soon be relieved by the soothing balm of victory, as the Republican Party fulfills its most profound and deeply revered purpose and delivers a tax cut to corporations and wealthy people. It was Thursday night, not long before the Senate Finance Committee passed its version of the Republican tax cut bill, when Hatch and Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown got in a spirited exchange that began with Brown's assertion that the tax bill is not, as Republicans contend, all about helping the middle class, but instead bestows its greatest bounty on corporations and the rich. Hatch took spectacular umbrage to this charge, to the point where his...

Your Guide to Where Republicans Stand on Roy Moore

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore is questioned by the media in the Capitol T he Republican Party, home of moral clarity and ideological certainty, finds itself deeply conflicted. How do you respond when your candidate for a precious Senate seat is credibly charged with skeeviness so extreme that it might well have been criminal? Do you circle the wagons or head for the hills? How do you weigh your vital political interests against the values you claim to hold? This is the dilemma the GOP faces as the story of Roy Moore and his alleged predilection for teenage girls captures the political world. The reaction of those in Moore's party has covered a spectrum defined by where the different forces in the party and the conservative media draw their support. If you want to figure out where people stand on Moore, all you have to do is look at where they sit. When The Washington Post published its deeply reported story on Thursday, it sent the...

The One Thing the Democratic Party Doesn't Need

(Alexa Welch Edlund/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
(Alexa Welch Edlund/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP) Virginia Democratic candidates Justin Fairfax, Attorney General Mark Herring, and Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam join hands with former President Barack Obama in Richmond, Virginia, on October 19, 2017. T his Tuesday is Election Day, and two things are likely to happen: Democrats will win most of the key races taking place here and there around the country, and the results will be taken as evidence that their party is lost at sea, unable to figure out who it is or what it stands for. I say that because "Dems in Disarray!" may be the single most irresistible headline to the political news media, whether or not it's true at a particular moment. The two biggest races taking place Tuesday are the gubernatorial contests in New Jersey, where Democrat Phil Murphy is all but certain to win, and Virginia, where Democrat Ralph Northam's lead over Ed Gillespie has shrunk in recent days. But even if Northam wins, the size of the victory will...

With the Russia Scandal Getting Serious, the GOP Spin Machine Kicks Into High Gear

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File Fox News host Sean Hannity I t sometimes feels as if the Trump presidency has been one long scandal, whether it manifests itself on a particular day in private jet flights taken by cabinet officials, the muzzling of EPA scientists, or president Trump exploiting the presidency to increase his own income. But underneath all those smaller scandals is the Big One: Russia. With special counsel Robert Mueller set to release his first round of indictments this week, the scandal is about to begin a new and intense phase. While Democrats are pretty much standing back and watching, Republicans are preparing for war. This is going to be one of the greatest tests their formidable spin machine has ever faced, and their mobilization has already begun. But before we discuss what that means, we have to stand back and marvel at the power of partisanship to shape people's views, at least Republicans'. Try to imagine for a moment what they would be saying if Hillary Clinton...