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

Is the Emerging Democratic Majority Finally Coming to Pass?

Chris Carlson/AP Images Supporters of Congressman Gil Cisneros, a Hispanic Democrat elected to represent the 39th District in Orange County, California, cheer at a rally at the Cal State Fullerton campus. Last week, The Los Angeles Times reported that formerly deep-red Orange County now has more registered Democrats than Republicans. In 1997, The American Prospect ’s Paul Starr wrote an article titled “ An Emerging Democratic Majority ,” in which he argued that demographic and voting trends suggested the possibility that Democrats could take firm control of American politics for years or even decades to come. His title was a play on The Emerging Republican Majority , a 1969 book by former Nixon adviser Kevin Phillips that laid out the “Southern Strategy” that Republicans had used with such success. As Starr described Phillips’s thesis, “The Democratic Party's embrace of black interests had opened the South to the Republicans, while rapid...

The Republican Party Is Getting Even Whiter

Will Hurd apparently had enough. The Texas congressman announced last week that he will not run for re-election, one of a string of Republicans to do so in recent days. Perhaps it was that being in the congressional minority is no fun, or perhaps Hurd felt isolated as a relative moderate (“Especially for some of these members who buck the party on occasion, they are finding it a less hospitable place to be,” said former Representative Tom Davis). Or perhaps it was the fact that as the lone African American Republican in the House, Hurd could no longer stand being asked to defend Donald Trump. Whatever the reason, Hurd’s departure was just the most vivid recent illustration of the fact that the Republican Party, already extraordinarily white and male, is getting even more so. There are only 13 women among the 197 Republicans in the House of Representatives, making their caucus an incredible 93 percent male. Two of those women have already announced that they won...

"This Is Not Who We Are." Or Is It?

“This is not who we are.” How many times have you heard that said since Donald Trump became president? Candidates say it . Ex-candidates say it . Pundits say it . It’s as much a desperate plea as it is an assertion. This is not who we are...is it? The question of who, exactly, we are as a country is something we grapple with in just about every presidential election, though in some elections more than others. In 2008, Democrats took Barack Obama’s victory as an affirmation that America was the kind of country they wanted it to be: multiethnic and multiracial, open and inclusive, forward-looking and forward-thinking. But right away, Republicans said, “No. That is not who we are.” They expressed their loathing for Obama in a hundred ways, but at its center was the belief that he was not Us—not born here, not a Christian like he claimed, with a worldview “so outside our comprehension,” in Newt Gingrich’s words , that he could...

Donald Trump's Race-Based Re-Election Campaign

Donald Trump does not play 12-dimensional chess. He does not say or do outrageous things out of a shrewd and carefully constructed strategy to distract you from some other outrageous thing he’s saying or doing. When he makes you appalled, more likely than not it’s because he demonstrated his true beliefs and feelings, whether it benefits him politically or not. And while you’re probably tired of people saying “Oh my god did you see what Trump tweeted,” over the weekend he spat out such a rancid piece of poison that it’s worth taking note of — more than anything else because it’s a preview of what’s to come. Behold: So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly...... — Donald J. Trump (@...

How Florida 2000 Created Our Modern Dysfunction

If back in 2001 I had told you that 18 years later the country would be living with the most corrupt president anyone could remember while his administration and Republicans in Congress steamrolled over every norm of politics and governing they could find, while Democrats meekly debated whether it would seem rude to impeach him, you would have said, “So I take it not much has changed?” That’s because the seeds of what we endure today, particularly with regard to the limitlessly cynical view of politics embodied in the GOP, were sown in November and December of 2000, in Florida. To understand where we are now, you have to understand what happened then and the way that debacle reverberates through our system. I decided to revisit Florida 2000 in part because of the release of Leon Neyfakh’s vivid new podcast “Fiasco,” in which he gives it the same examination he gave to Watergate and the Lewinsky scandal. To hear those events recounted and the...

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