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

Republicans Have No Choice But to Repeal Obamacare -- No Matter the Cost

(Photo: AP/Susan Walsh)
(Photo: AP/Susan Walsh) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill on December 12, 2016. W e're less than three weeks away from the dawn of a new era in Washington, and the engine of that transformation will be the Republican Congress. Having suffered for eight long years under a president who stood in the way of their noble efforts to turn America into a paradise of prosperity and morality, they are counting down the days until they finally get what they want, until their legislative blessings burst from the Capitol building in a wondrous eruption of virtue and wisdom, make a quick stop on Pennsylvania Avenue for President Trump's signature, then wash over a grateful nation. Some of the items on their long, long list of priorities may be relatively easy to accomplish, but others are trickier. And none is more fraught with political peril than their single most important goal: repeal of the hated Affordable Care Act. Since the election,...

The GOP Is Becoming a Pro-Putin Party. Where Is Trump Going to Lead Them Next?

Sergey Guneev/Sputnik via AP
Sergey Guneev/Sputnik via AP Russian President Vladimir Putin during the signing of Russian-Japan documents following a meeting in Tokyo. B efitting a man who came from a television genre in which contrived situations carefully edited to tell stories are referred to as "reality," Donald Trump is in the process of creating his own reality for his party. We should be profoundly concerned about the way in which Trump not only lies but encourages his supporters to believe the lies he tells. But can he actually remake the Republican Party in the process, to change its very identity and ideology? Consider this: Donald Trump is making the GOP, the party of Cold Warriors from Nixon to Reagan and beyond, into the most pro-Russian party we've seen in generations, if ever. Not only has Trump surrounded himself with advisers friendly to the Russian government, he himself praised Vladimir Putin again and again during the campaign, and now refuses to believe the consensus of the American...

Donald Trump's Epistemological Netherworld

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File A supporter holds a sign while waiting for President-elect Donald Trump to arrive at a rally, Thursday, December 8, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. G et ready, America: You're traveling into another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind, a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are those of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead, your next stop ... the Trump presidency. OK, maybe it's not quite the Twilight Zone . But the dimension we're entering is one where the president of the United States doesn't just live in an alternate reality, he exists in a place where there are no facts, where knowledge is for stupid people, where the most unqualified person ever to occupy the country's highest office can declare with his words and actions that he has contempt for the very idea that he might try to figure out what's going on and what he ought to do. It's a world where there is no relationship between cause and effect, between...

How Donald Trump Is Turning the GOP into a Postmodernist Party

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File President-elect Donald Trump arrives to speak at a event, Thursday, December 1, 2016, in Cincinnati. W e've endured presidents who told big lies before. Ronald Reagan said he didn't trade arms for hostages. Bill Clinton said he didn't have sexual relations with that woman. George W. Bush said Iraq had huge stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. Sometimes those lies were disproved quickly, sometimes it took a while, but in every case the president and those around him not only worked to convince us that the lie was true, they never questioned the presumption that it was not a good thing for the president of the United States to lie to the public. Well that's just one more norm that Donald Trump is going to tear down. While Trump told hundreds and hundreds of lies over the course of the campaign, the most striking thing about them wasn't the sheer volume, it was the unapologetic way he told them, without even the barest attempt to be honest. He didn't care...

Why the Trump Era Could Be an Opportunity for Democrats

Albin Lohr-Jones/Sipa via AP Images
Albin Lohr-Jones/Sipa via AP Images President-elect Donald Trump is seen in the lobby of The New York Times ' offices on Eighth Avenue in midtown Manhattan in New York City on November 22, 2016 T he late Israeli diplomat Abba Eban famously said of the Palestinians that they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And today, Democrats and liberals have the opportunity to show that they won't miss this opportunity. I say that not to discount or minimize the horrors that the next four years will bring. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the cancellation of climate regulations, the war on unions, the evisceration of the safety net, mass deportations, potentially the repeal of Roe v. Wade —it's all on the table. And that's before we even get to the kind of catastrophes that could be produced by Donald Trump's unique combination of ignorance, impulsiveness, and vindictiveness. The cost will be enormous, and in some cases it may take decades to undo the damage. But the left can...