American Prospect

By Tom Johnson | October 17, 2014 | 9:17 PM EDT

Paul Waldman claims that the GOP likes to whip up fear, and that “you couldn't come up with a better vehicle for creating that fear than a deadly disease coming from countries full of dark-skinned foreigners.”

By Tom Johnson | September 29, 2014 | 9:29 PM EDT

A symposium addressing the question “Where Is Liberalism Going?” produced what several online pundits considered nutty and ignorant ideas about topics including sex and the supposedly growing authoritarian tendencies of the left.

By Tom Johnson | September 7, 2014 | 2:24 PM EDT

Jeb Bush still may run for president, but he shouldn't bother -- he wouldn't even get nominated. He'd "probably have to campaign in a tricorner hat and get a picture of Sarah Palin tattooed on his neck to convince Tea Partiers they can trust him."

By Tom Johnson | September 4, 2014 | 9:04 PM EDT

On Wednesday, American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman noted the rhetorical contrast between President Obama and Vice President Biden regarding ISIS. Essentially, Obama has sounded cool and detached, a la Miles Davis, whereas a revved-up Biden, in a Portsmouth, N.H. speech, worked up a sweat and fed off the energy of the audience in the manner of Bruce Springsteen.

“You get a sense now,” wrote Waldman, “that not only is [Obama] being cautious about what actions the United States should take with regard to ISIS, he's also being cautious in how he talks about it. He doesn't want to raise expectations of a quick and glorious victory.”

By Tom Johnson | August 28, 2014 | 5:17 PM EDT

The Trotskyist-turned-conservative writer James Burnham said that where there’s no solution, there’s no problem. In a Thursday post, American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman analyzed what he considers one such situation: the Republican party’s ongoing shortfall with female voters.

Waldman doesn’t see how the GOP can overcome both its ideas and its tone on women’s issues. He asserted that when Republicans discuss their opposition to abortion and the contraceptive mandate, many of them “can't keep themselves from doing so in the most hostile, contemptuous ways imaginable.”

By Tom Johnson | August 16, 2014 | 7:01 AM EDT

This week, three of the most prominent liberal bloggers agreed that when it comes to criticizing presidents of either party about their vacations, people really need to, as one of the bloggers put it, “STFU.”

Do they have a point, or should the appropriateness of presidential vacations be evaluated on a POTUS-by-POTUS basis? Check out their thoughts and comment if you’d like.

By Tom Johnson | August 11, 2014 | 2:39 PM EDT

Give American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman credit for recognizing that not every congressional Republican has the same chief reason to obstruct President Obama’s agenda. Some of the GOPers, Waldman noted in a Wednesday post, are politically motivated, while others “genuinely believe that Obama is an evil Kenyan Marxist tyrant trying to destroy America.”

Nonetheless, Waldman stated, both groups “arrive at the same place, whether through clear-eyed political calculation or wild-eyed hatred. And nothing—nothing—President Obama does or doesn't do makes a bit of difference,” given that “opposition is a Republican action, not a Republican reaction.” From Waldman’s post (emphasis added):

By Tom Johnson | July 28, 2014 | 6:29 AM EDT

Conservatives, contended the American Prospect’s Paul Waldman on Thursday, can be highly entertaining, though usually not because they try to be. They’re more like Sideshow Bob repeatedly whacking himself in the face by stepping on one rake after another.

In a post titled “How Did the GOP Turn Into Such a Bunch of Clowns?” Waldman wrote that Republicans’ central problem is that “they're deluded into thinking that the country shares their particular collection of peeves and biases,” which means that they often take positions they don’t realize are unpopular and then are “shocked to find out that Americans aren't on the same page with them…Again and again, they think the American public is going to see things their way, and when the public doesn't, they never seem to learn anything from it.”

By Tom Johnson | July 23, 2014 | 10:22 PM EDT

What did conservative leaders and activists feel when they learned of the D.C. Circuit Court decision on Obamacare subsidies? Happiness? Relief? American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman seemed to have another word in mind: schadenfreude -- “satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune.”

In a Tuesday post, Waldman opined that, sure, righties were “excited” that the ruling was a setback for President Obama and the ACA, but “what actually had them so pleased is the possibility that millions of Americans will lose their health insurance.” Republicans, he added, “will gladly crush the lives of ordinary people if it means gaining some momentary partisan advantage.”

By Tom Johnson | July 17, 2014 | 10:23 PM EDT

According to American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman, movement conservatives live in a bubble, but in this case none of the cards therein say “Moops.” Rather, each carries the name of what righties (though usually not Waldman himself) consider one or another of the Obama administration’s scandals.

In a Wednesday post, Waldman wrote that what he called “the IRS scandalette” is “an almost perfect expression of contemporary congressional Republicanism” since it features qualities such as “the obsession with conservative victimhood” as well as the GOPers’ “utter disinterest in governing” and their “obliviousness to facts.”

By Tom Johnson | July 12, 2014 | 6:55 AM EDT

Obamacare is succeeding, declared American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman on Thursday, and he predicts that ongoing development will bifurcate Republicans’ approaches to their 2014 congressional campaigns. Waldman thinks that purple-state GOP candidates will refrain from bashing the Affordable Care Act, but red-state candidates will discuss it in apocalyptic terms” in order to agitate “voters [who] will still get angry every time the word [‘Obamacare’] is spoken.”

Waldman sees that split as part of a “larger Republican dilemma” caused by “the interests of the national GOP [being] at odds with the interests of the bulk of the party's officeholders,” who have to answer to the base. One result of this dilemma, he added, will be that in 2016, the eventual Republican presidential nominee “will face two dramatically different electorates; [i]t's as though they'll be running in Mississippi in the primaries, then in Ohio in the general election.”

By Tom Johnson | July 6, 2014 | 10:14 PM EDT

Would right-wingers like a larger presence in mainstream news and entertainment media, or would they rather grumble about the MSM’s liberal bias while patronizing conservative media outlets? To American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman, it’s clear that the second is correct.

Waldman’s peg for his Wednesday post was a National Review piece by editor and publisher Adam Bellow on the need for a conservative counterculture that would produce novels, movies, music, and so on. Apropos of Bellow’s comment that it’s too bad righties have “hived ourselves off into our own politicized media bubble,” Waldman snipes that conservatives want very much to stay inside said bubble, even though it leaves them prone to “all kinds of pathological beliefs and behaviors.”