Liberal Bill Scher and conservative Matt Lewis meet in the rancor-free DMZ to hash out the week’s political events.
On The DMZ, Bill and Matt discuss the failed attempt to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. What lessons should Democrats, Republicans, and the labor movement draw? Why didn’t President Obama come out more strongly in favor of the Democratic candidate? Speaking of Obama’s reelection campaign, why is Bill Clinton suddenly off-message? Should Obama be on Clinton’s message? And Matt’s big idea: cable news as we know it won’t survive.
On a very special episode of The DMZ, Matt explains why he’s happy that he’s making fewer TV appearances, and offers some practical advice for young writers. Responding to a commenter’s question, Bill and Matt discuss whether they would have the same politics if they lived in a different historical era—would Matt have voted for JFK? Matt weighs the tension between his epistemological modesty and his impulse to seek the good. Bill explains why his temperament leads him toward practical liberalism—and made him a college conservative. They close by discussing Cory Booker, Chris Matthews, and what it means to be a political surrogate.
On The DMZ: Why did Indiana Republican voters go all 2010 on Sen. Dick Lugar? And was Lugar all that good at bipartisanship anyway? Why don’t old politicians just retire? How important is Obama’s position on same-sex marriage? Plus, Matt and Bill size up the potential third-party presidential candidates.
On The DMZ, Matt and Bill scratch their heads at the unnecessary departure of Richard Grenell from the Romney campaign, but Matt has a theory about what really happened. By using Bin Laden’s death in a campaign ad, has Obama sullied what should be a unifying moment? Bill defends Obama’s political strategy on Bin Laden, but Matt sees evidence of cynical politics. Plus, Matt explains how Ayn Rand is conservatism’s “gateway drug.”
This week on The DMZ: Matt responds to the swipe he took from Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin. Is it a new day for gay conservatives? Did Sen. Marco Rubio help his VP campaign with his foreign policy speech? Do Mitt Romney and the GOP face a pop culture gap with President Obama, and if so, are they able to fix it?
This week on The DMZ, Matt says that Romney is already doing a better job than McCain of taking the fight to Obama. Bill thinks that Romney has learned something from Howard Dean about being a tough-talking moderate. Matt argues that Obama is stirring up class envy to get re-elected, but Bill thinks that attacking Romney for being financially out of touch is fair game. Plus, The DMZ is accepting submissions for a theme song!
On The DMZ: Does Santorum have a political future? Will Obama run a campaign of hope or hypocrisy? Why did Obama’s 2008 post-partisan rhetoric never become reality? Matt and Bill also debate the kind of anti-Obama narrative Romney will run on and whether this will actually be an intensely negative campaign.
On a Special Easter Edition of The DMZ: With Romney pulling away, the GOP empire has struck back. Will the general election campaign be about ideas, or a clash of demagoguery? Matt asks if Christianity and evolution can coexist. Bill explains why many liberals fear theocratic impulses coming from the right. But might conservatives be moving towards a reconciliation between science and religion?
On The DMZ, Bill and Matt discuss the killing of Trayvon Martin. Matt argues that the case has led to oversimplification and misplaced political tribalism. They next discuss Obamacare at the Supreme Court—would overturning the law spark a pro-Democrat backlash? Bill sees a way for Justice Kennedy to uphold the law, but it may come at a price.
On The DMZ: What the Etch A Sketch gaffe reveals about Romney’s consultant problem. Why do politicians and their aides embarrass themselves by sharing private campaign strategies in public? Why is Obama talking so much about energy policy? And why can’t conservatives and liberals admit it when their ideas are proven unequivocally wrong? (With bonus prison-gang metaphor!)