Liberal Bill Scher and conservative Matt Lewis meet in the rancor-free DMZ to hash out the week’s political events.
On The DMZ, Matt says that Obama’s Syria address failed utterly, while Bill defends the speech. Does Obama truly want intervention? Matt argues that Obama’s rhetoric of a moral crusade against chemical weapons doesn’t match the logic of his actions. Bill explains Obama’s tactical thinking, but Matt says the president isn’t showing leadership. Matt says Bill is showing the kind of overconfidence that conservatives had in the Bush administration pre-Iraq. Turning to 2016, Matt touts Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as a possible dark horse contender. Plus: The return of CNN’s Crossfire.
On The DMZ, Matt explains why he opposes bombing Syria, while Bill makes the case for military intervention. Matt hears uncomfortable echoes of the run up to the Iraq war. By taking his case to Congress, is Obama being calculating or capricious? Reviewing the political ramifications of the Syria vote, they discuss Rand Paul vs. Marco Rubio, the Arkansas Senate race, and why no 2016 Democratic contenders are opposing the president. Finally, Matt challenges Bill on whether he supports intervention just because he likes Obama.
On The DMZ: On Syria, is Obama emulating George Bush or Woodrow Wilson? Is the media beating the war drums? What happens if limited military strikes don’t work? Is Obama taking a page from Reagan’s foreign policy playbook? Plus, the real issue: Does the backlash to Miley Cyrus’s VMAs performance indicate that American culture is turning against vulgarity? And how should parents handle the rawness of popular culture?
On The DMZ, Matt and guest host Justin discuss Ted Cruz: The College Years (and the prequel Ted Cruz: The Canadian Years.) Matt argues that Cruz’s abrasive political style could hurt him—politicians are wise to placate their foes. Justin makes the case for Chris Christie in 2016. Is Christie to Obama as Clinton was to Reagan? They discuss the political prospects of libertarian populism. Do Republicans secretly fear that Obamacare will succeed? Plus: Is Al Jazeera America doomed?
On The DMZ, Bill and guest-host Justin discuss Republican attempts to defund Obamacare. Justin thinks large parts of the GOP base exist in a misinformation bubble. Justin critiques the Affordable Care Act, but wants conservatives to accept that the law will be enacted. Bill and Justin debate whether the Justice Department erred by suing to block the US Airways–American Airlines merger. Reviewing the recent economic growth in Europe, Justin comes out as a conservative Keynesian. Plus: Should Larry Summers be the next Fed Chief?
On The DMZ: Matt argues that libertarian populism is not the right path for conservatism. Is the concept itself oxymoronic? What are the alternatives for the future of conservatism? Bill and Matt debate debates—should the GOP have fewer 2016 presidential debates with more ideologically friendly moderators? They read the tea leaves on Marco Rubio’s latest maneuverings. Plus: Should we be happy that Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post?
On The DMZ: How the 2016 GOP primary is like the NCAA’s Final Four. What happens if Rand Paul and Ted Cruz both run? An interview with John McCain supports Bill’s prediction that a Paul nomination would rend the GOP asunder, and Matt recalls some other eerily accurate McCain forecasting. Matt and Bill consider whether Republicans will really try to shut down the government in an attempt to defund Obamacare. Bill is baffled by this strategy, which Matt calls “delusional.”
On The DMZ: Could a Tea Party challenger knock out Mitch McConnell? Is the GOP going to throw away easy 2014 Senate wins? Matt views the recent failed House vote to defund the NSA as a watershed moment for conservatives. Turning to Anthony Weiner’s latest scandal, Matt objects to the idea that Weiner was abusing power to attract women. Bill sighs with relief that Obama is a good family man. Plus: Will the public react differently to Weiner’s sexting antics than to a run-of-the-mill sex scandal?
On The DMZ: Matt sees nothing but nepotism in Liz Cheney’s Wyoming Senate run. What ever happened to respecting your political elders? Bill heralds the filibuster deal as proof that John McCain has become Obama’s new BFF. Can conservatives adapt to the political bias towards action? Bill explains why he won’t read This Town, Mark Leibovich’s exposé of DC culture. Has Obama broken his promise to change the way Washington works? Plus: Why Matt identifies more with Trayvon Martin than with George Zimmerman.
On The DMZ, guest host Justin talks to Bill about the kind of conservatism he believes in. They discuss the GOP’s ongoing response to the implementation of Obamacare. Bill suggests that Republicans need to lose another election before the reform wing gets a fair hearing. They then review the wide-open 2016 presidential field and predict the fate of the immigration reform bill. Plus: Bill and Justin debate immigration.
On The DMZ: Why Republicans should shut up about Hillary’s age, and how they might run against her. Matt argues the next GOP presidential candidate has to be a rock star, and Bill argues the Democrats will survive if Hillary doesn’t run. Did Rubio blow it on immigration, or did he successfully tamp down criticism from the right? And should we be celebrating July 2nd instead of the 4th?
On The DMZ, Bill and Matt discuss the return of CNN’s Crossfire. Matt talks about the disturbing undercurrent he perceives among opponents of immigration reform. Bill interrupts to announce that the Supreme Court has struck down DOMA. Are Republican critics of immigration reform secretly racist? Has the issue already tanked Marco Rubio‘s presidential ambitions? Plus: The politics of Obama’s climate change speech.