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 and Bill react to the latest round of the GOP civil war between the establishment and the Tea Party: the primaries in Georgia and Kentucky. What does the issue of coal in Kentucky show about the politics of climate change? Why is Tom Cotton having such a tough time picking up a Senate seat for the GOP in Arkansas? Why the heck did a conservative blogger break into a nursing home to photograph Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran’s wife? Turning to the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs, they consider why the GOP response has been muted so far. Plus: Why Democrats are revolting against an Obama judicial nominee.
On The DMZ, Matt reveals the long-buried truth behind his mysterious middle initial, then defends Karl Rove’s statement about Hillary Clinton’s mental faculties. How should older politicians respond to attacks based on their age? Bill and Matt do a deep dive into the Nebraska GOP primary, where Tea Party favorite Ben Sasse triumphed. Is there any hope left for passing immigration reform this year? Plus: Does the rash of canceled commencement speeches shows that liberals don’t actually care about free speech?
On The DMZ, it’s primary season! Who’s winning the GOP Establishment–Tea Party civil war? Will Rep. Renee Ellmers’s victory embolden immigration reformers? Is the Republican obsession over Benghazi sincere or cynical? Why are Republicans embracing identity politics? And could conservatives to learn to love affirmative action? Plus: Can Ralph Nader pull off a liberal-libertarian coalition?
On The DMZ, Matt explains why conservatives are wont to make folk heroes out of figures like Cliven Bundy. Bill and Matt analyze the political valence of the Donald Sterling case, and consider the traits that Bundy and Sterling have in common. Has Sarah Palin’s star faded enough that conservatives can now criticize her without fear? Bill argues that the media has overplayed John Kerry’s comments about Israel and apartheid. Plus: On foreign policy, should Obama be trying to hit singles or home runs?
On The DMZ, Matt laments that kids these days are ignorant of the glories of ’80s pop culture, and explains how movies like Red Dawn shaped Gen Xers’ politics. So why has today’s Hollywood abandoned appealing to conservatives? Bill argues that Rand Paul is playing loose with the facts and thus hurting his attempt to rebrand the GOP. Has 2016 reporting gotten out of control? They analyze the new Mother Jones story on New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez that used leaked audio of private conversations to paint her as the next Sarah Palin. Plus: How should politicians navigate a privacy-free world?
Bill welcomes Matt back to The DMZ. Why have conservatives embraced Uber? Is technology destroying traditional retail, and is that a bad thing? Are dynasties like the Bushes and the Clintons a threat to democracy? What about the fact that every Supreme Court justice is an Ivy Leaguer? Plus: Matt defends the right of private businesses not to participate in gay weddings.
On The DMZ, guest-host Justin makes the case for Paul Ryan’s new budget. Is Ryan secretly hoping that Obamacare works? Bill and Justin debate the meaning of the Affordable Care Act’s seven million sign-ups. Bill condemns, and Justin defends, Ezra Klein’s highly critical reporting on Healthcare.gov’s early failures. Is balancing the budget without raising taxes the conservative version of the left’s dream of single-payer health care? Plus: Is Ryan alienating the middle or shrewdly moving the “Overton window”?
On The DMZ, Bill and special guest Conn discuss the great Nate Silver/Paul Krugman schism. Conn plugs his new Kickstarter, Federal Baseball. Are the Democrats in serious trouble in the 2014 midterms? They consider Thomas Edsall’s critique of the Democratic Party as polarized between corporate and populist wings, and compare how blue states and red states spend federal money. Plus: Harry Reid‘s crusade against the Koch brothers.
On The DMZ, Bill and special guest Justin discuss whether Democrats and Republicans can find common ground on Russia and Iran. Was Romney right about Russia being America’s number one political foe? Bill argues that Putin’s Russia should inspire liberals to embrace American exceptionalism, and Justin explores whether the libertarian wing of the GOP still does. How would Rand Paul‘s foreign policy positions play in the 2016 GOP primaries? Is Hillary Clinton running for president as a hawk? Is Paul Ryan‘s outreach on poverty and race going to convince anyone?
On The DMZ, Bill and Matt discuss the GOP special election victory in Florida and whether Obamacare has become a liability for Democrats. They evaluate Obama’s decision to appear on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. What if Chris Christie had decided to play Bridgegate for laughs? Is CPAC good for potential Republican presidential candidates? Was this year’s conference good for Ted Cruz, and is he a threat to Rand Paul? And what were the other big stories out of CPAC?
On The DMZ: Has Mitt Romney been proven right about Russia? Has the Ukraine crisis exposed Obama’s weakness? Have conservatives rediscovered interventionism—or are they attracted to Putin? Does the crisis rekindle Rubio’s 2016 hopes, or does Rand Paul’s isolationism hold sway with primary voters? Did the GOP establishment strike back against Tea Partiers in the Texas primaries? Plus: How CPAC is like show business.
On The DMZ: McKay Coppins’s caustic profile of Donald Trump causes a stir. Matt is impressed that Coppins didn’t allow himself to be seduced by Trump. Bill argues that Bridgegate proves that MSNBC is now better than Fox News at pushing scandal narratives, but Matt wonders whether this is about anything beyond ratings. Matt makes the conservative case against a higher minimum wage, and Bill wonders whether the CBO report means that a deal to raise the minimum wage is now impossible.