It’s a historic day in The DMZ: For the first time, the right is furious at Chief Justice John Roberts. But in upholding Obamacare, was Roberts just sticking to his famous claim that judges should be umpires? Matt and Bill consider whether this ruling will define Roberts’s legacy. With the individual mandate construed as a tax, could the GOP use the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation tactic to repeal it? Matt argues that the ruling will be a political boon for Romney. But if conservatives can’t count on John Roberts to keep the faith, how important are potential Romney appointments to the Supreme Court anyway?
On The Posner Show, Sarah talks with E.J. about the reaction to Anne-Marie Slaughter’s Atlantic cover story, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” Did the way the article was framed do its argument justice? E.J. says Slaughter’s piece did a service to everyone bogged down by the more-than-40-hour-a-week expectations of modern work life. Do we imagine an iconic childhood summer vacation that no longer exists? Did Slaughter’s piece actually sound the death knell for the “can women have it all” frame? Plus: The byline gender gap.
Glenn and Joshua talk about President Obama’s new immigration policy, and Joshua suggests that the real political opportunists are the opponents of the mini-DREAM Act. Glenn reports on anti-Obama sentiment on Wall Street, and says the president should borrow a page from Nixon’s playbook. Josh and Glenn agree that Obama missed an opportunity for progressive political mobilization after the financial crisis. Josh describes his work fostering social development in Nairobi, Kenya and wonders why similar work isn’t much done in the US. Glenn hypothesizes about why it’s so hard to solve problems close to home.
On Fireside Chats, Mike talks to Chris about his new book, Twilight of the Elites. Chris explains how the American elite embraced meritocracy. Mike suggests some of the ways meritocracy can be critiqued, and Chris addresses them in turn. He describes the “iron law of oligarchy,” which says that all political movements inevitably produce elites. How did the egalitarian premise of meritocracy produce such an unequal outcome? And how does the new meritocratic elite justify itself?
On The DMZ, Matt and Bill reconnect after a magical night on the town in Washington. Matt defends his colleague Neil Munro’s interruption of President Obama. Should journalists follow protocol when asking questions of the president? Matt argues that Obama “poisoned the well” for bipartisan immigration reform, while Bill defends the president. Finally, is Politico right that the 2012 presidential race is boring? Or does the political media just not know how to take policy ideas seriously?
On Foreign Entanglements, Matt and Hussein discuss the state of play in Egypt. Hussein addresses the alleged “informal agreement” between the Muslim Brotherhood and the ruling military SCAF. Matt suggests that Egyptians have expressed a desire for normalcy, and Hussein describes some of the factors behind the strong showing for former prime minister Shafiq. Is Islamism compatible with democracy? Will Egypt follow the older Turkish model, in which the military helped build a stable government, or the more dysfunctional model of Pakistan? And should the US have behaved any differently over the last year?
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob speaks with Sean about the recent Greek election. Rob asks Sean how the conservative New Democratic Party managed to put together a winning message on austerity, and Sean points out that Greece’s leverage over the EU may be on the decline. Rob wonders whether the European Central Bank is simply trying to break the southern European social democratic model. Finally, Rob and Sean discuss whether the United States can enjoy the luxury of a dysfunctional political system for the foreseeable future. Rob concludes by acknowledging the existence of a blue whale.
On The Posner Show, Sarah talks with Jamelle about his piece on how the Democrats shouldn’t count on demographics turning the GOP into an electoral minority. Jamelle suggests we might see a Marco Rubio-George P. Bush GOP ticket at some point in the future. They discuss Romney’s reaction to Obama’s decision to stop deporting children of undocumented immigrants. Is the “browning” of the evangelical movement a real thing? Is the “Catholic vote” a real thing? Plus: Is the evangelical movement losing younger members?