On The DMZ: Why you don’t have to watch the Sunday shows anymore. As the Supreme Court considers marriage equality, are conservatives surrendering the culture war? Matt and Bill give serious thought to the polygamy argument. Does Obama need a “grand bargain” for his legacy? And does Ron Swanson help or hurt conservatism?
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Dan take a deep dive into the relationship between the Iraq War and the study of international politics. Dan argues that the Bush started the war because executive power has been unbridled since World War II, not because of the September 11 attacks. After Iraq, will the world question American power and resolve? They speculate how a President Gore would have waged a War on Terror, and, going further into this alternate history, whether a McCain victory in 2004 would have unmade the international liberal order.
On The DMZ, Bill and Matt suggest Harry Reid’s abandonment of an assault weapon ban isn’t as big a loss as some gun-control advocates think. Post-CPAC, Matt believes big changes are coming to the conservative movement. Bill explores the tensions between the “three legs” of the movement: social, fiscal, and national security conservatives. Is Matt a social conservative? Has Rand Paul stolen Marco Rubio’s thunder on immigration reform? And will the GOP always default to the establishment presidential candidate?
On The Posner Show, Sarah talks with Sarah Wildman about President Obama’s trip to Israel, in light of Sarah W.’s recent reporting in Jerusalem. Why would the building of settlements in the E1 area be a “fatal heart attack” to the prospects for peace? They discuss the settlement-building “swagger” that continues to pervade the new coalition government. Is a third intifada just waiting for a spark to set it off? They highlight the inclusive philosophy of pro-Zionist, pro-peace activist Daniel Seidemann, who runs the NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem. Plus: How Jerusalem is being Disney-fied through archaeology, and what Jerusalem will Obama see?
On Critic Proof, Alyssa and Nick dissect South by Southwest. Nick describes how the experience of SXSW is that of constantly being sold to. Alyssa notes that even in the “interactive” world of tech, being face to face matters. What are the politics of the conference? Does anyone still care about not selling out? Alyssa wonders whether people who are excited to be cultural consumers also want to be customers. Plus: The best places to eat in Austin.