Liberal Bill Scher and conservative Matt Lewis meet in the rancor-free DMZ to hash out the week’s political events.
On The DMZ: Why both sides think they lost the fiscal cliff battle. Matt asks Bill whether Obama truly wants entitlement reform. Who has the upper hand on the coming fight over the debt limit? Next, Bill and Matt analyze Andrew Sullivan’s move from The Daily Beast to an ad-free metered paywall. Will Sullivan lose his relevance? And are paywalls killing the promise of online media?
It’s the year-end DMZ holiday spectacular, with a pundit accountability review! Bill was wrong about Romney losing the nomination. Matt was wrong about the election being very close. Bill was right about the importance of Obama’s 2010 tax/stimulus deal and the lack of importance of the first presidential debate. Matt was right about Romney suffering by being out of touch with average Americans. Plus: Where do liberals and conservatives get their Christmas trees?
On The DMZ: Bill doesn’t understand why everyone is freaking out about the fiscal cliff—this is how it was supposed to go! Does Obama have the GOP in a lose-lose position, between getting blame for the cliff or sacrificing its low-tax brand? Should we pity poor John Boehner? Can Obama keep the left in line once the deal-making begins? And is Marco Rubio doing the right things to prepare for a presidential run?
On The DMZ: The 2016 campaign is underway! Can Republicans forgive Chris Christie? Will Jeb Bush bigfoot Rubio, Jindal, et al? Has American politics become too dynastic? Is Newt right about the uselessness of campaign consultants? And could higher taxes ultimately help the GOP?
The DMZ welcomes a new junior member: Becket Wilberforce Lewis! What does it mean for the Republican Party to “modernize not moderate“? Matt makes a full-throated case for the GOP to become the pro-immigration party. Is Marco Rubio the Great Latino Hope? Matt tells Rubio what he should have said when asked about the age of the Earth. Plus: Is Susan Rice damaged goods, or has she been unfairly smeared?
Kristen enters The DMZ to dissect the exit polls and conduct a GOP postmortem. Is it true that the conservative base didn’t show up? Why did Team Romney so misread the polls? Do Republicans risk losing the Millennial generation forever? Bill says conservatives have to realize that not all slopes are slippery. Is shifting on immigration enough to solve the Republican problem with Latinos? Kristen closes by arguing that young voters essentially decided the election.
On The DMZ: Obama wins! What does the GOP need to do differently? Matt thinks the Republicans must not abandon the pro-life cause, but their messaging needs to change. Bill argues that Obama has a mandate, but Matt contends that politicians always get burned by that assumption. With Obama reelected, will the GOP abandon its strategy of obstruction? Plus: Bill describes his fun-filled visit to the Daily Caller offices.
On The DMZ: The war over Nate Silver and his FiveThirtyEight election model. Can the polls really tell us who is going to show up on election day (and before)? Why is Chris Christie being so effusive in his praise of Obama? How will Hurricane Sandy affect the election? Why can’t conservatives learn to love FEMA? Plus: Matt argues that Mitt would govern as a moderate.
On The DMZ: Is Romney now seen as a sensible pragmatist, or is Obama’s “Romnesia” attack working? What must the campaigns do in the final two weeks? Is Twitter making media groupthink worse, and have the netroots lost their influence? Plus: The possibility that Obama could lose the popular vote but win the electoral college.
On The DMZ, Bill and Matt recap the second presidential debate and Candy Crowley’s moderating. Was Crowley right to reject the rules agreed upon before the debate? And were any of the attendees in Long Island actually undecided voters? They discuss the implications of Romney’s attempt to distance himself from George W. Bush. Bill attacks Romney’s tax plan, and Matt points out that the entire debate felt uncomfortably confrontational.