Liberal Bill Scher and conservative Matt Lewis meet in the rancor-free DMZ to hash out the week’s political events.
On The DMZ: Can Scott Brown overcome being a Republican in Massachusetts? Can Politico‘s Roger Simon overcome a failed attempt at satire? Can Romney overcome the polls? Or is Obama the Teflon President? Did Obama mislead the public about Libya? And why hasn’t the attack in Benghazi become a bigger campaign issue? Plus: Romney’s wrong bet on the economy.
On The DMZ, Matt argues the infamous video of Romney is being overblown, but that Romney was guilty of talking like a strategist. Bill thinks Romney got caught up in the closed conservative information loop. Will this spark a serious debate about the welfare state? Could this be “you didn’t build that” in reverse? Matt wonders whether Romney has the political skills to turn the race around, and Bill sees parallels to Walter Mondale in 1984. Plus: Matt argues that Morning Joe is an important show but desperately needs to change.
On The DMZ, Bill and Matt debate what the embassy attacks in Egypt and Libya tell us about Obama’s policies in the Arab world. Has the Arab Spring been a positive or a negative development? Bill suggests neither Obama nor Romney wants to engage in a general debate about foreign policy. They disagree over whether it makes sense to compare Obama to Jimmy Carter. Matt argues that despite Obama’s post-convention bounce, the election will still come down to the wire. Plus: Are Obama and Romney introverts?
On The DMZ, Bill reports live from Charlotte on the Democratic National Convention. How important is the platform fight over the word “God” and the status of Jerusalem? Matt argues that the DNC has not been the great success that many in the media claim. Bill counters that Democrats are standing behind their record. So how will it play in middle America? Plus: Why political conventions are still worth it.
On The DMZ: Has the modern political convention outlived its usefulness? Matt and Bill have a contrarian take on Ann Romney’s speech. Was Chris Christie truth-telling or self-promoting? Matt explains what is a “dog-whistle” and what isn’t. Can our political debate ever be color-blind? Plus: Race and Obama’s campaign strategy.
Matt returns to the DMZ from vacation, and relates his adventures traveling with children. Turning to politics, Matt has a theory on why ThinkProgress attacked him for thinking out loud about Todd Akin. Bill sees irony in Rush Limbaugh‘s warning against epistemic closure. Did Republicans turn on Akin just to attract women voters? Bill wants to know why the GOP is so much worse at abortion politics than it was two decades ago.
Kristen makes a triumphant return to Bloggingheads and learns the rules of The DMZ. She and Bill size up the Paul Ryan pick. Who now has the edge on Medicare? Does Ryan give Romney a chance to win the youth vote? Was Biden’s “chains” comment a meaningless ad-lib or the sign of an increasingly divisive campaign? And should we blame the media for this frivolous political climate?
On a special vice-presidential edition of The DMZ: Are conservatives squeezing Romney by lobbying for Rep. Paul Ryan? Is Marco Rubio’s star fading? Will the GOP ticket make history by not having a Protestant—and does that matter? Matt and Bill offer their shocking VP predictions. Matt makes the case that conservatism will survive if Romney loses. If Obama loses, will he be remembered as a failed president?
On a special sleep-deprived edition of The DMZ, Bill and Matt share their parenting strategies, and consider whether liberals and conservatives parent differently. Was Romney’s foreign trip a disaster, or merely a missed opportunity? Matt thinks Romney’s press team could learn something from Patrick Swayze’s character in Road House. Is Obama smart to feature Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Warren at the Democratic convention? Plus: Jonah Lehrer—when do plagiarists get a second chance?
On The DMZ, Matt and Bill try to figure out why Mitt Romney is taking a foreign trip. Matt reveals the one thing that could convince him to travel to the GOP convention in Tampa. They ponder whether “you didn’t build that” will sink Obama, and why a rope-a-dope strategy won’t work for Romney. They analyze why party conventions now happen so late in the summer, and who it helps. Plus: Has the culture changed so that it’s now cool for teens to care?
On The DMZ: Obama’s “you didn’t build that”—major gaffe or out-of-context quote? Is this the start of a real debate about the direction of the country? Matt and Bill consider whether promoting the “rugged individualist” theme is a political winner. Matt argue that liberalism is like going to visit your grandparents. But while he thinks conservatism is more exciting, he admits that Bill’s vision of a liberal utopia sounds appealing.
On The DMZ, Matt and Bill discuss the Boston Globe‘s scoop that Mitt Romney stayed at Bain Capital three years longer than previously claimed. Why can’t presidential debates be more like Bloggingheads? Matt ranks the six most likely VP picks for Romney. Bill is skeptical of Matt’s picks, especially New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. They consider the different pressures Romney faces in picking a running mate. Plus, Matt’s big idea: Has government taken hip-hop sampling away from the 99%?