Liberal Bill Scher and conservative Matt Lewis meet in the rancor-free DMZ to hash out the week’s political events.
On The DMZ, Bill and Matt react to the bombings at the Boston Marathon. They discuss how the attack brought out the best and worst of Twitter, and consider the unseemliness of certain punditry in the face of senseless violence. Bill argues that the obsession with whether Obama labeled the attack “terrorism” is absurd. Turning to the Gosnell murder trial, are charges from conservatives that the media ignored the story valid? Matt says the Gosnell story screams “newsworthy,” and senses a subtle media bias at work.
On The DMZ: Republicans aren’t the only ones divided: Bill lays out the five big issues splitting the Democrats. Did Pat Toomey betray conservatives on guns? Is the Heritage Foundation hurting its credibility by attacking immigration reform? And did Melissa Harris-Perry reveal the sinister truth about liberalism?
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 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 DMZ, Bill and Matt consider whether CPAC is helping the conservative movement by featuring Sarah Palin and Donald Trump. Can Rand Paul win over younger voters to the GOP? Bill asks what conservatism stands for, and Matt acknowledges that the movement is at a crossroads. Is Obama’s charm offensive aimed at congressional Republicans for real or just for show? Matt explores the testy relationship between newer conservative media outlets and the mainstream media, and Bill draws a distinction between problems specific to conservative media and problems afflicting all new media.
On The DMZ: Can Republicans beat Obama on the sequester? Or has the president broken their will? What will it take for conservatism to make a comeback? Were Republicans smart to put so much effort into the failed attempt to block Chuck Hagel’s nomination? Plus: CPAC and the conservative movement’s identity crisis.
On The DMZ: Was Calvin Coolidge a better conservative than Herbert Hoover? Is S.E. Cupp a better conservative than Rush Limbaugh? Has the decline of Catholicism hurt conservatism? Matt and Bill revisit Rand Paul vs. Marco Rubio, and consider whether Rubio and Obama secretly want immigration reform to fail. Plus: Why does the White House press corps care about covering a golf game?
On The DMZ: Did Marco Rubio’s gulp of water endear him even more to the conservative base? Does Rand Paul’s Tea Party response make him the man to beat in the 2016 GOP primary? What would a Rubio-Paul foreign policy debate look like? And will Obama’s State of the Union cement the liberal trajectory for America beyond his presidency, or are the Democrats burdened by a weak bench for 2016?
On The DMZ: Drone strikes—have liberals been looking the other way? Bill argues that drone warfare is less lethal than the alternatives, but Matt wants to see a formalized process to prevent abuse. Are drone strikes the kind of warfare that Americans want? Turning to domestic politics, Matt decries Karl Rove’s new effort to meddle in GOP Senate primaries, while Bill thinks that absolutism and unwillingness to compromise have hurt GOP candidates the most.
On The DMZ, Matt and Bill review the inaugural. How can Obama avoid the “second-term curse“? Are liberals being too hubristic? Did liberalism triumph in 2012, or is Obama a unique figure? They next look at 2016—if Hillary runs, would Biden challenge her? Matt argues that Marco Rubio is the GOP’s best shot at retaking the presidency, and Bill thinks Chris Christie wouldn’t play nationally. Plus: Wildly speculative Super Bowl predictions!