Liberal Bill Scher and conservative Matt Lewis meet in the rancor-free DMZ to hash out the week’s political events.
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!
On The DMZ, Bill makes the case that banning assault weapons isn’t the best way to stop gun violence. Matt approves of expanded background checks. But is it even possible to pass any kind of gun control bill through Congress? Matt looks at mental health and America’s culture of violence—and argues that we should be shaming Quentin Tarantino.
On The DMZ: What does RG3’s knee have to do politics? Do journalists just not get what it means to be a professional athlete? Matt and Bill remember Richard Ben Cramer and the legacy of What It Takes, and recommend some other great books about politics. Has George Will become a libertarian? Plus: Dick Armey gets hilariously confused.
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?
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.