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 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.
On The DMZ, Bill and Matt discuss yesterday’s biggest story…the miraculous playoff wins by both the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles. With that out of the way, they turn to the little matter of the vice presidential debate. Matt thinks Biden and the administration are being dishonest about the embassy attack in Libya. He also harshly criticizes Obama campaign adviser Stephanie Cutter. Bill describes attending the recent debate between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown. Plus: Are conservatives happy with Paul Ryan?
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?