On The Posner Show, Sarah and Sarah discuss the ad placed in the New York Times by the Emergency Committee for Israel claiming that prominent liberal think tanks are “anti-Israel.” There has been an effort on the right to discredit these liberal organizations and by extension Obama and the Democratic Party. But what else does the conflict say about the state of discussion among American Jews about Israel—and the controversial term “Israel firster”? Is rational debate about these issues on Twitter impossible? Plus: Wildman’s recent piece about the web magazine 972, and whether it is changing the face of the Israeli left.
On the debut episode of Washington Squares, host Michael Brendan Dougherty and guest Adam Serwer talk about whether Obama’s re-election is a sure thing, and why Romney seems so uncomfortable talking about his wealth. In their own all-male panel on contraception, Adam defends the HHS mandate as normal employee compensation, while Michael explains the Catholic Church’s radical critique of the culture around sex and family planning. Lastly, they discuss how the Emergency Committee for Israel has thinned the ranks of liberal Zionists and criticize Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.
Glenn Loury interviews Gershom Gorenberg about his book, The Unmaking of Israel. Glenn asks whether the real problem is that the Israeli state is ethnic, not that it’s religious. Would empowering Arab Israelis be a smart move for Zionists? Gershom describes how government officials aided and abetted illegal settlers, and how lawlessness emerged. Are ultra-Orthodox Jews dependent on government largesse? Gershom closes on an optimistic note.
Bill makes his triumphant return from paternity leave in time to analyze the media narrative surrounding Super Tuesday. Matt thinks Romney’s close victory in Michigan made him more endearing, while Bill argues he just can’t build momentum. Matt and Bill remember Andrew Breitbart and consider his legacy: Could his early death turn him into the conservative Jim Morrison? And did his often controversial actions hurt the cause?
Andrew Breitbart is dead, and Matt is already speaking ill of him. Should we abandon the taboo on criticizing the recently deceased? A new study says the wealthy are less ethical—but are they more jerky because they’re rich, or richer because they’re jerks? Bob thinks university admissions contribute to the jerk problem, and Matt suggests a possible solution. Bob asks Matt to help him overcome his Twitter phobia. Plus: Matt previews his forthcoming e-book, The Rent Is Too Damn High.
On Pros and Conn, polling guru Steven Shepard talks about the difference between live and robo-polls, the Gallup tracking poll and whether the news of the day can affect it, why Obama has an approval ceiling, how Super Tuesday could be a disaster for Romney, and which will be the swing states to watch in November.
On the first episode of Fireside Chats, Mark and William Voegeli, author of the book Never Enough, talk about whether liberalism sets any limits to the scope of the welfare state. Bill’s book inspires a series of provocative questions: Is health care the end of the liberal project, or are there always “more dragons to slay”? Are liberals willing to advocate higher taxes on the middle class to support the level of government they want? Can entitlements ever be cut? Finally, Bill hits Mark with an “ambush question”: is he trying to trick conservatives into joining a rigged game?