The Week: Most Recent Politics Posts recent posts.en-usTue, 21 Oct 2014 06:55:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Politics Posts from THE WEEKTue, 21 Oct 2014 06:55:00 -0400Why the left should oppose commercial surrogacy<img src="" /></P><p>Commercial surrogacy might look like the harnessing of technology to enhance reproductive freedom. But in reality, this practice invariably involves wealthy couples renting poorer women's bodies. And that is not something leftists ought to support.</p><p>I don't want to minimize the enormous emotional challenges posed by the unrequited desire to have a child of one's own. But it is that "<em>of one's own</em>" that is the crucial qualifier in any discussion of surrogacy. There is no shortage of children who could benefit from being adopted. America's foster care system is overflowing. Impoverished nations cannot...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Brandon McGinleyTue, 21 Oct 2014 06:55:00 -0400The case for voting (even if America is a corrupt plutocracy rigged by the rich)<img src="" /></P><p>With the approach of the 2014 midterms, perhaps the least consequential American election season in a generation, it's worth asking a perennial question: should you even bother to vote?</p><p>Many people have basically given up on the democratic project, arguing that the American system is completely rigged by the rich and that nobody on the ballot truly represents their interests.</p><p>There's a lot of truth to this view. America is teetering toward plutocracy because the rich have schmoozed and donated their way to a politically favorable environment in which there are no options for expropriating one...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:04:00 -0400Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election<img src="" /></P><p>This weekend, the Supreme Court allowed Texas to apply new, stringent voting restrictions to the upcoming midterm elections, which could potentially disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters lacking proper identification. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg explained in a short but brilliant dissent, this is a disaster for the citizens of Texas: the upcoming elections will be conducted under a statute that is unconstitutional on multiple levels.</p><p>How could this happen?</p><p>There is, admittedly, a quasi-defensible reason for the court's latest move. The Supreme Court is usually reluctant to issue opinions...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/scott-lemieux" ><span class="byline">Scott Lemieux</span></a>Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:21:00 -0400Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators<img src="" /></P><p>The so-called Gamergate movement cannot be regarded as anything but an enormous own goal.</p><p>There are surely many decent members who don't realize what they've joined, believing they are rallying against unethical behavior in gaming journalism. But the more you examine the movement, the more you realize that the only coherent objective ever elaborated or carried out by it is the harassing of certain writers, critics, and game developers, most of them women, who have spoken out against prejudice and misogyny in gaming.</p><p>The evidence of Gamergate's true nature is twofold: first, if you dig into the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:41:00 -0400The big lesson from 2014: ObamaCare's political future is secure<img src="" /></P><p>Despite the fact that this election cycle is more boring than any since at least 2002, there are some real stakes. Republicans look likely to take narrow control of the Senate, since they are ahead in most of the close races, helped along by a massive flood of late outside money and shameful terror baiting over the murder of American journalist James Foley.</p><p>Of course, regardless of who wins, President Obama will remain in the White House, an insurmountable obstacle to any serious Republican program until at least 2016. But hanging over the party's future is what it is going to do about ObamaCare...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:10:00 -0400Republicans want you scared of ISIS. Democrats want you scared of the GOP.<img src="" /></P><p>Fear is a powerful emotion. It's not a great guide when you're making a decision, but in an election year like 2014 &mdash; in which the main voter sentiments seem to be disenchantment and disgust &mdash; politicians apparently think it's their best bet. Republican campaign ads and debate talking points aren't all that subtle on this point. Democrats are only a little more indirect.</p><p>"Republicans believe they have found the sentiment that will tie congressional races together with a single national theme," says Jeremy W. Peters at <em>The New York Times</em>. The theme is that things are really bad right...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:08:00 -0400Ebola and America's epic institutional fail<img src="" /></P><p>"The word that keeps coming to mind is 'disgrace.'"</p><p>That's how a Facebook friend responded to news that a second nurse at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas had been diagnosed with Ebola.</p><p>I think my friend speaks for a lot of Americans this week &mdash; and that doesn't bode well for our nation's health.</p><p>I don't mean our physical health. Ebola remains far less contagious than measles, influenza, and tuberculosis. Unless you encounter the bodily fluids of a symptomatic Ebola patient, you're not going to catch the disease.</p><p>I'm talking about our civic health.</p><p>Liberal democratic government...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/damon-linker" ><span class="byline">Damon Linker</span></a>Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:08:00 -0400What Karl Marx can teach us in 2014<img src="" /></P><p>For most of the 20th century, favorably mentioning the works of Karl Marx has been a quick road to being run out of polite society in the United States. But I've just finished a long trip through the first volume of <em>Das Kapital</em>, as well as several of his other works, and at the risk of tempting the RedScareBot, I think there are some genuinely valuable insights to be had in 2014, almost 150 years after it was first published.</p><p>Marx has been maligned mainly by association with the totalitarian dictatorship of the Soviet Union. However, <em>Das </em><em>Kapital,</em> like most of his work, is a <em>descriptive</em> account...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Thu, 16 Oct 2014 11:22:00 -0400The GOP's gay marriage problem isn't going away anytime soon<img src="" /></P><p>Mike Huckabee isn't happy with the Republican Party.</p><p>When it comes to the issue of same-sex marriage, the former governor of Arkansas says his party should "[g]row a spine, show a modicum of knowledge about the way we govern ourselves, and lead, follow, or get the heck out of the way."</p><p>The man who did surprisingly well with Republican primary voters in 2008 and is reportedly considering a second presidential bid in 2016 has even threatened to leave the GOP and become an Independent if the party doesn't toughen up on marriage.</p><p>Gripping stuff. There's just one problem: it's not entirely clear...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/w-james-antle-iii" ><span class="byline">W. James Antle III</span></a>Thu, 16 Oct 2014 10:02:00 -0400What Obama's nakedly political moves say about our screwed-up polity<img src="" /></P><p>We all lie to each other. Often, it's out of courtesy ("Of <em>course</em> you look great in that dress, dear"). This is good manners, and should be expected in polite society.</p><p>We used to have this sort of understanding with our politicians, too. They would pretend to write us personal letters asking for money, and we would pretend they sat down at a typewriter and wrote it <em>just to us</em>. They would put on a charade about being a stand-up family man, and even if we knew deep down that this was BS, we kind of appreciated the effort. We were very polite.</p><p>Somewhere along the line, though, politicians stopped...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:31:00 -0400