The Week: Most Recent Politics Posts recent posts.en-usWed, 01 Oct 2014 07:01:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Politics Posts from THE WEEKWed, 01 Oct 2014 07:01:00 -0400The dumb war in Syria will haunt Democrats' 2014 prospects<img src="" /></P><p>The only thing up for grabs in the 2014 election is the Senate, and while it's probably going to be a squeaker, election analysts are now projecting that the Republicans will take control of the chamber. This is a reversal from only a couple weeks ago, when Democrats had the edge. What gives?</p><p>Democrats, particularly President Obama, are throwing this thing away with the war in Syria.</p><p>Midterm elections are typically a low-turnout affair with the victor determined by base mobilization. And committed Democrats are not feeling engaged &mdash; quantifiably there's a 15 percent gap between how many...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:01:00 -0400Hey, liberals: Stop kowtowing to the almighty market<img src="" /></P><p>Was the New Deal actually market-friendly, maybe even something Reagan would have done? <em>New York</em>'s Jonathan Chait suggests so, in a revisionist account of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's signature array of depression-fighting policies.</p><p>It's actually a wonder it's taken so long for market-loving neoliberals to make the point. For two generations, neoliberals (and now their monstrous offspring, austerians) have been telling the nation that we cannot risk disrupting the sainted market, that all social policy must be mediated through market mechanisms, and that all direct economic controls are bound...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:10:00 -0400Why every major 2016 candidate will embrace America's perpetual war machine<img src="" /></P><p>If the 2016 general election campaign were truly underway today, the debate about foreign policy among the mainstream presidential candidates would extend only from support for President Obama's war on ISIS to criticism of the plan for not being aggressive enough. You wouldn't hear a word of criticism charging Obama with being overly aggressive.</p><p>Of course, the president's plan will look very different after 24 months of bombing (and possible counter-attacks) than it does today. But will the range of policy options be wider than it is now? I wouldn't bet on it. The American people briefly flirted...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/damon-linker" ><span class="byline">Damon Linker</span></a>Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:05:00 -0400Ted Cruz is the new Sarah Palin<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Is Ted Cruz good for conservatives? Or is it the other way around?</p><p class="p1">The answer matters a lot, because it's not impossible that this guy could be the next GOP presidential nominee. A close adviser to Texas' junior senator told <em>National Journal </em>that there is a 90 percent chance the Tea Party star will run for president in 2016. "And honestly, 90 is lowballing it." Cruz denies that he has made plans past the midterms. But boy, he sure does look like a man preparing for a run. He goes to Iowa and makes foreign-policy heavy speeches. He makes trips to New Hampshire to stump for GOP candidates there...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/michael-brendan-dougherty" ><span class="byline">Michael Brendan Dougherty</span></a>Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:04:00 -0400Obama's politically lethal credibility problem<img src="" /></P><p>President Obama has a very clear credibility problem on ISIS, Iraq, and Syria. And he's in danger of extending his credibility deficit to every aspect of his presidency.</p><p>The credibility issue on ISIS goes back months, and arguably years. In 2011, Obama claimed credit for keeping his 2008 campaign pledge by pulling all American troops out of Iraq, even though military and intelligence advisers warned that the "zero option" could destabilize the country and allow for a resurgence of terrorism. Instead, Obama pronounced Iraq a "strong and stable ally" while claiming to have "ended the war in Iraq...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/edward-morrissey" ><span class="byline">Edward Morrissey</span></a>Tue, 30 Sep 2014 09:20:00 -0400How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest<img src="" /></P><p>You should really care that the German Ethics Council (a government committee) has pronounced that Germany's laws banning consensual incest between adult brothers and sisters ought to be abolished.</p><p>Now, it's not because Germany's laws directly affect the United States; they don't, of course. And even within Germany itself, the ruling party of Chancellor Angela Merkel has indicated that it doesn't plan on following the council's recommendation.</p><p>The reason why Americans &mdash; and especially American liberals &mdash; should care about the council's ruling is that it gives us a glimpse of America...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/damon-linker" ><span class="byline">Damon Linker</span></a>Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:04:00 -0400What the Romney boomlet says about the establishment GOP's feeble 2016 field<img src="" /></P><p>Two-time presidential loser Mitt Romney's sprawling network of consultants and aides is sitting tight, waiting for the former Massachusetts governor to decide whether he wants to run for president a third time. Romney, who until recently had long denied any true interest in another bid, is reportedly talking the idea over with his family.</p><p>Ann Romney isn't exactly denying it. Former running mate Paul Ryan, thought to be a possible presidential contender himself, is almost encouraging it. And Romney himself declined to close the door on the possibility in an interview with Romneyphile Hugh Hewitt...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/w-james-antle-iii" ><span class="byline">W. James Antle III</span></a>Mon, 29 Sep 2014 06:08:00 -0400Eric Holder blew it as attorney general. His replacement will, too,<img src="" /></P><p>The best thing about Eric Holder's time as the U.S. attorney general was that he was the first one in decades to really care about civil rights. The worst thing was, well basically everything else.</p><p>Holder, who yesterday announced his resignation as attorney general, isn't a bad synecdoche for the Obama administration. The first black attorney general, by all accounts a committed liberal with a special concern for civil rights, was also the guy who rubber-stamped the NSA's dragnet surveillance program and the CIA's assassination of American citizens. He prosecuted neither Bush-era torturers nor...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Mon, 29 Sep 2014 06:07:00 -0400Can Jim Webb run for president as the anti-Hillary?<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>When most politicians are asked whether they're considering running for president, they typically toss off a quick one-liner that doesn't answer the question and then quickly change the subject. But when Jim Webb, former Democratic senator from Virginia, was asked the question after a speech in Washington on Tuesday, he immediately admitted he was "seriously" thinking about it.</p><p>He did so, though, in the tone of voice another man might use to say that he is considering knee-replacement surgery but hasn't yet made up his mind whether it's worth it.</p><p>Of course, admitting it was really his only...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Rob GarverSun, 28 Sep 2014 11:00:00 -0400Defending Middle Eastern Christians isn't just morally right -- it's politically brilliant<img src="" /></P><p>Very few politicians have reached high office without taking gambles along the way. It was risky for Ronald Reagan to run against the Republican establishment, and to embrace supply-side economics. It was risky for Bill Clinton to embrace the Democratic Leadership Council, even though it was also obvious that the Democratic Party had to move to the center to regain national office. It was risky for Barack Obama to run against the reputedly invincible Hillary Clinton as a freshman senator. It was risky for Paul Ryan to grasp the third rail of politics and propose ambitious budgetary and entitlement...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/pascal-emmanuel-gobry" ><span class="byline">Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry</span></a>Fri, 26 Sep 2014 06:07:00 -0400