The Week: Most Recent from Bill Scher recent posts.en-usMon, 15 Sep 2014 12:36:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent from Bill Scher from THE WEEKMon, 15 Sep 2014 12:36:00 -0400How this one Independent candidate from Kansas could end up ruling the Senate<img src="" /></P><p>You may have heard that Independent Senate candidate Greg Orman has shaken up the race in Kansas, prompting the Democratic nominee to abandon his campaign and turning a shoo-in re-election for Republican Sen. Pat Roberts into a dead heat.</p><p>You may not have heard what Orman plans to do if he gets to Washington.</p><p>One of the trickiest questions for an Independent Senate candidate is this: Which party will you caucus with? It's an important question. Without membership in a caucus, a senator will likely be denied seats on committees and give up any chance of gaining influence.</p><p>But the question poses...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:36:00 -0400Why the GOP should tank the midterms<img src="" /></P><p>Several statistical models used to forecast the midterm elections give the Republican Party a better-than-even shot at seizing the Senate.</p><p>This should terrify Republicans.</p><p>Look into Speaker John Boehner's exasperated eyes and think about how much he has suffered the last two years trying to contain his tea&ndash;crazy Republican caucus. Now double it. Then add an extra dose of Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. And then take away the ability to blame Harry Reid for the failure to get any Republican bills passed in the Senate.</p><p>Add it all up, and what you get is not a glorious triumph of a unified...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Mon, 11 Aug 2014 06:08:00 -0400The GOP's ridiculous executive-authority hypocrisy<img src="" /></P><p>Speaker of the House John Boehner wants to sue President Obama. Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin wants to impeach President Obama. And Republicans across the board are in a froth over the president's allegedly aggressive use of executive authority.<br /> <br />And yet, there are some issues that have so discombobulated Republicans that they are turning their lonely eyes to Obama for answers: Namely, the influx of Central American child migrants on America's southern border. Faced with the unappealing prospect of using their own congressional power of the purse to solve the problem...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:12:00 -0400How Obama's immigration push could hand the House to Democrats<img src="" /></P><p>Everyone assumes that Republicans will easily hold the House in November. The dominant storyline among the chattering classes centers instead on the possibility that Republicans could seize control of the Senate from Democrats. But the rapidly escalating immigration face-off between President Barack Obama and House Republicans raises the possibility that Democrats could win back the House &mdash; even if Republicans do take the Senate</p><p>How is that possible? It's simple: There are more competitive House races than Senate races in areas with significant Latino populations.</p><p>Last year, David Damore...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Fri, 04 Jul 2014 06:00:00 -0400Iraq was not a threat to the U.S. in 2003. Now it is.<img src="" /></P><p>America is rightly scarred by the dishonest way President George W. Bush and his political allies roped us into invading Iraq. We were told it was in response to 9/11. We were told Saddam Hussein was in league with al Qaeda. We were told Iraq was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. We fell for a bait-and-switch as Bush demanded, then ignored, United Nations-led weapons inspections. As the casualties piled up in Iraq, the public's anger was so raw it led to the Republican loss of Congress and the White House. And the relief we felt when President Barack Obama pulled our troops out in 2011 was...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Tue, 17 Jun 2014 06:05:00 -0400Hey, liberals: Stop fighting Obama on judges<img src="" /></P><p>Civil rights and abortion rights groups are going to the mat to stop President Obama's nomination of Michael Boggs to be a federal District Court judge in Georgia. They sincerely think they are putting ideals above partisan loyalties. But in fact, they are myopically undercutting their own agenda, as well as holding Boggs to unfair standards.</p><p>Boggs' nomination is part of a seven-judge deal struck with the two Republican senators from Georgia who had been exploiting a procedure that gives senators informal veto power over judicial nominees from their states. After two years of delays, </span><span>the </span><span>Georgians...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Thu, 15 May 2014 11:00:00 -0400Ralph Nader wants liberals to back Rand Paul. Don't do it.<img src="" /></P><p>This week, Ralph Nader returned to the political stage with a new book, <em>Unstoppable,</em> whose triumphant subtitle is <em>The Emerging Left-Right Alliance</em> <em>to Dismantle the Corporate State.</em> To kick off his publicity tour, he has argued that liberals should "definitely" impeach President Barack Obama, abandon the "international militarist" Hillary Clinton, and instead embrace Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) as a possible leader of his dream coalition.</p><p>To what end? In the book, Nader writes that by marrying the Left with the libertarian Right, we can cut off government support for corporations and have "honest government...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Thu, 01 May 2014 06:05:00 -0400Don't fear the dynasty: Clinton vs. Bush would not doom democracy<img src="" /></P><p>Over the weekend, Jeb Bush cracked open the door to a possible 2016 run, which has already sparked a round of moaning that American democracy is being bigfooted by political dynasties. A contest against Hillary Clinton would mean that either a Bush or a Clinton has been on nearly every presidential ticket since 1980, and even Barbara Bush has lamented that we can't seem to find anyone from any other family to run for president. In <em>Politico</em>, Larry Sabato argued that eight more years under a Clinton or Bush would make America "monarchial," and undercut our ability to promote democracy abroad.</p><p>Please...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Wed, 09 Apr 2014 06:09:00 -0400Is bipartisan foreign policy making a comeback?<img src="" /></P><p>The partisan sniping surrounding Russia's annexation of Crimea is still hot. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) recently said the White House response to Russia's actions has been "timid." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) implied that Republicans deserve the blame, saying events may have "unfolded differently" if Republicans hadn't held up his Ukraine aid bill.</p><p>And yet, aid to Ukraine won a big bipartisan vote this week. Reid jettisoned a provision reforming the International Monetary Fund resisted by Republicans, and in return, Republicans are buttressing President Obama's approach to Russia...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Fri, 28 Mar 2014 06:08:00 -0400How Putin bolsters the case for American exceptionalism<img src="" /></P><p>Conservatives have long embraced the concept of American exceptionalism. Ronald Reagan often implied that America was uniquely blessed by God, citing a World War II-era quote from the Pope that "into the hands of America, God has placed the destinies of afflicted humanity." His vice president, George H. W. Bush, put it less eloquently when he said, "I will never apologize for the United States of America, ever. I don't care what the facts are."</p><p>This theocratic, jingoistic version of American exceptionalism has long rubbed the Left the wrong way. Liberals bristled as conservatives used patriotism...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Wed, 19 Mar 2014 14:00:00 -0400No, Congress is not done for the year<img src="" /></P><p>Barely halfway into the 113th Congress, some pundits are already writing the legislative body's obituary. <em>The Hill</em> declared, "Congress has in some ways already closed for business until after the midterm election. Any laws made between now and November will be minor." CNBC's Ben White similarly announced: "It may be only March but the legislative year in D.C. is basically over." In this view, immigration reform, minimum wage, unemployment insurance, and even under-the-radar issues like transportation funding are all seen as D.O.A.</p><p>This pessimism is understandable. Our two major parties are more...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Wed, 12 Mar 2014 11:00:00 -0400There's money in politics. Get over it.<img src="" /></P><p>News of billionaire Tom Steyer's plan to spend $100 million to elect pro-environment candidates provoked some interesting reactions on both the left and right. <em>New York Times</em> editorial board member David Firestone lamented, "Big money pollutes politics whether it comes from the Koch brothers...or from Mr. Steyer and his liberal friends." <em>The Guardian</em>'s Andy Kroll tut-tutted that Steyer's "big money" will "alienat[e] everyday precisely the time when their voices and their involvement are needed most."</p><p>Conservatives, normally champions of the notion that campaign money is a glorious...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Fri, 21 Feb 2014 06:08:00 -0500Why MSNBC's political scandal coverage is more powerful than Fox News'<img src="" /></P><p>In the latest Marist poll, Hillary Clinton is riding high, beating all possible Republican presidential candidates by at least eight points and most by double digits. Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) reputation has taken a big hit. His favorable rating is 13 points lower than his unfavorable rating. And Americans have shifted over the past month from believing Christie is "mostly telling the truth" about the infamous bridge lane closures, to now believing Christie is "mostly not telling the truth."</p><p>The change is all the more notable given the fact that Christie held a slight lead...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Mon, 17 Feb 2014 06:00:00 -0500The Mike Huckabee boomlet betrays the GOP's lack of seriousness<img src="" /></P><p>Since Mike Huckabee delivered his anti-contraception "Uncle Sugar" speech to the RNC two weeks ago, he has catapulted to the top of two GOP presidential primary polls.</p><p>Yes, that is what it takes to become the Republican frontrunner these days. Not innovative policy solutions. Not an impressive legislative record. No, what you need is to let loose a politically incorrect swipe at a liberal caricature, stir up a bunch of media outrage, and Republican primary voters will want to give you the nuclear codes.</p><p>The Republican Party is suffering record low favorability and struggling to be seen as capable...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Tue, 04 Feb 2014 10:20:00 -0500Will Republicans raise the minimum wage? History says yes.<img src="" /></P><p>Republicans may not have applauded when President Obama called for Congress to raise the minimum wage in his State of the Union address, but if history is any guide, it's a good bet they will eventually do just that.</p><p>Since the minimum wage was established in 1938, every president, Republican or Democrat, except for Ronald Reagan has signed an increase into law. And in almost every instance, the bill came to the president's desk with a big bipartisan vote from Congress. When Democrats crank up the pressure &mdash; and are willing to compromise with business interests &mdash; Republicans have routinely...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Thu, 30 Jan 2014 14:08:00 -0500Does it matter if Edward Snowden is a Russian spy?<img src="" /></P><p>We already know that Edward Snowden is dependent on the Russian government to keep him out of reach of the American justice system. But accusations have recently been made that Snowden's relationship with the Kremlin goes much deeper than we previously suspected.</p><p>On Sunday, House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) strongly suggested that Edward Snowden stole NSA secrets with help from Russia, though Rogers declined to provide any evidence to back that suggestion.</p><p>The following day, <em>The New Republic</em>'s Sean Wilentz published a harsh profile chronicling the backgrounds of Snowden and his...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/bill-scher" ><span class="byline">Bill Scher</span></a>Thu, 23 Jan 2014 14:37:00 -0500