The Week: Most Recent from Matt K. Lewis recent posts.en-usFri, 01 Aug 2014 10:50:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent from Matt K. Lewis from THE WEEKFri, 01 Aug 2014 10:50:00 -0400Hey, GOP: American exceptionalism demands compassion at the border<img src="" /></P><p>If a child showed up at your doorstep, begging for help, what would you do?</p><p>Most Americans, I suspect, would offer help, even if that meant simply calling the police, who would, hopefully, ascertain whether the child was really in danger. But a lot of Americans who would respond to such a scenario with compassion also believe that America should simply shut its door to desperate refugees.</p><p>I would suggest that a moral nation has an obligation to come to the aid of children who are fleeing grave danger. A nation as blessed as America ought to be a force for good in the world. "<em>For unto whomsoever...</em></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:50:00 -0400Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016<img src="" /></P><p>Perhaps it says something about us that our most interesting presidential candidates swear they won't run for president. This is true of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and it's increasingly true of Mitt Romney.</p><p>As regular readers of this column know, I've never been much of a Romney booster. I've also expressed skepticism about the notion he would run again. But let's not let "a foolish consistency" cloud our judgment. There is reason to believe that a third try wouldn't be an absurd venture.</p><p>First, in the intervening years since 2012 &mdash; and on a range of issues, not the least of which is Russia...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Thu, 31 Jul 2014 06:18:00 -0400The danger of the Democrats' lack of desperation<img src="" /></P><p>Necessity is the mother of invention &mdash; especially for a political party in need of a comeback.</p><p>It was, after all, a desperate Democratic Party, having lost three consecutive presidential elections, that finally nominated a relatively centrist southern governor named Bill Clinton in 1992. It worked. Eight years later, it was desperation that led the very people who disdained George "<em>Read my lips!</em>" Bush to fall in line behind his son, in an attempt to wrest control of the White House from the Clintonistas.</p><p>In both cases, a sort of <em>Mut der Verzweiflung</em> &mdash; a courage born out of desperation...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:05:00 -0400The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush<img src="" /></P><p>President Obama surely has more than 99 problems &mdash; but here's one: He doesn't feel the need to even <em>look</em> like he gives a damn, even as parts of the world all but crumble on his watch.</p><p>Obama is obviously smart and emotionally evolved &mdash; and maybe that's why he's embraced the "no drama" ethos so tightly. He never looks worried. His face never evinces concern. His voice never quivers. His body language doesn't change. At all. He walks at the same languid pace regardless of the situation.</p><p>You might think this evenness is a good thing. Sometimes it is. But if there's a pressing geopolitical...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:10:00 -0400How to become a cable news pundit<img src="" /></P><p>"I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television," Gore Vidal once declared. This is terrific advice. Of course, not everyone has the chance &mdash; particularly with the latter endeavor. So let me help shed a little light on the secret society of TV pundits &mdash; and how to get into it.</p><p>Let's say you're an aspiring journalist or strategist and want to make a name for yourself. How do you do it? Of course, the most obvious way &mdash; still! &mdash; is to get on TV. There is something magical about TV. The medium itself bestows upon the pundit a sense of expertise, earned or not. God...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:11:00 -0400New urbanism isn't just for liberals -- conservatives should embrace it too<img src="" /></P><p>Conservatism has somehow become associated in the popular imagination with sterile suburbia, obnoxiously large McMansions, and gas-guzzling SUVs, while liberalism evokes images of city living in close quarters, with public transportation or bicycle commutes from high-rise lofts to open-floor workspaces.</p><p>Never mind the fact that conservative icon William F. Buckley rode a scooter, or that conservative icon Russell Kirk refused to drive a car, warning that automobiles would increase rootlessness in America. No, these days America seems to assume that conservatives, if they must live near a city...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Thu, 10 Jul 2014 06:05:00 -0400The Supreme Court: The last bastion of American leadership?<img src="" /></P><p>Washington is broken. Congress can't seem to reach <em>any</em> decisions, much less achieve consensus on the big challenges facing our country. And over in the executive branch, President Obama has accomplished next to nothing in his second term. America has noticed, with approval ratings for both Obama and Congress in the cellar.</p><p>But there's one branch of government that's still doing stuff, whether you like it or not. Yes, the Supreme Court actually issues <em>decisions</em> &mdash; and, what's more, about two thirds of decisions in this recently concluded term were unanimous (including striking down President...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Tue, 08 Jul 2014 06:07:00 -0400Why conservatives feel like Tim Howard<img src="" /></P><p>Today, Tim Howard is perhaps the most famous and beloved man in America.</p><p>The U.S. goalkeeper was extraordinary in Tuesday's heartbreaking World Cup loss to Belgium. Before it was all over, Howard would justly earn the sobriquet "secretary of defense," relentlessly guarding the American goal and making an astounding 16 saves. But let's not forget, the U.S. team lost, 2-1. Which is why making 16 saves &mdash; <em>having</em> to make 16 saves &mdash; is a rather dubious distinction. The fact that a goalkeeper would have to deliver such a heroic performance is indicative of an American team that was constantly...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Wed, 02 Jul 2014 09:35:00 -0400Why Boehner is right to sue Obama<img src="" /></P><p>Immigration reform is effectively dead in Congress. And now that Speaker John Boehner has officially decided not to bring up the Senate's comprehensive immigration bill for a vote in the House, President Obama is suggesting he may take executive action to shape America's immigration policy.</p><p>"I take executive action only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing," Obama said Monday. "And in this situation, the failure of the House Republicans to pass a darn bill is bad for our security, it's bad for our economy, and it's bad for our future."</p><p>Obama's promise...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Tue, 01 Jul 2014 06:07:00 -0400The real lesson in Thad Cochran's big win<img src="" /></P><p>Thad Cochran survived.</p><p>Last night, the six-term Republican senator from Mississippi narrowly defeated a Tea Party-backed challenge from state Sen. Chris McDaniel in a GOP primary runoff, advancing to a cakewalk general election in this very red state, and presumably, a seventh term in the Senate.</p><p>The instant conventional wisdom on the lesson here goes something like this: This race was a critical win for mainstream Republicans, and a blow to the Tea Party. But there's more to it than that.</p><p>For starters, McDaniel probably could have won the original primary outright, and not been forced into...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Wed, 25 Jun 2014 09:42:00 -0400The Tea Party won the Cantor war -- but lost the peace<img src="" /></P><p>Here's a handy way to sum up the problem facing the conservative movement. Just hours before Kevin McCarthy was elected House majority leader on Thursday, <em>The</em> <em>Washington Post's</em> Robert Costa tweeted this:</p><center><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>My take: the tea party missed its moment. Biggest vacuum of power in yrs and they wavered</p>&mdash; Robert Costa (@costareports) June 19, 2014</blockquote></center><p>Yes, taking out House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia was, to the extent the Tea Party helped, a major accomplishment. But as Costa wrote in the aftermath of Cantor's loss, it's pretty clear that, having won the war...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Fri, 20 Jun 2014 06:08:00 -0400What being a father taught me about God<img src="" /></P><p>Did you know babies don't drink water? Neither did I, until I became a dad. How about the fact that their fingernails are a real problem; you've got to file them or cover them with socks or something, so they don't scratch their little faces. This was a shock to me.</p><p>Today is my fourth Father's Day as a dad. And yes, I've learned a lot of unexpected things over those four years. But while these practical things exposed my ignorance, it is an altogether different and more spiritual series of fatherhood-related epiphanies that truly astound me.</p><p>Since the Christian God is presented in a paternal...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Sun, 15 Jun 2014 08:00:00 -0400Remembering my hero: A tribute to Ronald Reagan<img src="" /></P><p>I remember all too well the day that Ronald Reagan died. It was ten years ago this week. I got really drunk. And I bawled like a child.</p><p>Despite my penchant for old country music, I don't normally support drowning one's sorrows in beer. But I was dealing with some heavy stuff on this particular June day in 2004.</p><p>Just a month before, my beloved father had died. And now, my political father &mdash; the president of my childhood &mdash; was dead, too. The combination felt like too much to bear.</p><p>So I left my Fargo apartment and bought a case of cheap beer, drove home, and flipped on Fox News. They...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Fri, 06 Jun 2014 11:15:00 -0400In defense of old white men<img src="" /></P><p>Let me be clear from the outset: White males &mdash; particularly those who come from affluence and are able to attend college &mdash; are at a tremendous advantage over every other demographic group in America.</p><p>The entire American system is and for a very long time has been biased in favor of white men. White men &mdash; as a millions-strong group &mdash; have had it easier than every other group in America.</p><p>That said: A lot of liberals are increasingly using white men as a punching bag these days. And that's not right either.</p><p>In <em>The Atlantic</em>, Ta-Nehisi Coates has a lengthy and much-lauded...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Fri, 30 May 2014 06:02:00 -0400The dangers of being an ambitious young political or media operative<img src="" /></P><p>Last weekend, a conservative blogger in Mississippi named Clayton Kelly was arrested for allegedly sneaking into a nursing home to photograph the wife of Sen. Thad Cochran (R), who suffers from progressive dementia. Two other Mississippi men &mdash; one of them a local tea party leader &mdash; have since been arrested on conspiracy charges for allegedly taking part in the plot.</p><p>Anyone interested in the unseemly details regarding why this might make sense <em>strategically </em>as the hotly contested June 3 primary approaches can read what I've written and said. (It centers around rumors that Cochran has...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Fri, 23 May 2014 09:00:00 -0400The state of conservative media<img src="" /></P><p>In the beginning, long ago, before the rise of talk radio, cable TV, and blogs, the liberal-leaning mainstream media was the only game in town. This began to change with the rise of magazines like William F. Buckley's <em>National Review</em>, and sped up in the 1980s with Rush Limbaugh, in the 1990s with Fox News, and in the 2000s with sites like <em>Red State</em>, to name just a few important outlets.</p><p>When conservative bloggers began fact-checking Dan Rather's report on George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard service, utterly undermining what might otherwise have become the defining narrative of the 2004 presidential...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Mon, 19 May 2014 06:07:00 -0400