The Week: Most Recent from Matt K. Lewis recent posts.en-usWed, 05 Nov 2014 08:12:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent from Matt K. Lewis from THE WEEKWed, 05 Nov 2014 08:12:00 -0500The other casualty of the 2014 midterms: The war on women<img src="" /></P><p>The so-called Republican "war on women" was never really a thing &mdash; and now it's not even a thing that works.</p><p>It's hard to pinpoint when the canard started (sometime around 2010) &mdash; but its maiden voyage might have begun in earnest the night of February 7, 2012, during a debate in New Hampshire, when, apropos of nothing, moderator George Stephanopoulos asked the Republican candidates a complete non sequitur: Should states have the right to ban contraception? Some later speculated that Stephanopoulos might have been helping Obama concoct that narrative. Whether or not this was coordinated...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Wed, 05 Nov 2014 08:12:00 -0500How Jeb Bush can avoid being the Jon Huntsman of 2016<img src="" /></P><p>It seems increasingly likely that Jeb Bush will run for president. (Even his son is talking up the prospects.) What remains to be seen is whether Jeb Bush can actually win.</p><p>A lot of GOP establishment types are excited about a Bush candidacy. But don't expect the grassroots to eagerly embrace a former Florida governor who has made a habit of moderately breaking from conservative orthodoxy on big issues like immigration, or who recently (mildly) singled out Fox News for criticism. As the editor of the <em>Washington Free Beacon</em> said:</p><center><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Differences with base don't necessarily doom Jeb. But he can...</p></blockquote></center> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Mon, 27 Oct 2014 11:05:00 -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 -0400Why isn't Alison Lundergan Grimes beating Mitch McConnell among women voters?<img src="" /></P><p>Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is in a tough re-election fight with Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D). But somewhat amazingly, McConnell &mdash; who, let's face it, fits the "old white man in a suit" description to a T, particularly when contrasted with a 34-year-old female opponent &mdash; seems to be defying the gender gap better than almost any male Republican in recent memory.</p><p>McConnell is ahead overall. <em>FiveThirtyEight</em> pegs his odds of victory at 75 percent. And with Republicans needing a net pickup of six seats to flip the Senate, and with McConnell...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Thu, 09 Oct 2014 09:55:00 -0400These supercompelling intrastate fights could define the 2016 GOP race<img src="" /></P><p>An odd dynamic is shaping up in the GOP. There is a very real potential for multiple intra-state fights between presidential contenders in at least four important states. Consider:</p><p>Texas: Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry</p><p>Florida: Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush</p><p>Wisconsin: Gov. Scott Walker and Rep. Paul Ryan</p><p>Ohio: Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rob Portman</p><p>Of course, not all of them will run &mdash; but they all <em>could</em>. And imagine if most or even some of them did. Each of these in-state rivalries would pit a governor or former governor against a senator or member of Congress, which is...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Mon, 06 Oct 2014 06:06:00 -0400Can Bill Clinton save the Senate for Democrats?<img src="" /></P><p>With barely a month to go until the midterm elections, and President Obama's coattails looking more and more like a lead weight, vulnerable Democrats across the country are turning to former President Bill Clinton to appeal to red-state voters. And some analysts are calling on him to do even more. Here's Brent Budowsky at <em>The Hill</em>:</p><p >My advice to the Democratic Party for the close of the midterm elections would be for Clinton to tape a series of 3- to 5-minute videos supporting top Democratic Senate candidates, in addition to personally campaigning for them. [...]</p><p >[T]he party should bring the appealing...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Fri, 03 Oct 2014 06:35:00 -0400Why the libertarian boom is bad for traditional conservatives<img src="" /></P><p>Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist argues that libertarians own the future. In his column, Norquist highlights "the once-impossible political shifts that have taken place over the past 30 years" and observes that the "relevant dividing line" is no longer "right versus left or Republican versus Democrat but the expansion of individual liberty versus whatever and whosoever stands in the way."</p><p>As evidence of these political shifts on individual liberty issues, Norquist cites homeschooling, gay marriage, defense of the second amendment, and marijuana legalization &mdash; all formerly controversial...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Thu, 25 Sep 2014 06:04:00 -0400Life advice for my sons<img src="" /></P><p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false"></iframe></p><p>Read more on this story.</p><p>Read Matt Lewis' advice for graduates and check out his own podcasts at</p><p><strong>Listen to more of</strong> <strong><em>The Week</em>'s mini podcasts</strong>:</p><ul><li>How Harry Houdini escaped death</li><li>Your weekly streaming recommendation: <em>Grosse Pointe Blank</em></li><li>This week I learned the meteor that doomed the dinos gave us seasonal trees, and more</li></ul><p> </p><p ><strong>*You can also find <em>The Week</em>'s mini podcasts on iTunes, SoundCloud, and TuneIn.*</strong></p><p> </p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Wed, 24 Sep 2014 16:45:00 -0400In defense of Ted Cruz's 'militaristic pessimism'<img src="" /></P><p>America has been screwing up on the foreign policy front for a long time. George W. Bush's efforts to spread democracy were laudable &mdash; but quixotic and ill-fated. And Barack Obama's "leading from behind" and"don't do stupid stuff" strategies, which supposedly learned all the right lessons from Bush-era misadventures? These also did not work.</p><p>So as we head toward a critical presidential election in 2016, what should we be looking for when it comes to foreign policy? The answer is Ted Cruz.</p><p>Don't laugh &mdash; he's the only candidate on either side of the aisle who seems to have learned the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Wed, 24 Sep 2014 06:45:00 -0400Why does America get fooled into thinking elite insiders are actually outsiders?<img src="" /></P><p>Chuck Todd, the new host of <em>Meet The Press</em>, seems like a regular guy. He's likable, normal, one of us.</p><p>This has as much to do with perception as reality.</p><p>As <em>The</em> <em>Washington Post's</em> Dana Milbank recently noted, "Todd has been a Washington denizen longer than" many journalists perceived as consummate Beltway insiders, "working as a political reporter here for 22 years."</p><p>It doesn't feel that way. And Todd seems to know it. Here's Milbank on Todd's embrace of his humble roots, which certainly seems to fuel his everyman image, even as he has vaulted to the most elite ranks of the Political Media Industrial...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:45:00 -0400Life advice for my sons<img src="" /></P><p>There's an episode of <em>30 Rock</em> where aging new father Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), fearing he will be "senile or dead for the better part of [his] child's life," decides to record a video for his unborn child. "I must find a way to speak to &mdash; and guide &mdash; my son, even from the grave," he declares. He then goes through the process of recording his thoughts, ending the tape with these words: "In the unlikely event that you find something that is not covered here, find a woman named Liz Lemon, get her advice, and then do the opposite."</p><p>It's funny. But it's also sweet and sad and serious...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Fri, 12 Sep 2014 06:07:00 -0400In defense of the prosperity gospel<img src="" /></P><p>The wife of famed televangelist Joel Osteen said something stupid the other day &mdash; so stupid there's now a YouTube meme about it, featuring Bill Cosby saying, "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life."</p><p>In the original clip, Victoria Osteen says, "I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we're not doing it for God &mdash; I mean, that's one way to look at it. We're doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we're happy." Osteen continues, "So I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Wed, 03 Sep 2014 06:05:00 -0400The elusive 'It factor' in presidential politics<img src="" /></P><p>Like it or not, this truism is very true: Being president in the modern era requires a certain "It Factor."</p><div class="im"><p>You don't need star power to make it to the U.S. Senate, or to rise in its leadership. (Looking at you, Senators Reid and McConnell.) You don't need an almost celebrity-like sexiness to succeed in the House. (Who among us would describe Steny Hoyer or Steve Scalise in such terms?) But when we're talking about the presidency, it's not enough these days to be a highly intelligent lawmaker with a history of policy expertise and success. You've got to have charisma. You've got to have charm...</p></div> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Mon, 01 Sep 2014 07:00:00 -0400The dangers of our passionless American life<img src="" /></P><p>Many of my fellow conservative columnists have lamented in recent weeks that the troubling trend of Western men voyaging to the Middle East to become terrorists has its roots in the stultifying boredom of life in modern capitalistic society.</p><p><em></em>'s Michael Brendan Dougherty's explored the topic in a post called "How the West produces jihadi tourists." <em>The New York Times</em>' Ross Douthat ventured into similar territory in his "Our thoroughly modern enemies." <em>National Review's</em> Charles C.W. Cooke was on board, too, in a post titled "Sadly, totalitarianism is exciting."</p><p>"One reason that liberty...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:07:00 -0400How Ferguson made conservatives lose faith in the police<img src="" /></P><p>As we watch the turmoil in Ferguson &mdash; where protests and police crackdowns raged for a week in the wake of a police shooting of an unarmed black teenager &mdash; many Americans have been forced to reassess their views on the duty and tactics of the police. But we conservatives &mdash; with our dueling affinity for law-and-order institutions like the police and our libertarian-inspired opposition to abuses of government power &mdash; are perhaps the most torn.</p><p>Over at the <em>Federalist</em>, Hans Fiene notes, "For many conservatives, especially those of us living in nice, comfy suburbs, it's hard...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Tue, 19 Aug 2014 06:02:00 -0400The political brilliance of Hillary out-hawking Obama<img src="" /></P><p>Hillary Clinton's interview with Jeffrey Goldberg at <em>The Atlantic </em>&mdash; in which she dinged Obama for "the failure to help build up a credible fighting force" of moderates in Syria, leading to "a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled" &mdash; is leading to a lot of headlines about the former secretary of State sprinting from the failing foreign policy of her former boss.</p><p>This political knifing of Obama is surely not the friendliest thing the Clintons have ever done. And it's obviously hypocritical &mdash; Clinton was secretary of State for four years! Nonetheless, this rhetoric is...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Mon, 11 Aug 2014 10:22:00 -0400