The Week: Most Recent Politics Posts recent posts.en-usWed, 16 Apr 2014 10:30:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Politics Posts from THE WEEKWed, 16 Apr 2014 10:30:00 -0400How conservatives learned to hate Hollywood<img src="" /></P><p>The 1970s &mdash; a time of cultural malaise, androgynous fashion mistakes, and street crime. A lot of subversive but critically acclaimed movies from this era (from <em>Annie Hall</em> to <em>M*A*S*H</em>) reflected America's somewhat disaffected zeitgeist. But beneath the surface, a new genre of patriotic action hero was emerging.</p><p>Charles Bronson turned vigilante in <em>Death Wish</em>, a film that spoke to the crime problem endemic in big cities like New York. And Clint Eastwood as Inspector Harry Callahan (aka "Dirty Harry") took on criminals and the bleeding-heart liberals whose "technicalities" prevented him from...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:30:00 -0400Why I'm a pro-life liberal<img src="" /></P><p>Though public opinion on abortion actually reflects a very nuanced debate, with opinions based around factors like the pregnancy's term and the reason for termination, there are really only two positions debated in the media: ardently for the unrestricted availability of abortion regardless of motive, or ardently against abortion under any circumstances &mdash; and how <em>dare </em>anyone suggest otherwise. And since these positions tend to cleave along party lines, a stance on abortion that shows a political affinity different than the typical Left-Right divide is almost untenable, at least if one hopes...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/elizabeth-stoker" ><span class="byline">Elizabeth Stoker</span></a>Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:23:00 -0400One more time: Natural gas is not good for the environment (yet)<img src="" /></P><p>As I've written before, one of the most environmentally damaging &mdash; and least publicized &mdash; consequences of drilling for natural gas is the release of methane. Natural gas burns cleaner than any other traditional fuel, but is composed mostly of methane, which is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide if it leaks before it can be burned. Now there are indications that the situation is worse than we thought. Researchers just finished a new study on methane leaks in Pennsylvania natural gas wells, and the results are very, very bad:</p><p >Drilling operations at several natural...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:21:00 -0400How Putin and his ilk are redefining democracy -- Big Brother-style<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>It's been tough, recently, to discern the difference between dictatorship and democracy. Vladimir Putin's recent demonstration of political chutzpah, for example, raises again the question: How do autocrats like Putin get elected in a <em>democracy</em>? Answering this question requires acknowledging that democracies are not what they used to be.</p><p>During the past two centuries, democracy sounded like what they taught us in civics class: free and fair elections, competing political parties, respect for freedom of expression, division of political powers, and the rule of law. Not anymore. Just because countries...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Silvio WaisbordTue, 15 Apr 2014 11:28:00 -0400Will the GOP sideline social conservatives in 2014?<img src="" /></P><p>It's no secret that Republicans are in search of a sweet spot in today's political environment that will allow them to expand their base while not diluting their core values. The disappointing results from the 2012 election highlighted the difficulties in determining the correct path to electoral success. Stumbles on the campaign trail dogged Republicans in the both the presidential contest (Mitt Romney's discussion of the "47 percent," for example) and congressional races (gaffes from Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock on abortion that cost the GOP two Senate races it should have won).</p><p>Ever since...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/edward-morrissey" ><span class="byline">Edward Morrissey</span></a>Tue, 15 Apr 2014 06:06:00 -0400Can Scott Brown make a comeback in New Hampshire?<img src="" /></P><p>James Pindell, political director for WMUR-TV, gave us some fascinating insights into New Hampshire on the <em>Political Wire</em> podcast, including a special focus on former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown's newly announced U.S. Senate campaign in the Granite State.<br /><br />Here are five takeaways from the conversation:<br /><br /><strong>1. Scott Brown's candidacy shouldn't have even happened.</strong> When Brown dropped hints late last year that he wouldn't rule out a Senate run in New Hampshire, it was entirely possible that he wasn't seriously considering it. "Republicans already had a whole host of candidates by the time he announced...</p> <a href="">More</a>Taegan GoddardMon, 14 Apr 2014 12:16:00 -0400Racialized politics, and America's South African future<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">Whites are a steadily diminishing fraction of the population. In fact, the demographic trends show that they will no longer be the majority of the population, starting sometime about 2050. Jamelle Bouie has a fine essay exploring what this might mean for American politics:</p><p >Working at Northwestern University, psychologists Maureen Craig and Jennifer Richeson apply that question to demographic change, and, in particular, to white Americans vis-&agrave;-vis the prospect of a United States where the majority of Americans are drawn from today's minorities. Does a threat to one's status as the demographic...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Mon, 14 Apr 2014 07:03:00 -0400Rand Paul vs. the money men<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Hawkish Republicans and hawkish Republican donors considered Ron Paul a nuisance, though occasionally a useful and amusing one. Rand Paul, on the other hand, is a real political talent. He is less stiffly ideological than his father. He more easily translates his libertarian instincts into words the GOP base understands.</p><p class="p1">And that means that Paul the son is a threat to the hawkish wing of the GOP. If it looks like he could win more than a few primaries in 2016, chances are he'll face a tidal wave of money from neocon donors opposing him.</p><p class="p1">Last month Zeke Miller reported on the speakers at the Republican...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/michael-brendan-dougherty" ><span class="byline">Michael Brendan Dougherty</span></a>Mon, 14 Apr 2014 06:09:00 -0400Could Republicans lose a Senate seat in Mississippi?<img src="" /></P><p>Former Missouri Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) still haunts Republicans after his inflammatory remarks about rape during the 2012 election almost certainly cost his party a U.S. Senate seat.<br /><br />Now another Akin-like character is popping up in Mississippi's U.S. Senate race.<br /><br />State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) is challenging Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) in a Republican primary for a seat that embattled Democrats would love to win.<br /><br />But recently leaked excerpts from a 10-minute clip from a radio show are enough to make any GOP strategist cringe. The recording from late 2006 or early 2007 has McDaniel riffing on topics...</p> <a href="">More</a>Taegan GoddardFri, 11 Apr 2014 11:36:00 -0400Kathleen Sebelius will not be remembered for ObamaCare's shoddy rollout<img src="" /></P><p>Heath and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced her resignation on Thursday, and all anyone could talk about was ObamaCare's glitchy website.</p><p>Never mind that Sebelius, after five years, is one of only a handful of President Obama's original cabinet &mdash; still in office are Attorney General Eric Holder, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan &mdash; and that her more-challenging-than-average term is 500 days longer than the average HHS secretary.</p><p>No, Sebelius is "leaving after...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Fri, 11 Apr 2014 09:42:00 -0400