The Week: Most Recent Politics Posts recent posts.en-usThu, 30 Oct 2014 08:47:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Politics Posts from THE WEEKThu, 30 Oct 2014 08:47:00 -0400When disease becomes political: The likely fallout from Ebola<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Could the Ebola scare affect the election? It may seem a bit crass to even address this question, but it's rare we see a national panic over a deadly disease erupt so close to an election, and candidates are already using the disease as a possible campaign issue. Just what effect might this have?</p><p>Probably the most direct analogy we have for this within U.S. politics is the outbreak of the Spanish Flu in 1918-19. Of course, in terms of sheer numbers, that was nothing like the current Ebola scare. The Spanish Flu killed half a million people &mdash; roughly half a percent of the American population...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Seth MasketThu, 30 Oct 2014 08:47:00 -0400The real lesson of the looming Martha Coakley disaster<img src="" /></P><p>Yes, Martha Coakley is that bad.</p><p>The Massachusetts attorney general is most famous for blowing a huge lead in 2010 to lose the commonwealth's special Senate election for the late Ted Kennedy's seat to Scott Brown &mdash; then a no-name Tea Partier best known for driving a truck. And while next Tuesday's gubernatorial contest is much closer, she seems poised to follow up her 2010 debacle with a loss to Republican Charlie Baker in this year's governor's race.</p><p>While only one major survey has Baker ahead by anything like a comfortable margin, Coakley has trailed in six of the last eight polls. A...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/w-james-antle-iii" ><span class="byline">W. James Antle III</span></a>Thu, 30 Oct 2014 06:08:00 -0400Yes, the Federal Reserve is politicized -- and that's a good thing<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">In a speech earlier this week, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen mentioned a few reasons why economic inequality, which is at historic highs, could be problematic, going so far as to suggest that the gap between rich and poor may not be "compatible with values rooted in our nation's history, among them the high value Americans have traditionally placed on equality of opportunity."</p><p dir="ltr">Pretty mild stuff, right? Yet conservatives promptly lost their minds.</p><p dir="ltr">Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute captured the outraged tenor of the right's response, saying Yellen was in danger of becoming...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Thu, 30 Oct 2014 06:05:00 -0400While Obama skulks, Hillary soars<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>The optics in the run-up to the midterms are startling: A two-term Democratic president is being treated like an outcast by his own party while his would-be Democratic successor is being treated like a rock star as she traverses the country on behalf of Democratic candidates.</p><p>A beleaguered President Obama, buffeted by criticism of his handling of everything from ISIS to Ebola and stuck with an approval rating in the low 40s, is living the curse of a second-term president. Just as former President George W. Bush became an albatross to his party, Obama has become a painful liability to many Democratic...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Eric PianinWed, 29 Oct 2014 12:24:00 -0400How Chris Christie flubbed his big chance at a comeback<img src="" /></P><p>New York City handled its first case of Ebola with aplomb. As soon as the victim, Dr. Craig Spencer, notified authorities of his symptoms, he was whisked into isolation at Bellevue Hospital, while health officials tracked his previous movements to determine whether anyone else had been infected. The city's "carefully planned response was a world apart from the scene that unfolded in a Dallas hospital last month," wrote <em>The New York Times</em>. As a result, Ebola in New York City has so far been restricted to Spencer.</p><p>But if the city's health department exhibited a degree of competence and professionalism...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Wed, 29 Oct 2014 09:00:00 -04003 ways the lackluster midterms could radically change the role of money in politics<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>At least since the first "billion-dollar election," in 1996, money in politics has seemed like one of those perpetual problems that we wring our hands about but never fix. The numbers are always shocking, and the solutions always inadequate to the challenge.</p><p>But skyrocketing numbers are only part of the story. We often focus on how money affects elections &mdash; and it does. But it's also true that <em>elections</em> affect the role of money and the influence it creates. The rise of intense partisanship, for example, with few independents and swing voters, changes the way money is used &mdash; encouraging...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Mark SchmittWed, 29 Oct 2014 08:40:00 -0400This is how the GOP should respond to Hillary Clinton's trumpeting of a minimum wage hike<img src="" /></P><p>Kudos to Hillary Clinton for this clever bit of political jujitsu: At a rally last week for Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley, the presumed 2016 Democratic favorite said it was a higher minimum wage, not private enterprise, that really creates American jobs.</p><p >Don't let anybody tell you that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs. They always say that. I've been through this. My husband gave working families a raise in the 1990s. I voted to raise the minimum wage and guess what? Millions of jobs were created or paid better and more families were more secure. &hellip; And don...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/james-pethokoukis" ><span class="byline">James Pethokoukis</span></a>Wed, 29 Oct 2014 06:09:00 -0400Imagine: The Democratic States of America<img src="" /></P><p>I have a confession to make: I'm prejudiced against the South. You might even call me an anti-Southern bigot.</p><p>I'm not proud of it. It's just a fact. I grew up a liberal, secular Jew in New York City and southern Connecticut &mdash; a Yankee through and through. The thought of "my" America being yoked together with a region that fought a bloody, traitorous war to defend the institution of slavery and a way of life based upon it &mdash; well, it just felt morally grotesque. That this same region persisted in <em>de jure</em> racism (backed up by brutal violence) right up through the decade prior to my birth...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/damon-linker" ><span class="byline">Damon Linker</span></a>Wed, 29 Oct 2014 06:07:00 -0400For Democrats, the right lesson from 2014 is to be more liberal<img src="" /></P><p>Republicans will probably take control of the Senate in the 2014 elections, according to the latest projections. It's a grim result for liberals, particularly when you consider the likely consequences: the mountain of garbage legislation that will be dumped on the White House...the possible gutting of the Congressional Budget Office...the total halting of the confirmation process for judiciary and executive branch positions.</p><p>But if Democrats do lose, they must try to keep their cool, and refrain from sinking into the usual pessimism. Because make no mistake, centrist sellouts like Will Marshall...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Wed, 29 Oct 2014 06:06:00 -0400The Obama administration's confused, contradictory Ebola response<img src="" /></P><p>The Obama administration's confused and erratic handling of Ebola created a singularly strange moment this week, when one part of the government was for quarantines, one was against them, and many of us were left wondering what the heck was going on.</p><p>It all started after Dr. Craig Spencer, returning to New York City from West Africa, failed to self-isolate while still in the incubation period for the deadly hemorrhagic fever. Amid public worry, the governors of New York and New Jersey imposed a quarantine requirement for anyone arriving in their airports from Ebola-impacted countries, including...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/edward-morrissey" ><span class="byline">Edward Morrissey</span></a>Tue, 28 Oct 2014 09:22:00 -0400