The Week: Most Recent Politics Posts recent posts.en-usFri, 24 Oct 2014 10:10:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Politics Posts from THE WEEKFri, 24 Oct 2014 10:10:00 -0400How Scott Brown is executing the perfect GOP Senate campaign<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Scott Brown, the former Massachusetts senator who changed his residency to take a crack at Congress from neighboring New Hampshire, is within striking distance of embarrassing New England Democrats once again.</p><p class="p1">Recent polls have found Brown surging in his bid to unseat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), an upset that would greatly increase the GOP's chances of retaking the Senate. A CNN survey released Thursday put Brown just two points back in the race, and poll aggregators paint a favorable trend line for him:</p><center><iframe width="600" height="360" scrolling="no" src=""></iframe></center><p class="p1">Though Brown is still a longshot to win, his campaign has clearly been effective. And...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:10:00 -0400How did Rick Perry escape blame for the Texas Ebola outbreak?<img src="" /></P><p>Republicans have been blaming President Obama and Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for allowing Ebola to gain a foothold in the United States. But if we're pointing fingers, it makes more sense to blame the governor of the first state where Ebola has spread: Texas.</p><p>Yes, it would be the president's responsibility to order nationwide directives like banning U.S.-bound passengers from West Africa, assuming he even has that authority, and despite public health experts warning that such a ban would be counterproductive. But hospitals and public...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:11:00 -0400An open letter to #brands about Gamergate<img src="" /></P><p dir="ltr">Dear Corporate PR Departments,</p><p dir="ltr">You've probably heard of this thing called Gamergate. (In case you haven't, this will get you up to speed.) Chances are, if your company is even remotely connected with tech or media, you've already been inundated with emails and tweets demanding that somebody be fired, or some ad campaign pulled, or some publication burned to the ground. If you haven't yet, your time is probably coming.</p><p dir="ltr">That's scary, I know. You don't want trouble. You don't want to be seen as supporting or associating with bad people and bad ideas. Above all, you don't want controversy. It's the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Thu, 23 Oct 2014 11:57:00 -0400What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth<img src="" /></P><p>Joni Ernst, a Senate candidate from Iowa, has been hailed as the GOP&rsquo;s latest "breakout star." She has a lot of the qualities past Republican women have utilized to great avail, including the small-townish, folksy appeal of Sarah Palin, and the churchgoing wholesomeness of Michele Bachmann. But the same perks often mean the same pathologies, and this is certainly true in Ernst's case. Speaking last week to Iowan supporters, Ernst remarked upon ObamaCare:</p><p >[W]e rely on government for absolutely everything. And in the years since I was a small girl up until now into my adulthood with children...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/elizabeth-stoker-bruenig" ><span class="byline">Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig</span></a>Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:13:00 -0400America is losing influence in Latin America -- and that's great news<img src="" /></P><p>Is Bolivian President Evo Morales a despot, despite the fact that he just won a free and fair election? So argues <em>The</em> <em>New York Times</em> editorial board, calling him a <em>caudillo</em> because he might try to change the Bolivian constitution to run again in 2020.</p><p>Let's set aside the absurdity of smearing someone as an authoritarian based on speculations about future events. The real gripe of the <em>Times</em> board can be seen toward the bottom of the piece (well spotted by Glenn Greenwald): "This regional dynamic has been dismal for Washington&rsquo;s influence in the region."</p><p>This is not just rank hypocrisy, as...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:11:00 -0400The most sensible GOP alternative to ObamaCare comes from a Senate candidate who is almost sure to lose<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Consider this sentence: "Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie takes the political risk of championing a middle-class-friendly, comprehensive health-care reform as an alternative to President Obama's Affordable Care Act." Think on it for a bit. It has all the plausibility of saying, "A kazoo will become self-aware and compose symphonies." And yet, it has happened.</p><p class="p2">The polls tell us that Gillespie does not look likely to be a member of the Senate come November. But if Republicans fear that ObamaCare will result in a federal government that demands an ever-larger share of the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/michael-brendan-dougherty" ><span class="byline">Michael Brendan Dougherty</span></a>Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:11:00 -0400Did Republicans overshoot on the Ebola panic?<img src="" /></P><p>In mid-October, there was a palpable sense that America was on the cusp of an Ebola outbreak: Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who flew to the Dallas area carrying the virus, had died, and two of the nurses who tended to him contracted Ebola in the process.</p><p>There were at least 70 other potential cases at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas alone, plus the people Duncan came in contact with and those who interacted with nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, the latter of whom flew on passenger jets to and from Ohio.</p><p>By late last week, other nurses at the hospital and the national nurse's...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:05:00 -0400Why 2014 may be as good as it gets for the Republican Party<img src="" /></P><p>It looks increasingly likely that the Republican Party will win a slim majority in the Senate in the 2014 midterms, completing a takeover of Congress that began with the GOP's 2010 landslide takeover of the House. As Jonathan Chait has written, the 2010 midterms were the "greatest disaster" of Obama's presidency, introducing a reactionary, uncompromising power center in the capital that scuttled his entire legislative agenda. With a GOP-controlled Senate, the Republican Party's years-long campaign to create a congressional bulwark to Obama's policies would finally be completed.</p><p>But the GOP may...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Wed, 22 Oct 2014 09:10:00 -0400For the GOP, gay marriage could be the most important issue in 2016<img src="" /></P><p>Almost as soon as the GOP cleans the Democrats' clock in the midterm elections on Nov. 4, attention will turn full force toward the next presidential race.</p><p>Will Hillary Clinton run unopposed? Or will someone else &mdash; Elizabeth Warren, Jim Webb &mdash; try to tap into Democratic dissatisfaction with the prospect of a no-sweat campaign by the Queen of the Centrist Washington Consensus?</p><p>On the Republican side, we'll soon be swamped with analysis about what kind of candidate will successfully woo the fractious base of the party. Will it be a centrist (Chris Christie, Jeb Bush)? A libertarian...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/damon-linker" ><span class="byline">Damon Linker</span></a>Wed, 22 Oct 2014 06:08:00 -0400Kill the Messenger: A bracing new biopic exposes the media's corrupt core<img src="" /></P><p><em>Kill the Messenger</em> is a biopic about Gary Webb, a Pulitzer Prize&ndash;winning reporter who had the gall to report on the CIA's involvement with cocaine trafficking in the 1980s. He was hazed out of his profession for it. It's a timely movie that not only rehabilitates a slandered journalist but serves as a continuing indictment of a mainstream press that is far too deferential to power.</p><p>Back in the '80s, one of Ronald Reagan's key foreign policy objectives was toppling the leftist government of Nicaragua, which won fair elections in 1984. The tool in this effort was the Contras, a bunch of right...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Wed, 22 Oct 2014 06:06:00 -0400