The Week: Most Recent Politics Posts recent posts.en-usWed, 22 Oct 2014 09:10:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Politics Posts from THE WEEKWed, 22 Oct 2014 09:10:00 -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 -0400Hey, Washington: It's time to be honest about America's spending-entitlement tradeoffs<img src="" /></P><p>No one likes paying taxes. Everyone likes receiving benefits. And our politicians have become thunderously dishonest in trying to convince Americans they can have it both ways.</p><p>For decades, the general trend has been for Democrats to try to preserve the federal government's existing spending commitments, especially on entitlement programs, while the Republicans try to keep the tax burden from rising much above recent historic levels. There have, of course, been some spending cuts here and tax increases there over the past 34 years. But for the most part, since Ronald Reagan was elected, Republicans...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/w-james-antle-iii" ><span class="byline">W. James Antle III</span></a>Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:30:00 -0400Why the left should oppose commercial surrogacy<img src="" /></P><p>Commercial surrogacy might look like the harnessing of technology to enhance reproductive freedom. But in reality, this practice invariably involves wealthy couples renting poorer women's bodies. And that is not something leftists ought to support.</p><p>I don't want to minimize the enormous emotional challenges posed by the unrequited desire to have a child of one's own. But it is that "<em>of one's own</em>" that is the crucial qualifier in any discussion of surrogacy. There is no shortage of children who could benefit from being adopted. America's foster care system is overflowing. Impoverished nations cannot...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Brandon McGinleyTue, 21 Oct 2014 06:55:00 -0400The case for voting (even if America is a corrupt plutocracy rigged by the rich)<img src="" /></P><p>With the approach of the 2014 midterms, perhaps the least consequential American election season in a generation, it's worth asking a perennial question: Should you even bother to vote?</p><p>Many people have basically given up on the democratic project, arguing that the American system is completely rigged by the rich and that nobody on the ballot truly represents their interests.</p><p>There's a lot of truth to this view. America is teetering toward plutocracy because the rich have schmoozed and donated their way to a politically favorable environment in which there are no options for expropriating 1 percenters...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:04:00 -0400Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election<img src="" /></P><p>This weekend, the Supreme Court allowed Texas to apply new, stringent voting restrictions to the upcoming midterm elections, which could potentially disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters lacking proper identification. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg explained in a short but brilliant dissent, this is a disaster for the citizens of Texas: the upcoming elections will be conducted under a statute that is unconstitutional on multiple levels.</p><p>How could this happen?</p><p>There is, admittedly, a quasi-defensible reason for the court's latest move. The Supreme Court is usually reluctant to issue opinions...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/scott-lemieux" ><span class="byline">Scott Lemieux</span></a>Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:21:00 -0400Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators<img src="" /></P><p>The so-called Gamergate movement cannot be regarded as anything but an enormous own goal.</p><p>There are surely many decent members who don't realize what they've joined, believing they are rallying against unethical behavior in gaming journalism. But the more you examine the movement, the more you realize that the only coherent objective ever elaborated or carried out by it is the harassing of certain writers, critics, and game developers, most of them women, who have spoken out against prejudice and misogyny in gaming.</p><p>The evidence of Gamergate's true nature is twofold: first, if you dig into the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:41:00 -0400The big lesson from 2014: ObamaCare's political future is secure<img src="" /></P><p>Despite the fact that this election cycle is more boring than any since at least 2002, there are some real stakes. Republicans look likely to take narrow control of the Senate, since they are ahead in most of the close races, helped along by a massive flood of late outside money and shameful terror baiting over the murder of American journalist James Foley.</p><p>Of course, regardless of who wins, President Obama will remain in the White House, an insurmountable obstacle to any serious Republican program until at least 2016. But hanging over the party's future is what it is going to do about ObamaCare...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:10:00 -0400Republicans want you scared of ISIS. Democrats want you scared of the GOP.<img src="" /></P><p>Fear is a powerful emotion. It's not a great guide when you're making a decision, but in an election year like 2014 &mdash; in which the main voter sentiments seem to be disenchantment and disgust &mdash; politicians apparently think it's their best bet. Republican campaign ads and debate talking points aren't all that subtle on this point. Democrats are only a little more indirect.</p><p>"Republicans believe they have found the sentiment that will tie congressional races together with a single national theme," says Jeremy W. Peters at <em>The New York Times</em>. The theme is that things are really bad right...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:08:00 -0400