Things appear to be tightening in Maryland, where a poll leaked to The Daily Caller shows the gubernatorial race is "extremely close --- only 2 points, 46 to 44, separate Democratic Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown and Republican small businessman Larry Hogan."
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Matt K. Lewis
Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.
I'm starting to hear rumblings that, if he wins his Colorado senate race, Rep. Cory Gardner will be the model candidate used by the Republicans as an example for how to win. In some respects, this makes sense. Having backed away from the controversial personhood amendment -- and now advocating over-the-counter birth control -- he has blunted the "war on women" attacks, and seems poised for victory in a tough state.
When news trickled out about the Palins being involved in a drunken brawl, I was mildly amused. The narrative was that this band of rich hillbillies was at it again. Then I saw this disturbing quote from Bristol Palin (being questioned about the incident):
Let's assume for a minute that the GOP doesn't grasp defeat from the jaws of victory -- that two weeks from now they take the U.S. Senate and hold the House. Then what?
Noting that the U.S. "is entering an era of great political disruption, a bottom-up revolution on the scale of what upended the music, television, movie, media, and retail industries," National Journal's Ron Fournier has a few questions: "How soon until we stop settling for an inferior product in Washington and at statehouses? When do we demand more and better from the Democratic and Republican parties -- or create new political organizations that usurp the old?"
Halloween is just around the corner, which means we can expect to see think pieces lamenting (or defending) the proliferation of "naughty" costumes popping up. (This is the yearly warm-up for the annual "war on Christmas" columns.)
National Journal had a good piece up yesterday about how Ebola makes conservatives more conservative. It was good because it tapped into an interesting, and likely true point -- but also, because it didn't take cheap shots.
Like many Americans, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has softened on the issue of same-sex marriage. Going back to 2005, he was a staunch supporter of traditional marriage, and as recently as 2010, he reportedly "opposed a new state law that allows gay couples to register with counties to get certain benefits, such as hospital visitation rights." But his views have shifted.
No matter where you stand on the issue of gay marriage, gay rights, etc., one would expect liberals, by definition, to be the most passionate defenders of religious liberty and free expression.
Last week, I wrote about the surprising fact that Sen. Mitch McConnell is tied among women voters with Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Keith Olbermann has been back in the news -- most recently with revelations he apologized to Bill Clinton for coverage of the Lewinsky scandal. He's also back on ESPN, where the commentator aroused controversy over a biting rant meant to put Derek Jeter's status as a Yankee in proper perspective. Love him or hate him, there's something about Olbermann that keeps earning him second chances. And the good news is, at 55, he appears to be maturing. At least, that's the sense one gets when reading his recent interview with Sports Illustrated.
Over at Politico Magazine, my friend and Bloggingheads.TV sparring partner Bill Scher has stirred up some discussion and debate with a piece titled "How Republicans Lost the Culture War." While that's a clickable headline, he mostly focuses on politics and flawed tactics (though, in fairness, he mentions Will & Grace). But politics is downstream from culture, the culture has been moving leftward for years, and that's what matters most if you want to understand this phenomenon (for the backstory on how conservatives lost the culture war, read this).
There's a classic Simpsons episode called "Homer's Enemy" where we're introduced to a new Springfield Nuclear Power Plant co-worker named Frank Grimes. He resents Homer -- not only because Homer insists on calling him "Grimey" -- but also because he can't believe someone so inept and lazy as Homer could lead such a charmed life.
Mashable Deputy Editor Chris Taylor's new book is titled How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, and it's not just a clever title. The franchise has long permeated every nook and cranny of popular culture.
Yesterday, I wrote about how the GOP is in the process of sawing off the social conservative leg of the three-legged stool. Today -- in the form of this quote from Republican strategist Alex Castellanos in Time -- I present Exhibit B:
Republicans don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
Want proof David Axelrod is an evil genius? On Morning Joe earlier today, I asked the former top Obama strategist whether or not the president's insouciance -- the fact that his administration downplays every crisis -- might contribute to the fact that the public no longer trusts him on serious issues like Ebola.