This week’s question It comes from Jonathan in Agawa-gun, Kochi, Japan. Dear Politics Guys, Why do minorities seem to support Clinton over Sanders? On the Republican side, two Latinos (Cruz and Rubio) are amongst the three front runners and an African-American (Ben Carson) and – until very recently – a woman (Carly Fiorina) are still in the GOP race, as was an ethnic Indian (Bobby Jindal). In 2012 the GOP nominated a Mormon, and in 2008 they nominated a woman for Vice President. Why doesn’t the GOP get more credit for having such diversity in its presidential candidates?
This week’s show starts with Mike and Jay mourning the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, an intellectual force who was loved by many, hated by some, and who leaves huge shoes to fill. The Guys talk about the influence of Justice Scalia and the prospects for a replacement being nominated and confirmed before President Obama leaves office. After that, Mike and Jay look back at their New Hampshire predictions, make predictions for South Carolina and Nevada, and talk about how they see the race developing. Surprisingly, Mike actually comes out, if not in favor of Trump, at least less freaked out about his possible nomination. Even more surprisingly, Mike announces that he’s running for president! (He’s filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission and everything.)
Here’s this week’s Ask The Politics Guys question: Dear Politics Guys, Bernie Sanders says he’s a democratic socialist. What does that mean? (Even if you’re not particularly interested in what a democratic socialist is, you might find this episode entertaining, if you want to hear Mike channel his inner Bernie Sanders.)
This week’s Politics Guys starts off with reviews of Iowa picks from the last show. Jay and Mike more or less nailed it for their respective parties but they both missed on the other side, making for a very solid aggregate prediction. They pat themselves on the back a little and then talk about how much Iowa really mattered. Next, it’s on to New Hampshire, where the guys review the week in campaigning and make their calls. In a non-campaign story (yes – they still exist) Mike joins the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Army Chief of Staff in supporting registering women for the draft. Jay isn’t quite so sure about that. Finally, they discuss John Kasich’s love of Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
This week’s Ask The Politics Guys question comes from Emilie, in Ruislip UK: Dear Politics Guys, In what respect do you think that the two main parties still share any similarities? And do you agree that the academic consensus that the Republicans moving to the right was the main impetus for the Democrats moving to the left, or was it something else that caused this polarisation?
In the last Politics Guys before the Iowa Caucuses, Mike and Jay make their predictions and talk about how much winning in Iowa really matters. Next, they look at some positive developments in the area of juvenile justice, an area in which there’s a real possibility of bipartisan reform. Finally, they talk about how Vladimir Putin has somehow managed to become a multi-billionaire on a $110,000 a year salary.
This week’s question comes from Christopher, in Cedar Falls, Iowa: Dear Politics Guys, Assuming the Republican and Democratic establishment candidates win their party’s nominations, do you think there will be any blowback from the base of the party that loses the general election?
This week, The Politics Guys start off by examining the choice GOP elites are making between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Neither of the two Republican frontrunners is loved (or even liked) by the party establishment, so it’s definitely a ‘pick your poison’ situation. Mike and Jay get into the why some Republicans are holding their noses and going with Trump, while others are very reluctantly supporting Cruz. Next, it’s a discussion of whether or not the US should negotiate with terrorists, or terrorism-sponsoring states, to bring home American prisoners. After that it’s back to domestic politics, where the Guys look at the reasons behind Bernie Sanders’ rise, and how Hillary Clinton and the media are reacting to it. Finally, Mike and Jay discuss what happened to the water in Flint, Michigan, and who’s to blame.
Our Ask The Politics Guys question for this week comes from Chris, in Austin Texas: Dear Politics Guys, I’m a fiscal conservative who leans left on most social issues. How likely is it that a candidate with views like mine could win a presidential election?
This week’s Politics Guys starts out with Mike and Jay talking about President Obama’s final State of the Union address. Neither of the guys have much use for SOTUs, and they also agree that President Obama has done a pretty bad job of helping heal partisan divides. (Though Mike gives the president a lot more credit for trying – at least at first – than Jay does.)
After that, the guys get into the Iran ‘hostage’ situation, which was resolved in under 24 hours. Jay thinks that what Iran did was wrong, whereas Mike argues that not only was Iran justified in seizing the two U.S. vessels, but that Iran has a right to be deeply suspicious of U.S. motives given our history in the Middle East.
Then it’s on to the sixth GOP debate, where even a pretense of lucid policy argument has been pretty much abandoned, followed by a discussion of why Bernie Sanders seems to be gaining ground on Hillary Clinton, and if it means that Bernie has a shot at the Democratic nomination.
Finally, Jay brings up a ‘right to work’ case involving public unions that the Supreme Court heard this week. Mike surprised Jay by actually coming out in favor of making union dues non-mandatory, though only if the people opting out negotiate their own salaries and benefits.