We didn’t get the chance to cover the day’s opinion columns on the show, but we still have them for you. Enjoy.
G.O.P. MONETARY MADNESS
BY PAUL KRUGMAN
NEW YORK TIMES
What has happened is that hard-money doctrine and paranoia about inflation have taken over the party, even as the predicted inflation keeps failing to materialize. … Now, it’s still very unlikely that Ron Paul will become president. But, as I said, his economic doctrine has, in effect, become the official G.O.P. line, despite having been proved utterly wrong by events. And what will happen if that doctrine actually ends up being put into action? Great Depression, here we come.
A FORMAL END
NEW YORK TIMES
We hope that the Iraqi Army will do better than expected. The administration must be prepared to offer limited help if the army does get into serious trouble. President Obama, who first ran for office campaigning against the war, has never wavered on his promise to bring the troops home. The last few thousand will be out of Iraq by year’s end. We celebrate their return. But this country must never forget the intolerable costs of a war started on arrogance and lies.HAS GINGRICH EVER HEARD AN IDEA HE DIDN’T LIKE?
BY EUGENE ROBINSON
Gingrich didn’t originate the idea of solving the health insurance problem through an individual mandate, but he supported it — before bitterly opposing it. Nor was he saying anything new last week when he made the offensive claim that Palestinians are an “invented people.” … But for Gingrich, the word contradiction has no meaning. Gingrich’s debating technique is dogmatic insistence, rather than persuasion. His discourse knows no past and no future, just the glib opportunism of now.
NEWT’S STILL ON TOP, ROMNEY STEADIES HIMSELF
BY E.J. DIONNE
If Gingrich was the front-runner going in, he was still the front-runner going out. He had a strong opening on his record and his commitment to conservatism. He referred, sometimes in jest, to the attacks against him, winning laughter at one point for saying he did not want to appear “zany,” a word Romney had used about him. His proposals on limiting the power of judges raise a slew of problems, as Paul suggested, but I suspect the conservatives he needs liked what he said.
ROMNEY WINS, GINGRICH AND PAUL FALTER IN SIOUX CITY
BY JENNIFER RUBIN
Winners: Romney (who might have revived his frontrunner status) and Bachmann. … Romney had his best debate at a critical point in the campaign. No other candidate laid a hand on him. He was subtle on his Bain experience, tying Gingrich’s anti-capitalist attack to the president and thereby accusing both of not understanding the free market. … Losers: Gingrich and Paul. Once again, Gingrich came off as the D.C. insider, and dishonest to boot.
WHY RON PAUL CAN’T WIN
BY KIMBERLEY STRASSEL
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Perhaps nothing hurt the candidate more in 2008 than his declaration that one reason terrorists attacked us on 9/11 is because “we’ve been in the Middle East.” Far from toning down such views, Mr. Paul has amped up the wattage, claiming this year that 9/11 prompted “glee” in a Bush administration looking for a pretext to “invade Iraq.” He’s condemned the Obama administration’s killings of terrorists Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki, and he insists the U.S. is “provoking” Iran. For foreign-policy hawks, this is a disqualifier.
CALLING OBAMA’S PAYROLL TAX BLUFF
BY ARI FLEISCHER
WALL STREET JOURNAL
When President George W. Bush cut taxes, he cut them for everyone. If President Obama wants to raise taxes, he should raise them on everyone. It’s hypocritical of him to blame Bush’s tax cuts for the deficit, while he seeks to extend 98% of the Bush tax cuts, at a cost of roughly $3 trillion over 10 years. … As Obama seeks re-election, he maneuvers tactically, vilifying the business community, punishing the successful and hindering job creators. Cutting payroll taxes is the president’s way of handling his re-election problems. It’s not a good answer to our country’s economic problems.
FIRE IN HIS BELLY? ROMNEY DOESN’T ANSWER QUESTION
BY RON FOURNIER
Does Mitt Romney have the fire in his belly to be president? We still don’t know, because the former Massachusetts governor chose conciliation over confrontation Thursday night and let his flame-throwing rivals attack front-runner Newt Gingrich. Romney repeatedly passed up chances to criticize the former House speaker, saving his brass-knuckle attacks for President Obama’s domestic and foreign policies. … Romney is either confident that he has the nomination virtually won – his hands-off approach is a front-runner’s strategy – or he’s afraid of alienating Iowa voters with negative attacks. Either way, Romney risks allowing Gingrich to surge to victory Jan. 3.