Must-Read Op-Eds for Friday, June 8, 2012

Updated
 

WILL ROMNEY’S PUSH TO WIN COLORADO GO UP IN SMOKE?
BY JOSHUA GREEN
BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

Although Colorado’s marijuana initiative wasn’t created to help Obama, a cohort of Democratic strategists believe that it might. Their reasoning is the same as Rove’s in 2004, although they obviously have a different audience in mind: pot-loving Coloradans who aren’t all that jazzed about Obama might show up to vote for legalization and cast a vote for the president at the same time.

WHAT WISCONSIN MEANS
BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
WASHINGTON POST

The unions’ defeat marks a historical inflection point. They set out to make an example of Walker. He succeeded in making an example of them as a classic case of reactionary liberalism. An institution founded to protect its members grew in size, wealth, power and arrogance, thanks to decades of symbiotic deals with bought politicians, to the point where it grossly overreached. …Why did the unions lose? Because Norma Rae nostalgia is not enough, and it hardly applied to government workers living better than the average taxpayer who supports them. … It couldn’t go on. Now it won’t. All that was missing was a political leader willing to risk his career to make it stop. Because, time being infinite, even the inevitable doesn’t happen on its own.

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OBAMA’S FRIEND IN TURKEY
BY DAVID IGNATIUS
WASHINGTON POST

As President Obama was feeling his way in foreign policy during his first months in office, he decided to cultivate a friendship with Turkey’s headstrong prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Over the past year, this investment in Turkey has begun to pay some big dividends - anchoring U.S. policy in a region that sometimes seems adrift. … [A]s the Arab Spring has darkened, the administration has been glad for its alliance with this prosperous Muslim democracy - which it can celebrate as a beacon for the neighborhood. … It seems fair to say that no world leader has a greater stake in Obama’s reelection than the Turkish prime minister.

COLLEGE FOR SOME
BY WILLIAM E. KIRWAN
WASHINGTON POST

Should every kid go to college? No. But should all kids who want to go to college and are capable of handling college-level work have the opportunity to do so? I believe they should. …It is true that a “college-for-all” strategy would be ineffective and ultimately counterproductive. But a strategy that mirrors what Maryland is doing - generating more high school graduates who are prepared for the rigors of college, keeping college affordable, helping students stay in college year-to-year (especially first-generation college students) and increasing our college completion rate to 55 percent - not only would be productive, it is also essential.

REAGAN WAS A KEYNESIAN
BY PAUL KRUGMAN
NEW YORK TIMES

Why was government spending much stronger under Reagan than in the current slump? “Weaponized Keynesianism” - Reagan’s big military buildup - played some role. But the big difference was real per capita spending at the state and local level, which continued to rise under Reagan but has fallen significantly this time around. … The point, then, is that we’d be in much better shape if we were following Reagan-style Keynesianism. Reagan may have preached small government, but in practice he presided over a lot of spending growth - and right now that’s exactly what America needs.

THE BILLS TO NOWHERE
EDITORIAL
NEW YORK TIMES

This is now the pattern of business in the House of Representatives:
Spend most of the time passing bills designed not to become law but to satisfy the ideological desires of conservative voters. And block laws that actually need to get passed. … House Republicans have refined this practice into an art and have passed nearly two dozen of these bills. The latest example was Thursday’s vote to repeal the tax on companies that sell more than $5 million in medical devices, a component of the health care reform law. … So far, the House Republicans have done little but show that they have no real interest in governing.

‘YOU’RE LIKABLE ENOUGH, MITT’
BY MORRIS P. FIORINA
NEW YORK TIMES

Based on the historical evidence I doubt that Romney’s likability deficit will play a significant role in the coming election. My (admittedly impressionistic) view is that Romney is in the same ballpark as Nixon or the first President Bush. If Romney loses, it will be because the public believes that Obama has done a good enough job to continue or that Romney has not advanced a credible recovery program.
“Voters didn’t like my personality” is a loser’s excuse.

BERNANKE’S CLIFFHANGER
EDITORIAL
WALL STREET JOURNAL

Everyone is suddenly waking up to the horrors of the “fiscal cliff” that arrives on January 1, 2013, but the real clear and present danger keeps getting misdiagnosed. It’s the taxes, not the spending. …After a five-year spending binge and $5 trillion in new debt, markets want to know if Washington can control its tax and spending appetites. Any such signal would be bullish for growth. In the faux debate between growth and austerity, the Keynesians have deliberately confused the terms. They want to impose austerity on the private economy with tax increases. But for the private economy to grow faster, we need austerity for the government.

Must-Read Op-Eds for Friday, June 8, 2012

Updated