Here are today’s must read opinion and editorial columns.
RAND AND RUBIO BY ROSS DOUTHAT
NEW YORK TIMES
Paul has been at pains to express support for operations like the one that killed Osama bin Laden. But the right’s two rising stars would ultimately take the Republican Party in very different directions. … The country is weary of war, but the story Rubio tells, with eloquence and passion, is still tremendously appealing — the story of a great republic armed and righteous, with no limits on what it can accomplish in the world. … But that was many years and many wars ago, and now I think Rand Paul is right.
AFGHANISTAN’S LAST LOCAVORES BY PATRICIA MCARDLE
NEW YORK TIMES
If donor nations dismiss Afghans’ centuries of experience in sustainability and continue to support the exploitation of fossil fuels over renewable energy, future generations of rural Afghans will be forced to watch in frustrated silence as the construction of pipelines, oil rigs and enormous power grids further degrades their fragile and beautiful land while doing little to improve their lives.
OBAMA MUST TELL ASSAD TO GO BY P.J. CROWLEY
Now, with dramatic events unfolding across the region, most remarkably in Syria, at stake are the credibility of the United States and whether we will stand up for our interests and our values. We cannot solve the Syrian challenge overnight, but it is time to get off the fence and on the right side of history.
FIRST RULE OF ECONOMICS: DO NO HARM EDITORIAL
But no one should inaccurately minimize the risk of tampering with the markets’ faith in U.S. credit and credibility. In the end, the debt ceiling must be raised, and the Bernanke-Elmendorf warnings about the consequences kept in mind. The need to raise the debt ceiling reflects past choices, not future ones. The latter will be difficult enough. They will become even harder if politicians allow the United States to come close to default.
HOW STATES ARE RIGGING THE 2012 ELECTION BY E.J. DIONNE
Whether or not these laws can be rolled back, their existence should unleash a great civic campaign akin to the voter-registration drives of the civil rights years. The poor, the young and people of color should get their IDs, flock to the polls and insist on their right to vote in 2012. If voter suppression is to occur, let it happen for all to see. The whole world, which watched us with admiration and respect in 2008, will be watching again.
REPUBLICANS RETURN TO REALITY BY PEGGY NOONAN
WALL STREET JOURNAL
We cannot lead, or even be an example, without money. And we are out of it. Therefore, reordering our financial life and seeing to our financial strength is the single most constructive thing we can do to create and maintain a sound U.S. foreign policy. If we want to be safe in the world, we must be sturdy at home. That is why those inclined to take an unfriendly or competitive view toward us increasingly see us as a paper tiger. Because they hold our paper.
THE ACCOUNTABLE CARE FIASCO EDITORIAL
WALL STREET JOURNAL
The ACO concept is well-meaning, and we hope it works, but we suspect it will go the way of diagnostic-related groups, HMOs, the sustainable growth rate, and every other top-down government plan to cut health spending since the 1970s. We also hope ACOs work because if they don’t, the liberal fallback to cut costs are harsher price controls and the political rationing of care. Seniors will wish they had Paul Ryan’s choices.