Here are today’s must read opinion and editorial columns.
CONVENER IN CHIEF BY DAVID BROOKS
NEW YORK TIMES
Now Obama is compelled to engage. If ever there was an issue that called for his complex, balancing approach, this is it. But, to reach an agreement, he will have to resolve the contradiction in his management style. He values negotiation but radiates disdain for large swathes of official Washington. If he can overcome his aloofness and work intimately with Republicans, he may be able to avert a catastrophe and establish a model for a more realistic, collegial presidency.
THE FIRST AMENDMENT, UPSIDE DOWN EDITORIAL
NEW YORK TIMES
The ruling left in place other public financing systems without such trigger provisions, including public financing for presidential elections. It shows, however, how little the court cares about the interest of citizens in Arizona or elsewhere in keeping their electoral politics clean.
THE SUPREME COURT WAS RIGHT TO STRIKE DOWN CALIFORNIA’S VIDEO GAME LAW BY CATHERINE ROSS
Scalia explained that the same principle applies to animal cruelty and violent video games: Neither can be limited because legislators conclude they are just too harmful to be tolerated. California expressly invited the courts to go where no court had gone before. By rejecting this radical path, the justices protected our children by preserving our liberty.
A STALLED ECONOMY AND A PRESIDENCY ADRIFT BY MICHAEL GERSON
The next few weeks will bring some must-watch reality television. Can Obama and House Speaker John Boehner work a debt-limit deal involving spending cuts and caps while clearing out some tax preferences and exclusions? Will Boehner be able to sell such an agreement to suspicious House conservatives? Will the speaker need to turn to House Democrats to get the votes he needs? … Meanwhile, the Obama administration drifts on a sea of economic events, heading toward a lee shore.
DON’T MAKE THE ECONOMY WORSE BY EUGENE ROBINSON
It’s clear what needs to be done. President Obama and congressional leaders should agree on a series of firm deficit caps that would reduce the debt over time. This must be accompanied by a reasonable increase in the debt ceiling. Then we will spend years engaged in a difficult but necessary fight over what kind of government we want and how much we’re willing to pay for it.
ROD BLAGOJEVICH VERDICT: ALL SHOOK UP BY DANA MILBANK
The verdict read, it was time for what usually is the main event: the Blago news conference. Would he quote the Tennyson line about “heroic hearts” again, or another passage from Alan Sillitoe? … For those facing imminent Blagojevich withdrawal, the disgraced pol departed with a final tease. “I’m sure we’ll be seeing you guys again,” he said. Thanks, Blago. That would be bleeping golden.