Here are today’s major editorial and opinion columns.
THE GANG OF SIX IS OUR BEST SHOT BY ALAN SIMPSON & ERSKINE BOWLES
Members of both parties and both houses must publicly support the work of the Gang of Six. This is the time for heroes. The country is ready for leaders in Washington to put politics aside, pull together — not apart — put national interest ahead of political interests and put the next generation over the next election. Pray for the Gang of Six.
THE MISTAKE OF 2010 BY PAUL KRUGMAN
NEW YORK TIMES
Call it the mistake of 2010: a “pivot” away from jobs to other concerns, whose wrongheadedness has been highlighted by recent economic data. To be sure, things could be worse — and there’s a strong chance that they will, indeed, get worse. … Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it; we did, and we are.
THE DEPRAVITY FACTOR BY DAVID BROOKS
NEW YORK TIMES
It will be necessary to try to get rid of Khaddafy’s depraved regime in Libya. It’s necessary, as everybody but the Obama administration publicly acknowledges, to see Assad toppled. It will be necessary to marginalize Hamas. It was necessary to abandon the engagement strategy that Barack Obama campaigned on and embrace the cautious regime-change strategy that is his current doctrine. The machinations of the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are immaterial. The Arab reform process is the peace process.
OBAMA’S COMMITMENT TO ISRAEL BY RAHM EMANUEL
No American president can or should attempt to dictate to our staunch ally Israel the terms of peace. Only Israel can determine that, a principle that the president also reaffirmed. Israel needs a partner in the peace process. To be certain, if during the two years I served in the Obama White House the Palestinians had spent as much time working for peace as they did avoiding the table, the process would be much farther along.
OUR SALUTARY DEBT-CEILING SCARE BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
After all, it invites Obama to choose how much to cut. For example, $500 billion buys him a $500 billion debt-limit hike — and only a short-term extension. Not wanting to go through this process again, Obama would like a $2 trillion debt-limit hike to get him past Election Day 2012. For that, he’ll have to come up with $2 trillion in spending cuts. It may be blackmail. But it is progress.
THE BRIEF ON REP. ANTHONY WEINER BY EUGENE ROBINSON
Hypothetically, if I were the kind of guy to take self-portraits of this kind, I’d be embarrassed — mortified — to have the whole world know about it. Which brings me to my final rule: Politicians shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near social networking, no matter what kind of underwear they prefer.
A BUDGET CUTTER WITH A CONSCIENCE BY MICHAEL GERSON
[David] Cameron is now forced to limit the most expansive, unsustainable commitments of the British welfare state. … In coming American elections, Republicans will require budget-cutting ambition. They will also need to show some judgment — and a humanity that could make all of us proud.
OBAMA AND THE DEBT CRISIS BY PEGGY NOONAN
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Two years ago I wrote of Clare Booth Luce’s observation that all presidents have a sentence: “He fought to hold the union together and end slavery.” … You didn’t have to be told it was Lincoln. I said that Mr. Obama didn’t understand his sentence. But Republicans now think they know it. Four words: He made it worse. Obama inherited financial collapse, deficits and debt. He inherited a broken political culture. These things weren’t his fault. But through his decisions, he made them all worse.