Must Read Op-Eds for May 17, 2011

Updated

Here are today’s top opinion and editorial columns.

NEWT GINGRICH, THE PINOCCHIO CANDIDATE  BY RICHARD COHEN
WASHINGTON POST

There is more than a little Richard Nixon in Gingrich — the same lack of place, the same keen intellect, the same petty fights and imaginary enemies, the same hallucinatory grievances, the same willingness to lie, exaggerate and smear. On a given day, Newt Gingrich could be a brilliant president. On any night, he could be a monster. 

GINGRICH TO HOUSE GOP: DROP DEAD  EDITORIAL
WALL STREET JOURNAL

 In his recent campaign book, “To Save America,” he describes Mr. Obama as bent on leading a “secular–socialist machine” that “represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” Mr. Ryan speaks softly but proposes policies commensurate with America’s problems. Mr. Gingrich speaks loudly but shrinks from hard choices. Who’s the “radical” and who’s the real leader? 

 

A CONFLICT WITHOUT END  EDITORIAL
NEW YORK TIMES

Osama bin Laden had been dead only a few days when House Republicans began their efforts to expand, rather than contract, the war on terror. … A new bill, approved last week by the House Armed Services Committee and heading for the floor this month, would go much further. It would allow military attacks against not just Al Qaeda and the Taliban but also any “associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States.” … If it passes, the Senate should amend it out of existence, and President Obama should make clear he will veto it. 

THE VALUE OF COMPARISON  EDITORIAL
NEW YORK TIMES

If these findings and the drug’s safety are confirmed in the second year, Medicare could save hundreds of millions of dollars annually if doctors used Avastin. But, as the system now works, Medicare cannot push doctors to switch. That means that taxpayers will likely continue to pay a lot more for a treatment that is no more effective. That makes no sense for anybody, except the drug maker. 

A PERP WALK KILLS A POLITICAL CAREER  BY EUGENE ROBINSON
WASHINGTON POST

It’s useful to be reminded that there was a time when powerful men could expect such incidents to be dismissed as misunderstandings or indiscretions or peccadilloes, not prosecuted as criminal assaults. Yes, this sounds like the age of the dinosaurs. Dominique Strauss-Kahn gives every evidence of being one. 

PAWLENTY HAS THE EDGE ON REPUBLICAN POPULISM  BY MICHAEL GERSON
WASHINGTON POST

In a general election, Pawlenty could return to populist themes with an ease many of his competitors could not. His blue-collar background gives him standing. His record as governor shows evidence of creative outreach — the application of conservative and free-market ideas to the task of increasing economic mobility. He does not view empathy as an ideological crime. … He may be the strongest Republican populist who can also secure his party’s nomination. 

OBAMA’S $250,000 QUESTION  BY WILLIAM MCGURN
WALL STREET JOURNAL

The argument over taxes and spending, of course, is never fully won. The good news here is Messrs. Galston and Salam have met across the ideological spectrum to offer a good starting point. For those of us who believe that America is best served by a debate that forces citizens to make a clear choice—and that Mr. Ryan has the better part of the argument—we say, “Bring it on.”

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Must Read Op-Eds for May 17, 2011

Updated