Must Read Op-Eds for September 23, 2011

Updated
 

THE SOCIAL CONTRACT  BY PAUL KRUGMAN
NEW YORK TIMES                                                                                                                                         

Republicans claim to be deeply worried by budget deficits. Indeed, Mr. Ryan has called the deficit an “existential threat” to America. Yet they are insisting that the wealthy — who presumably have as much of a stake as everyone else in the nation’s future — should not be called upon to play any role in warding off that existential threat.  Well, that amounts to a demand that a small number of very lucky people be exempted from the social contract that applies to everyone else. And that, in case you’re wondering, is what real class warfare looks like.

THE RETURN OF THE REAL OBAMA  BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
WASHINGTON POST

The authentic Obama is a leveler, a committed social democrat, a staunch believer in the redistributionist state, a tribune, above all, of “fairness” — understood as government-imposed and government-enforced equality. That’s why “soak the rich” is not just a campaign slogan to rally the base. It’s a mission, a vocation. It’s why, for all its gratuitous cynicism and demagoguery, Obama’s populist Rose Garden lecture on Monday was delivered with such obvious — and unusual — conviction.  He’s returned to the authenticity of his radical April 2009 “New Foundation” address (at Georgetown University) that openly proclaimed his intent to fundamentally transform America.

THE PALESTINIANS’ BID  BY EDITORIAL
NEW YORK TIMES

There is no mystery to what a final deal would look like, just a lack of political courage to push it to the end. In The Times on Thursday, Ehud Olmert, Israel’s former prime minister, wrote about his own 2008 peace offer to Mr. Abbas, which would have led to the creation of a Palestinian state on territory equivalent to the pre-1967 West Bank and Gaza Strip, with mutually agreed land swaps. The United States and its partners should put a map and a deal on the table, with a timeline for concluding negotiations and a formal United Nations statehood vote. The proposal must be bold and fair and backed by the Security Council and the Arab League. And they need to help sell it to the Israeli and Palestinian people — not just politicians.

INHUMANE PUNISHMENT  BY EUGENE ROBINSON
WASHINGTON POST

In scores of cases across the country, newly examined DNA evidence has proved that inmates jailed for rape or other sexual crimes were in fact not guilty. It is not just likely but certain that some defendants now on death row are innocent. Even if only one is eventually executed, that will be a tragic and unacceptable abuse of state power.  There was a chilling moment in a recent GOP candidates’ debate when Texas Gov. Rick Perry was asked about having authorized 234 executions, more than any other governor in modern U.S. history. The crowd, drawn largely from Tea Party ranks, cheered this record as if it were a great accomplishment. “I’ve never struggled with that at all,” Perry said, referring to execution as “the ultimate justice.”  But he should struggle with it. We all should.

PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD AND THE LESSONS OF OSLO  BY FOUAD AJAMI
WALL STREET JOURNAL

But were the Palestinians to look at their history, they would come to recognize that the one break that came their way happened in 1993, through direct negotiations with Israel…Arafat was looking for redemption; he had bet on Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War of 1990-91 and lost the financial support of the Arab oil states…True, the ceremony of reconciliation on Sept. 13, 1993, had taken place on the South Lawn of the White House, Bill Clinton nudging Arafat and Rabin together for that reluctant handshake. But the Americans were giving away the bride long after the couple had eloped.  A generation after that handshake, the lesson of that accord remains unaltered. There can be no avoiding the toil and the exertions of direct negotiations. The deliberations at the U.N. are only theater, just another illusion.

OBAMA’S FLAWED SENSE OF FAIRNESS  BY MICHAEL GERSON
WASHINGTON POST

Our economy is anything but dynamic. Economic mobility is stalled at levels lower than much of Europe’s — a serious challenge to our national identity. But it is unclear how propping up the current entitlement system with higher taxes will do much to restore economic growth or revive the American dream. These priorities are largely absent from Obama’s latest liberal agenda. And that, in the long run, is unfair to rich and poor alike.

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Must Read Op-Eds for September 23, 2011

Updated