Must Read Op-Eds for September 28, 2011

Updated
 

CRAZY NEVER WINS GOP SWEEPSTAKES  BY JOE SCARBOROUGH
POLITICO

Despite the crop of nutty right-wing candidates that sprout up in GOP presidential fields every four years, despite the gasps and growls that regularly rise from Manhattan cocktail parties aimed at extremists who are hijacking the Republican Party (in ways that past GOP extremists would never have dreamed of hijacking the party), despite the cries from right-wing radio hosts predicting the rise of Ronald Reagan’s ghost and the nomination of an unelectable candidate, in the end this political chatter always proves to be sound and fury signifying nothing.

Guys like my dad do not gamble on candidates like Michele Bachmann or Newt Gingrich. Guys like my dad tune out politicians who compare opponents to Joseph Stalin or Adolf Hitler. And guys like my dad don’t cozy up to Texas governors who brag about seceding from the Union or call Social Security unconstitutional. That’s why crazy never wins. It never even comes close. So regardless of what is written about the Republican Party every four years by Northeast elites or right-wing nuts, guys like my father still hold the GOP’s fate in their hands.

2 FOR 2, OR 2 FOR 1?  BY THOMAS FRIEDMAN
NEW YORK TIMES
Israeli prime ministers make far-reaching withdrawal proposals and get nothing back, and when they hear that Palestinians insist on the “right of return” for some of their people — not only to the West Bank, but to Israel proper — it raises Israeli fears that the Palestinians still dream of having two states, both for themselves: the West Bank and pre-1967 Israel. If Abbas spoke more directly to those fears, Netanyahu would be under much more domestic pressure to move. We really are back at the beginning of this conflict. Until each side reassures the other that both of them really do want two states for two people — not just for one — nothing good is going to happen out there, but something really bad might.

WHY DO HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS IGNORE PALESTINIANS’ WAR OF WORDS?  BY ROBERT BERNSTEIN
WASHINGTON POST
The absence of criticism by the United Nations and human rights groups is more than just a lack of judgment and fairness. It is proof that the Arab Spring has yet to thaw the old thinking that has stymied progress toward peace for far too long. There will be no peace between Israel and the Arabs while hatred and incitement to genocide continue. Sixty years of spewing hate won’t be undone in a day. Human rights groups should be leading this battle — not ignoring it.

BEN BERNANKE DESERVES A BREAK  BY ALAN BLINDER
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Sens. McConnell and Kyl, Speaker Boehner, and House Majority Leader Cantor may or may not continue their ill-advised attempt to bully the Fed. Their party has, after all, already refused to confirm a Nobel-prize-winning economist for the Federal Reserve Board, which has two vacant seats. But maybe they should confer with some past Republicans, including officials of the George W. Bush administration, who understood and respected the value of Federal Reserve independence—not because it was good for the Republican Party, but because it was good for the nation. Ironically, one of those respectful Republicans was Ben Bernanke, who was then a top adviser to President Bush. I guess those were the good old days.

GOV. CHRISTIE VS. ‘JERSEY SHORE’  BY EDITORIAL
NEW YORK TIMES
Mr. Christie ventured beyond amateur TV criticism on Monday when he blocked a $420,000 tax credit that had been approved for the show’s production company by the state’s Economic Development Authority. With that move, he crossed a basic constitutional line, namely the First Amendment. Mr. Christie should know better than to try to play censor. He needs to pay less attention to what’s on TV and more to the free speech values the Constitution demands.

SAVING THE DREAM  BY KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL
WASHINGTON POST
Americans are right to have a low opinion of their government, to feel that their leaders have often left them to fend for themselves, that their democratic institutions have failed them. They are right to see Washington as rigged, dominated by insiders and corrupted by corporate money. Yet it would be a grave mistake to give up on government; instead it’s time to clean up our politics and rebuild a fair economy. Elements of a new direction already have the support of a vast majority of Americans. What’s needed now is to state clearly and passionately what a more just country would look like and what it will take to achieve it. That takes a movement. Now is the time to build one.

WHAT AMERICAN ‘POLITICAL PRISONERS’?  BY JAMES KIRCHICK
WALL STREET JOURNAL
A student of the Middle East, Mr. Bauer should know that his ordeal at the hands of the Iranian government is but an echo of the crime that inaugurated the Islamic Republic itself—the 1979 seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran and the holding of our diplomats hostage for 444 days. The American justice system is far from perfect. But it is transparent, offers the right of appeal, and is routinely challenged by a free press and active civil society. Moreover, it doesn’t imprison people for their political beliefs. One would think that two years in Evin prison would instill this basic knowledge in Shane Bauer, whose mind, if not his body, is still being held hostage.

BEYOND ‘REPEAL AND REPLACE’  BY EDITORIAL
WALL STREET JOURNAL
[Tom DeLay Republicans] even bowed to oligopolistic state insurers like Blue Cross-Blue Shield by refusing to let insurance be sold across state lines or to let associations like the Chamber of Commerce offer insurance to their members. In 2003, they also blinked on more far-reaching reform of Medicare when they added the prescription-drug benefit. Especially if Republican dreams come true and they control all of Congress and the White House in 2013, the GOP will have to do more than merely repeal ObamaCare. Mr. Ryan is giving Republicans a policy guide that is more than a political slogan, if they have the wit to follow.

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Must Read Op-Eds for September 28, 2011

Updated