Must-Read Op-Eds for Thursday, July 19, 2012

Updated
 

TERRY MCAULIFFE AND THE OTHER GREEN PARTY
BY MARK LEIBOVICH
NEW YORK TIMES

One quaint maxim of the Political Class is that there is no such thing as Democrats and Republicans in Washington, only the Green Party. Green as in money, not GreenTech, or anything having to do with clean energy. In his speech at the GreenTech opening, [Terry McAuliffe, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee] said that during the ’90s, “President Clinton created more millionaires and billionaires than any other president in the history of this country.” At which point, Barbour, who had been chatting onstage with Clinton through much of McAuliffe’s remarks, gave the former president a special nudge.

FROM VICTIM TO VICIOUS
BY CHARLES M. BLOW
NEW YORK TIMES

Romney’s first response to recent questions about his wealth was an odd one: he embraced victimization. He claimed to be a victim of Obama’s aggressive, out-of-control campaign. But whining is a sign of weakness. For Romney, it didn’t work out so well. So now the Romney campaign appears to be planning to shake the Etch A Sketch again and this time draw an angry face. … But this is a tricky proposition for Romney and may just be the briar patch that Obama wants to be thrown into.  While there are legitimate concerns about whether Romney has been upfront and transparent with voters, personal attacks on a personally popular president may very well backfire.

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ASSASSINATION IN DAMASCUS
EDITORIAL
NEW YORK TIMES

The armed opposition is obviously making gains, but there is still no sign that Mr. Assad is planning to leave power. He has proved to be even more brutal than his father and could crack down even harder on the opposition. … What is clear is that any chance that the United States and other Western powers could still facilitate a diplomatic solution is rapidly fading, largely because of months of Russian intransigence. Everyone’s concern should be the thousands of Syrian civilians who have died at Mr. Assad’s hand and the thousands more still hounded by his security forces with helicopters and tanks.

MCCARTHYISM REDUX
EDITORIAL
NEW YORK TIMES

Give credit to John McCain, too often a wayward voice in recent years, for taking to the Senate floor Wednesday to skewer a crackpot allegation of a Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy to infiltrate the government. … Without naming fellow Republicans, Senator McCain dismissed the accusation as “sinister,” devoid of any evidence and “specious and degrading.”… Since his defeat for the White House four years ago, Senator McCain has too often seemed a listless, unpredictable political figure, forgetful of his own bearings as his party steered resolutely rightward. It was heartening to hear him back on deck condemning Know-Nothingism, especially in a week that started with his vote against a campaign finance disclosure act that should have had his strong backing.

U.S. MUST STOP WAFFLING ON SYRIA
EDITORIAL BOARD
WASHINGTON POST

If the Obama administration wishes to save lives in Syria, it should support the creation of safe zones near the border where civilians can take refuge. If it wishes to speed the end of the Assad regime, it should provide the opposition with weapons that could tip the military balance. If what it mainly wants is to avoid getting involved in the conflict, despite Syria’s vital importance to U.S. interests in the Middle East, it should, at least, stop supporting diplomacy whose only beneficiaries are Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad.

RELEASE THE RETURNS
EDITORIAL BOARD
WASHINGTON POST

If Mr. Romney is not willing to open up his tax returns, what does that say about his instinct for leveling with the American people from the Oval Office? His refusal to release the names of his chief campaign bundlers compounds the concern. … For voters, the documents are essential exhibits in an application for the presidency. It is insulting to voters for Mr. Romney to keep them under wraps and will only fuel suspicions that he has something else to conceal. He should prove otherwise.

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Must-Read Op-Eds for Thursday, July 19, 2012

Updated