Here are excerpts from today’s most notable opinion and editorial columns.
POETRY FOR EVERYDAY LIFE BY DAVID BROOKS
NEW YORK TIMES
Even the hardest of the sciences depend on a foundation of metaphors. To be aware of metaphors is to be humbled by the complexity of the world, to realize that deep in the undercurrents of thought there are thousands of lenses popping up between us and the world, and that we’re surrounded at all times by what Steven Pinker of Harvard once called “pedestrian poetry.”
UNFETTERED MONEY, EDITORIAL
NEW YORK TIMES
Arizona’s mechanism means more candidates - not just the wealthy - will be able to run in elections. And that means more political speech, not less. But that view depends on seeing money as enabling speech, not vice versa. Money already has far too much sway everywhere in politics. If the court continues this way, the damage and corruption will be enormous.
IN BUDGET WARS, THE GOP DEMANDS THE IMPOSSIBLE BY EUGENE ROBINSON
Politically, Obama gets to be seen as sensible, pragmatic and more interested in solutions than political gamesmanship. But step back and look at the bigger picture. Why are we even talking about spending cuts, rather than increases, when the economy is still struggling to climb out of one of history’s worst recessions? If rising medical costs are the real long-term problem, Obama’s reform law took the first steps toward a solution.
A PRESIDENT WITHOUT A DOCTRINE BY RICHARD COHEN
The trouble with this non-doctrine doctrine is that it lacks poetry. It is up to the president as leader to provide that poetry. He has to make us connect his values to our own. Obama could do that in the presidential campaign because he was the thrilling apotheosis of the multi-century struggle against racism. You could not vote for Obama and not have felt that somehow you had fired a shot in the Civil War or ridden a freedom bus into the Jim Crow South. That was a revolution…
OBAMA’S CENTRIST CAMPAIGN COLLIDES WITH HIS RECORD BY MICHAEL GERSON
On foreign policy, Obama has made a series of tough choices without gaining a reputation for decisiveness. This is mainly because his decisions resulted from processes featuring open staff conflict and presidential hesitation. … Presidential races are won by exciting a party’s base while appealing to the middle. In 2008, Obama could leave a vague but reassuring impression of centrism in a campaign light on specifics. It is a harder task with a record to carry.