Must-Read Op-Eds for Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Updated
 

LET THE HORSE RACE BEGIN
BY JOE SCARBOROUGH
POLITICO

Both campaigns will tell anyone who is listening that the Obama-Romney showdown will be decided in the final weeks of the campaign - with the outcome resting on unemployment rates, gas prices and their impact on swing states like Florida, Ohio and Virginia. So take a deep breath. We are still in the preseason for presidential campaigns. As the Boston Red Sox cruelly taught their fans again last season, winning big in the spring doesn’t mean jack. It’s how your side performs when the leaves start to change colors. Considering they still haven’t sprouted throughout most of New England, this race still has a long way to go.

ONE FOR THE COUNTRY
BY THOMAS FRIEDMAN
NEW YORK TIMES

After his mayoral term is over in 2013, Bloomberg will apparently spend more time running his foundation. That’s commendable. But the single greatest act of philanthropy he could do for the country is right now: run for president as an independent, at least long enough to participate in all the debates. If he doesn’t, and this turns into a presidential race to the bottom, he could donate every dollar he has to fix things in America and they’d be wasted, or, more accurately, overwhelmed by our mounting problems. The most patriotic thing Bloomberg could do is become an unpaid lobbyist for the country — and for the next generation of Americans.

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PHONY MOMMY WARS
BY MAUREEN DOWD
NEW YORK TIMES

Just as women had assumed their contraception rights were safe, they had considered the tiresome debate about working moms versus stay-at-home moms over. My mom stayed home to raise five kids, and she is my feminist role model. For the most part, nobody’s casting aspersions on anybody else’s choices, which are often driven by economics. Women have so many choices that they’re overwhelmed by the stress of so many choices. The real issue is whether Mitt, a tycoon who has been swathed in an old-fashioned cocoon, understands the plight of working mothers and the rights of 21st-century women.

PRESIDENTIAL RACE HAS REALLY GONE TO THE DOGS
BY KATHLEEN PARKER
WASHINGTON POST

When national issues are so complex, such distilled calculations may provide political relief, but is this really the way to pick a president? … Mitt Romney, who told Sawyer that attacks about Seamus have been the most “wounding” of the campaign, also said he wouldn’t put Seamus in a crate again. Which leaves voters with two choices: Forgive Romney, as surely Seamus did. Or, condemn a man with a knack for economic recovery for his flip-flopping just this one last doggone time.

DEBAUCHERY: AN AMERICAN SPECIALTY
BY DANA MILBANK
WASHINGTON POST

It is precisely when federal workers go abroad that they should hold themselves to the lowest standards. We are, after all, the land of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Snooki. Debauchery is an American specialty. The president should be promoting the export of our culture. I realize that some party poopers will not share my delight at the Secret Service becoming a double entendre. But at the very least, this scandal, like the General Services Administration’s spending spree in Las Vegas, should serve to refute claims that the federal workforce is out of touch with ordinary Americans. As it turns out, some federal workers reflect our culture all too well.

OBAMA’S GAS ‘CRACKDOWN’ WILL DO LITTLE TO LOWER PRICES
EDITORIAL
WASHINGTON POST

Recent history shows that gas prices over time depend on a range of factors, predominantly supply and demand fundamentals, that the U.S. government can’t easily control. And even if bona fide Wall Street manipulation were a primary force moving prices, The Post’s Brad Plumer points out, the United States alone can’t police the world market. As the president has said, the real answer is not to give voters hope in false solutions — which Mr. Obama’s rhetoric Tuesday can’t help but do — but to slowly but surely get America off oil.

AMERICA’S LOST ENEGRY DECADE
BY LISA MURKOWSKI
WALL STREET JOURNAL

Opening [the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] is not a silver bullet that will unilaterally or immediately solve our energy challenges. To demand that sets an impossibly high bar that no resource or regulation can ever reach. Instead we should see ANWR for what it can provide in terms of energy, jobs, revenue and security. I’m particularly hopeful that President Obama will lead the way by living up to his recent promise to allow oil production “everywhere we can.” If that’s not just election-year rhetoric, this tiny patch of tundra in northeast Alaska would be a perfect place to start.

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Must-Read Op-Eds for Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Updated