Must-Read Op-Eds for Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Updated
 

DON’T TREAD ON US
BY MAUREEN DOWD
NEW YORK TIMES

The attempt by Republican men to wrestle American women back into chastity belts has not only breathed life into President Obama, it has roused and riled Hillary. And that could turn out to be the most dangerous thing the wildly self-destructive G.O.P. leaders have done. … Women who assumed that electing Obama would lift all minority boats are beginning to think: Maybe he’s not enough. If the desire of these conservative male leaders to yoke women is this close to the surface, if they are perversely driven to debase women even though it could lead to their own political demise, then women may require more than Obama. If women are so vulnerable, they may need one of their own.

SOUTHERNERS DESERVE BETTER FROM CANDIDATES
BY KATHLEEN PARKER
WASHINGTON POST

“Mornin’, y’all,” said Mitt Romney recently to a Mississippi crowd. He started his day off right, he said, with “a biscuit and some cheesy grits.” That would be cheese grits, but never mind. Would Romney greet an audience at a Jewish Community Center with: “Oy vey, did I ever enjoy my loxies and bagels this morning!”? … Actually, yes, he might. … Romney isn’t the only guilty party, just the most recent. Even Barack Obama loses his last syllable south of the Mason-Dixon. For Romney, however, the more he tries to get down with the people, the more he highlights the perception that he can’t. Why try? Why not be yourself?

Read Tuesday’s must-read opinion columns

SANTORUM WINS TWO IN THE DEEP SOUTH
BY JENNIFER RUBIN
WASHINGTON POST

The silver lining for Romney is that Gingrich, though coming in second in both races, vowed to stay in the race. It is the competition between Gingrich and Santorum that will help keep Santorum’s delegate count low, allowing Romney to maintain or lengthen his lead. For Romney, Puerto Rico on Sunday (23 delegates, winner-take-all) and Illinois next Tuesday become important both for the combined 92 delegates and the need to squash Santorum’s momentum. Romney inches closer to the nomination, but his rivals certainly won’t be going away any time soon.

GOV. CUOMO’S WORD
EDITORIAL
NEW YORK TIMES

Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed that he would veto politically warped and self-serving election maps. If he does not veto a shameful and cynical compromise being offered this week by legislative leaders in both parties, New Yorkers will be stuck with gerrymandered districts and Albany’s status quo for another decade. … To seal the deal with Mr. Cuomo, legislative leaders have offered to support a flawed constitutional amendment they claim would reform things in time for the 2022 election. That is far too long to wait. And this “reform” is no better than what New York has now and would enshrine some of the worst practices in the Constitution.

HOW TO END THE AFGHAN MISSION
BY DAVID IGNATIUS
WASHINGTON POST

As in Iraq, the U.S. hopes to create conditions that can contain the disorder. That may sound like a fool’s errand, given Afghanistan’s bloody history, but it’s based on some sensible ideas: Build a good enough Afghan army to hold Kabul and maintain contact with the provinces; negotiate political power-sharing with the Taliban than can avert civil war; and work with Afghanistan’s neighbors to build a firewall that can keep the inevitable violence there from destabilizing the region. That’s a hard strategy to pull off … but not an impossible one. … The administration also hopes to maintain a counterterrorism force in Afghanistan that can prevent al-Qaeda from regaining a safe haven. That’s a platform worth fighting for.

ROMNEY VS. OBAMA ON CORPORATE TAX REFORM
BY KEVIN HASSETT & GLENN HUBBARD
WALL STREET JOURNAL

A 21st-century business tax policy would recognize the roles of globalization, the side-by-side organizations of corporate and noncorporate business, and double taxation of corporate equity returns. Mr. Obama’s tax reform proposal takes a wrong turn … and appears motivated by a poor understanding of the impact of capital taxation on business behavior and the welfare of middle-class Americans. It is reassuring that political leaders on both sides of the aisle recognize the need for corporate tax reform. Let us hope that the reform that eventually becomes law is attentive to the realities of the 21st-century economy.

BIG OIL, BIGGER TAXES
EDITORIAL
WALL STREET JOURNAL

As for the “subsidies” that Mr. Obama says the oil industry receives, these aren’t direct cash handouts like those that go to the green lobby. … What Mr. Obama really means is that he wants to put the risky and capital-intensive process of finding, extracting and producing oil and gas at a competitive disadvantage against other businesses. He does so because he ultimately wants to make them more expensive than his favorites in the wind, solar and ethanol industries. … Even Mr. Obama now claims to want lower gas prices, commenting recently that “Do you think the President of the United States going into re-election wants gas prices to go up higher?” Too bad his every policy choice, and especially his tax agenda, would lead to higher prices.

Read Monday’s must-read opinion columns

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Must-Read Op-Eds for Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Updated