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Must-Read Op-Eds for August 2, 2012

HOPE AND CHANGE 2.0BY DANIEL HENNINGERWALL STREET JOURNALInside one presidential term, Barack Obama's old world of hope and change has been disrupted.

HOPE AND CHANGE 2.0BY DANIEL HENNINGERWALL STREET JOURNALInside one presidential term, Barack Obama's old world of hope and change has been disrupted. Yes, there was a time one could pretend economic reality arrived in some imagined future, not unlike the Social Security or Medicare illusion. "Someone" will pay for it. "Someone" will hire me when I decide to work, after I've made the transition from liberal to whatever comes after that. That's the way the youth vote thought in the Sixties. Hope and change was this generation's Woodstock. The youth vote this time comes down to one thing: Is this candidate going to plug me into the new American world, or not?

ENDURING A LOVELESS CAMPAIGNBY JOE SCARBOROUGHPOLITICOGuys like FDR, JFK and LBJ were savage political animals. They loved fighting the good fight and getting bloodied in the arena. So did Nixon, Reagan and Clinton. And doesn’t it makes sense that if you are crazy enough to throw yourself into the middle of a presidential campaign, you sure as hell better have a voracious appetite for politics. ...The current president is famously detached. You get the feeling that he wakes up every morning believing he’s doing us all a great favor by living in the White House. And the presumptive Republican nominee is a weirdly distant guy who seems to enjoy campaigning as much as I look forward to the dentist’s chair. ... When I found myself in the middle of a campaign, I loved every second of the battle... But “love” is not the word that comes to mind when I look at the campaigns that have blighted the political landscape in 2012. Instead, this election has been reduced to a race between dreary campaigns, dumb issues and detached candidates.

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THERE WAS NO ROMNEY GAFFE IN ISRAELBY MARC A. THIESSENWASHINGTON POSTThe media is accusing Mitt Romney of having committed another “gaffe” abroad — this time when he suggested that cultural differences help explain why the Israelis are so much more economically successful than Palestinians. One small problem with that: What Romney said was not a gaffe. He was absolutely right. ... [Palestine] is a would-be nation with culture of repression, a culture of corruption and a culture of terrorism — a place where a majority say suicide bombing is fine, Osama bin Laden was great, corruption is rampant, free speech is non-existent, and voters cast their ballots for a terrorist government in Gaza. Never mind all that, we are told, Romney has it wrong — culture has nothing to do with it. Another Romney gaffe. Sorry, what Mitt Romney said in Israel was not a gaffe. It was the truth.ROMNEY, IN HIS OWN WORDSBY RUTH MARCUSWASHINGTON POSTNo one has ever confused the Romney campaign with the Straight Talk Express. First of all, Romney is a particularly remote and inaccessible candidate. On the trip just concluded, he granted several TV interviews but took only three questions from U.S. reporters in London. ... when Romney does talk, blunt and straightforward are not exactly the adjectives that come to mind. Nonetheless, there was Stuart Stevens, the senior adviser dispatched to join the trip after the unfortunate Olympics comments, insisting that what the episodes show is that the candidate “has a tendency to speak his mind and to say what he believes.” ... Mitt Romney has many strengths and many flaws. Being an unvarnished truth-teller does not fall in either category. LET CHICK-FIL-A FLY FREEBY STEVE SALBUNEW YORK TIMES... a society that truly believes in individual freedom will respect Mr. Cathy’s right to his views. Those who disagree with him are free to boycott Chick-fil-A in protest. But if our elected officials run Chick-fil-A out of town, they are effectively voting for all of us, regardless of our respective beliefs, and eliminating our individual freedoms. ... As long as Chick-fil-A operates within the boundaries of the law, municipalities and institutions should leave the decision about whether to eat at Chick-fil-A to individual consumers. If they do, Chick-fil-A is still likely to experience a net loss of business over time as a result of Mr. Cathy’s statements.