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Must Read Op-Eds for Friday, November 18, 2011


OUT OF ZUCCOTTI PARK AND INTO THE STREETS  BY EUGENE ROBINSONWASHINGTON POSTIn Midtown Manhattan ... famously jaded New Yorkers were eager to talk about Occupy Wall Street. Buttonholing people at random, I found a lot of support for the decision by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to clear the park. ... But I also found a lot of agreement with the protesters — even if not everyone had the same idea about just what the protesters were saying. ... The erstwhile occupiers of Zuccotti Park swear that they aren’t going anywhere — that they’ll get back into the park one way or another. But they’ve done something more important: They’ve gotten into people’s heads.


FAILURE IS GOOD  BY PAUL KRUGMANNEW YORK TIMESThe supercommittee will fail — and that’s good. ... But don’t we eventually have to match spending and revenue? Yes, we do. But the decision about how to do that isn’t about accounting. It’s about fundamental values — and it’s a decision that should be made by voters, not by some committee that allegedly transcends the partisan divide. Eventually, one side or the other of that divide will get the kind of popular mandate it needs to resolve our long-run budget issues. Until then, attempts to strike a Grand Bargain are fundamentally destructive. If the supercommittee fails, as expected, it will be time to celebrate.

THE TECHNOCRATIC NIGHTMARE  BY DAVID BROOKSNEW YORK TIMESThe final curse is that while building Europe in this way was a mistake, Europeans cannot now simply reverse course. ... In the short term, the European Central Bank, the stable European nations and even the U.S. will have to take extremely big and painful action to stabilize the situation. But, after that, it’ll be a time for chastening. It’ll be time to discard the technocratic mind-set that created this inherently flawed architecture and build a Europe that reflects the organic realities of those diverse societies.

NEWT GINGRICH, WASHINGTON OUTSIDER  BY RICHARD COHENWASHINGTON POSTI wish the evil, liberal press would stop picking on Gingrich. He’s an erudite man, a strategic thinker who has had more than breakfast at Tiffany’s and knows a thing of two about education in the Belgian Congo. He might also know the lyrics to that old Danny Kay –Andrews Sisters song, “Civilization,” which begins like this, “Bongo, bongo, bongo, I don’t want to leave the Congo. . .” It’s a novelty number — like the one Gingrich has been doing for the last 30 years.

OBAMA'S POLITICALLY STRATEGIC INACTION  BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMERWASHINGTON POSTSo what do you do when you say you can, but, it turns out, you can’t? Blame the other guy. Charge the Republicans with making governing impossible. Never mind that you had control of Congress for two-thirds of your current tenure. It’s all the fault of Republican rejectionism. Hence: “We Can’t Wait.” We can’t wait while they obstruct. We can’t wait while they dither with my jobs bill. Write Congress today! Vote Democratic tomorrow! We can’t wait. Except for certain exceptions, such as the 1,700-mile trans-USA Keystone XL pipeline, carrying Alberta oil to Texas refineries, that would have created thousands of American jobs and increased our energy independence. For that, we can wait, it seems. President Obama decreed that any decision must wait 12 to 18 months — postponed, by amazing coincidence, until after next year’s election.

BREAKING NORQUIST'S SPELL  BY RUTH MARCUSWASHINGTON POST[T]he cracks in Fortress Norquist are showing, and they are more than hairline. The pledge-signing natives have long been restless and looking for an escape hatch. Toomey and Hensarling have provided one. A quip commonly attributed to George Bernard Shaw comes to mind. We’ve established — and, again, no disrespect intended; this is an excellent development — that Republicans are willing to raise taxes. From now on, we’re just haggling over price.

HOW CONGRESS OCCUPIED WALL STREET  BY SARAH PALINWALL STREET JOURNALNo earmarks where the congressman receives a direct benefit. No accepting campaign contributions while Congress is in session. No lobbyists as family members, and no transitioning into a lobbying career after leaving office. No more revolving door, ever. This call for real reform must transcend political parties. The grass-roots movements of the right and the left should embrace this. The tea party's mission has always been opposition to waste and crony capitalism, and the Occupy protesters must realize that Washington politicians have been "Occupying Wall Street" long before anyone pitched a tent in Zuccotti Park.

A CAVEMAN WON'T BEAT A SALESMAN  BY PEGGY NOONANWALL STREET JOURNALThe charge that Republicans just hate government carries other implications—that they're stupid, that they're haters by nature, that they're cynical and merely strategic, that they enjoy having phantom foes around whom to coalesce, like cavemen warming themselves around a fire. Republicans don't hate government, but they're alive to what human beings are tempted and even inclined to do with governmental power, which is abuse it. And so they want that power limited. It's not really that complicated. Democrats may try to paint it one way, but when they do, Republicans shouldn't help them. They should show respect for the moment. They shouldn't be unserious.