Here are today's must read opinion and editorial columns.
NOT O.K. AT THE O.K. CORRAL BY MAUREEN DOWNNEW YORK TIMESThe White House feels that its foes not only want to stomp on any reasonable compromise; they want to make sure that Obama never has the presidency he dreamed of... Obama, after all, is a new entity. He’s not really a Democratic president. Or a Republican one. He’s the first Independent president, creating his own party... Republicans, growing more optimistic in the last 90 days that they can make Obama a one-term president, want to use the budget battle to mark him not only as alien, but too weak to run cowboy nation.
THE REID PLAN VS. THE BOEHNER PLAN EDITORIALNEW YORK TIMES
If this debate were really about fixing the deficit, Congress would start over. What the country needs to get its fiscal house in order, without stalling the fragile recovery, is increased relief-and-recovery spending in the near term, coupled with a credible plan for deficit reduction — including spending cuts and tax increases in equal measure — to be implemented as the economy recovers. Unfortunately, that is not where Congress is heading. If the country is going to avoid default, Congress and the White House are going to have to agree on a plan that does the least possible harm.
CAN'T WE DO THIS RIGHT? BY THOMAS FRIEDMANNEW YORK TIMES
There is only one thing worse than Republicans and Democrats failing to agree to lift the debt ceiling, and that is lifting the debt ceiling without a well-thought-out plan and with hasty cuts totaling trillions of dollars over a decade. What business do you know — that is still in business — that would operate this way: making massive long-term cuts, negotiated by exhausted executives, without any strategic plan? It certainly wouldn’t be a business you’d expect to thrive.
MORE THAN A GAME BY DANA MILBANKWASHINGTON POST
There’s only one problem with the governing-as-football idea: This isn’t a game. If you lose the full faith and credit of the United States, you don’t shake hands at midfield and meet for a rematch later in the season... [L]awmakers have abandoned governing as they pursue a perpetual contest to gain seats in the next election. Policymaking has become just another means of campaigning, as partisans on the sidelines chant slogans and hector the opposing team and leaders keep track of wins and losses.
A PARTY OF SCORPIONS BY HAROLD MEYERSONWASHINGTON POST
Speaker John Boehner has come up with a counterproposal to Reid’s — a plan that isn’t all that different substantively but that Boehner titled “The Two-Step Approach to Hold President Obama Accountable.” For many Republicans, even this doesn’t go far enough. Republicans apparently won’t be satisfied until Obama takes responsibility for all of the national debt, the Bush tax cuts and the Oklahoma heat wave, admits he’s not a citizen and goes back to Kenya. They may harm themselves and the nation by holding out for that deal. Like the scorpion, though, it’s their nature.
THE GOP'S REALITY TEST EDITORIALWALL STREET JOURNAL
The Speaker has made mistakes in his debt negotiations, not least in trusting that Mr. Obama wants serious fiscal reforms. But thanks to the President's overreaching on taxes, Mr. Boehner now has the GOP positioned in sight of a political and policy victory... If conservatives defeat the Boehner plan, they'll not only undermine their House majority. They'll go far to re-electing Mr. Obama and making the entitlement state that much harder to reform.