Here are today's must read opinion and editorial columns.
OBAMA'S ORIGINAL SIN BY FRANK RICHNEW YORK MAGAZINEObama arrives at his reelection campaign not merely with a weak performance on Wall Street crime enforcement and reform but also with a scattershot record (at best) of focusing on the main concern of Main Street: joblessness. One is a consequence of the other. His failure to push back against the financial sector, sparing it any responsibility for the economy it tanked, empowered it to roll over his agenda with its own. He has come across as favoring the financial elite over the stranded middle class even if, in his heart of hearts, he does not.
A DEBT-LIMIT BREAKOUT EDITORIALWALL STREET JOURNALWhere there's political self-interest there's always a way. Both sides could agree to a short-term debt-limit reprieve of a month or two with some spending cuts that everyone agrees on. That would give them more time to cut a larger deal that includes corporate tax reform. Think about it. On the current path both sides are headed at best for a de minimis deal that makes everyone look bad, at worst for a major political crack-up. Perhaps Mr. Obama wants a crack-up to portray Republicans as extreme. But Republicans should at least call his bluff and answer his demands for fewer business tax deductions by saying yes—in return for lower tax rates.
THE TWITTER ZONE BY MAUREEN DOWDNEW YORK TIMESIf Anthony Weiner had watched [The Twilight Zone], he might have been more aware of how swiftly, and chillingly, our technology can turn on us. Prosecutors and reporters, dumbfounded by dramatic reversals in the cases of tabloid villains D.S.K. and Casey Anthony, might do well to keep in mind Serling’s postmodern mantra: Nothing is what it seems.
PRESERVING HEALTH COVERAGE FOR THE POOR EDITORIALNEW YORK TIMESThe deficit-reduction push could also threaten the health care reform law’s aim to have states cover more people under Medicaid starting in 2014 with the help of greatly enhanced federal matching funds. President Obama might be tempted to reduce higher federal contribution rates as part of his $100 billion savings. He must be careful not to trade away his goal of near-universal coverage to burnish his credentials as a deficit-cutter.
INVOKE THE 14TH -- AND END THE DEBT STANDOFF BY KATRINA VANDEN HEUVELWASHINGTON POSTPresident Obama should commit to exercising this obligation — as a last resort. And he should commit publicly, as soon as possible. That leaves [him] with two choices: He can give in to unthinkable Republican demands or he can choose, instead, to exercise his constitutional authority, end the debt-ceiling standoff and craft a new budget deal, defined, finally, by shared sacrifice.
REPUBLICAN ZEAL RUNS AMOK BY HAROLD MEYERSONWASHINGTON POSTWhen zeal runs amok, the sense of proportion suffers. Today’s Republicans remind me of some leaders of the American Communist Party whom I got to know decades ago, after they’d left the fold. “We believed in the party line, in its infallibility, so completely,” one ex-commie told me, “that we’d forget the larger strategy for the momentary tactic.” So it was with Communists of yore; so it is with Republicans today.
WHEN A CASE FIZZLES, A REPUTATION IS STILL RUINED BY RUTH MARCUSWASHINGTON POSTWe have, thankfully, a criminal justice system that takes seriously the word of an immigrant chambermaid against that of a powerful international figure. ... Any time a criminal case is dropped, any time an accused is acquitted at trial, there is the inevitable questioning about the ruin of a reputation. That is an unfortunate but unavoidable cost of an adversarial system. But the cost in this case was pushed unnecessarily high by needlessly aggressive prosecutorial tactics.