Here are today's must read opinion and editorial columns.
JON HUNTSMAN'S FIRST STEP TOWARD OBLIVION BY DANA MILBANKWASHINGTON POSTHe had swapped his jacket and tie for a chessboard-pattern shirt, but his message was the same as earlier: “Our political debates today are corrosive and not reflective of the belief that Abe Lincoln espoused back in his day: that we are a great country because we are a good country.” “I respect the president,” Huntsman repeated in New Hampshire. His supporters applauded. It is an honorable theme. But Huntsman, whether he goes by John or Jon, will almost certainly find that this message spells defeat.
SING OUT, HILLARY BY MAUREEN DOWDNEW YORK TIMESThe juxtaposition of images said it all. A smiling Michelle Obama and her daughters meeting with Nelson Mandela was a vivid reminder of how far South Africa has come since it ended race apartheid under pressure. The small courageous spurt of ladies in black driving was a vivid reminder that Saudi Arabia, under little pressure, is still locked in gender apartheid.
100 DAYS BY THOMAS FRIEDMANNEW YORK TIMES[The Tea Party] doesn’t have to win to be effective. If such a party attracted substantial voters on such a platform, it would shape the agendas of the Republicans and Democrats. They would both have to move to attract these voters by changing their own platforms and, in so doing, might even create a mandate for the next president to govern for an entire term — not just 100 days.
MEDICARE BACK ON THE HUSTINGS EDITORIALNEW YORK TIMESOver sustained periods, Medicare spending per beneficiary has also risen more slowly than private health insurance premiums. The Ryan plan would save the government money primarily by shifting costs to beneficiaries. Nobody at the debate mentioned that.
GUANTANAMO IS THE PLACE TO TRY TERRORISTS BY MITCH MCCONNELLWASHINGTON POSTThe administration has shown admirable flexibility in making decisions concerning national security and has shown that it is willing, on occasion, to put safety over ideology. President Obama launched a counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, ignored calls to hastily withdraw from Iraq and recently agreed to extend the Patriot Act without weakening its provisions or making them harder to use. He should make the right decision about the treatment of captured enemy combatants.
OBAMA VS. ATMS: WHY TECHNOLOGY DOESN’T DESTROY JOBS BY RUSSELL ROBERTSWALL STREET JOURNALPresident Obama is wrong to blame innovation. A bigger problem is housing, where hundreds of thousands of workers have lost their jobs. The source of that problem isn't technology but an over-reaching housing policy and distorted finance. The solution is to let the housing market clear—let interest rates rise, stop subsidizing mortgages, and clean up the foreclosure mess. That would let housing starts return to something like normal.