Here are today's top opinion and editorial columns.
EULOGY FOR DAD BY JOE SCARBOROUGH A new winning streak would begin the next week, and he had been through worse than losing a ballgame played by teenagers. Four years earlier, Lockheed had laid off Dad when the engine supplier critical to his project went bankrupt. As he approached his 40th birthday, my dad was out of work. I remember driving around the South with him for two years as he looked in vain for a good paying job. I remember the tears of my siblings at Christmas, the worried looks around the dinner table at nights, the $40 unemployment check that Dad got every week that allowed him to buy a bag of groceries and a tank of gas. But it wasn’t until the day after he died last Wednesday that I found the diary he began writing the day he lost his job.
THE MISSING FIFTH BY DAVID BROOKSNEW YORK TIMESLet’s be clear about the effect of this mendacity: We’re locking in the nation’s wealth into the Medicare program and closing off any possibility that we might do something significant to reinvigorate the missing fifth. Next time you see a politician demagoguing Medicare, ask this: Should we be using our resources in the manner of a nation in decline or one still committed to stoking the energy of its people and continuing its rise?
THEY SHOULD BE CONDEMNING SYRIA EDITORIALNEW YORK TIMESThe [UN Human Rights] Council nearly destroyed its credibility from the start when some of the worst abusers were immediately elected members. Its record had been improving. It ousted Libya from its ranks. ... Electing Syria would make a mockery of the Council — one from which it might never be able to recover. And it would make a mockery of all the countries that voted for Syria. Syria must be dropped from the slate.
RON PAUL'S LAND OF SECOND-RATE VALUES BY MICHAEL GERSONWASHINGTON POSTMoved by the stories of recovering young addicts, Texas Gov. George W. Bush talked of his own struggles with alcohol. ... In determining who is a “major” candidate for president, let’s begin here. Those who support the legalization of heroin while mocking addicts are marginal. It is difficult to be a first-tier candidate while holding second-rate values.
NOW CASTING: A FEW GOOD GOP CANDIDATES BY EUGENE ROBINSONWASHINGTON POSTI know that the GOP will come up with a candidate, eventually. I know that Obama had better find a way to talk about jobs that connects with voters. And I know that events — such as the one that took place in Abbottabad, Pakistan — have the potential to change everything. But I also know that Obama, practically overnight, has dispelled the fog of ambiguity with which his opponents have tried to cloak him — the vague suspicion that there was something effete, passive, not quite fully American about him. ... Come on, Republicans, make Obama’s day.
THE MYTH OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM BY RICHARD COHENWASHINGTON POSTIt discourages compromise, for what God has made exceptional, man must not alter. And yet clearly America must change fundamentally or continue to decline. It could begin by junking a phase that reeks of arrogance and discourages compromise. American exceptionalism ought to be called American narcissism. We look perfect only to ourselves.
BOEHNER'S DEBT-LIMIT MARKER EDITORIALWALL STREET JOURNALWe're also glad Mr. Boehner ruled out tax increases in a debt-limit deal. Mr. Obama wants automatic tax hikes—via automatic reductions in certain tax deductions—if Congress exceeds debt caps. But that is merely an invitation for Congress not to meet those caps so it can automatically grab more revenue. Tax revenue will rise faster with faster economic growth, and a tax increase will hurt an economy that is still not growing nearly fast enough.
SCENES FROM THE NEW YORK EDUCATION WARS BY JOEL KLEINWALL STREET JOURNALIt required building political support. Toward the end of my tenure, reformers were fighting to lift the state-imposed cap on the number of charter schools allowed to open. The teachers unions opposed our effort precisely because our expansion of charter schools had been so successful. ... But this time, families with kids in charter schools and their community allies were prepared to help us fight. Philanthropic and business interests raised millions to support the mobilization effort, run ads and hire lobbyists. We prevailed, and the state legislature raised the cap substantially.