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Must-Read Op-Eds for May 29, 2013


CIRCLING THE MEDIA WAGONS WALTER PINCUSWASHINGTON POSTI believe the First Amendment covers the right to publish information, but it does not grant blanket immunity for how that information is gathered. When First Amendment advocates say Rosen was “falsely” characterized as a co-conspirator, they do not understand the law. When others claim this investigation is “intimidating a growing number of government sources,” they don’t understand history. The person or persons who told the Associated Press about the CIA operation that infiltrated al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and Kim — or someone else — who informed Rosen about North Korea, were not whistleblowers exposing government misdeeds. They harmed national security and broke the law.

MARCO RUBIO’S RISKY GAMEJOE SCARBOROUGHPOLITICOTed Cruz, Mike Lee and Marco Rubio are the young senators standing in the way of all of Congress negotiating the outlines of Paul Ryan’s conservative fiscal blueprint...Presidential politics seem to play into more and more of Rubio's moves these days but with his push to the far right on several issues lately, Marco Rubio risks being more popular with caucus-goers in Western Iowa than with general election voters in his own home state.

PRESIDENT OF SCANDINAVIAMAUREEN DOWDNEW YORK TIMESAs Bill Clinton noted, it was strange that Obama was good at the big stuff, like foreign policy, and bad at the easy stuff, like connecting to people. By 2011, Obama’s insularity was hurting him with Democratic donors, elected officials and activists, Alter writes, adding: “Democratic senators who voted with Obama found that their support was taken for granted. Many would go two or even three years between conversations with the president, which embarrassed them (constituents were always asking about their interactions) and eventually weakened Obama’s support on the Hill.” …Obama did not understand why his stinginess with expressions of gratitude and phone calls could sting, or fathom the thrill of letters from the president. …The historian believes that Obama does have the capacity to change. “He gets it now,” Alter says. “Is it too late? I doubt it. He wants to be remembered for more than being the first African-American president.”

THE WISDOM OF BOB DOLE EDITORIALNEW YORK TIMESAlready, the mulish behavior of Congressional Republicans has led to the creation of the sequester, blocked action on economic growth and climate change, prevented reasonable checks on gun purchases and threatens to blow up a hard-fought compromise on immigration. Mr. Dole’s words should remind his party that it is not only abandoning its past, but damaging the country’s future.

OVAL OFFICE IS NO CLASSROOMRUTH MARCUSWASHINGTON POSTThis thoughtfulness offers a stark contrast with his predecessor. If George W. Bush was the Decider, Barack Obama is the Agonizer — and this is a good thing. Bush decided too precipitously and agonized too little. On matters so complex and momentous, analyzing and agonizing are prerequisites to action.