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Must-Read Op-Eds for Tuesday, June 26, 2012

AN ELECTION RUNNING ON EMPTYBY RICHARD COHENWASHINGTON POSTIf the presidential campaign were a TV program, it would have been canceled by now.

AN ELECTION RUNNING ON EMPTYBY RICHARD COHENWASHINGTON POSTIf the presidential campaign were a TV program, it would have been canceled by now. Viewers have clicked off, stupefied by a campaign that has one overriding issue, the economy, and virtually nothing else. What started out with such energy — a “Gong Show” of debates, one unlikely and bizarre front-runner after another — has settled into a slog in which two “firsts,” an African American and a Mormon, are proving the efficacy of the melting pot: They have both been reduced to gruel. …This is a campaign of immense consequence and, paradoxically, torpor. It’s as if it is being conducted by men who will not — or cannot — control events but are waiting for events to control them. They campaign dutifully but dully, going through the motions until Election Day. Maybe then they’ll get the audience back. In the meantime, America has gone for a beer.

CAPTAIN AMERICA?BY FRANK BRUNINEW YORK TIMESOn most fronts and in many ways, [Obama’s] presidency right now is an exercise in hoping and in holding his breath. …[H]ow many presidents, at least in recent decades, have known something precisely like the Supreme Court’s possible erasure of the Affordable Care Act? How many have confronted a Congress this wholly paralyzed by partisan rancor and this steadfastly unyielding? …Because the hell of his situation is its amalgam of full responsibility for so much and impotence in the face of most of it. I suppose that’s long been one definition of the presidency, but it has seldom fit as well as now. In the twilight of his first term, Obama is learning how unscripted history ultimately is. A second term may hinge on the nifty trick, not yet mastered, of projecting more command than he actually wields.

Must-Read Op-Eds for Monday, June 25, 2012

IMMIGRATION LAWEDITORIALNEW YORK TIMESThe one section the court did uphold requires officers to check the immigration status of anyone they stop, arrest or detain on some other legitimate basis — if the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” the person is in the country illegally. ...That section of the law, as it goes into effect, will promote racial profiling of all Hispanics, including American citizens and legal residents. By mandating verification of immigration status even when it is unlikely the federal government will deport the individual, the provision sows fear that any contact with law enforcement — even for a jaywalking ticket — could result in detention. ... in allowing the section to stand, the majority bends over backward not to deal forthrightly with the racial context of Arizona’s immigration efforts. The majority should have struck it down as well.IMMIGRATION SMACKDOWNEDITORIAL WASHINGTON POSTthe court served notice to other states that immigration policy remains primarily Washington’s domain. It also dealt a blow to those, such as Mitt Romney, who have embraced the idea that illegal immigrants will “self-deport” if laws are made sufficiently onerous. ... the court’s ruling may mark a milestone in the American debate over the dysfunctional immigration system. After an initial flurry of Republican-sponsored copycat legislation inspired by the Arizona law, states seem to have lost some of their zeal for hounding and harassing the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. Now the justices have held up a cautionary hand, warning state lawmakers against further poaching on the federal government’s turf.WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOODBY FOUAD AJAMIWALL STREET JOURNALEver since its founding in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood yearned for power as it ran afoul of the authoritarian state. Its adherents dreamt of and agitated for an Islamic state even as its sly leaders understood the limitations imposed by the poverty of Egypt, its need for the kindness of strangers, reliance on foreign aid and the revenues of tourism. This is not a country that can shut out the world.  ... Lawlessness has come to Egypt, and if it is to be rolled back, the army and the Brotherhood will have to reach a workable compact. The Brotherhood will not mind leaving the matters of war and peace, the security treaty with Israel, to the officers. This way the peace can be kept while giving the Brotherhood the alibi that such is the choice of the military.