5 Best Sunday Columns

Pundits weigh in on the president, his State of the Union address and the surprising productivity of Congress

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  • Andew Sullivan on The President's Resolve  In the Times of London, Sullivan reflects on Obama's State of the Union address: "Those who think this presidency is over are missing something. It is not just about Obama. It is about America at this particular moment in time. There’s a reason he was elected; and I have a feeling he reminded people of it last week. For all their legitimate anxiety, anger and bolshiness, my bet is they will not forget who is the only one acknowledging the depth of the crisis and proposing a way forward"
  • Maureen Dowd on the President's Q and A with Republicans  In the New York Times, Dowd writes:
In the end, the Republicans may well go back to being inflexibly inflexible with this president, but for a moment in time, each side realized that the other side had something to say. It was, as The Times’s reporters Peter Baker and Carl Hulse called it, a televised marriage-therapy session “as each side vented grievances pent up after a year of partisan gridlock.”
  • Fred Barnes on the President's Outlook  The Weekly Standard executive editor says Obama must shift right to save himself: "President Obama’s greatest need is to escape the ideological grip of congressional Democrats and the liberal base of the Democratic party (they’re one and the same). But he either doesn’t recognize this or, as a conventional liberal himself, isn’t so inclined."
  • Norman Ornstein On Congress  In the Washington Post, Ornstein says the legislature has done much more than Americans give it credit. He cites the federal stimulus and enumerates the various measures in the bill:
Any Congress that passed all these items separately would be considered enormously productive. Instead, this Congress did it in one bill. Lawmakers then added to their record by expanding children's health insurance and providing stiff oversight of the TARP funds allocated by the previous Congress. Other accomplishments included a law to allow the FDA to regulate tobacco, the largest land conservation law in nearly two decades, a credit card holders' bill of rights and defense procurement reform.
  • Paul Volcker on Reforming Wall Street In the New York Times, the former Fed Chair argues for separating big banks from their risky speculative investment operations: "We need to face up to needed structural changes, and place them into law. To do less will simply mean ultimate failure—failure to accept responsibility for learning from the lessons of the past and anticipating the needs of the future."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.