5 Best Thursday Columns

Rove on the GOP's summit strategy, Kristof on the connection between toxins and autism, and more

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  • Karl Rove on the GOP's Summit Strategy  In a Wall Street Journal column, Rove counsels congressional Republicans on how to comport themselves at today's health care summit. They have a chance to win over vast swaths of the public, says Rove, if they respectfully refute Obama's points and make a fact-based argument against the new legislation. "It's not easy to criticize a president face to face," admits Rove, but "it's necessary."
  • Nicholas Kristof on Toxins and Autism  The New York Times op-ed columnist discusses new scientific evidence linking harmful toxins to autism. While the connection has been primarily espoused by fringe scientists in the past, Kristof's focus on the topic suggests a turning point for a once-dubious theory: "Concern about toxins in the environment used to be a fringe view," writes Kristof, "but alarm has moved into the medical mainstream. Toxicologists, endocrinologists and oncologists seem to be the most concerned."
  • Peter Beinart on Reconciliation  The Daily Beast blogger counters GOP claims that using budget reconciliation to pass health-care reform in the Senate would be undemocratic. The GOP has a point, concedes Beinart, before noting "we just don't happen to live in a democracy; we live in a democratic republic":
Instead of putting laws to a popular vote, as they did in ancient Athens, we elect members of Congress, and allow them to vote as they please.Our entire political system, in fact, is premised on the right of members of Congress to act in defiance of their constituents as long as those members of Congress are willing to face those constituents at the ballot box.

  • George Will on the Merits of the Filibuster  With liberals calling for filibuster reform, the Washington Post columnist icily rebuts the premise that the filibuster is bad for America. Though Will uses congressional and demographic math to support his argument, he zeroes in on the filibuster's intangible benefit. "Filibusters are devices for registering intensity rather than mere numbers -- government by adding machine. Besides, has a filibuster ever prevented eventual enactment of anything significant that an American majority has desired, strongly and protractedly?"
  • E. J. Dionne on Millennials' Liberal Tendencies  The Washington Post columnist dredges up an old political cliche--young people are poised to really change politics--and applies it to the newest generation of voters. Dionne isn't just beating a dead horse, though, as he cites a comprehensive study of the Millennials to support his claim that they are primed to effect political change.
It's well-known that younger voters are more liberal on social issues, particularly gay rights. But their liberalism also includes sympathy for activist government. Fifty-three percent of Millennials said that "government should do more to solve problems."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.