5 Best Tuesday Columns

David Brooks on the pitfalls of compromise, Dana Milbank on Scott Brown's 'yes' vote, and more

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  • Richard Cohen on Iran and the 'Crazy Factor'  Pondering Iran's nuclear weapons program, the Washington Post op-ed columnist tries to determine if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is "Hitler-crazy" or just plain "Nixon-crazy"--in other words, whether Ahmadinejad is actually unhinged or simply acting insane for international leverage. Cohen insists this question is not an academic exercise but a question of "real and frightening immediacy."
  • David Brooks on Health Care Reform's Death by Compromise  The New York Times columnist and policy wonk uses the excise tax as an illuminating example of how too much compromise can leave good policy by the wayside. "The odds are high that the excise tax will never actually happen," Brooks glumly concludes before writing the epitaph on the bill's fiscal responsibility.
This bill may be deficit-neutral on paper. But it has just become a fiscal time bomb. The revenue will never come. Compromises have to be made to keep it (barely) alive. But responsibility ebbs. Politics wins.
  • Bret Stephens on Europe's Economic Homogeneity  The Wall Street Journal columnist gleefully employs highfalutin language to trash Europe's devotion to statist economic policy in a piece long on both style and substance. "Why do Europeans so often find themselves trapped in this sterile dialectic of populist obscurantism and technocratic irrelevancy? Largely because those are the options that remain when other modes of analysis and prescription have been ruled out of bounds."
  • Michael Lind on the Right's New Counterculture  At Salon, Lind contrasts the Glenn Beck Right with the Abbie Hoffman Left of the 1960s. Lind finds a number of similarities between today's vocal conservative culture and the flower-child protesters of yore, among them ambivalence about institutions, mistrust of scientific advancement, and a propensity for street theater.
  • Dana Milbank on Scott Brown's Party-Bucking  The Washington Post columnist lauds Brown's decision to vote 'yes' on the Senate jobs bill, and notes that George Washington, on whose birthday the vote fell, would likely have approved of Brown's demonstration of policy-before-politics. "It appears [Brown] hasn't been in Washington long enough to be intoxicated by the Spirit of Party," Milbank writes.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.