5 Best Wednesday Columns

Robert Wright on terrorism semantics, Holman Jenkins on Toyota's floor mats, and more

This article is from the archive of our partner .
  • Ruth Marcus on Passing Health Care Reform  In the wake of Obama's health care reform proposal, the Washington Post columnist counts 'yes' votes in the House. But she has a hard time getting to 217, leaving her unnerved at Obama's doubling down on the bill. "My worry is that going for broke and failing will leave no time or appetite for a fallback, scaled-down plan. And the moment to do something on health care -- not everything, but something significant -- will have evaporated, once again."
  • Steven Pearlstein on Reforming Wall Street  The Washington Post columnist breaks down a proposed Senate bill that's been lost amid the health care imbroglio: financial regulatory reform. After comprehensively delving into the particulars of the bill, Pearlstein provides the big picture. "What's likely to emerge from these still-ongoing discussions is a comprehensive regulatory reform bill that not only has the support of key sectors of the financial services industry, but also improves on the legislation passed last year by the House."
  • Thomas Friedman on Iraq's Uncertain Future  The New York Times columnist notes some of the difficulties facing Iraq as the March 7 parliamentary election draws near. Can new political institutions help erode a national culture of mistrust and authoritarianism? Friedman handicaps those odds and explains why next month's polls matter to Americans as much as Iraqis.
  • Holman Jenkins on Toyota's Speeding Problem  Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Jenkins imagines the inner monologue of Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda as he waits to testify in today's congressional hearing. "I can't afford to blame our customers" for the sudden-acceleration phenomenon, Jenkins's Toyoda frets. In Jenkins's estimation, the electronic glitch that causes uncontrollable speeding is "a 'defect' [Toyota] can't find and may not exist."
  • Robert Wright on 'The First Tea-Party Terrorist'  The New York Times opinion columnist dives right into the battle of semantics that engulfed the blogosphere following the crash of Joseph Stack's plan into an IRS building in Austin. Before concluding that Stack can effectively be labeled as a "Tea Party terrorist," Wright explains why properly labeling Stack is a vitally important exercise:
First, the label “terrorist” shapes our immediate response to attacks and our long-term policies ... Second, given the apparent momentum of the Tea Party movement, it would be nice to know if Stack’s kamikaze mission was a not-all-that-shocking emanation from it — whether, as some claim, more than a few Tea Partiers are unhinged.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.