5 Best Friday Columns

Obama's faults, health care reform, and the pope's place in the paedophilia problems

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  • Peggy Noonan on the Obama-Fox Interview  The conservative Wall Street Journal columnist praises Bret Baier for his interviewing skill, saying he "forced [Obama] off his well-worn grooves. He did it by stopping long answers with short questions, by cutting off and redirecting." She's unhappy with this whole health care reform business, and says it's good to remind both ourselves and our president that "the president--every president--works for us. We don't work for him." As a final note, she adds, "memo to future presidents: Never stake your entire survival on the painful passing of a bad bill."
  • Roger Cohen on Re-Igniting the Campaign Passion  Others have criticized Obama for failing to make the switch from campaigning to governing, from rhetoric to policy. But Roger Cohen says Obama's whole problem, is the opposite: he's not getting his message out the way he used to. "He has failed to connect, to make the transition from the effective to the emotive. He lacks the narrative of American reinvention that every great president must have." It's time, he says, to ditch the "manufactured quotes."
  • Charles Krauthammer on a Disaster in Israel  The Obama administration grossly mishandled the Israeli settlement gaffe, posits the Washington Post columnist. It was a "gaffe," not "a policy change, let alone a betrayal." The "hostile and highly aggressive" phone call from Hillary Clinton to Prime Minister Netanyahu blew things way out of proportion.
  • The Washington Post Editors Come Out for Health Care Reform  Though the position itself isn't a huge surprise, the editors take a fair amount of time and space to make their case. "Every piece of legislation is in some sense a wager," they begin. Ultimately, they conclude, "it is shameful that in a country this wealthy, so many people go without adequate health care. Insuring them is a moral imperative." Though they call the bill "maddeningly imperfect," they're behind it.
  • Damian Thompson on Lies about the Pope  In the Telegraph, Thompson argues that headlines saying "the then-Archbishop Ratzinger ... [allowed] a priest he knew to be a paedophile to continue in the ministry" are simply untrue. "He gave permission for the priest--a revolting pervert ... who was accused (but not convicted)...--to receive counselling in Munich while suspended from priestly duties." By the time the priest was convicted, Ratzinger was long gone to Italy. So what's going on here? "Secularists who despise Catholicism are manipulating tragedies to marginalise Catholics and blacken the name of a Pope, Benedict XVI, who has done far more than his predecessor to root out what he calls the 'filth' of sexual abuse." That said, Thompson is sickened by the continuing abuse cases, and wants to see the pope attack the matter, no holds barred. It's a complicated opinion piece, and Thompson doesn't let anyone off easy.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.