5 Best Sunday Columns

Right-wing rage, public funding for abortion, women as priests and more...

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  • Maureen Dowd on the Catholic Abuse Scandal  In order to survive, the church needs to do away with celibacy and give women a greater role within the church, argues The New York Times columnist: "The nuns have historically cleaned up the messes of priests. And this is a historic mess. Benedict should go home to Bavaria. And the cardinals should send the white smoke up the chimney, proclaiming 'Habemus Mama.'"
  • Kathleen Parker on Public Funding for Abortion  Getting into the weeds of the health care bill, The Washington Post columnist argues that public funds will be used for abortion: "Federal courts long have held that when a statute requires provision of health services under such broad categories, then the statute must be construed to include abortion unless it explicitly excludes it... Abortions will be performed at community health centers. You can bet your foreclosed mortgage on that."
  • Frank Rich on Health Reform Rage  The New York Times columnist says opposition to health reform isn't about policy, it's about bigotry: "The explanation is plain: the health care bill is not the main source of this anger and never has been. It’s merely a handy excuse. The real source of the over-the-top rage of 2010 is the same kind of national existential reordering that roiled America in 1964...The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play."
  • George Will on Granting Citizenship to Immigrant Babies  The Washington Post columnist railes against the centuries-old policy of granting citizenship to anyone born in the U.S.:
A parent from a poor country, writes professor Lino Graglia of the University of Texas law school, "can hardly do more for a child than make him or her an American citizen, entitled to all the advantages of the American welfare state." Therefore, "It is difficult to imagine a more irrational and self-defeating legal system than one which makes unauthorized entry into this country a criminal offense and simultaneously provides perhaps the greatest possible inducement to illegal entry."
  • David Nichols on Obama's Eisenhower Moment  The Los Angeles Times columnist compares Obama to President Eisenhower:
President Obama gets it. So did President Eisenhower half a century ago. When you are breaking a decades-long legislative logjam, you take what you can get so you can do better later.

Critics deplore the compromises Obama made on healthcare. And it's true that the bill he signed Tuesday doesn't accomplish everything reform advocates had hoped for.

But give Obama credit for historical perspective. Covering the millions without health insurance is the civil rights issue of our time. And Obama walked a path analogous to the one Ike walked on civil rights in 1957.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.