5 Best Thursday Columns

Nicholas Kristof on health-care access, Michael Oren on U.S.-Israel relations, and more

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  • Harold Meyerson on Deferred Immigration Reform  The Washington Post columnist recaps a frustrating year for immigrants and Latinos, who have seen immigration reform fall by the wayside as health care consumes the domestic agenda. Concerned that substantive immigration reform needs to happen before November, Latinos are taking a page from the civil-rights playbook and organizing a march on Washington. They're also threatening to sit out the 2010 and 2012 elections as a bloc if the president doesn't reach out to them soon. Meyerson notes that such a measure might seem self-defeating, "but absent immigration reform, that case is getting harder and harder to make."
  • Marjorie Margolies on Political Sacrifice  In a guest turn at The Washington Post, Margolies urges House Democrats to "vote your conscience on health care." Margolies served one term as a Democratic representative from Pennsylvania; she was drummed out of Congress in 1995 after casting the deciding vote for Bill Clinton's 1993 budget. Yet she'd do the same thing again if given the chance. "There are times in all our careers when we must ask ourselves why we're here," Margolies writes. "I urge you simply to cast the vote you can be proud of."
  • Nicholas Kristof on Access to Health Care  The New York Times columnist cuts through the wonky procedural focus of the final throes of the health care debate by emphasizing the true goal of reform: access. Starting with the increase in American life-expectancy following World War II, Kristof carefully lays out the case for health care in terms of access, finally urging readers to put aside "quarrels over the mechanisms used to pass the bill, and focus on the central question of Americans’ access to decent medical care."
  • Michael Oren on U.S.-Israel Relations  With tensions rising between Washington and Jerusalem, the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. pens a guest op-ed in The New York Times emphasizing the importance of close ties between the two countries. Insisting Joe Biden's recent visit "was not a historic low point in United States-Israel relations," Oren calls on both nations to keep the America-Israel alliance strong. "Though we may disagree with the White House at certain stages of the peace process, we must never allow such differences to obscure the purpose we share or to raise doubts about the unbreakable bonds between us."
  • Zoe Williams on Celebrity Divorce  Using the recent split between Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes as a launchpad, the Guardian columnist recommends everybody calm down about divorce rates and what they portend for society. Williams suggests they don't portend much, since marriage isn't a one-size-fits-all life template. "People make their own decisions – which for quite a few will mean deciding to split up," Williams points out. "Why does anybody persist in thinking this is a disaster?"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.