5 Best Wednesday Columns

Emily Parker on the Great Firewall of China, Harold Meyerson on the Democratic resurgence, and more

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  • Emily Parker on the Great Firewall of China  In light of the ongoing Google-China imbroglio, the Asia Society Center on U.S.-China Relations fellow and former Wall Street Journal editor ponders the future of Internet freedom in China. Parker envisions an era of "Twitter diplomacy," with websites modeled after Twitter's open application programming interface easily accessible to those Chinese while difficult for the state to stamp out: "Google tried to bring information to the Chinese people; now let's try bringing Chinese people to the information."
  • David Ignatius on the Military's 'Information War'  The Washington Post columnist takes a hard look at recent reports of military intelligence gathering independent of the CIA. Ignatius is "nervous" that under the guise of "strategic communications," the military and private contractors have blurred the lines between themselves and traditional intelligence sources. "This murky area should be marked with a flashing yellow warning light, meaning: 'Slow down!' The United States should be careful about encouraging, in effect, the militarization of information -- and it should be especially cautious when these efforts bleed into the intelligence world."

  • Harold Meyerson on the Democrats' Resurgence  In a piece long on partisan advice, the Washington Post columnist celebrates the return of a phenomenon unseen for almost a half-century: "a governing party."
By passing the most significant social legislation since the '60s, [Democrats] have ended the policy gridlock dating to the middle of Ronald Reagan's presidency. They have revalidated the almost quaint notion that -- despite the ever greater role of money in politics -- elections have consequences, too.
  • Holman Jenkins on Reform's Empty Promises  Plus ça change, sighs the Wall Street Journal columnist; Obama's designs for health care only exacerbate the major problems of the previous system, while fixing nothing significant. "Competition works in medicine as it does in everything else when the patient cares about getting value for money," Jenkins writes. "This is the great low-hanging fruit of health-care reform. It continues to hang."
  • E. J. Dionne on Conservative First Principles  The Washington Post columnist laments the fractured intellectual landscape of modern conservatism; he believes Republicans and right-leaning party outsiders have forgotten what makes conservatism a valuable philosophy. Rigorous skepticism, respect for tradition, a reluctance to try and change what's immutable in human nature: these are the ways "conservatism has always made its greatest contribution as a corrective force that seeks to preserve the best of what we have."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.