5 Best Thursday Columns

Joe Klein and Karl Rove play the oil spill blame game, the New York Times throws the book at the NFL, and more

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  • Nicholas Kristof on Sister Margaret's Choice   In an op-ed today, the New York Times columnist reacts to the story of a Catholic nun who was automatically excommunicated from the church after consenting to the abortion of an 11-week-old fetus, which saved the mother's life. Criticizing the church's decision, Kristof says, "Let us just note that the Roman Catholic hierarchy suspended priests who abused children and in some cases defrocked them but did not normally excommunicate them, so they remained able to take the sacrament." He adds, "When a hierarchy of mostly aging men pounce on and excommunicate a revered nun who was merely trying to save a mother's life, the church seems to me almost as out of touch as it was in the cruel and debauched days of the Borgias in the Renaissance."
  • Karl Rove on Responsibility for the Oil Spill... The Wall Street Journal columnist excoriates President Obama for delaying and equivocating in his response to the Gulf disaster. Administration officials "talk tough about BP's responsibilities but do not meet their own responsibilities under federal law," Rove writes. "They should not have let more than a month go by without telling BP what to do." Rove notes a number of examples where Louisiana citizens were left waiting for federal counsel, or told to do one thing and then suddenly another. "Could this be Mr. Obama's Katrina?" wonders Rove. "It could be even worse."
  • ...and Joe Klein on the Same Writing at Time, Klein is more bipartisan with his censure, calling out BP ("Biggest Polluter"), the corruption-riddled Minerals Management Service, the drill-happy sentiment prevalent in the Republican Party, and the Obama administration's failure to overhaul the agencies that should have prevented the spill. Klein ruefully concludes that "Obama, the candidate of change, had overlooked the most important, if least dramatic, change needed after the Bush Administration's wall-to-wall neglect -- a renewed commitment to actual governance."
  • Victor Davis Hanson on Obama the Confessor  Writing for the National Review Online, the Hoover Institution writer scoffs at President Obama's "apology tours" over the past year. During his European tour, in which he "emphasized American sins" and in Cairo where he "inaccurately" outlined Islam's influence on the Renaissance and Enlightenment, Hanson concludes that "Obama sounds as if he thinks America has to be perfect to be good, while other nations merely need to be okay." Such a self-righteous path towards international redemption is a distraction from larger troubles brewing on the world stage. "Right now there are quite enough foreign felonies in the world without dwelling on American misdemeanors."
  • The New York Times Editorial Board on Throwing the Rule Book at the NFL  Reflecting on Monday's Supreme Court ruling that the NFL is not exempt from being subjected to antitrust laws, the New York Times editors lay out the larger implications of the ruling. "Had the NFL won an antitrust exemption, similar to the one Congress gave to baseball, it could fix a wide variety of prices, from hot dogs to video games. Players' unions would have had a harder time bargaining. Basketball and hockey would have sought similar rulings, along with other joint ventures, like health care networks."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.