5 Best Sunday Columns
Obama's temperament, European values, Jewish intelligence and more...
- Michael Chabon on Judging Israel The best-selling author writes an op-ed in The New York Times: "Let us shed our illusions, starting with ourselves, whoever we are and however august our inheritance of stupidity. Let us not forget the eternal hole in our human pocket. Let us not, henceforward, judge Israel or seek to have it judged for its intelligence, for its prowess, for its righteousness or for its moral authority, by any standard other than the pathetic, debased and rickety one that we apply, so inconsistently and self-servingly, to ourselves and to everybody else. And let us not forgive ourselves — any more than we forgive Israel, or than Israel can forgive itself — for that terrible inconsistency."
- Aurthur Brooks on European Values The Wall Street Journal contributor compares Europe and the U.S.: "Europeans have a much stronger taste for other people's money than we do. This is vividly illustrated by the recent protests in the U.S. and Greece. Why are citizens rioting and striking in Greece? Despite the worst economic crisis in decades, labor unions and state functionaries demand that others pay for the early retirements, lifetime benefits and state pensions to which they feel entitled. In America, however, the tea partiers demonstrate not to get more from others, but rather against government growth, public debt, bailouts and a budget-busting government overhaul of the health-care industry. In other words, the tea partiers are protesting against exactly what the Greeks are demanding. It is an example of American exceptionalism if there ever was one."
- Frank Rich on Obama The New York Times columnist critiques the president's leadership: "Obama’s excessive trust in his own heady team is all too often matched by his inherent deference to the smartest guys in the boardroom in the private sector. His default assumption seems to be that his peers are always as well-intentioned as he is. The single biggest mistake he has made in managing the gulf disaster was his failure to challenge BP’s version of events from the start. The company consistently understated the spill’s severity, overestimated the progress of the repair operation and low-balled the environmental damage. Yet the White House’s designated point man in the crisis, Adm. Thad Allen of the Coast Guard, was still publicly reaffirming his trust in the BP chief executive, Tony Hayward, as recently as two weeks ago, more than a month after the rig exploded. This is baffling."
- USA Today on Instant Replay The editorial board says we desperately need instant replay in baseball: "If there were any lingering doubts that baseball should use instant replay for close calls, then surely they must have died in Detroit on Wednesday night... The crime was not Joyce's call — an honest mistake on a bang-bang play that he quickly admitted and plainly regretted. These things happen. The culprit was baseball Commissioner Bud Selig's stubborn refusal to come to grips with that reality. Baseball allows use of replay only to determine if a home run is valid. So Joyce was stuck, and Galarraga was robbed."
- David Broder on a Bailout for Teachers The Washington Post columnist pushes for more funding in education: "We cannot commit to raising standards in one breath and turn around and issue layoff notices to thousands of teachers in the next. That would be as unconscionable as vowing to rid Afghanistan of the Taliban while simultaneously pulling out NATO troops."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.