5 Best Sunday Columns

Why the climate bill failed, DC's media circus and more...

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  • Tom Friedman on the Failed Climate Bill  The New York Times columnist blames the general public for not caring about global warming: "I could blame Republicans for the fact that not one G.O.P. senator indicated a willingness to vote for a bill that would put the slightest price on carbon. I could blame the Democratic senators who were also waffling. I could blame President Obama for his disappearing act on energy and spending more time reading the polls than changing the polls. I could blame the Chamber of Commerce and the fossil-fuel lobby for spending bags of money to subvert this bill. But the truth is, the public, confused and stressed by the last two years, never got mobilized to press for this legislation. We will regret it."
  • Doyle McManus on the Tea Party-GOP Relationship  The L.A. Times columnist says the GOP will likely absorb the Tea Party and benefit from the grassroots movement: "Which is more likely to absorb the other? That's easy. One of these groups isn't really an organization; it has two years of experience, no national structure and no real fundraising operation. The other has operated since 1854, has built a formidable national organization and has survived electoral disaster more than once."

  • Van Jones on Character Assassinations  The White House's former green jobs adviser talks about how the Shirley Sherrod episode is affecting government employees: "Life inside the Beltway has become a combination of speed chess and Mortal Kombat: one wrong move can mean political death. In the era of YouTube, Twitter and 24-hour cable news, nobody is safe. Even the lowliest staff member knows that an errant comment could wind up online, making her name synonymous with scandal. The result is that people at all levels of government are becoming overly cautious, unwilling to venture new opinions or even live regular lives for fear of seeing even the most innocuous comment or photograph used against them, all while trying to protect and improve the country."
  • David Ignatius on Obama's Crisis Leadership  The Washington Post columnist argues that the president should take advantage of crisis situations, not shrink away from them: "For a genuine political animal, such as Lyndon Johnson or Bill Clinton, it's these unplanned events that make the job exciting, because they plunge the president into the maw of politics. By contrast, Obama and his advisers seem to avoid these moments whenever possible, and when the unexpected happens, as in the BP oil spill or the phony "racist" accusations against Shirley Sherrod, they often handle the media storm badly."
  • The Wall Street Journal on Charlie Rangel's Ethics Charges   The editorial board lays out the risks his charges pose to Democrats: " The charges appear to be the kind that would cost any normal citizen a big fine if not jail time, and the spectacle of the nation's chief tax writer not reporting all of his income and half his assets will infuriate voters who know their own taxes are going up. We certainly look forward to hearing Mr. Rangel's defense."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.