5 Best Thursday Columns

Karl Rove's "biggest mistake," George Will on generational envy, and more

This article is from the archive of our partner .
  • Karl Rove on his Biggest Mistake in the White House The Wall Street Journal columnist (and former Bush administration "architect") confesses that he should have struck back quickly and ferociously against the "shameful" charge that Bush spun intelligence to justify invading Iraq. This admission, seven years to the day from when the "all-out assault" began, serves as an opportunity for Rove to inform readers that what he views as the "false" accusations that "poisoned" political discourse are still reverberating through American society. He concludes: "At the time, we in the Bush White House discussed responding but decided not to relitigate the past. That was wrong and my mistake: I should have insisted to the president that this was a dagger aimed at his administration's heart."
  • Sophia Nelson on Black Americans and the Tea Party "Should black folks give the Tea Party a chance?" It's a provocative question posed by Sophia Nelson of The Root. Her answer is a hedged yes. She sees potential in the stripped-down economic thinking of the movement. "Make no mistake -- we are in perilous times, and to sit by passively and do nothing in the face of such deprivation is against all that we as Americans stand for."
  • David Ignatius on the Congressional Standoff Threatening Pakistani Policy The Washington Post columnist sheds light on a stunning and under-reported Congressional showdown holding up aid to tribes fighting al-Qaeda in Pakistan's FATA region. Ignatius calls it "one more sign of our dysfunctional political system" and that's not hyperbole. The problem boils down to a dispute between labor and business forces over language in the bill that would invest heavily in the region's economy. The result has been a congressional stalemate, and the bill has languished for nearly a year. "While Congress dithers, al-Qaeda and its allies continue to plan deadly attacks from their haven in the FATA."
  • George Will on Peter Beinart and Generational Envy The Washington Post columnist praises Peter Beinart's new book and offers up some thoughts of his own about American "generational envy." America, Will believes has become a victim of its own success. But "hubris is its own corrective," Will warns. Military hubris, economic hubris--according to Beinart and Will, they've shaped the way of the world and the role America now feels compelled to play.
  • George Loewenstein and Peter Ubel on the Limits of Behavioral Economics In a New York Times op-ed column, the professorial duo proposed that Americans are over-reliant on behavioral economics to sway consumer choices and enact meaningful change. The field, which helps explain why people make rational or irrational decisions, is currently "being asked to solve problems it wasn't meant to address." While it's all well and good to try to influence consumers with, say, more information to make better decisions, the field's research is used as "a political expedient, allowing policymakers to avoid painful but more effective solutions rooted in traditional economics."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.