5 Best Thursday Columns

This article is from the archive of our partner .

  • Daniel Henninger on the 'Great Guy' Theory of History  Madison Square Garden could be filled with hundreds of politicians who would swear up and down that Charlie Rangel is a great guy, writes the Wall Street Journal contributor, but as the Congressman goes down there would be few who'd stand with him. This wasn't always the case, in recent decades that great guy who got stuck with a couple minor infractions would be a delivered a slap on the wrist from Congress. Now with approval ratings sinking to all-time lows the public demands to have a trial, which would be ruinous not only for Rangel but for all incumbents. He concludes: "In the old days, guys who were lucky or smart left office or died before the sheriff arrived. This year the voters have the Capitol surrounded."
  • Dahlia Lithwick on the Overturning of Prop 8  Basking in the afterglow of a historic ruling, the Slate writer praises Judge Walker's substantial decision rooted in "science, methodology, and hard work." The Justice knitted together "trial evidence, to the data, to the nerves at the very base of Justice Kennedy's brain" finding that "states have long discriminated in matters of who can marry; marital status affects immigration, citizenship, tax policy, property and inheritance rules, and benefits programs; [and] that individuals do not choose their own sexual orientation." While the fight is far from over, and the appeals road will be "long and nasty," yesterday's decision was delivered eloquently and "with dignity."
  • Joshua Green on Bill Clinton's Resurgence  Writing in the Boston Globe, Green marvels at the way the former president has rehabilitated his image in the two years since the bruising 2008 Democratic primary. "[Bill Clinton] has emerged as the surrogate of choice for embattled Democrats" this election season, writes Green. It's attributable to the dip in popularity of the man currently occupying the White House. Unlike Obama, "Clinton’s appeal is neither regional nor specific to Democrats," the columnist observes. What do all the candidates he's helping have in common? "They were early supporters of Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidential nomination."
  • E.J. Dionne on the 14th Amendment and the Republican Tradition  In a Washington Post column, Dionne argues that GOP chatter about revoking the 14th Amendment runs contrary to the very principles the Republican Party was founded on. Tolerance for outsiders is the Republican party's "greatest political legacy." Dionne points out that "nothing should make Republicans prouder than their party's role in passing what are known as the Civil War or Reconstruction amendments." Ditching one of those very amendments, he says, would be a betrayal of Lincoln's legacy.
  • Victor Davis Hanson on the Curious Logic of Illegal Immigration  The National Review columnist believes that unresolvable paradoxes have brought the illegal immigration battle to its current pitch. Why, for example, when sanctuary city officials have "bragged that they would not allow their municipalities to enforce federal immigration statutes" is the state of Arizona under fire for beefing up enforcement? Then there's the issue of profiling. Why is it, Hanson asks, that "at some arbitrary point distant from the border, those who cross illegally are not supposed to be asked about their immigration status." The whole issue is fraught with maddening inconsistencies. Why does Felipe Calderon criticize the United States for receiving so many people who are apparently desperate to leave his country? Hanson finds no answers, only more questions.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.