Paul Starr in The Washington Post on the bad politics of health care reform In a general election where both candidates might have to run away from the health care reform they thought would bring them political accolades, it's worth considering why the reforms are unpopular. "In the abstract, many Americans say they want just the kind of moderate, constructive leadership that Romney and Obama exercised in passing health-care reform. But these days, moderate policies don't necessarily make good politics," writes Starr, a Princeton professor and author. Starr generally defends the laws against some common criticisms, but he outlines the way both Romney's and Obama's reforms led to compromises that disenchanted liberals and conservatives. He uses polling stats to prove that there's no one complaint about each health care law, but a variety of constituencies who would prefer different fixes. He also suggests ways Obama could have executed the law differently to protect it from repeal.
Joshua Green in The Boston Globe on Occupy Wall Street's way forward In cities from New York to Oakland, police have shut down Occupy-led encampments this week, and while some leaders say it will help the movement grow, Green is skeptical. "While they have succeeded in drawing global attention to problems such as income inequality, they've done nothing to force the hand of anyone in Congress or the White House - the institutions best positioned to address their grievances," Green writes. Green contrasts the way the Tea Party worked within the political system to the apolitical tactics of Occupy Wall Street. But because the news is now shifting away from their political message and toward controversy over the encampments themselves, they risk alienating the broader population. "Whatever its path forward, it's hard to imagine Occupy Wall Street having anything like the force of the Tea Party."