William Galston in The New Republic on the Super Committee aftermath The Super Committee's failure to agree on a deficit reduction deal creates several questions about the political aftermath. Looking at poll numbers to assess where the blame will fall, Galston finds, "In short, the Democratic position is supported by upscale professionals, while the Republican position commands the lion's share of a downscale, less educated populist coalition." That will create an interesting dynamic if the election is between two candidates neither of whom have been popular with the latter group. Between now and 2013, Obama could use the threat of military cuts to leverage more from Republicans, Galston writes. As for the election, Galston says Obama could narrowly win victory with a neutral campaign against Republican obstructionism, or he could take the high-risk, high-reward path of laying out a specific plan. "If elites can't figure out how to fix this problem, average Americans will pay the price ... Is the president prepared to take the lead? And if he does, will anyone follow?"
Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal on tonight's Republican debate The Republican presidential candidates will have their second foreign policy debate on Tuesday night. "Given the lamentable performances of some of the candidates earlier this month, Management approves publication of the following debate tips," writes Stephens in the voice of a debate manual. When debating illegal immigration, Stephens says the candidates should keep in mind our history as a nation of immigrants. Secondly, he argues we have an interest in having more peaceful, democratic countries in the world so we should not follow Obama's distinction between nation building at home and abroad. Third, candidates should oppose Obama's foreign policy of speech making and conciliation and recognize that presidents like Reagan weren't afraid of being disliked in pursuit of their foreign policy goals. "The notion that the 21st century must be an American one isn't a cliché, especially when the alternative is China," he writes.