Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal on truth-telling in China Media reports in China and the U.S. emphasize Chinese Vice President and heir apparent Xi Jinping's brutal childhood of "reeducation" in the countryside. "The purpose of Mr. Xi's image-making ... is to present him as someone who took his knocks in life and understands what it's like to be dirt poor even as he has risen up the party hierarchy. This, comrades, is baloney," writes Stephens. Wikileaks cables show his education was mostly one in Marxism and he achieved his position at least in part because of his father's prominence. Stephens points to jailed poet and dissident Liu Xiabo and his photographer wife as better examples of those who understand the experience of China's poor and oppressed. Technology, from Twitter-like sites to democracy-promoting singing competitions, is bringing change to China, and Xi will have to confront it. "Renewed attempts to impose ideological conformity will be met only by the kind of cunning subversion that Ms. Liu has helped pioneer."
Frank Bruni in The New York Times on Rick Santorum's wife dodge Rick Santorum excused a section of his 2005 book that argues against "radical feminists" who argue women will find fulfillment in their careers by saying his wife co-wrote the passage. "Once preposterous, his candidacy is newly plausible, giving him fresh motive to blunt some of his divisive edges," Bruni writes, tying it to revisions in his competitors' campaigns. Gingrich, for example, wants us to focus on his Catholicism and stable marriage, not his history of turbulent ones. Ron Paul excuses racist pamphlets from the 1990s saying he didn't approve them. And Romney distances himself from any number of past political stances. Santorum's "dodge" is telling in that it is utterly unconvincing. "Wouldn't it still leave him as the other co-author? Isn't it an ungallant bit of blame shifting? And if he and she weren't on the same page, why was she at the keyboard?"