Five Best Tuesday Columns

Peter Beinart on George W. Bush policy, David Brooks on poll addiction, Roger Cohen on Muslim Brotherhood, Charles Lane on the postal service, and Richard Vedder on college education. 

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Peter Beinart in The Daily Beast on why George W. Bush won this debate "Bush won [the debate] because the framework for understanding the world that he put in place after Sept. 11 still holds, even though it wildly distorts the world that the next president will actually face." He established American foreign policy as military policy, whereas it was focused on economic policy before.

David Brooks in The New York Times on being addicted to polls David Brooks is addicted to polls. After "hundreds of hours" of examining them, he gets "two banal observations": President Obama is more likely to win but there seems to be a whiff of momentum toward Romney. National polls don't actually say a lot. "I have wasted a large chunk of my life I will never get back."

Roger Cohen in The New York Times on working with the Muslim Brotherhood "Perhaps the most radical change in U.S. foreign policy under President Obama has occurred here in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood, long shunned as a collection of dangerous Islamist extremists, is now the de facto object of American support," Cohen writes. A similar policy of engagement should be extended across the Middle East.

Charles Lane in The Washington Post on the postal service and junk mail The U.S. Postal Service relies on junk mail to survive, and it costs the government $1 billion to collect and dispose of it. "Yet the federal government stands by and does nothing to stop this nuisance." Instead, lawmakers fear offending stakeholders like direct-mail advertisers, postal unions, and rural politicians. "The postal service has been reduced to helping one private-sector entity outcompete another."

Richard Vedder in Bloomberg View on dropping college enrollment College enrollment is down for five reasons: fewer 18-year-olds, economic turnaround, tightening federal assistance, colleges pricing themselves out of the market, and most importantly, concern over the rising cost of tuition that cannot be offset by rising salaries. "Isn’t this over-credentialization leading to a huge waste of scarce human resources?"

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