Five Best Wednesday Columns

David Rohde on Sandy and inequality, Yonah Freemark and Lawrence J. Vale on housing aid, David Weigel on glamorizing the flip-flop, Kathleen Parker on the race card, and Ted Galen Carpenter on the Mexican drug war. 

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David Rohde in Reuters on how Sandy exposed inequality The storm brought inequality to the surface in New York. Better-off residents could seek out hotels, drive away, and take work off. Others—the waiters, cashiers, service workers—remained in place until last minute. "There were residents like me who could invest all of their time and energy into protecting their families. And there were New Yorkers who could not."

Yonah Freemark and Lawrence J. Vale in The New York Times on the mortgage tax deduction Neither party wants to touch the tax deduction for mortgage interest, but "in truth, the mortgage interest tax deduction benefits the rich far more than middle-income families." Nearly $35 billion in housing aid goes to families with more than $200,000 in income. "Progressive politicians would do better to redirect the benefits we currently provide to America’s wealthiest homeowners to supporting housing for struggling and moderate-income families."

David Weigel in Slate on newspaper endorsements that glamorize the flip-flop At least 21 newspapers that endorsed Obama in '08 went Romney this year, and "half of these endorsements are couched in the hope that Romney hornswaggled Republican primary voters and will govern as a moderate." Flip-flopping accusations have cursed Romney his entire political career, but now, "these newspapers are convinced: The Real Mitt Romney is a moderate who got one over on conservative primary voters."

Kathleen Parker in The Washington Post on using the race card The race card is used to justify outcomes and explain away inconvenient truths, like a recent AP poll on race with "unnecessarily provocative" questions  or John Sununu implying Colin Powell only endorsed Obama because he's black. "We are not a nation naive enough to think race plays no part in our perceptions and responses," Parker writes. "But this nation also elected an African American as its president. By an overwhelming majority, Americans like him and wanted him to succeed."

Ted Galen Carpenter in CNN on ignoring the Mexican drug war The alarming violence in Mexico should top the national security and foreign policy agenda considering its proximity and danger, but both Obama and Romney have ignored it. Portions of key cities are war zones, and it's seeping into Central America and the U.S. "One would think that such a national security problem would merit some attention from the incumbent president and the man who aims to replace him."

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