Five Best Thursday Columns

Margaret Carlson on Marco Rubio's GOP campaign, Laurie Shrage on forced fatherhood, Jim Naureckas on how journalists identify with states, Sonja West on Anthony Kennedy's gay marriage decision, Rachel Arons on TV's recent depictions of Jewish people.

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Margaret Carlson at Bloomberg View on Marco Rubio's GOP campaign How is Florida Senator Marco Rubio navigating his own party in the midst of ongoing efforts to secure immigration reform? "The attempted seduction ... by immigration reformers is akin to my effort to get Neil Patrick Harris, the best emcee ever of any awards show, to sing at my next birthday. No matter how much I offer him, he’ll turn me down," Margaret Carlson writes. "That’s the situation in which Senator Marco Rubio of Florida finds himself with several Republican colleagues." But, she notes, the stakes are high: "The politics of immigration are so twisted it is hard to know what people really think, regardless of how they vote. What unites all Republicans who support the bill is a desire to see the party back in the White House someday." Prominent Republicans continue to see trouble, though. At RedState, Erick Erickson writes that Rubio "does not deserve the invective hurled his way, including words like 'traitor,' but then neither do those who have opposed this legislation and are cast as modern day eugenicists and racists."

Laurie Shrage at The New York Times on forced fatherhood Laurie Shrage weighs the legal evolution of fatherhood in American courts, and ponders whether we could forge a better options for men who, against their wishes, become fathers. "In consenting to sex, neither a man nor a woman gives consent to become a parent, just as in consenting to any activity, one does not consent to yield to all the accidental outcomes that might flow from that activity," she writes, adding, "We need to respect men’s reproductive autonomy ... by providing them more options in the case of an accidental pregnancy. And we need to protect children and stabilize family relationships ... by broadening our definition of 'father' to include men who willingly perform fatherlike roles in a child’s life, and who, with informed consent, have accepted the responsibilities of fatherhood." Noah Berlatsky at The Atlantic assents, writing, "The alimony and custody inequities we have at the moment seem mostly based, not on progressive feminism, but rather on the reactionary image of female domesticity that feminism has spent most of the last 60-odd years fighting against."

Jim Naureckas at FAIR on how journalists identify with states Responding to a recent essay by Talking Points Memo editor Josh Marshall, Jim Naureckas grapples with the thorny question of whether journalists should identify with the government and the political and social goals it seeks to accomplish. "[Bradley] Manning released documents relating to the 'war on terror,' in which the United States invaded and occupied two countries, killing hundreds of thousands," he begins. "Does that add up," he asks, quoting Marshall, "to a 'really, really good reason'? Not if you "basically identify with the country and the state," apparently." He continues: "For Marshall and other journalists who fundamentally identify with the state, it's OK to help journalists to debate surveillance policy–it's just not OK to try to change it." The next generation of leakers could change that, however. Michael Scherer at Time writes: "The threat of more leaks is likely to grow as young people come of age in the defiant culture of the Internet and new, principled martyrs like Snowden seize the popular imagination.

Sonja West at Slate on Anthony Kennedy's gay marriage decision Sonja West investigates the possibility that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will rule in favor of gay marriage on the principle of gender discrimination: "Kennedy could side-step any icky feelings he might get from wading into privacy rights, which tend to include family-based freedoms like the right of procreation, childrearing, contraception, and abortion. Instead he could rest easy that a gender-discrimination decision would put this case squarely in the Equal Protection chapter of future constitutional law textbooks." She adds: "The court’s precedents on gender might offer Kennedy the conservative compromise he is looking for: a way to recognize a constitutional right for same-sex marriage in a limited way." Lisa Keen at Queerty agrees with Kennedy's important, citing his prior opinions on sodomy laws: "The future of marriage equality is in the swing-voting hands of Justice Anthony Kennedy."

Rachel Arons at The New Yorker on TV's recent depictions of Jewish people What to make of Bravo's new series, Princesses: Long Island, which stars several young, and wealthy, Jewish women who live on the South Shore of Long Island? After noting prior criticisms of the show, Rachel Arons noted the overbearing theme: "What’s most troubling about Princesses: Long Island ... is not the way its spoiled, materialistic drama queens give Jews a bad name. ... It’s the way the show marshals the familiar Jewish stereotypes of the JAP, the yenta, the overbearing mother, and the 'why-don’t-you-marry-a-doctor' dad to make a spectacle of a demographic that’s between the young party animals of MTV and the middle-aged wives and divorcees of Real Housewives: pushing-thirty single women looking for husbands." Lindsey Orlofsky at The Huffington Post is even more concerned. The lives of these women, she writes, "could not be farther from a Jewish woman's true reality."

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