Michael Gerson in The Washington Post on Rand Paul's outsider status Sen. Rand Paul's defense of a neo-Confederate staff member, his anti-federal power stance, and his isolationist foreign policy make him too far outside the mainstream conservative viewpoint to be a Republican star, Gerson argues. "The triumph of his ideas and movement would fundamentally shift the mainstream and demolish a century and a half of Republican political history," he writes. "The GOP could no longer be the party of Reagan’s internationalism or of Lincoln’s belief in a strong union dedicated to civil rights." Wall Street Journal politics reporter Neil King tweets that Gerson "deftly skewers Rand Paul," but The Atlantic contributor Jonathan Rauch is unsure if Gerson's argument still applies nowadays: "What Republican mainstream?" he asks.
Ta-Nehisi Coates in The New York Times on Obama's flirtation with stop and frisk Back in 2003, "Obama called racial profiling 'morally objectionable,' 'bad police practice' and a method that mainly served to 'humiliate individuals and foster contempt in communities of color.'" So appointing New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly—the architect of the "stop and frisk" policing policy that openly racially profiles minorities—as secretary of homeland security would violate everything Obama has stood for in his career, Coates argues. "In this case, the challenge before Obama is not in adhering to the principles of a radical Left, but of adhering to his own." Dan Froomkin, the senior Washington correspondent for the Huffington Post, tweets that Coates "describes his inability to comprehend Obama's flirtation with racial profiler Ray Kelly." "Look at often-banal list of NYT columnists," producer for PBS' NewsHour Morgan Till writes,"& think how quickly Ta-Nehisi [would] make page always worth reading."