Five Best Friday Columns

Ta-Nehisi Coates on Obama's flirtation with stop and frisk, Marc Lynch on lasting Egyptian anger at the U.S., Peggy Noonan on an IRS "bombshell," Paul Krugman on China's economic troubles, and Michael Gerson on Rand Paul's outsider status.

This article is from the archive of our partner .

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."

Marc Lynch in Foreign Policy on entrenched Egyptian hatred of the U.S. The powerful furor with which Egyptians have reacted against the U.S.—and Ambassador Anne Patterson, specifically—since Morsi's downfall is here to stay, and "The rhetoric spans the political spectrum," Lynch writes. The current American position of laying low may not change much either. "There's little tolerance for those in the middle when every Egyptian political trend has adopted the classic Bush position of 'you're either with us or against us.'" Getting back on the favored side of Egyptian political opinion will require healthy communication and public diplomacy "as a long-term strategic investment, not as a quick fix," he writes. Jonathan Eyal, the director of international security studies at RUSI, offers one possible idea: "Is it not time for US ambassador in Egypt to go, as she became part of the problem, rather than the solution?" Time journalist Omar Waraich notes that the anti-Americanism is "similar to Pakistan, with Anne Patterson, too," as she worked in Pakistan prior to her stint in Egypt.

Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal on a bombshell in the IRS scandal A congressional hearing revealed that the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups for additional scrutiny was not limited to a rogue Cincinnati office, but reached up to the IRS chief counsel, Noonan writes. "It's almost as if—my words—the conservative organizations in question were, during two major election cycles, deliberately held in a holding pattern." Noonan isn't clear what the next step in the scandal is, "Meaning this is the point at which a scandal goes nowhere or, maybe, everywhere." The Weekly Standard writer Jay Cost tweets "Hats off to @PeggyNoonanNYC for keeping the IRS scandal in the public eye." But Huffington Post political editor Sam Stein writes that "Peggy Noonan apparently doesn't read @DaveWiegel," who yesterday wrote that the "bombshell" Noonan refers to actually has been known for two months.

Paul Krugman in The New York Times on economic troubles for China China's economy relies heavily on investment and not consumption, but that model won't work for much longer. "Investment is now running into sharply diminishing returns and is going to drop drastically no matter what the government does; consumer spending must rise dramatically to take its place," Krugman explains. The Chinese government has delayed accepting this major change, but they cannot ignore it any longer. "You could say that the Chinese model is about to hit its Great Wall, and the only question now is just how bad the crash will be." Financial Times columnist John Gapper tweets "Very good Paul Krugman column," and Business Day editor-in-chief Peter Bruce picks up on one major reason for the impending crash: "China in trouble as it runs out of peasants."

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