Five Best Tuesday Columns

David Ignatius on Kerry, Gideon Rachman on Hillary, Bloomberg View on India, Jonah Goldberg on impeachment, and Kari Lydersen on Chicago.

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David Ignatius in The Washington Post on why John Kerry's decision to include Turkey and Qatar in a ceasefire has emboldened Hamas. Ignatius contends that in pushing for an immediate end to the violence Kerry has ignored the big picture.  "A wiser course, which Kerry rejected in his hunt for a quick diplomatic solution, would have been to negotiate the cease-fire through the Palestinian Authority, as part of its future role as the government of Gaza.... Any deal that reinforces Hamas’s stranglehold — rather than building a path toward change of government, elections and eventual disarmament — is misconceived. In the name of stopping bloodshed this week, it all but guarantees it in the future." Ignatius explains that by enlisting the help of Hamas allies Turkey and Qatar, Kerry has only encouraged Hamas. "Kerry’s initial plan was to support Egypt’s demand that Hamas accept a cease-fire. When Hamas balked at surrender and it was clear that Egypt lacked the clout to make the deal stick, Kerry turned to Turkey and Qatar, which as friends and financial backers of Hamas had more leverage. That put the deal first and a stable solution to Gaza’s problems second."

Gideon Rachman in The Financial Times on why electing Hillary Clinton as president in 2016 will not be a return to prosperity of the 1990s. Rachman concludes that part of the nostalgia for the Clinton Presidency was a product of the times. "... while Mr Clinton may yet return to the White House as First Man, the Clinton years are never coming back. Mr Clinton had his strengths as president – intelligence, shrewdness, empathy – but he was, above all, lucky in his timing. He came to power at a golden moment for the US in both economics and in geopolitics." In contrast, he writes, the Obama Presidency has been marked by bad timing. Should Hillary run, the public should not expect a third Bill Clinton term. "The real contrast between the Obama and the Clinton presidencies, however, is not between personalities but between eras...  It would be nice to believe that another Clinton in the White House could somehow magically recreate the golden economic and geopolitical circumstances of the 1990s. But, as Fleetwood Mac once put it: 'Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.'"

Bloomberg View on why newly elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first month in office has been a disappointment. The editors argue that Modi, who was elected as a reformer, has made a number of  blunders in his first months in office. "Last week, India's negotiators dismayed trade ministers around the world by threatening to block a global trade deal — one that's very much in India's interests — unless they get their way in a separate dispute over farm subsidies. And though Modi has been in office a mere two months, this isn't the first such letdown. The self-defeating brinkmanship on trade followed a pretty timid business-as-usual budget. Optimism over Modi is evaporating fast." They add that a failure to accept the WTO deal, could mean future problems for India. "Modi should reflect on how few countries rallied to support him last week. When Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela think you're in the right, you might want to think again. This trade deal was supposed to be final on July 31. India should let it happen."

Jonah Goldberg in The Los Angeles Times on why Democrats are more interested in talking about impeachment than Republicans. Goldberg writes that Democrats are hoping continued talk of impeachment will boost the President's approval. "Given Obama's famously low regard for the Clinton presidency, it's ironic that he keeps stealing from its playbook. Bill Clinton benefited from a government shutdown and impeachment and from the general perception his enemies were worse than his sins." Goldberg contends that this strategy represents a broader theme in the Obama Presidency, using important issues as political wedges. "Last fall, Obama did nearly everything he could to be thrown into the briar patch of a government shutdown in order to denounce the Republicans for shutting down the government. When it went into effect, the administration endeavored to make the shutdown as painful as possible — a replay of a similar scheme with the sequester — so he could arouse the public against his political foes."

Kari Lydersen in Al Jazeera America on why Mayor Rahm Emanuel faces challenges ahead of his 2015 re-election campaign in Chicago. Lydersen writes that Emanuel, through his backing of charter schools, an increase in gang violence, and his ties to Wall Street, has alienated much of Chicago's large black population. "Chicago has long been plagued by segregation and inequality, but many black residents feel Emanuel has widened the gulf even further between Chicago’s two cities (i.e., the haves and have-nots). An earlier poll, released by The Chicago Sun-Times in May, showed Emanuel with only 8 percent support among African-Americans, who were key to his 2011 election — thanks in part to backing from Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama." Emanuel's foremost opponent, Chicago Teacher's Union President Karen Lewis (who is leading in a recent poll), is coming out swinging. "If interactions between Lewis and Emanuel thus far are any indication, a mayoral contest between the two would be a brutal fight filled with ripe language that bares long-standing racial and class divisions. In a city legendary for larger-than-life mayors, Emanuel — with his boasts about remaking the city while huge swaths of it suffer — may have created a race for the ages."

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