5 Best Thursday Columns

Karl Rove on Tea Parties, George Will on Sarah Palin, and more

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  • Karl Rove on Tea Party Autonomy The Wall Street Journal columnist and former Senior Adviser to President George W. Bush urges the Tea Party movement not to become a thing of the establishment:
The tea partiers have made an important splash because they are not yet another auxiliary to the Democratic or Republican parties. Like the pro-life and Second Amendment movements before it, the tea party movement will have a bigger impact if it holds the feet of politicians in both parties to its fire. Each party must know it can win or lose swing tea party voters.

  • Harold Meyerson on California's Economic Woes In a guest turn at the Los Angeles Times, Meyerson compares the looming budget crises in California and Greece, and examines the American and European Union responses:
I'll grant you that California can't get a bailout for itself, but that really shouldn't be its task. What it should be demanding is that the federal government assume responsibility (whether temporarily or permanently is a larger discussion) for important functions in every state -- functions such as education, so that grade-schoolers don't have to share their teacher with 40 other kids until the economy comes back.
  • George Will on Sarah Palin's Presidential Chances The Washington Post columnist compares Palin to Bill Miller, Goldwater's running mate in 1964 who also tapped into populist anger but was never considered a White House contender:
No one suggested [Miller] should be considered for the 1968 Republican presidential nomination. Yet Sarah Palin who with 17 months remaining in her single term as Alaska's governor quit the only serious office she has ever held, is obsessively discussed as a possible candidate in 2012. Why? She is not going to be president and will not be the Republican nominee unless the party wants to lose at least 44 states.
  • E. J. Dionne on the Democrats' Style of Governing The Washington Post columnist sees disaster for the Democrats come November if they don't abandon their passive approach. Dionne laments a left-wing malaise so paralyzing it has allowed Republicans to spin Democrats' successes into failures: "The Obama administration argues that both the stimulus and the health bill are better than people think. That's entirely true, and this is actually an indictment -- it means that on the two big issues of the moment, Republicans and conservatives are winning an argument they should be losing."
  • Marc Thiessen on Interrogating High-Level Terrorists Bush's former speechwriter pens a column for USA Today excoriating Obama for his "new, morally superior interrogation policy." Thiessen fumes that this White House is just letting other countries take care of the torturing, an inherently risky decision.
The problem is that when interrogations are outsourced, America is dependent on the competence and effectiveness of the foreign intelligence service that is interrogating the terrorist -- which is almost certainly less competent and effective than our own interrogators would be. If the terrorists refuse to cooperate, we have no options to compel their cooperation. And the Pakistanis do not need our permission to release or repatriate them.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.