Five Best Tuesday Columns

Ramesh Ponnuru on protectionism, David Brooks with rules for lawmakers, William Pesek on "Gangnam Style" economy, Dana Milbank on Harry Reid, and Jo Ellen Chatham on the conservative argument for PBS.

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Ramesh Ponnuru in Bloomberg View on campaigns' foolish trade protectionism Both campaigns are vilifying China trade. Romney wants to label China a currency manipulator; Obama said he "stood up to China" with tariffs. But both candidates' positions have negative effects, killing more jobs than they create and risking a trade war.

David Brooks in The New York Times with rules for lawmakers Voters want a leader who can plausibly fix the political system. Being a master craftsman is not about being moderate, as Ted Kennedy proved. It's about having a campaign consciousness and a governing consciousness, and knowing the difference between existential and business issues. "Voters are right to demand craftsmanship, given the brutal trade-offs that loom ahead. But, boy, it’s hard."

William Pesek in Bloomberg View on "Gangnam Style" economics Why did Korea's finance minister bring up Psy, the "Gangnam Style" rapper? Because it represents the type of innovation South Korea needs. They need to go beyond "cookie-cutter business," where growth has reached limits. Psy represents a more entrepreneurial spirit that can be competitive globally.

Dana Milbank in The Washington Post on Harry Reid diminishing his office Harry Reid used a media event to attack a Republican businessman running for House in Nevada, and he should not be getting involved in an obscure House race, Milbank writes. Reid has bigger issues, like fiscal cliff or the presidential race. "Harry Reid has one of the most important jobs in Washington. If only he could be as big as the office he holds."

Jo Ellen Chatham in Los Angeles Times with a conservative argument for loving PBS Chatham, a GOP vice chairman emeritus in Orange County and PBS SoCal board member, argues that PBS contributes to the nation's economic and social prosperity. "Not all children have access to the best schools or curricula. That's why PBS is so important. Today, PBS, along with its websites and mobile apps, is the nation's largest classroom."

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