Five Best Wednesday Columns

Jack Welch on the jobs report, Maureen Dowd on Obama on his own, Clive Crook on "elected autocracy," Ross Douthat on liberal failure, and Dana Milbank on the campaign's Snuffleupagus. 

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Jack Welch in The Wall Street Journal on why he was right about the jobs report The former GE CEO who questioned last week's unemployment numbers writes in defense of what others called a conspiracy theory. "The possibility of subjectivity creeping into the process is so pervasive that the BLS's own 'Handbook of Methods' has a full page explaining the limitations of its data," he writes. "The coming election is too important to be decided on a number. Especially when that number seems so wrong."

Maureen Dowd in The New York Times on Obama's solitude Obama "wants to feel that he doesn’t owe his ascension to anyone else—not a rich daddy, not a spouse or father who was president, not even those who helped at pivotal moments," Dowd writes. "So Obama knows that he alone is responsible for his unfathomable retreat into his own head while 70 million people watched."

Clive Crook in Bloomberg View on why democracy is not enough Hugo Chavez's win in Venezuela as "an elected autocrat" proves that democracy isn't enough for a free society. "Chavez makes it easier to see how democracies can be corrupted, how important it is to arrest that decay early on, and that illiberal democracies like Venezuela are not necessarily anomalies or exceptions."

Ross Douthat in The New York Times on liberal failure to see limits Liberals are "focusing too intently on the particular weaknesses of President Obama’s debate performance, rather than on the weaknesses in Obama-era liberalism," Douthat writes. "Every ideology has to make concessions to political reality. But what we don’t see in this campaign cycle is much soul-searching from Democrats about the ways in which their agenda hasn’t worked out as planned."

Dana Milbank in The Washington Post on the campaign's Snuffleupagus "Big Bird is not the problem," Milbank writes. "The problem is Snuffleupagus." Snuffleupagus was Big Bird's imaginary friend that adults couldn't see. Obama should focus on what's not there because "the threat presented by Romney’s budget is not in the few cuts he has specified but in the vastly larger amount of unseen cuts he has yet to identify."

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