Five Best Monday Columns

E.J. Dionne, Jr. on the Hillary Difference Voters, Heather Digby Parton on why conservatives desperately need another scandal, Tim Stanley on why feminists should be concerned by the rise of Boko Haram, Emily Brandwin on why it's OK that Jack Bauer is (still) unrealistic, Andre J. Bacevich on Israel and Palestine's unequal peace process. 

This article is from the archive of our partner .

E.J. Dionne, Jr. at The Washington Post on the Hillary Difference Voters. “There are two majorities in the country right now. One disapproves of President Obama. The other is still inclined to vote Democratic. There is also this: Obama’s difficulties do not appear to be hurting Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency in 2016,” Dionne, Jr. writes.“These are the findings just below the surface of the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll released last week. The roughly one-eighth of voters who disapprove of Obama but nonetheless support Clinton for 2016 may be the most important group in the electorate. These Hillary Difference Voters, as we’ll call them, could find themselves the most courted contingent in this year’s contests.” Ben Wrobel at the Center for American Progress tweets, “.@EJDionne on the 'Hillary Difference Voter' - interesting stuff.”

Heather Digby Parton at Salon on why conservatives desperately need another scandal. “You have to give them credit. What could have been a dull Friday with the only news being some good jobs numbers and Obamacare still not imploding. Instead the D.C. establishment went into another collective frenzy over Benghazi!™,” Digby Parton writes. "Benghazi!™ is about portraying the Obama administration as being wimpy on terrorism, of course. But this isn’t about Obama, not really. They have another Clinton to kick around and her involvement in Benghazi!™ as secretary of state gave them a perfect opportunity to dust off the old scandal sheet music and brush up on those old songs. And by that time nearly half the country will already believe that Hillary Clinton ordered the attack on Benghazi in order to cover up her involvement in something even worse.”

Timothy Stanley at The Telegraph on why feminists should be concerned by the rise of Boko Haram.“What exactly should feminism’s priorities in the 21st century be? Maybe I’m not the man to ask – being a man. A few weeks ago, the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls in order to sell them into sexual slavery to men in Chad or Cameroon. It’s hard to imagine this happening in the 21st century, but it does – and the West should be screaming in outrage about it. Nick Cohen theorises that Westerners are nervous about covering the subject for fear of 'demonising the other'. Such fears are not only cowardly but unfounded,” Stanley writes. “Nigeria is a modern, fast-growing nation (its economy is now bigger than South Africa’s) and Boko Haram is not in the least bit representative of the Islamic majority. To attack Boko Haram is not to attack the poor Muslims of Africa – it is to attack Boko Haram.”

Emily Brandwin at the Guardian on why it’s OK that Jack Bauer is (still) unrealistic. “Like the millions of 24 fans, I've waited with bated breath (for nearly four years) for the return of the real-time terror-hunting action that is the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU). But the only true real-life comparisons between actual counter-terrorism and '24: Live Another Day' – are as follows: A) there are, in fact, 24 hours in a day, and B) there are CIA employees named Jack,” Brandwin writes. “That's where the realism ends. And that's a good thing. The reality is that audiences would be bored to tears if they were forced to watch hour upon hour following the real inner workings of the CIA.  I could point out inaccuracies, but where's the fun in that?” Journalist and author Adam Lebor tweets, “Entertaining but insightful article by @CIAspygirl on the new series of 24 - watch those creaky knees, Jack.”

Andrew J. Bacevich at The Boston Globe on Israel and Palestine's unequal peace process. “The collapse of Secretary of State John Kerry’s effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has provoked much handwringing. A recurring theme is this: Given that the deal’s basic terms are known to all, why can’t the parties involved just sign and have done with it? The problem with this analysis is that it implicitly treats peace as an agreement between equals. That definition might pertain to relations between Norway and Sweden. But it does not describe relations between Israel and the Palestinians,” Bacevich writes. “So when it comes to relative power, Israel enjoys an immense edge, which the Israeli government has no intention of surrendering. Stripped to its essence, therefore, peace, as Israelis understand the term, is an agreement between supplicant and benefactor."

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