Five Best Wednesday Columns

Ruth Marcus wonders if Monica Lewinsky's article will help Hillary Clinton, Ana Marie Cox on why John Boehner is the best choice for Speaker of the House, Belén Fernández on the rise of America's militarized border patrol, Paul Waldman defends 'Star Wars', Dahlia Lithwick on who loses under the Supreme Court's prayer ruling. 

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Ruth Marcus at The Washington Post wonders if Monica Lewinsky’s article will help Hillary Clinton. “Monica Lewinsky may not have intended it this way, but she just did Hillary Clinton a big favor. She is the forgotten, tragic roadkill of the affair. Hillary Clinton, humiliated in her own way, emerged seemingly stronger. Having put cracks in the glass ceiling, she is poised to break it, should she choose, in 2016,” Marcus writes. “So the timing of Lewinsky’s Vanity Fair piece — as the political world awaits Hillary Clinton’s presidential determination, as Chelsea Clinton prepares to have the first grandchild — would seem not exactly fortuitous for the Clintons. Who wants to remember the stained blue dress and presidential phone sex and West Wing thong-flashing? If and when a Clinton presidential announcement comes, Lewinsky will be old news." Susan Heavey at Reuters tweets, “Another take on Monica Lewinsky’s speaking out, by @RuthMarcus”.

Ana Marie Cox at the Guardian on why John Boehner is the best choice for Speaker of the House. “Conservative Republicans are gunning for House Speaker John Boehner. The speaker's sense of self-preservation is well-honed enough that I believe he will likely escape the machinations of his compatriots. Unlike the rebellion that brewed under Newt Gingrich, the Tea Party froth comes from a distinct (if vocal) subculture within the party, rather than the GOP rank-and-file,” Cox writes. “But Boehner's most dangerous enemy is the man standing next to him at press conferences: Eric Cantor. It seems hard to believe that we could ever look back fondly on the past four years. But considering what we might expect from a the Tea Party Reign, the whole Boehner Era might take on a familiar sepia tone.”

Belén Fernández at Al Jazeera America on the rise of America’s militarized border patrol.  “[The Border Patrol's] 'priority mission,' according to the department’s website, is “preventing terrorists and terrorists [sic] weapons, including weapons of mass destruction, from entering the United States.” But its 'primary mission' is “to detect and prevent the illegal entry of aliens” into the country. Do migrants require the same serious level of attention as terrorists?” Fernández writes. “The climate of impunity that appears to surround Border Patrol personnel — ostensibly in the name of safeguarding the nation — has become chillier as what we call the border has expanded to encompass terrain far beyond the geographic demarcation. Officially, the Border Patrol’s jurisdiction extends 100 miles inward from the U.S. border. But in reality, its reach is even more extensive.”

Paul Waldman at The American Prospect defends ‘Star Wars.’ “The new Star Wars movie is in production, and this has occasioned a round of revisionist writing on the film, with lots of people saying, ‘Wait a minute—Star Wars sucks!’ As the resident Gen-Xer here, I feel it is my duty to address this matter, and offer some thoughts about why Star Wars had the cultural power it did, and maintains so much of it to this day,” Waldman writes. “In some ways, it did suck. The dialogue was awful, the acting was mediocre at best, and there are some glaring plot holes. There are some pieces of culture that 'hold up,' meaning that even as their medium evolved, they don't seem dated or cliched even when experienced for the first or hundredth time years later. Star Wars may not be one of them. But for those of us who saw it for the first time as kids, we'll always be kids whenever we encounter it.”

Dahlia Lithwick at Slate on who loses under the Supreme Court’s prayer ruling. “When the Supreme Court handed down its decision Monday in Town of Greece v. Galloway, many commentators suggested that it was an overreaction to believe that it would impact religious freedom in America. Whenever you hear cries that freedom has won, it’s worth contemplating who, if anyone, has lost,” Lithwick writes. “And less than 24 hours after the Court handed down its decision in Town of Greece, citizens of Roanoke, Virginia, have their answer. Al Bedrosian, a member of the Roanoke County’s board of supervisors, was sufficiently emboldened by the majority opinion to announce that he would seek to impose a Christian-only prayer policy. Asked if he would allow representatives from non-Christian faiths and non-faiths, including Jews, Muslims, atheists, and others, Bedrosian candidly replied that he likely would not.”

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