Five Best Wednesday Columns

Ana Marie Cox on why Mitch McConnell's win is also a Tea Party win, Maureen Dowd on the right to be forgotten by the Internet, Evan Osnos on American pop culture and Chinese espionage arrests, James Freeman on hard times for Obama voters, Jonathan Law on the underlying sexism in sport.

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Ana Marie Cox at the Guardian on why Mitch McConnell’s win is also a Tea Party win. “Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell's primary victory on Tuesday night in Kentucky will undoubtedly tempt many a pundit to write the Tea Party's eulogy. But the Tea Party will achieve in electoral death what it could never achieve in life: lasting control of the GOP agenda. McConnell won because he's got a familiar name, a lot of money and the kind of political clout that makes up for occasional lapses from orthodoxy. That might not be enough next time,” Cox writes. “There's a history to the GOP establishment simply absorbing insurgent movements and moving right. The GOP has co-opted individual leaders (like Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater) and even entire voting blocs (fundamentalist Christians). Each of those assimilations marched the party rightward to the point that, according to political scientists Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal, the party today is the most conservative it's been in one hundred years.”

Maureen Dowd at The New York Times on the right to be forgotten by the Internet. “The Right to Be Forgotten. It is, in fact, based on a French legal phrase, le droit à l’oubli, the ‘right of oblivion,’ which allows criminals who have paid their debt to society to object to the publication of information about their conviction and jail time. That French concept was the underpinning of the European Court of Justice’s jolting ruling last week that Google and other search engines can be forced to remove search results about ordinary citizens linking to news articles, websites, court records and other documents if the information is deemed 'inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant' — even if it is truthful,” Dowd writes. “Still stung by the overreaches of the N.S.A., collaborating with American tech companies, the Europeans are challenging what is far more accepted here: the right of Big Data to have All Data, the right of knowing to trump the right of privacy. They are implicitly rebuking America, the land of Gatsbyesque reinvention, by defending the right to reinvention.”

Evan Osnos at the New Yorker on American pop culture and Chinese espionage arrests. “The announcement, on Tuesday, that the United States has charged five members of the Chinese military with economic espionage—for hacking the computers of American companies—is an acknowledgment that its diplomatic relationship with China is moving toward confrontation. Still, it would be easy to overlook the sign of a deeper, countervailing trend in China’s relationship with the West. On April 26th, the Beijing government abruptly banned the country’s most popular American television show, “The Big Bang Theory.” Earlier that month, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, had launched the latest in a string of campaigns to clean up the Web, to rid it of porn, rumors, and other ‘harmful information,’” Osnos writes. “It is a remarkable state of affairs: at the very moment when the U.S. and Chinese governments are moving in a direction of greater conflict, the slow, steady accretion of foreign pop culture on the Chinese Web has given people on both sides of the Pacific more in common than ever before.”

James Freeman at The Wall Street Journal on hard times for Obama voters. “The great irony of the Obama era is that the President's base voters have disproportionately suffered from a sputtering economy, while the wealthy that Mr. Obama likes to criticize have enjoyed a booming stock market. A new study shows just how difficult this era has been for some of the President's most loyal supporters. Researchers at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a left-leaning think tank, find that ‘The Great Recession has been hard on all recent college graduates, but it has been even harder on black recent graduates',” Freeman writes.“Even a career-friendly course of study isn't protecting young graduates from the ravages of this historically slow recovery. As the President tries once more to rally young and minority voters this fall to support a Democratic Senate, he may find that they are not just unemployed and underemployed, but also unenthusiastic and underwhelmed by the results of national economic policy.”

Jonathan Law at The Telegraph on the underlying sexism in sport. “In 1994, a 20-year-old trainee physiotherapist received a letter from Alex Ferguson, the manager of Manchester United Football Club, declining her request for a work placement. Ferguson explained his reasoning thus: ‘Most of the players felt that football was very much a male sport, and did not really like the thought of females being involved with the treating of sports injuries within the training complex.’ Sensing the rumblings of a furore, Manchester United moved quickly to explain away the letter when it emerged a few years ago. 'Times have changed,' the club said," Law writes. “So for all football’s talk of progress, there was very little that was surprising in Monday’s announcement that Richard Scudamore, the chief executive of the Premier League, would not face disciplinary action over sexist emails he sent to friends. But you do not need to dig very deep to discover the extent to which inequality is ingrained in our country’s most popular sports.” CNN’s James Masters tweets, “Like this from @jonathanliew If there's someone who can wield the pen like a sword, it's him.”

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