Most Read: Opinions

direct signup

Today’s Opinions poll

Would you use an app that tells you the partisan affiliation of products you're considering buying?

Submit
Next
Review your answers and share

Join a Discussion

Weekly schedule, past shows

Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 04/03/2011

Morning Bits

I think we can agree on the job description for the Libyan representative to the U.N. “Out of a job? No worries! If you are an anti-American, Fidel-worshiping, Israel-hating, Ahmadinejad-embracing, Vatican-censured liberation-theology-espousing Maryknoll priest and defender of the Sandinista faith, you qualify to become Libya’s representative at the United Nations.” Read the whole, wickedly funny thing.

Mother Jones agrees with Right Turn: “Having watched the Minnesota congresswoman on the trail for years, Minnesota political operatives on both sides of the aisle warn against simply laughing off [Michele] Bachmann. ‘You underestimate Michele Bachmann at your own peril,’ says Zach Rodvold, the campaign manager for her Democratic opponent in 2010.”

The Wall Street Journal editorial board agrees with the White House that the jobs report contains positive news: “The jobs recovery gained speed in March — not ramming speed, or cruising speed, but let’s call it chugging along speed. We’ll take it nonetheless as more welcome evidence that the economy has moved out of recovery mode and into second gear, even if workers still aren’t seeing big increases in their paychecks.” But the editorial board also observes, “For all the recent progress, this jobs recovery remains one of the weakest on record. The economy is still seven million jobs shy of pre-recession employment, and the labor participation rate remains depressed at 64.2%, down from a peak in 2006 of 66.4%. . . .The other disappointment is that wages are flat, even as prices for food and energy are rising rapidly.”

What if God and Haley don’t agree? “Haley Barbour’s wife says the personal sacrifices he’d have to make to run for president ‘horrifies’ her. . . . “ ‘If God and Haley decide to do it, I’m sure God will give me strength to be a good partner,’ she said.”

I agree we have a civility problem in this country. “Wisconsin Head Start Employee Charged with Death Threats Against GOP Legislators.”

Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis agrees it’s high time Muslim autocrats vanished from the scene. In a must-read interview, he says he is “ ‘delighted’ by the popular movements and believes that the U.S. should do all it can to bolster them. But he cautions strongly against insisting on Western-style elections in Muslim lands. ‘We have a much better chance of establishing — hesitate to use the word democracy — but some sort of open, tolerant society, if it’s done within their systems, according to their traditions.’ ” Do we think anyone in the Obama administration understands this or has a coherent strategy for reform in the Middle East? Maybe they should bring in Lewis for a consultation: “Elections, he argues, should be the culmination — not the beginning — of a gradual political process. Thus ‘to lay the stress all the time on elections, parliamentary Western-style elections, is a dangerous delusion.’ ”

Others agree that Defense Secretary Robert Gates should pack it in. In taking issue with Gates’s answer that there wouldn’t be “boots on the ground” in Libya “as long as I’m in this job,” Elliott Abrams writes: “Who elected Bob Gates? That is a decision the President, or the President and Congress, should make. The Secretary of Defense has the obligation to give the President his unvarnished views — privately. It is wrong, and subversive of the President’s constitutional role, for the Secretary of Defense to threaten that he would resign if the President makes that decision. How else can one read Gates’s remark except as saying ‘I oppose this, and I won’t do it, and if the President orders me to do it I will quit.’ Mr. Gates is a short-timer and apparently now feels free to escape White House discipline and substitute himself for the President. If that is his view, he should resign his post now. The right answer — indeed the only acceptable answer — to the question about ‘boots on the ground’ was ‘The President will make that decision.’ ”

Left and right, I think, can agree with Charles Krauthammer on this: “We already own the war. Obama decided we were going to enter the war. He’s the one who organized the coalition. He crowed about it. It’s now his war. He thinks he can pretend it’s a NATO war or U.N. war [or] Arab League war. Of course not. A coalition is a means. Not an end. A president has to decide what the end is and pursue it seriously. Otherwise he should not enter his country into war.”

A lot of smart conservatives agree: “What they are all saying, in one form or another, is that while the debate over the . . . [continuing resolution] is important, it’s a mistake for conservatives to make it their fiscal Ground Zero. What matters most is not the outcome of a debate focused on several billion dollars in discretionary spending cuts for the FY 2011 budget. The key debate is about reforming government in deep structural ways that would save trillions of dollars in the next decade.”

Most New Yorkers agree that Client 9 shouldn’t run for mayor: “62% of registered voters in New York City say they would prefer former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer not run for mayor. 29%, however, say he should. 10% are unsure. . . . Spitzer can’t even gain traction in his own party. More than six in ten Democratic voters — 62% — do not want him to seek the mayoralty while 29% do. Nine percent are unsure. In Marist’s previous survey, similar proportions of Democrats citywide held these views.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 04/03/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company