BY BILL KRISTOL
THE WEEKLY STANDARD
Romney has to behave presidentially—more like a leader than a campaigner. Let Obama lower himself by acting as campaigner in chief rather than commander in chief. Let Obama be shrill. Let his campaign be petty. Meanwhile, Romney can lay out his governing agenda to restore our solvency, put us on a path to prosperity, attend to our security, and safeguard our liberty. ... President Obama has failed to pass a big tax reform, failed to master the federal budget, failed to reform our out-of-control entitlements. The next president, Mitt Romney, can explain that he will step forward to do all of these things. And he can do so in a presidential way.
THE ELECTION'S X FACTOR
BY EUGENE ROBINSON
It may not be the economy, stupid. ... [I]t’s quite possible that on Election Day, voters’ most urgent concerns — economic or not — will be driven by overseas events that neither President Obama nor his Republican opponent can predict or control. ... And if the [James] Carville dictum turns out to be right? Well, stock markets around the world swooned on Monday — not because of anything U.S. officials said or did but because of events in Europe that made investors nervous. The Dutch government fell, after failing to win approval of new austerity measures, while French President Nicolas Sarkozy finished second in his bid for reelection and faces a runoff. It may be that in 2012 it’s the euro-zone crisis, stupid. And there’s nothing Obama or Romney can do about it.
THE CREATIVE MONOPOLY
BY DAVID BROOKS
NEW YORK TIMES
We live in a culture that nurtures competitive skills. And they are necessary: discipline, rigor and reliability. But it’s probably a good idea to try to supplement them with the skills of the creative monopolist: alertness, independence and the ability to reclaim forgotten traditions. Everybody worries about American competitiveness. That may be the wrong problem. The future of the country will probably be determined by how well Americans can succeed at being monopolists.
A BISHOP'S UNJUST ATTACK ON PAUL RYAN
BY MARC THIESSEN
Some of the proposed spending cuts in Ryan’s budget, Blaire said, are “unjust and wrong.” Blaire has it backward. What is “unjust and wrong” is this bishop’s attack on a good Catholic layman. ... “The preferential option for the poor,” Ryan says, should not mean “a preferential option for big government.” ... [The bishops] should also appreciate the fact that the chairman of the committee crafting the Republican Party’s budget is a man of faith who is working to address the problems of poverty and our nation’s debt, so we can ensure we are not living, in Pope Benedict’s words, in “untruth” and “at the expense of future generations.”
MEDICARE'S OBAMA DONATION
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Most remarkable is Mr. Obama's decision to flout his own health-care law to temporarily protect private insurance inside Medicare. ... The real game here is purely political—to give a program that is popular with seniors a temporary reprieve past Election Day. Then if Mr. Obama is re-elected, he will go ahead and gut Medicare Advantage, just as the White House will give the EPA leave to impose the ozone rule, and taxes will soar. Given the pre-election timing of this short-term Medicare Advantage pardon, the Federal Election Commission should bill HHS for giving Mr. Obama's campaign what amounts to an $8.35 billion re-election contribution.
CHUCK COLSON AND SECOND CHANCES
BY JOHN J. DILULIO JR.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
[I]n the late 1990s Colson was among those who softened and spiritualized my views on crime. Visiting prisons with him, watching him relate pastorally to prisoners, was an inspiring experience that never got old. Through his ministry, his second chance became a second chance for hundreds of thousands of others. When it came to treating incarcerated citizens, recent parolees, and all persons touched by crime, both perpetrators and victims, with Christ-like care and compassion, he was "ruthless."
SOME LIBERALS ASK: WHAT WOULD JERRY DO?
BY JOE SCARBOROUGH
Since Jerry Falwell founded The Moral Majority in 1979, few things have unified American liberals as much as their contempt for self-righteous types who pushed a political agenda by attacking the faith of partisan opponents. ... Supporters of the president would do better to focus on creating jobs than channeling Jesus. Their recent attacks make them look as pathetic as those conservatives who refuse to take President Obama's testimony at face value.