The Morning Joe must-read opinion pages for Thursday, August 15
DELAY IS PREFERABLE TO ERROR
This means the case for a year’s delay, at least of Obamacare’s individual mandate and the exchanges, can be made in a practical and relatively nonpolemical way. This is useful if you’re trying to win over undecided citizens and congressmen and senators. What’s more, delay buys time to further make the case against Obamacare as a whole, and to develop in far more detail and depth, and to build more consensus around, the conservative alternatives to Obamacare.
EGYPT ERUPTS AS SECURITY FORCES ATTACK MORSI SUPPORTERS
The Obama administration is complicit in the new and horrifyingly bloody crackdown launched Wednesday by the de facto regime against tens of thousands of protesters who had camped out in two Cairo squares. At least 278 people were reported killed, including many women and children. … The Obama administration duly protested the latest crackdown, just as it previously urged the military not to use force against the demonstrations and to release Mr. Morsi and other political prisoners. The military’s disregard for these appeals was logical and predictable: Washington had already demonstrated that its warnings were not credible. … This refusal to take a firm stand against massive violations of human rights is as self-defeating for the United States as it is unconscionable.
MILITARY MADNESS IN CAIRO
NEW YORK TIMES
Washington’s influence on Egyptian public opinion generally is limited. That has less to do with the low-key tone Mr. Obama has taken than with the preceding decades of uncritical United States support for past dictators like Mr. Mubarak and the military forces supporting them, to the neglect of most of Egypt’s 84 million people. It is past time for Mr. Obama to start correcting that imbalance. Suspending assistance to Egypt’s anti-democratic military would be a good place to start.
THE TRUE NATURE OF A COUP REVEALED
WALL STREET JOURNAL
In truth, there was no avoiding the bloodshed. It was willful to assume that the Brotherhood would go gently into the night—that a political party that had pined for power for eight long decades, that had won outright parliamentary and presidential elections and secured the passage of a constitution of its own making, would bow to a military writ. … In this Egyptian drama, the United States did not give the best of itself. When the Obama administration could not call the coup d’état by its name, we put on display our unwillingness to honor our own democratic creed. Egypt has long been in the American strategic orbit. When our secretary of state opined that the army was “restoring democracy,” we gave away the moral and strategic incoherence of an administration that has long lost its way.
THE PRIEBUS ULTIMATUM
WALL STREET JOURNAL
To adapt the prayer: God grant Reince Priebus the serenity to accept liberal media bias, the courage to change who moderates presidential debates, and the wisdom to know the difference. It’s the wisdom part the Republican National Committee Chairman is struggling with, as illustrated by his recent ultimatum to NBC and CNN. … If Mr. Priebus wants to bar liberal networks from hosting debates, he can simply urge his state parties and other sponsors not to work with networks whose moderators have it out for Republicans. In the 2012 primary debates, the candidates spent far too much time discussing contraception and gay marriage, rather than the economy and foreign policy, in large part because some moderators acted as if this is all Republican voters care about. The Republican Party can’t do much about liberal media bias, but it does have a say in who moderates GOP primary debates. And that is a power it should exercise.
OBAMA’S UNCONSTITUTIONAL STEPS WORSE THAN NIXON’S
GEORGE F. WILL
President Obama’s increasingly grandiose claims for presidential power are inversely proportional to his shriveling presidency. Desperation fuels arrogance as, barely 200 days into the 1,462 days of his second term, his pantry of excuses for failure is bare, his domestic agenda is nonexistent and his foreign policy of empty rhetorical deadlines and red lines is floundering. And at last week’s news conference he offered inconvenience as a justification for illegality. … Obama should be embarrassed that, by ignoring the legal requirement concerning the employer mandate, he has validated critics who say the ACA cannot be implemented as written. What does not embarrass him is his complicity in effectively rewriting the ACA for the financial advantage of self-dealing members of Congress and their staffs. … If the president does it, it’s legal? [As Richard Nixon said,] “Exactly, exactly.”