Who wrote the following? A. “Over the past 30 years, or at least since Rush Limbaugh came on the scene, the Republican rhetorical tone has grown ever more bombastic, hyperbolic and imbalanced. . . .These insurgents are incompetent at governing and unwilling to be governed. But they are not a spontaneous growth. It took a thousand small betrayals of conservatism to get to the dysfunction we see all around.”
- David Brooks
- Paul Krugman
- Harry Reid
B. “For Putin, it’s clear where the weakness lies: in the White House. . . . the cost of [Obama’s] Doctrine of Restraint has been very high. How high we do not yet know, but the world is more dangerous than in recent memory.”
- George Will
- Mario Rubio
- Roger Cohen
The answers are:
A. David Brooks, The New York Times’ thoughtful conservative columnist, wrote The Republicans’ Incompetence Caucus, a sharp criticism of the current GOP.
B. Roger Cohen, the paper’s thoughtful liberal columnist, wrote Obama’s Doctrine of Restraint, a strong critique of the administration’s foreign policy. He followed it with Obama’s What Next?, in which he wrote: “Syria is the American sin of omission par excellence, a diabolical complement to the American sin of commission in Iraq – two nations now on the brink of becoming ex-nations.”
While three columns do not make a trend, I sense a shift in press commentary from reflexive partisanship to more reflective analysis, an effort to reclaim the media’s role to stimulate serious thinking, rather than whip up parochial prejudices. A good columnist isn’t always predictable.