Worth Reading Today

Worth Reading Today May 16, 2011

Pieces of news and commentary I found interesting or important this morning:

1.  Giving credit where credit is due: DefSec Gates gives Obama props for his gutsy decision to green-light the mission that took out bin Laden.

2.  A great dialogue between Paul Krugman (yes, I know) and Walter Russell Mead on the structural and cultural problems afflicting America’s ruling class.  Krugman writes:

The fact is that what we’re experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. The policies that got us into this mess weren’t responses to public demand. They were, with few exceptions, policies championed by small groups of influential people — in many cases, the same people now lecturing the rest of us on the need to get serious. And by trying to shift the blame to the general populace, elites are ducking some much-needed reflection on their own catastrophic mistakes.

Mead’s essay begins:

I don’t want to make this a habit, and I suspect he doesn’t either, but Paul Krugman and I are once again in (very) partial agreement.  We both think the American elite has intellectually and morally lost its way, and we agree that the problems our country faces today have more to do with elite breakdown than popular stupidity.  We locate the blame somewhat differently within that elite; Krugman splits the blame between George W. Bush and the economic policy makers of the Clinton/Obama administrations.  I think the rot goes deeper and has spread out more widely.  But the United States today — in both parties, in the corporate and business worlds, in academia and among the intelligentsia, in religion and in many other fields — does not have the strong and thoughtful leadership that we need.

Mead is one of America’s premiere political essayists.  His piece is long but well worth your time.

3.  If you missed this last week, Christopher Hitchens’ piece on losing his voice (due to his esophageal cancer) may be remembered as one of the finest things he has ever written.  Which, as much as I disagree with him, is saying a lot.

4.  The Chicago Tribune with a great editorial on ObamaCare, Paul Ryan, and the debate over health care that we need to be having.

5.  Mitt Romney with an important response to the WSJ editorial criticizing RomneyCare.

6.  I posted my own piece on “Turning the Tide in the Abortion Struggle” as a part of our new symposium on faith and the future of social conservatism.  There are already some excellent articles posted, and you can look for more in the days to come.

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