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Pundits & Editorials

Cantor chides Obama for appointing a 'virtual army' of czars, and Ignatius says Washington overdoes it on security detail. Plus: Debating racial profiling.

• "This struggle over health-care legislation isn't just another battle between the Democratic and Republican parties," Daniel Henninger declares. "It's about which force is going to take the United States forward for the next generation: the public sector or the private sector. If by now you haven't figured out which sector you are in, then you're a Blue Dog Democrat."

• In Politico, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., charges that President Obama's "vision of reform would do irreparable harm to an American health care system that, for all its faults, provides the world's greatest care."


• "On the campaign trail last year," Obama "promised to end the 'politics of fear and cynicism,'" Karl Rove recalls. "Yet he is now trying to sell his health-care proposals on fear."

• On, columnist Michael Barone also says the president hasn't lived up to his campaign pledges regarding health care: "He created the impression on the campaign trail that he was familiar with major issues and readily ticked off his positions on them. But he has not proved so good at legislating."

• In Politico, the chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care, Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., maintains that "when it comes to moving our health system forward and creating stability for the future, we need to think big. And let's face it: The 800-pound gorilla is Medicare."


• The Wall Street Journal criticizes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for a tax she proposed that would increase payroll taxes on workers and businesses that don't provide health insurance: "This should put to rest the illusion that no one making more than $250,000 in income will pay higher taxes."

• On, columnist Froma Harrop charges that Republicans are "looking crazy" in suggesting that the Senate health bill would "pressure the elderly to end their lives prematurely."

• "In the conflict between Henry Louis Gates Jr. and police Sgt. James Crowley over Gates's arrest at his home, all parties in the national conversation believe they should be the teachers," E. J. Dionne remarks. "The theme is, 'No, you listen to me!'"

Margaret Carlson examines Obama's initial reaction to the Gates' arrest: "That Obama didn't get the tone right is more evidence, if any is needed, that a black man may be president but he still remembers just being black."


USA Today doesn't think Gates' arrest was a "classic case of racial profiling," but does maintain such profiling persists among law enforcement agency practices.

• In an opposing view, Chuck Canterbury, president of the National Fraternal Order of Police, counters that "racial profiling is not a legitimate law enforcement tool, and there is no evidence that prejudice is a systemic problem in U.S. law enforcement."

David Ignatius thinks public officials, especially those in Washington, have too much security detail: "We have gotten so cranked up about security in the United States that senior officials travel in cocoons, as if they are under constant threat."

• "The recession didn't create the gap between state government commitments and state government resources," Steve Chapman asserts. "It only exposed it."

• "By appointing a virtual army of 'czars' -- each wholly unaccountable to Congress yet tasked with spearheading major policy efforts for the White House -- in his first six months, the president has embarked on an end-run around the legislative branch of historic proportions," Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., scoffs in the Washington Post.

• The Washington Post urges the administration to keep its "aggressive stance" on education reform when it begins to allocate the Race To The Top funds.

• The New York Times contends that "more needs to be done to ensure that the military is not illegally deployed in this country."

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