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EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

Conservatives can't wait for 2010, while Gerson predicts that some form of health reform will pass. Plus: Gail Collins takes pity on Sarah Palin.

• "The incompetence of President Obama's health-care reform effort is undeniable, and unexpected," Michael Gerson alleges. "But all this amateurism actually leaves a false impression. Despite Obama's best efforts, some type of health reform seems likely."

• "Here's a paradox," Nicholas Kristof observes. "Health care reform may be defeated this year in part because so many Americans believe the government can't do anything right and fear that a doctor will come to resemble an I.R.S. agent with a scalpel. Yet the part of America's health care system that consumers like best is the government-run part."

 

• "Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) was inartful but basically correct when he said if Mr. Obama loses on health care, 'it will be his Waterloo,'" observes Karl Rove. "It would destroy confidence in the ability of Democrats to govern. Mr. Obama knows this, which is why he will stop at nothing to get a bill, any bill, on which the label 'health-care reform' can be stuck."

Meghan Daum points to a series of "buycotts" in Dallas and St. Louis on Tuesday, in which the conservative Nationwide Tea Party Coalition asked consumers to support Whole Foods CEO John Mackey by shopping at his chain. Mackey had been facing criticism from left-leaning customers who bristled at his take on health care reform in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Cal Thomas predicts that Democrats' trouble getting health care reform and cap-and-trade passed will result in defeat at the ballot box in 2010.

 

Daniel Henninger draws parallels between political revolutions in Japan, Mexico and elsewhere and the 2010 election in the U.S.

• "The government owes Americans a full investigation into the orders to approve torture, abuse and illegal, secret detention, as well as the twisted legal briefs that justified those policies," the New York Times argues. "Congress and the White House also need to look into illegal wiretapping and the practice of sending prisoners to other countries to be tortured."

• "Obama's current position lets him have it both ways: Attorney General Eric Holder is proceeding with an investigation of enhanced interrogations under the Bush-Cheney administration, with or without Obama's blessing," explains Margaret Carlson. "But Obama doesn't give up extracting crucial information by using enhanced interrogation techniques, though only in other countries."

Gail Collins offers Sarah Palin (R) some rare sympathy in light of Levi Johnston's tell-all Vanity Fair story about the former Alaska governor's parenting skills.

 

• "The Soviets went into Afghanistan in 1979 in the mistaken belief that the invasion would enhance their security," Steve Chapman writes. "Nine years later, they admitted failure and went home. Staying longer than they did doesn't mean we will be more successful."

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