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Pundits & Editorials

Are Sarah Palin and other conservative leaders to blame for violent reactions to health care reform? Peggy Noonan urges both sides to "lower the temperature."

• "I admit it: I had fun watching right-wingers go wild as health reform finally became law," writes Paul Krugman. "But a few days later, it doesn't seem quite as entertaining -- and not just because of the wave of vandalism and threats aimed at Democratic lawmakers. For if you care about America's future, you can't be happy as extremists take full control of one of our two great political parties."

• "[Sarah] Palin, who did indeed post a map with gunsights over 20 districts with Democratic House members she would like to defeat and who tweeted 'Don't Retreat, Instead -- RELOAD,' ought to be able to express her enthusiasm without resorting to hunting metaphors," lectures the Washington Post.


• "Political leaders who appropriate and reinforce the extremists' language -- who urge angry people to 'reload' -- are being reckless. They must stop this madness before someone gets hurt," implores Eugene Robinson.

• "It would be deeply unhelpful for the Democrats to use this story as a mere political opportunity, as a way to undermine opposition to ObamaCare by painting opponents as dangerous and unhinged. That would only inflame the country," warns Peggy Noonan (subscription).

• "Obama focused his case less on helping the uninsured and more on providing those with coverage greater leverage against their insurers," observes Ronald Brownstein. "And yet, polling just before the bill's approval showed that most white Americans believed that the legislation would primarily benefit the uninsured and the poor, not people like them."


• "For the moment, our federal overlords have ruled. We better start adjusting to our new status as good Europeans," concludes Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, writing in the Wall Street Journal.

• "House Republicans will work every day to repeal this law and start over," promises Rep. Mike Pence, R.-Ind., in the Wall Street Journal. "If we repeal ObamaCare, we can start over."

• "Newt Gingrich is saying we should 'repeal and replace.' That works," affirms Louisiana's Republican governor, Bobby Jindal, in the Wall Street Journal.

• "If Republicans do run on repeal ... two things will happen," predicts Bill Schneider. "First, they will rally the Democratic Party's base.... Second, voters are unlikely to want to return to the status quo ante reform."


Charlie Cook reports that new polls show "Democrats are happy about the legislation, Republicans are not, and independents are closely divided. To the extent that more Americans like the bill than not, that is simply because there are more Democrats out there than Republicans."

• "Obama knows that the debt bomb is looming, that Moody's is warning that the Treasury's AAA rating is in jeopardy, that we are headed for a run on the dollar and/or hyperinflation if nothing is done," writes Charles Krauthammer. "Hence his deficit-reduction commission. It will report (surprise!) after the November elections."

• Writing in the Washington Post, governors Bob Riley of Alabama, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, Phil Bredesen of Tennessee and Bob McDonnell of Virginia, endorse "a project called the Crescent Corridor, a 2,500-mile rail route stretching across 13 states from New Jersey to Tennessee and Louisiana." They argue it "would offer significant economic and environmental benefits by creating tens of thousands of jobs and moving trucks off crowded highways such as I-81."

• "Have you heard that Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed tough federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to take over a months-old investigation into whether defense lawyers associated with the American Civil Liberties Union illegally compromised CIA interrogators' identities?" wonders Stuart Taylor Jr. "The Fitzgerald appointment ... has at this writing been virtually ignored by almost all other news organizations. But it raises interesting questions."

• "The Pentagon is taking a major step to ease the discriminatory burdens on gay and lesbian service members by ending the pernicious use of anonymous tips and biased hearsay to drum them from the military," declares the New York Times.

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