“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.
Maureen Dowd: When a Pirate Is the Voice of Chivalry
In a campaign season when many men – and women – are taking harsh stances that could hurt women, a chivalrous voice has at last arrived.
Oddly enough, it belongs to a renegade pirate whose motto is “Keep it dark”: Keith Richards.
You’d think that an only child whose mother killed all the pets he kept as companions would not grow up to be so positive about women. . . .
“I’ve never been able to go to bed with a woman just for sex,” writes the author, happily married for decades to the former model Patti Hansen, whom he is supporting through bladder cancer. “I’ve no interest in that. I want to hug you and kiss you and make you feel good and protect you. And get a nice note the next day, stay in touch.”
The consummate gentleman. Who knew?
Katrina vanden Heuvel: Just say yes to common sense on pot policy
With all the hand-wringing over a Democratic “enthusiasm gap,” one effort to turn out young people at the polls this November is showing real energy and promise. What’s the secret? In a word, as 78-year-old John Burton, chairman of the California Democratic Party, put it, “Pot.”
Proposition 19 would make it legal for Californians over 21 to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use, and it would authorize city governments to regulate and tax commercial production and sales. Its passage would signal a major victory for common sense over a war on drugs that has been an abysmal failure in the Golden State and throughout the country. As states devastated by the fiscal crisis look for more efficient and effective alternatives to spending $50 billion a year on incarceration, a shift in California might presage changes across the nation.
It would be great if young people would take to the streets and the voting booths on issues like Afghanistan, historical levels of inequality and poverty, or to protect Social Security from a Republicans takeover. But they’re not. And if it’s reforming an ineffective, wasteful and racially unjust drug policy that mobilizes young people — who are at the core of the rising American electorate along with African-Americans, Hispanics, and unmarried women — so be it. According to Public Policy Polling, for those who cite Prop 19 as their top reason for voting, 34 percent are under age 30.
Ruth Marcus: Which Darrell Issa would run House oversight panel?
There are two faces of Issa — Good Darrell and Bad Darrell. Good Darrell sounds responsible, measured, almost statesmanlike. Bad Darrell tosses red meat to a ravenous base.
Good Darrell, writing in USA Today on Oct. 11: “Oversight is not and should not be used as a political weapon against the occupant of the Oval Office. It should not be an instrument of fear or the exclusive domain of the party that controls Congress.”
Bad Darrell, to Rush Limbaugh on Oct. 19: “You know, there will be a certain degree of gridlock as the president adjusts to the fact that he has been one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.”