Sunday morning's five best columns

  • Frank Rich, New York Times: In Defense of the 'Balloon Boy' Dad  "Richard Heene is the inevitable product of this reigning culture, where 'news,' 'reality' television and reality itself are hopelessly scrambled and the warp-speed imperatives of cable-Internet competition allow no time for fact checking."
  • George Will, Washington Post: The Bachmann Burr  "Some of her supposed excesses are, however, not merely defensible, they are admirable."
  • Anna Quindlen, Newsweek: Hope Springs Eternal  "History will judge Barack Obama over the long haul. But we've learned something in the short term that is simple, obvious, and has less to do with him than with the Founding Fathers. This is a country that often has transformational ambitions but is saddled with an incremental system, a nation built on revolution, then engineered so the revolutionary can rarely take hold."
  • Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times: Wall Street's Next Act  "For all the apparent action in Washington, some acute observers say that it was much ado about little. Last week’s moves, they say, were tinkering around the edges and did nothing to prevent another disaster like the one that unfolded a year ago."
  • Kathleen Parker, Washington Post:  Does the GOP Support Rape? " Politically, this couldn't be worse timing for Republicans, who can't seem to shake their white-male-patriarchal-oppressor image. Picture it: 30 Republicans, all men, all white, pitted against a young woman who says she was raped by a gang of Halliburton thugs."