• The New York Times on the Bush Tax Cuts  The Old Grey Lady editorial board argues for a temporary extension of tax cuts for the middle class:

Permanent cuts would bust the budget. Extending all of them would cost nearly $4 trillion over the next decade — $3.2 trillion for the so-called middle-class cuts and $700 billion for the richest Americans. There is no plausible level of spending cuts to offset the damage; the result would be chronic deficits and debilitating debt.

That is why we believe that for the sake of fiscal sanity any extensions of the Bush tax cuts must be temporary and focused on spurring consumer spending while the economy is weak. We support a one- or two-year extension of the cuts for low-, middle-, and upper-middle-income taxpayers, who spend most of their income.

  • Dana Milbank on President Obama vs. President Hillary  The Washington Post columnist ponders how Hillary Clinton would fair as president under current circumstances:

Would unemployment have been lower under a President Hillary? Would the Democrats have lost fewer seats on Tuesday? It's impossible to know. But what can be said with confidence is that Clinton's toolkit is a better match for the current set of national woes than they were for 2008, when her support for the Iraq war dominated the campaign.

Back then, Clinton's populist appeal to low-income white voters, union members and workers of the Rust Belt was not enough to overcome Obama's energized youth vote. But Clinton's working-class whites were the very ones who switched to the Republicans on Tuesday.

  • George Will on the Tea Party's Foreign Policy Goals  The Washington Post columnist and Afghan war skeptic hopes that incoming Republicans will help wind down the war effort:
Give a thought to a subject almost no one has wanted to talk about this autumn. The nation is in the 10th year of its longest war and in what has been for American forces the deadliest year of that war. Do not assume that all freshman Republicans will support the current strategy and objectives - whatever they are - in Afghanistan.

The flavorful ingredients in the simmering stew that is the Tea Party impulse include a dash of the foreign policy skepticism associated with the Robert Taft tradition of conservatism. The Ohio senator died in 1953; the need for his prudence did not.

  • Maureen Dowd on George W. Bush's Memoir  The New York Times columnist reiterates her disdain for his policies, however, she says Dubya spins a good yarn:
if W.’s decision-making leaves something to be desired, his story-telling is good. He writes of a visit to Russia, when Putin showed him his black Labrador, Koni. “Bigger, stronger, and faster than Barney,” Putin bragged. Later, when W. recounted this to Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister, Harper drolly noted, “You’re lucky he only showed you his dog.”
  • The Wall Street Journal on State Supreme Court Justices  The editorial board argues that many state Supreme Court justices legislate from the bench. In Iowa's case (which just recalled three justices) this has everything to do with the defunct nomination process, the paper argues:

To choose its judges, Iowa employs a version of the so-called Missouri plan, whereby a state judicial nominating commission submits two or three names to the Governor from which he may choose a new judge. Once on the bench, judges face retention elections after the first year and then every eight years to remain on the court...

That's just the way the liberals like it, allowing the lawyers guild that dominates the nominating process to get virtual lifetime tenure for their selections. According to the Des Moines Register, Iowa's nominating commission includes 12 Democrats, one Republican and one member whose affiliation is unknown. Critics of the judicial ouster naturally deplored the recalls as a "misuse of the judicial retention vote."