Opinion & Analysis

Opinion: The Fatal Flaw for Republicans in Graham-Cassidy
Bill’s passage would make health care dominant issue in 2018 midterms

The Republicans’ latest attempt to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law is reminiscent of “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Shapiro writes. (Painting by Richard Caton Woodville/Wikimedia Commons)

The Republicans’ latest drive to repeal Obamacare is reminiscent of a poetry fragment from Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade”: “Theirs not to make reply, theirs not to reason why.”

Whatever happens with the bill likely slated to reach the Senate floor next week, it is hard to escape the feeling that this wild charge will end badly for the Republicans.

Capitol Ink | Newton’s Cradle

Capitol-Ink-09-20-19

Opinion: Strange Times for Mitch McConnell in the Alabama Senate Race
A Moore victory could be a big headache for the Senate majority leader

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has become the Nancy Pelosi of the right, Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When President Donald Trump tapped Sen. Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general last year, the last thing on anyone’s mind was what would happen to the Alabama Senate seat that Sessions would leave behind. With a Republican governor in a reliably Republican state, the assumption was that the governor would appoint a safe placeholder for the seat, who would then easily get elected to finish out Sessions’ term in the next election.

But fast forward nine months, and the Alabama governor who appointed that placeholder has resigned in disgrace. The placeholder, Sen. “Big” Luther Strange, finished second in the GOP primary to former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has been removed from the bench twice.

Capitol Ink | MUNGA

Capitol-Ink-09-19-17

Opinion: Dancing With the Democrats Will Not Save Trump
Long-term consequences of president’s actions will catch up with him

President Donald Trump would remain a reprehensible president even if he were to permanently move from the nationalistic right to the progressive left, Walter Shapiro writes. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Memo to the Democrats: Figure out how far Donald Trump is willing to travel on the ground before he gets bored and restless. Whatever the number is for our short-attention-span president (maybe a mile by golf cart and 10 miles by limousine), the Democrats should agree to build a border wall of precisely that length.

Consider it a Potemkin Wall.

Capitol Ink | White House Selfie

Capitol-Ink-09-18-17

Opinion: How Donald Trump Made Congress Great Again
It may help the country — if not the president

President Donald Trump’s rocky relationship with lawmakers has made Congress free enough to act in the country’s best interests, Murphy writes. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

If you were a member of Congress, especially a Republican member of Congress, you could be forgiven for having at least some contempt for President Donald Trump.

He’s used the GOP-led Congress as a punching bag and a scapegoat. He demands absolute loyalty from Republican members, but abandoned them last week the moment he saw an opening to strike a deal to raise the debt ceiling with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Capitol Ink | Top Parliamentarian

Capitol-Ink-09-14-17

Opinion: The Terror Within — Those Who See Danger in Diversity
Focus should be on bringing America together

White nationalists and neo-Nazis exchange insults with counterprotesters on Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Va. Americans are eager to fight foreign enemies but they often ignore signs of terror from within, Curtis writes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images File Photo)

It was a stirring message of unity. On Monday, 16 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on American soil that saw planes flown into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, and brave passengers divert one into a Pennsylvania field, President Donald Trump honored the memories of the dead and the heroics woven through the actions of so many.

At a 9/11 commemoration ceremony at the Pentagon, Trump recalled that moment: “On that day, not only did the world change, but we all changed. Our eyes were opened to the depths of the evil we face. But in that hour of darkness, we also came together with renewed purpose. Our differences never looked so small, our common bonds never felt so strong.”

Capitol Ink | 2018 Republican

Capitol-Ink-09-13-17

Opinion: The Two-Party System on a Sick Bed
It will take more than Trump and infighting to kill the patient

The two-party system is here to stay despite rocky times in the recent past and ahead, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It is as lasting an American literary metaphor as Captain Ahab and the white whale or Hester Prynne and her scarlet “A.”

We are, of course, referring to that branch of science known as cartoon thermodynamics. The first law, as popularized by the late film critic Roger Ebert, is worthy of Isaac Newton: “Any body suspended in space will remain in space until made aware of its situation.”

Capitol Ink | Trump Book Club

Capitol-Ink-09-12-17

Opinion: How 9/11 Permanently Changed Us
Biggest transformation — a growing climate of mistrust

Two New York City fire fighters look into a car while another pulls a water hose from a fire truck amid smoke and debris following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. (Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division)

The front page of The New York Times from the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, conjures up a world both familiar and distant. The lead story highlights talk of tax cuts on Capitol Hill while a major feature conveys the worries of public school officials that dress codes are being flouted: “The days when torn jeans tested the limits are now a fond memory.”

In this era before iPhones and Androids, the Times headlined a page-one article about Paula Zahn’s new CNN contract: “In a Nation of Early Risers, Morning TV Is a Hot Market.” The Times front page also brooded about continuing threats like nuclear smuggling in Asia and the depressing verities of foreign policy: “Mideast Still Roiling.”

Opinion: How Trump and the Democrats Spared McConnell and Ryan
The Art of the Backroom Deal

President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders did House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a huge favor by working out a deal on disaster relief, the debt ceiling and government funding, Allen writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan want you to know they’re plenty angry about President Donald Trump’s trifecta deal with Democratic leaders on keeping the government open, averting a debt-limit crisis and sending aid to hurricane-and-flood-ravaged Texas.

McConnell and Ryan were “shell-shocked” when Trump, in a meeting with congressional leaders of both parties, opted to go with the plan favored by Senate and House minority leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, according to a CNN source. After all, Ryan had publicly said their proposal — the obvious solution to all three legislative headaches — was “ridiculous.”

Capitol Ink | News Forecast

Capitol-Ink-09-11-17