opinion

Opinion: Echoes of Vietnam in Trump’s Afghan About-Face
Instinct may be to avoid the appearance of losing a war

President Donald Trump reflected that “decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office” while he was outlining a new approach in Afghanistan Monday night. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Donald Trump is the seventh president since the end of World War II who inherited on taking office his predecessor’s war or the planning for one. And like most of these American presidents Trump decided that the most important strategic consideration was not to publicly lose a war on his watch.

No president wants to replicate the experience of Jerry Ford watching images of the last desperate helicopters taking off from the American embassy in Saigon as North Vietnamese troops battered down the gates.

Opinion: Career Advice for Restless Capitol Hill GOP Staffers
Stay put — Congress will be the center of action for rest of Trump’s term

Now is not the time for Republican staffers on Capitol Hill to contemplate working in the Trump White House, Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This column is written for every Republican staffer on Capitol Hill who — even now — is debating whether to join the Trump administration. It is also directed at those who have already followed their dreams of striding along the corridors of power and entered the White House.

My advice to you sounds like the dialogue in a disaster movie: “Don’t do it. Run. Get out now. It’s the only escape.”

Opinion: Corker Silent on Trump Renomination
Republicans may end up pushing president toward the exit

Sen. Bob Corker’s office had nothing to say when asked if the Tennessee Republican would weigh in on President Donald Trump’s renomination in 2020, Allen writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senator Bob Corker said Thursday he doesn’t think President Donald Trump has demonstrated “stability,” “competence,” or understanding of “the character of this nation.”

Normally, that would be a stunningly personal attack for a senator of one party to launch against a president of the other party. But Corker and Trump are both — at least in name — Republicans.

Opinion: ‘Medicare for All’ Is the New ‘Repeal and Replace’
Why Democrats may be in danger of repeating the GOP’s mistake

The fine print on “Medicare for All” is much more complex than some Democrats make it out to be, Murphy writes. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images file photo)

Even before the horrible events in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, President Donald Trump was having a bad August.

He had already single-handedly escalated tensions with North Korea to the point that a nuclear strike suddenly seemed like a possibility for the first time in many Americans’ lifetimes.

Opinion: Saying ‘Not Trump’ Is Not Enough for GOP
Time to embrace Abraham Lincoln again

Controversial comments by President Donald Trump after violence at a Charlottesville, Virginia, protest revealed his true self, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

When Donald Trump is the bad cop, everybody can be the good cop.

Republicans lawmakers looked good by comparison over the weekend after a Charlottesville, Virginia, protest turned violent, just by calling out white supremacists and uttering the words “domestic terrorism” — something the president was never able to do.

Opinion: Stuck on the Back Bench? Why Not Run for President
Last House member to win presidency was in 1880 — it was an accident

An engraving of President James A. Garfield’s assassination. Not since Garfield has a sitting House member so much as won an electoral vote in a presidential election. (Engraving from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper)

No sitting House member has won an electoral vote for president since 1880, when Ohio’s James A. Garfield captured the White House — and he didn’t even mean to run for the job.

In fact, the Ohio legislature had just voted to appoint Garfield to a Senate term — for which he would have been seated in March 1881 — when the GOP met in Chicago to pick its nominee for the presidency in the summer of 1880.

Opinion: Congress’ Passive Response to North Korea: ‘Not My Table’
Lawmakers need to step up

When dealing with President Donald Trump — especially when problems with North Korea are looming — members of Congress should remember that they are part of a co-equal branch of government, Shapiro writes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Just as he did back during Black History Month in February with his startling discovery that Frederick Douglass “is being recognized more and more,” Donald Trump demonstrated in Monday’s White House statement on Charlottesville, Virginia, that he can learn and grow in office.

In 48 short hours, Trump discovered that “racism is evil” and groups like “the KKK, neo-Nazis [and] white supremacists … are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

Opinion: Trump’s Two-Front War Against McConnell and North Korea
And why Democrats are in no position to laugh

It may not be long before President Donald Trump starts portraying Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as almost as much of a villain as Kim Jong Un, Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Pool file photo)

If we survive the tweets of August, a Wall Street Journal headline should be immortalized as a symbol of this long hot summer in Trumpland. In the online edition of Friday’s Journal, the subhead on a stock-picking article actually read: “Analysts are trying to work out what happens to the markets they cover in the event of an all-out nuclear war.”

Here’s my personal stock tip for the apocalypse: Invest in personal hygiene companies like Procter & Gamble since we will need plenty of deodorant in our crowded fallout shelters.

Opinion: Will Move to Purge Ohio Voting Rolls Kickstart Congressional Action?
Justice Department no ally on civil rights issue

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., recounts his experience in Selma, Alabama, to a group of students gathered on the House steps on April 15, 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fifty-two years ago this week, John Lewis of Georgia was a young activist, not the Democratic congressman he is today. Yet he got a warmer welcome from the then-president of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, than from today’s occupant of the White House.

On the Twitter feed of the longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives, you can see a picture celebrating that time a few decades ago, when, with Democratic and Republican support, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed and then signed.

Opinion: Why HELP Could Be on the Way for Obamacare Recipients
Hopeful signs of bipartisan consensus on fixing health care markets

Senate HELP Committee leaders Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray could help spear bipartisan consensus in Congress for a short-term fix for Americans struggling to afford health insurance, Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Lamar Alexander had barely announced his plans to hold hearings next month on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on stabilizing the insurance markets for Obamacare when the idea started getting panned.

Keep in mind there are no specific hearings scheduled yet, no witnesses, no bill written, and few parameters of what is on or off the table. Alexander, the committee chairman, has only said that he wants a final product to be “small, bipartisan, and balanced,” but he hasn’t said what that means, other than flexibility for states and short-term triage for the exchanges.