opinion

The politics of abortion surge to forefront of 2020 debate
Georgia, other states move polarizing topic to front burner with new laws

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., a Democratic presidential candidate, traveled to Atlanta last week to rally for abortion rights in the wake of the state passing a law restricting them. The issue has returned to the political fore as several states pass laws to restrict abortion. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — It’s the worst day of your life. You’ve been told that your unborn baby is dying inside of you and you are presented with two horrible options: medically induce labor to deliver her early or carry the dangerous pregnancy to term, when your baby will suffocate outside of your womb.

At that gruesome moment, your state representative, a 63-year-old part-time farmer, walks into the exam room and tells you what he thinks you should do. If you choose anything else, you and your doctor could both be prosecuted for murder.

Trump should say less on trade. The stock markets will thank him
Transparency’s a good thing, but the president’s tweets only rattle the markets

This kind of instability only brings back the gnawing fear so many Americans experienced in the throes of the 2008 financial crisis, Winston writes. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

OPINION — Well, we’re back on the trade roller coaster this week — and as we’ve learned over the past year, it can be a bumpy ride that takes a strong stomach just to hang on.

But here we are again, with the markets tanking on Monday as the Dow took a 2.4 percent hit and the Nasdaq, so dependent on big tech, dropped nearly 270 points, a 3.4 percent loss, raising new fears that stalled trade deals threaten to slow the country’s booming economy. As I write this on Tuesday, happily, the markets have recovered some of Monday’s losses.

‘Grimmer by the day’ — Farmers’ love for Trump in peril
President’s trade actions are testing farmers in ways they never imagined

President Donald Trump’s trade actions are testing American farmers in ways they never imagined, Murphy writes, even though that’s exactly what he campaigned on. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — The love affair between President Donald Trump and rural America has always made sense to me.

When I covered the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump often went to remote farm communities where Democrats, and even other Republican candidates, never bothered.

Trump’s Gold-Plated, Monogrammed Presidency
Imperial presidencies of Johnson and Nixon look like the good old days compared to Trump

President Donald Trump treats the Senate and House as if they were unpaid contractors at his golf course, Shapiro writes. His executive privilege gambit is just the latest example. (Leon Neal/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — In the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was a mournful chorus of warnings about the dangers of what historian and former John Kennedy aide Arthur Schlesinger called “The Imperial Presidency.”

Schlesinger wrote in 1973, as Richard Nixon twisted slowly, slowly in the wind, “The constitutional presidency — as events so apparently disparate as the Indochina War and the Watergate affair showed — has become the imperial presidency and threatens to be the revolutionary presidency.”

An American credo: Justice for some, especially the four-legged
Trump’s Kentucky Derby tweet points to a larger American problem

Surprised that Trump’s bizarre foray into officiating a horse race barely caused a ripple while more pressing matters await? We have always been a country that compartmentalizes, Curtis writes. Above, spectators watch the Kentucky Derby on May 4. (Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

OPINION — From the current administration’s indifference to congressional requests for information on the Mueller report to its hardening policies restricting those seeking asylum from violent homelands, one would think Donald Trump and company cared little for justice. But the president did manage to speak out recently in support of one particular victim he felt was wronged.

In a signature tweet, he said: “The Kentuky Derby decision was not a good one.” (He has since corrected the spelling to “Kentucky.”) “It was a rough and tumble race on a wet and sloppy track, actually, a beautiful thing to watch. Only in these days of political correctness could such an overturn occur. The best horse did NOT win the Kentucky Derby — not even close!”

Trump’s economy is booming, and Democrats can’t handle it
The jobs report drops, and what do they do? Run all the way back to Obama

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been trashing the Republican tax cuts, but the jobs report throws a wrench in his plans, Winston writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — “There was a $2 trillion tax cut last year. Did you feel it? Did you get anything from it? Of course not. … All of it went to folks at the top and corporations.”

That was Joe Biden at a Pittsburgh union workers’ rally ten days ago.

If Trump had been a master builder instead of a malevolent tweeter
Why is infrastructure week always followed by can’t-pay-for-it week?

Donald Trump put tantrums aside for 90 minutes this week to discuss bridges, broadband and highways. But his image is too set in stone to be altered by a legislative victory on infrastructure, Shapiro writes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

OPINION — Imagine an alternative universe where Donald Trump understands words like “presidential” and “emotional self-control.” In that science fiction world, the 45th president’s Tuesday meeting with the Democratic congressional leadership would have served as a model for his entire administration.

In case you missed this rare moment of calm and comity, Trump put tantrums and tumult aside for 90 minutes to discuss infrastructure. The result: an agreement on the broad outlines of a $2 trillion plan to upgrade roads, bridges, airports, broadband and probably Pony Express relay stations.

Trump’s unlikely new best friends wear blue
Democratic opposition research teams are gearing up

Democratic opposition researchers inadvertently may be President Donald Trump’s new best friends, Winston writes. (Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

What’s the Trump campaign’s biggest asset right now? Sure, long term, a growing economy is the president’s greatest strength. But this is primary season, and the line between allies and opponents is often blurred as candidates vie for position and political advantage.

With the entry of front-runner Joe Biden, probably the last Democratic candidate has entered the race. The field is set, and the games are about to begin in earnest.

Arthur Finkelstein reprised with GOP’s ‘socialists’ cries
The ‘s’ word is a reworking of the ‘liberal’ label from decades ago

Republicans have used the “socialist” label on New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of the Democratic Party, reprising the tactics of the late campaign consultant Arthur Finkelstein, Rothenberg writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — If you’re on any Republican list, you’ve undoubtedly received emails from one of the GOP campaign committees or a Capitol Hill communications staffer calling the Democrats “socialists.” To those of us who were around in the 1980s and 1990s, that’s nothing new. We remember the late GOP campaign consultant Arthur Finkelstein’s strategy: Call your opponent a liberal again and again until voters believe it.

Finkelstein’s style was “unmistakable,” wrote Howard Kurtz in The Washington Post in 1996, “an avalanche of attack ads painting Democrats as ‘liberal,’ ‘ultraliberal,’ ‘embarrassingly liberal’ and ‘unbelievably liberal.’”

Joe Biden’s Washington is vanishing. Does America want it back?
Former vice president’s friends a force to be reckoned with

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden greets supporters at a campaign rally at Teamsters Local 249 Union Hall on Monday in Pittsburgh. Biden began his first full week of campaigning for president by speaking on how to rebuild America's middle class. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

One by one, Joe Biden is losing his friends from the Senate. 

On Sunday, longtime Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar died. For years, Lugar had been the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Biden was the top Democrat.  Three weeks ago, Sen. Fritz Hollings, one of Biden’s best friends from his more than three decades in the chamber, also passed away. Last month, another longtime Indiana senator, Birch Bayh died.