opinion

Senators try to punt their way out of trouble and Trump’s line of fire
It may look like a winning strategy today, but the election is still nine months away

Sen. Susan Collins suggested impeachment itself was enough to scare Donald Trump into walking the straight and narrow from now on. Has she ever met the president? Curtis asks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Don’t you just hate it when someone uses a sports metaphor to teach a life lesson? So do I, usually. But with the Super Bowl not a week in the rearview mirror, it would be impossible to ignore the concept of the punt — getting out of a tough situation by moving the ball as far as possible toward the opponent’s end zone.

If you’re playing against a Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs, you’re merely buying some time before the inevitable score. But senators using that tactic in an impeached President Donald Trump’s trial are no doubt hoping any payback comes late, or not at all.

Goodbye, Iowa. Hello, Bloomberg
If Democrats are serious about beating Trump, former New York mayor may be their best hope

If Democrats are serious about beating President Donald Trump, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg may be their best hope, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Iowa Democrats can’t seem to count caucus votes, even though the votes were cast Monday night in public and covered by so many cable news reporters, they could have rolled up their sleeves and tallied the ballots themselves.

Reporters compared Monday night’s debacle to a goat rodeo. I’ve never been to a goat rodeo, but I have been to a sheep rodeo, and I can tell you the sheep were a lot more organized. Those little guys probably could have counted votes too. It’s not really that hard.

For Trump, a State of the Union with nothing to say
President’s hardcore base craves red-meat rhetoric. Will he give it to them?

Bill Clinton’s State of the Union address in 1999, made in the midst of his impeachment trial, exemplified his ability to compartmentalize, Shapiro writes, but that’s a skill Donald Trump doesn’t possess. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — In 1999, in the midst of his impeachment trial, Bill Clinton delivered a typically verbose State of the Union Address that ran for 78 minutes. Although it surprised many at the time, Clinton did not display a glimmer of concern about his predicament or allude to impeachment in any way.

Even more than most presidents, Clinton had a rare talent to compartmentalize. But the 1999 State of the Union was more than just an artful performance by a political master of denial. At the end of his speech, Clinton actually unveiled a new political argument that shaped the final two years of his presidency.

What kind of country do Americans want? Voters definitely have a choice
As Democrats wrestle with complex issues of inclusion, the GOP message is much clearer

Democratic presidential hopeful Tom Steyer campaigns in Iowa last August. As Democrats wrestle, sometimes clumsily, with complex issues of inclusion, Republicans have a much clearer message, Curtis writes. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — “This is the diverse party. We are a diverse country. I am from a majority-minority state, California. So as far as I’m concerned, if we aren’t talking about race, dealing with race and actually addressing the problems of America today forthrightly and strongly, we’re not going to get the support of people, and we don’t deserve the support of people.”

That was presidential hopeful Tom Steyer, when I spoke with him recently, during his second stop through North Carolina in two weeks.

Adam Schiff throws the ballot box under the bus
In their impeachment crusade, Democrats are undermining voters’ faith in American democracy

Rep. Adam Schiff doesn’t seem to understand the harm his comments undermining the November election has caused American democracy, Winston writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Adam Schiff crossed a line between right and wrong last week in his opening statement in the Senate impeachment trial. 

The California Democrat told senators, “We are here today to consider a much more grave matter, and that is an attempt to use the powers of the presidency to cheat in an election.”

The Bolton bombshell and the moral lessons of Watergate
Republicans would be wise to ponder the examples of the late Egil Krogh and Tom Railsback

Republicans would be wise to ponder the examples of two Watergate figures who died recently, Tom Railsback, left, and Egil Krogh, Shapiro writes. (CQ Roll Call file photo/Courtesy Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum)

OPINION — The John Bolton book bombshell represents the intersection of mendacity and greed.

The mendacity has been the dissembling and the lying by Donald Trump and his Republican enablers that the withholding of assistance to Ukraine was anything other than an old-fashioned mob shakedown: “You have a nice $400 million military aid package here. It would be a shame if anything should happen to it.”

When it comes to Trump’s future, ‘the people’ would rather decide it themselves
Democrats have failed spectacularly to persuade half the country on the necessity of impeachment

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats should be concerned by polls that show more Americans support letting voters decide the president’s fate and not a one-sided impeachment process, Winston writes. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Abraham Lincoln closed the Gettysburg Address on a hopeful note, promising a “new birth of freedom” so that “government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

Today, as the Democrats push their partisan impeachment forward in the Senate chamber, the sentiments expressed so eloquently by a beleaguered president in the midst of the Civil War are worth remembering. It’s worth remembering that a government of the people must, by definition, be formed by the people.

To rein in Big Pharma over high drug prices, start with patent reform
Bipartisan proposals represent a rare bright spot in a divided Congress

Abuse of the patent system by brand-name drug manufacturers is exacerbating the financial burden faced by American patients for their prescription drugs, Lane writes. (George Frey/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — With the Senate impeachment trial kicking off and partisan tensions running high on several fronts, Americans might be forgiven for thinking that Congress has lost the ability to find common ground. But lately, and despite the proverbial odds, there is a new bipartisan consensus forming on an issue of incredible importance to millions of Americans: prescription drug pricing. Specifically, reforming the U.S. patent system to end abusive practices that are directly contributing to high drug prices.

Across the country, Americans are struggling under the weight of skyrocketing prescription drug costs. It is no secret that affording medicines and treatments is an incredible burden for too many families. On average, Americans are paying considerably more than citizens of other high-income countries for the same exact prescription drugs.

Cory Booker bows out, Ben Carson backs off fair housing and issues of race recede in America
Latest Democratic debate was notable for what was not mentioned

With Cory Booker leaving the Democratic presidential race, following the exits of Kamala Harris and Julián Castro, issues of justice and inequality could get short shrift on the campaign trail, Curtis writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — It doesn’t take a candidate of color on a debate stage to raise issues of justice and inequality. But that has been the way it has worked out, mostly.

For example, it was exhilarating for many when then-candidate Julián Castro said in a Democratic debate, “Police violence is also gun violence,” while naming Atatiana Jefferson, killed in her Fort Worth, Texas, home by a police officer who shot through the window without identifying himself. Castro’s words were an acknowledgment of the lived experiences of many in America. He has since dropped out of the race, as has California Sen. Kamala Harris, who chided her party for taking the support of black women for granted.

Pelosi’s poor choices helped sink her impeachment gambit
As House votes to send articles to Senate, McConnell can put a check in the win column

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and others spoke last month about the urgency of impeaching the president, but they were fine with holding the articles of impeachment for 28 days, Winston writes. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — What a difference 28 days makes.

On Dec. 18, House Democrats rushed to impeach President Donald Trump on charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power, with chief prosecutor Adam Schiff actually calling him a “clear and present danger” to the nation. Speed was of the essence, they told us. So critical, in fact, that the very security of the nation depended on it.