Opinion & Analysis

Opinion: Dems to African-American Women: This Time We Mean It
Party hopes to ‘rebuild relationships’ and ‘restore trust’ ahead of the midterms

When DNC Chairman Tom Perez showed up at the Essence Festival in New Orleans this month, it wasn’t for the Janet Jackson concert, Curtis writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

So why was Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Committee, making an appearance at this year’s Essence Festival in New Orleans, an event known for its high-powered mix of music, culture and empowerment, geared to engage black women globally? Did he see and enjoy “Girls Trip,” the 2017 mega-hit about the reunion of four black female buddies, set against the backdrop of the festival, and decide to get in on the fun, maybe take in a Janet Jackson concert?  

Or was he connecting with his party’s most loyal base, which has carried the electoral load for years, and has also expressed dissatisfaction when that contribution was downplayed or overlooked?

Capitol Ink | American Graffiti

Opinion: When Political Discourse Becomes Bullying
With the extremes sucking the oxygen, we’ve traded thoughtful argument for shaming

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant in Virginia last month. The hounding of government officials in their private lives is not protest but bullying, Winston writes. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There was a time when I saw appearing on cable news shows, both left and right, as an opportunity for a civil debate on serious policy issues. That was probably naive, but I believed in the inherent value of proof-based and polite argument in providing the nation with the information to make good policy choices.

But as time went on, I began to feel like Michael Palin in the famous Monty Python “Argument Clinic” sketch. In the comedy bit, Palin goes to the “clinic” to buy an argument. He pays out his five pounds, but when he meets his “arguer,” Graham Chapman immediately goes on the attack.

Opinion: Why the Kavanaugh Pick Is Not as Safe as It Seems
Collins and Murkowski aren’t the only Republicans who could balk at Trump’s choice

Sen. Rand Paul could be the one to throw a wrench in the Supreme Court confirmation, even as all eyes turn to a pair of his colleagues, Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It is a memory seared into Brett Kavanaugh’s soul — and it may well be an image that briefly flickers through his mind every time a loud siren goes off in Washington.

In his Monday night East Room debut as Donald Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee, Kavanaugh harked back to working for George W. Bush on 9/11. Introducing his wife, Ashley, Kavanaugh said, “We met in 2001 when we both worked in the White House. Our first date was on Sept. 10, 2001. The next morning, I was a few steps behind her as the Secret Service shouted at all of us to sprint out the front gates of the White House because there was an inbound plane.”

Capitol Ink | Democrat Flop

Opinion: GOP Should Beware of Roe v. Wade Becoming the Fight
Republicans could lose the war for female voters for a generation

Abortion rights supporters demonstrate outside the Supreme Court in 2016. A return to the spotlight for Roe v. Wade during the confirmation debate could re-energize women who assumed the issue was decided long ago, Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Now that we know President Donald Trump has settled on Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his next choice for the Supreme Court, Senate Republicans are poised to deliver on a promise they have been making to conservatives for decades.

In Kavanaugh, the GOP has both its biggest opportunity to move the court to the right for a generation as well as its biggest danger — months of unscripted moments when abortion, reproductive rights and women will be at the center of a heated debate that Republicans have proved uniquely terrible at navigating over the years.

Capitol Ink | Expecting

Opinion: An Open Health Diplomacy Hand Works Better Than a Fist
Investing in global health programs like PEPFAR is a win-win for all

Patients visit the Coptic Hospital, which is partially funded by PEPFAR, in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2006. The United States should expand, not shrink, its strategic health diplomacy, Daschle and Frist write. (Brent Stirton/Getty Images file photo)

Recent headlines have been filled with stories and images of parents being separated from their children by the U.S. government. This is not what our country represents.

In fact, 15 years ago, we enacted the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, to do quite the opposite, and the program has gone on to save the lives of millions, keep families intact, and provide support for millions of orphans, vulnerable children and their caregivers. It represents the best of America, and we can be proud of the global legacy it has created.

Opinion: Agency Watchdogs Can Do Much More Than Bark and Bite
For inspectors general, collaborative approach would lead to better oversight

Disgraced former GSA head Martha Johnson prepares to testify before Congress in 2012 after an inspector general report revealed her agency’s “excessive and wasteful” spending on short ribs, artisanal cheese and souvenir carabiners. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Americans’ trust in our government institutions is near all-time lows.

Some of the cynicism — and criticism — stems from more than a decade of hyperpolarization. But much of the distrust is due to high-profile government scandals, such as the initial failure of the Healthcare.gov website, insufficient care at Veterans Affairs hospitals, and the General Services Administration’s over-the-top Las Vegas conference.

Opinion: Small Businesses Win Big With New Health Care Options
As premiums skyrocket, association health plans help level the playing field

The new rule expanding the use of association health plans is a simple solution to a big problem, Blunt write. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For Kalena Bruce, a fifth-generation cattle farmer in Stockton, Missouri, finding affordable health coverage under Obamacare hasn’t been easy. She’s a young mom and business owner paying $700 a month in premiums alone, not to mention deductibles and copays.

That’s why she’s become an advocate for allowing more small businesses like hers to bring down their health care costs by pooling together. It’s an idea that’s worked for Missouri businesses for more than 15 years and will now be available nationwide thanks to the Trump administration’s new rule expanding access to association health plans, or AHPs.

Opinion: Even When Process Is Due, It May Not Mean Justice
Any talk of chipping away at due process should scare us, though the law hasn’t always worked

Members of the Mochida family are shipped off to an internment camp during World War II. It wasn’t so long ago that our nation’s courts sanctioned such flagrant injustice, Curtis writes. (Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration)

I remember it so clearly, though I was just a girl when the 1960s scene unfolded: My parents returning from a church dance in good spirits and being met with bad news and a bit of hysteria from the rest of the family. My brother Tony had been arrested for wanting to be seated and served at the Double T Diner in my home state of Maryland.

My parents and members of Tony’s civil rights group were able to get Tony home; my parents had the deed to the house ready, in case they needed it for bail.

Opinion: Where Do We Go From Here?
Wholesale change in the political environment seems far off

President Donald Trump makes remarks to the media upon arriving in the Capitol for a meeting on immigration with House Republicans on June 19. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

On Monday evening, Judy Woodruff asked me and USA Today’s Susan Page on the “PBS NewsHour” how the country moves forward from its current state of division. I didn’t have a good answer.

I said what I have been saying for years: I don’t see an obvious solution.

Capitol Ink | Winning

Opinion: Trump and the Case of the Missing 15 Percent
The president’s golden gut has told him to demonize immigrants, but where is that strategy leading?

When President Donald Trump boasted Monday night in South Carolina that he has “the greatest political instinct in 50 years,” he may have been forgetting who won election in 1968, Shapiro writes. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

It was a trademark Donald Trump performance down to his invoking a race of sycophants with the typically vague formulation “Some people have said.” In his self-absorbed ramble at a Monday night South Carolina rally, Trump boasted, “Some people have said I have the greatest political instinct in 50 years.”

Of course, 50 years gets us right back to Richard Nixon.

Opinion: The Numbers Tell the Story — Tax Cuts Work
Recent economic data run counter to the media and Democrats‘ narrative

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, here with Republican lawmakers unveiling the GOP tax plan last September, says Americans have gone from asking “Where are the jobs?” to asking “Where are more workers?” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Last October, not long before passage of the Republican tax cuts, Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” argued over taxes with his guest, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

“There has been no study that has been able to somehow reinforce this idea that tax cuts do translate to economic growth,” the NBC host said.