Opinion & Analysis

Capitol Ink | Dragon Fire

North Carolina redo sets stage for copycat campaigns in 2020
Battle of the Dans offers a test of how far loyalty to Trump will take you

The race between Republican Dan Bishop, left, and Democrat Dan McCready in North Carolina’s 9th District will serve as a preview of GOP attempts to win back seats they lost last year, Curtis writes. (Courtesy Bishop for Congress and Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer/AP file photo)

OPINION — After an election fraud scandal, North Carolina Republicans lost a House candidate. After an indictment and questions about possible bribery, the state GOP lost its chair.

But all that didn’t stop a gaggle of Republicans from vying for the chance to run for a House seat that, thanks to gerrymandering, still favors their party — that is, of course, if voters stay interested in a special election that now will be decided on Sept. 10, if everything goes as planned.

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.

Capitol Ink | Uncle Soy

‘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.

Capitol Ink | Balancing Act

Oval Office obsessions from a crew with little experience, much ambition
Large Democratic field sends a message that only the presidency matters

When John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson ran for the presidency in 1960, the Democratic field was large but consisted of several power brokers. The same goes for the GOP field in 1968. The large Democratic field for 2020, much like the GOP field in 2016, consists of several candidates short on experience but long on ambition, Rothenberg writes. Above, Kennedy and Johnson with Speaker Sam Rayburn in 1961. (CQ Roll Call file photo).

OPINION — In the 1960 Democratic presidential race, there were a handful of contenders, including Sens. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota and Stuart Symington of Missouri. Others, including Florida Sen. George Smathers and California Gov. Pat Brown, ran as “favorite sons.”

The 1968 Republican presidential field included former Vice President Richard Nixon, and Govs. George Romney of Michigan, Ronald Reagan of California and Nelson Rockefeller of New York. The GOP contest also featured favorite sons, including Govs. Jim Rhodes of Ohio and John Volpe of Massachusetts.

Our trillion-dollar problem deserves bipartisan attention
Our national debt is projected to grow faster than the economy — forever

President Bill Clinton signs into law two budget reconciliation measures in a 1997 White House ceremony on the South Lawn. The measures helped lead to a balanced budget, which former Reps. Tim Penny and David Minge believe can be accomplished only through bipartisan commitment. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Our nation is now staring at trillion-dollar annual deficits. The Congressional Budget Office in a report this month warned the nation once again that our yearly red ink could top $1 trillion as soon as next year. Our national debt is projected to grow faster than the economy — forever.

How many warnings will it take for our leaders to pay attention? What is the tipping point that will force our leaders to act?

Capitol Ink | The Coming Storm

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.”

Capitol Ink | Open and Shut

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!”

Capitol Ink | Trumpty Dumpty Stonewall

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.

Today I’m getting boring. Please, Congress, join me
You know what I’m about to do? Write about infrastructure

Anyone who rides the Red Line to work won’t be surprised to know that mass transit in the U.S. gets a D-, Murphy writes. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Let me tell you what is probably not going to make this column go viral: Me writing about infrastructure. But you know what I’m about to do? Write about infrastructure. That’s because, even though a journalist’s livelihood has come to depend on generating traffic, tweets and sticky, sharable content, somebody somewhere in America has got to do the boring stuff. Today I’m that person. Hopefully soon, Congress will join me in doing boring too.

Boring stuff, by definition, is so much a part of our everyday lives that nobody pays much attention to it. It’s turning on your water faucet and seeing clear water flow from the spigot. It’s going to the store for groceries and driving on a road that’s so smooth you never worry if you’ll complete the entire journey. It’s crossing a bridge and never thinking twice whether you’ll get to the other side, or plugging in your phone to charge it overnight and assuming you’ve got enough power for the job, because you want to have enough power for it.