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Opinion: Of Shakespearean Lessons and Art That Makes Us Think
The president doth tweet too much, methinks

The artistic licenses taken by The Public Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” would be appreciated by the bard himself, Curtis writes. (Courtesy Public Theater)

When Barack Obama burst onto the national stage and consciousness with his eloquent speech of unity at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, listeners delighted at its deliberate thoughtfulness — the flip side of the George W. Bush “everyman” style. (And yes, that the polished orator was the child raised without a father and the other had a lineage of political privilege was part of the irony and appeal of the shiny, new package.)

President Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, was, as everyone knows, the opposite of all that — a man of immediate reaction and few, sometimes incoherent and contradictory words, often strung together in 140 characters or less. Those who favored this new style eventually read the former’s quality of reflection as indecision, and compared President Obama, often unfavorably, to “Hamlet.”

Opinion: Jon Ossoff and the New Breed of Yellow Dog Democrats
How politics in a onetime Southern GOP stronghold have changed

By the kind of campaign he ran in Georgia’s 6th District, Jon Ossoff is emblematic of a New Southern Democrat, Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — It’s Election Day in Georgia, so this column goes to print before we know the outcome of the 6th District special election to replace Dr. Tom Price in Congress. But whether Karen Handel, the Republican, pulls off a win or Jon Ossoff, the Democrat, manages an upset, it is well-understood here that the politics of this once solidly Republican district have changed, almost overnight.

The fact that Ossoff became so competitive, so quickly in this race was almost entirely because of Donald Trump. Trump was certainly the reason Democratic activists across the country pumped $20 million into a district where the biggest tourist attraction is a giant red chicken in front of a vintage KFC. Trump was also the reason countless Ossoff volunteers told me they were working for him “because at least it is something I could do” after Trump won in November.

Opinion: Donald Trump — the Affirmative Action President and His Enablers
Different rules — or no rules — for different people

President Donald Trump is the guy who doesn’t bother to read the book but tries to bluff his way through the oral support, Curtis writes. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

House Speaker Paul Ryan offered the excuse “He’s just new to this” for Donald Trump after former FBI chief James Comey’s testimony that the president has done and said things that were inappropriate, even if they don’t turn out to be illegal. It sounded like something you would say in defense of a toddler who dives face-first into the birthday cake because he hasn’t yet learned what a fork is for.

President Trump is that guy — and it’s a guy 99 percent of the time — who doesn’t bother to read the book but tries to bluff his way through the oral report. Sometimes that guy is funny. When he is in a position to weaken long-held European alliances, jeopardize troops on a base in the Middle East or shred America’s safety net as well as ethical guidelines set by the founders in the U.S. Constitution, no one should be laughing. A “gentleman’s C” won’t cut it when so much is at stake.

Opinion: Two Shootings in Less Than Seven Years Is Two Too Many
A lesson from Giffords, Scalise and Trump: tone it down

Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords hugs President Barack Obama at his 2012 State of the Union address as then-Rep. Jeff Flake looks on. (Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call file photo)

I’ll never forget the moment when my sense of professionalism as a journalist failed me most.

It was Jan. 25, 2012. I had raced to the corridor behind the back door of the House chamber to catch a glimpse of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. A year had passed since a deranged lunatic fired a bullet into her brain and killed six others in a Tucson parking lot, and Giffords had just resigned her House seat.

Opinion: Republicans’ Biggest Problem in Georgia Isn’t the Special Election
Health care looms large in the 6th District

Whether or not Democrat Jon Ossoff wins in Georgia’s 6th District next week, health care could spell serious trouble for the GOP in 2018, Murphy writes. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

ATLANTA — Of all of the numbers that should give Republican leaders heartburn in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, where a special election runoff is scheduled for next Tuesday, the most worrisome number might be in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll from last week.

That survey of likely and early voters showed Democrat Jon Ossoff leading Republican Karen Handel by 7 points. That’s not great news in the district where its former congressman, HHS Secretary Tom Price, won 62 percent of the vote just six months ago. But special elections being what they are, no one can confidently predict the result of this contest until it happens next week.

Opinion: How a Textbook in 2067 Might View Donald Trump
Alternate history that the president didn’t make up

Shapiro invites readers to imagine how a history book from 50 years in the future might view President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Perspective is nearly impossible when you are living through tumultuous events on a daily basis. But by slightly bending the space-time continuum, this column has exclusively obtained a copy of a 2067 tenth-grade American history textbook entitled “Many Peoples, Many Voices, Many Perspectives.”Turning to the chapter on America after the 2016 election, it was fascinating to discover with 50 years hindsight how everything turned out. Actually, because of a quirk in quantum physics, three versions of the chapter were provided with radically different outcomes. Some excerpts:

“...President Trump remained defiant throughout the early summer of 2017. He often rallied his supporters through a primitive form of messaging called Twitter (see “obsolete technologies” on Page 821). Republicans in Congress, fearing the wrath of Trump supporters, avoided a public break with the president, although many (see “Profiles in Courage” page 619) grumbled privately.

Opinion: African-American Women Call Out the Democratic National Committee
But are Democrats listening?

Then-Labor Secretary Tom Perez and California Rep. Maxine Waters at a news conference in April 2016. A group of African-American women have sent Perez, now chairman of the Democratic National Committee, a letter warning that most black voters feel the party takes them for granted. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

We crave the hard-to-get while ignoring the one who has stuck with us through thick and thin. In a letter to the DNC chair, a group of black women — activists, community leaders and elected officials — has accused the Democratic Party of falling into that too-often-true cliche. Who can blame them? 

Shades of “Moby-Dick” in the narrative that took hold after the party’s 2016 losses, with white working-class males replacing the elusive white whale of Melville’s imagination. Will the results for the Democrats be just as tragic as Captain Ahab’s if the party doubles down on that strategy for election cycles to come?

Opinion: Pelosi’s ‘Medicare for All’ Problem
Democrats want it, but at what cost?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is trying to squash her own party’s desire to fight for a health care system in which the government is the single payer for necessary medical expenses, Allen writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Last month, Democratic House members were given polling data and a set of talking points on health care.

The thrust: Hammer Republicans on their Obamacare repeal-and-replace plan, but do it with precision. More implicit, but just as clear, Democrats were advised to stay away from promoting the “Medicare for All” plan that has energized the party’s grass-roots activists and its rank and file in Congress.

Opinion: A GOP Guide to Running for Cover on Health Care
Three ways to overcome troubling diagnosis from the CBO

Cheered on by President Donald Trump, it was easy for House Republicans to believe that the CBO would find that their health care bill provided quality affordable health insurance for every single American while saving the Treasury trillions of dollars,  Walter Shapiro writes. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Long ago (that is, back in the days when James Comey was still FBI director), House Republicans rushed their health care bill through by a two-vote margin without waiting for the verdict of the Congressional Budget Office. That early May, haste was understandable since the victorious House Republicans were due at the White House for an Oval Office celebration of a bill that (“Whoops, we forgot about the Senate”) had not actually become a law.

There appeared to be no need for House Republicans to fret about the CBO score since, after all, Donald Trump had already promised in a tweet that “healthcare is coming along great … and it will end in a beautiful picture!” So it was easy for GOP legislators to imagine that the nonpartisan experts at the CBO would find that their bill provided quality affordable health insurance for every single American while saving the Treasury trillions of dollars.

Opinion: Congress Needs to Raise Budget Caps
Economic and national security investments vital to our long-term success

Not raising the budget caps risks shortchanging the next generation by leaving behind an ill-prepared workforce, a crumbling infrastructure, and a stagnant economy, Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We begin the 2018 budget process facing arbitrary and irresponsible spending caps that threaten our security, our economy, and our nation’s standing as a global leader of research and innovation. Yet, the budget proposal put forth by President Donald Trump does not respond to this simple truth. In fact, it will take our country in the opposite direction.

The president would provide additional funds for one important aspect of government — defense — but would do so at the expense of all other investments. That’s not a responsible proposal — and it should not be treated as one. Even some of my Republican colleagues have criticized these misguided priorities of President Trump. House Budget Committee member Tom Cole, R-Okla., called the president’s proposed cuts “short-sighted,” saying, “These are investments the country ought to be making.”