Roll Call Opinion and Analysis

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Senate Intelligence report on Russian interference should chill Americans who value our democracy

Russia is far from done with destabilizing our democracy, Murphy writes. The Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Richard M. Burr, right, and Mark Warner, made that clear in its latest report on 2016 election interference. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — On the day that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on election interference came out, cable news anchors strained to race through its 448 pages and describe the findings, all in the same breath. Computer sleuths hacked the document’s setting to let users search for “Trump,” “president,” “collusion” and “Russia.” Talking-head lawyers feverishly opined that Volume I contained less incriminating information than Volume II.

But around the country, voters mostly gave an “Is that all there is?” shoulder shrug and went back to their corners. Many members of Congress admitted they didn’t even bother to read it.

Capitol Ink | No Kurd Pro Quo

Democrats need to stop playing politics with our nation’s pipeline safety
Reauthorization bill should not be a partisan issue

Sections of steel pipe lie in a staging area in June before being inserted underground as part of the ETP-Sunoco Mariner East 2 pipeline in Exton, Pa. Reauthorizing the pipeline safety bill is something both parties can get behind, as they have done in the past, Upton writes. (Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — In 2012, as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I worked with my good friend and fellow Michigander, the late Rep. John Dingell, to reauthorize our nation’s pipeline safety laws. This was in response to a pipeline burst that spilled 20,000 barrels of oil into the Talmadge Creek, a tributary of the Kalamazoo River near my district.

It didn’t matter that I had an ‘R’ next to my name and John had a ‘D’ next to his. What mattered was getting a final bill that could advance through a Republican House and a Democratic Senate and be signed by a Democratic president — a dynamic similar to the one we face today, with a Democratic House, a Republican Senate and a Republican president. Back then, we needed legislation that would make critical safety improvements to our nation’s vast pipeline infrastructure — and that’s exactly what we did, cutting down on incident reporting times and increasing financial penalties for violations.

When celebrity luster gives cover to how America judges its own
Jessye Norman and Diahann Carroll remind us of the unfair burden placed on icons of color

People who hold up the late Jessye Norman, left, or Diahann Carroll as exemplifying America’s promise, that hard work will inevitably lead to reward, ignore the women’s own struggles , Curtis writes. (Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty Images file photos)

OPINION — I am not one of those folks who see celebrities as larger-than-life icons to be worshipped and admired. Usually. But the recent deaths of Jessye Norman and Diahann Carroll hit me in the gut because those two amazing women were at once larger than life and so very real. The reactions to their accomplishments also illustrate an American or perhaps universal trait — the ability to compartmentalize, to place certain citizens of color or underrepresented citizens on a pedestal, at once a part of and apart from others of their race or gender or religion or orientation.

It allows negative judgment of entire groups to exist alongside denials of any racist or discriminatory intent. There are a lot of problems with that way of thinking. It places an unfair burden on the icons, a need to be less a human being than a flawless symbol. And it uses them as a rebuke to others who never managed to overcome society’s obstacles.

Washington is trapped in a bad spy novel
Impeachment messaging battle is important for GOP, but so is keeping focus on its economic wins

A national conversation between Republicans and voters about how it has cut taxes and regulations, reduced unemployment and increased wages would put in proper context Democrats’ focus on investigation, impeachment and raw politics, Winston writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — It’s been a bad week in Washington and it’s not likely to get any better soon. In fact, it’s beginning to feel like the whole town and everyone in it is trapped in a really bad spy novel.

People are confused by what’s become a three-year plot that gets harder and harder to follow. They’re not sure who’s a good guy or a bad guy, and they’re worried that the whole thing won’t end well.

The women trying to impeach Trump — and the men making it so damn hard
From Lindsey Boylan to Nancy Pelosi, women are proving to be the president’s most formidable obstacles

New York Democrat Lindsey Boylan, left, with her spirited primary challenge likely pushed House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler into publicly supporting an impeachment inquiry, which Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced last month, Murphy writes. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Women's Forum of New York, Tom Williams/CQ RollCall)

OPINION — Not all heroes wear capes, but lots of them wear high heels. If you’re a Democrat watching the impeachment saga unfolding in Washington right now, nearly all of your superheroes are wearing heels today. That’s because when you look carefully at the pressure points in the widening impeachment inquiry against the president so far, women have been at the center of nearly all of them.

First, there was Lindsey Boylan, 35, a mom and former public housing advocate in New York City. Her name is probably unfamiliar to people outside New York, but Boylan is challenging Rep. Jerry Nadler in a Democratic primary next June. Not only has she absolutely hammered Nadler for what she says has been his failure to produce results for their district, she’s been relentless in calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment since February and criticizing Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee responsible for drafting articles of impeachment, for not doing more sooner to remove him from office.

Americans as ‘High Noon’ heroes against lawlessness? Nope
Signs of courage are few and far between, as reactions to Trump impeachment inquiry show

Gary Cooper as Marshal Will Kane in the 1952 film “High Noon.” Americans may fancy themselves heroes like Kane, standing alone and risking all in the face of impossible odds, but the reactions to the impeachment inquiry show that belief is largely a myth, Curtis writes. (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — Americans like to imagine themselves as Gary Cooper’s Marshal Will Kane in “High Noon,” facing impossible odds, struggling, yet managing to stand up, even if it means standing alone and risking it all. We are all rugged individuals, we think, rushing in while cowards run for cover.

Think again.

While Trump tweets, Pelosi prays and Schiff parodies
Democrats say impeachment is a serious matter. Their actions say otherwise

Faced with a choice between an appropriate congressional impeachment process and theater, House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff chose theater, Winston writes. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Every now and then, politics simply goes off the rails, plowing through the collective American psyche like a runaway train. It’s called impeachment, and there is nothing that has the potential to bitterly divide the nation further than this constitutional process.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi spent most of the past week bemoaning the need for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, calling it “a very sad day for our country,” and going so far as to claim she prays for him “all the time.” So the Democrats’ message to the American people seems to be that there is “no cause for joy” at impeachment but “no one is above the law.”

Capitol Ink | Im-preach-ment

Welcome to her wheelhouse — Trump’s living in Pelosi’s world now
President is no longer the one calling the shots

Institutionalists like Nancy Pelosi embrace the workings of the oversight process like a warm hug and deploy them like a Tomahawk missile, Murphy writes. (Doug Mills/The New York Times pool photo)

OPINION — Nancy Pelosi said it not once, not twice, but three times last week. “Mr. President, you have come into my wheelhouse.”

In other words, welcome to her world. After nearly two years of Congress leaning, bending and nearly breaking in response to the president's wrecking ball through it, the explosive whistle blower complaint against him has now put the president squarely in Pelosi’s territory of unavoidable congressional oversight.