opinion

Opinion: The Short Life Span of the Trump-McConnell Buddy Movie
Quest for lower taxes brings unlikely pair together

President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talk to reporters in the Rose Garden following a lunch meeting at the White House on Monday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Dating back to the days of Walter Winchell, there was a standard photo display that newspapers used when celebrity couples headed to Splitsville. Tabloids would feature an earlier picture of the couple frolicking on a beach or walking down the aisle with the caption, “In Happier Days.”

The odds are high that Monday’s buddy-movie Rose Garden press conference with the odd couple of Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell will soon invite similar “In Happier Days” nostalgia. For did anyone believe Trump’s hyperbolic claims that the two men are “closer than ever” and that “the Republican Party is very, very unified”?

Opinion: The Women in Washington Staying for the Fight
Collins, Feinstein and Pelosi want to keep fighting for their causes

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is among the women in Congress planning to stick around and keep fighting for their causes. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Bob Corker’s leaving the Senate, and who can blame him? At a certain point, life’s just too short to get called “Liddle Bob” on Twitter by anyone, especially by the president of the United States.

But even as Corker announced that he’d retire at the end of his term, two of the Tennessee Republican’s female colleagues decided last week they’re not going anywhere, at least not if they can help it. Both women said while they had considered leaving Washington, the job in the Capitol was too important to walk away from.

Opinion: In a Culture War, American Values Lose
Nation’s top leaders have already picked a side

Vice President Mike Pence’s staged walkout at a Colts-49ers NFL game in Indianapolis was a political stunt that disrespected several players’ support of equality, justice and police accountability, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

Over the weekend, a group of white nationalists returned to Charlottesville, Virginia, faces proudly uncovered and tiki torches in hand, with a message of division.

White supremacist leader Richard Spencer said to applause, “You are going to have to get used to white identity” — and warned of more to come.

Opinion: A Fake Senate Hearing on Fake News
What if the Intelligence Committee took up the president’s request

North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr, right, and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner lead the Senate Intelligence Committee, which President Donald Trump called on recently to look into “Fake News Networks.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Under Donald Trump’s interpretation of the Constitution, when the president tweets, the Senate must take action immediately.

So it was with Trump’s pointed suggestion last week, filled with the kind of oddball capitalization normally found in ransom notes: “Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!”

Opinion: Liberals Must Find the Right Tone on Guns
Raw emotion does not change votes in Congress

Broken windows are seen on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino after a gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on Sunday in Las Vegas. (David Becker/Getty Images)

The witty, conservative economist Herb Stein once pooh-poohed apocalyptic predictions with these reassuring words: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

Stein, who had served as Richard Nixon’s chief economic adviser, was referring to the trade deficit. But Stein’s Law has a wide application beyond economics — and it offers a dollop of comfort about gun violence after the Las Vegas massacre.

Opinion: More Shootings, No Difference
Expect no more from Congress than thoughts, prayers, and wait until it happens again

Concertgoers run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday after a gunman opened fire on the crowd. (David Becker/Getty Images)

The numbers behind Sunday night’s shooting in Las Vegas tell the story: 58 people are dead. More than 500 are injured. The gunman, whom his brother described as a wealthy retiree who routinely sent cookies to his mother, had at least 10 rifles in the hotel room from where he conducted the massacre.

But the chances of Congress addressing mass shootings in America: Zero. There are very few certainties in Washington, but this is one of them.

Opinion: The Language of Diplomacy, Democracy — and Division
Trump’s last thought is bringing people together

President Donald Trump’s tweets, words and sneers reveal a new American character, one absent moral authority and dependent on division, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

“He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured,” then long-shot candidate Donald Trump said in 2015 of Sen. John McCain’s service and time as a prisoner after his plane was shot down by North Vietnamese troops in 1967. It was a quote that many thought would end Trump’s White House dreams.

That it did not slow the Trump train was a clear sign that something fundamental was broken in America’s definition of what it means to be a patriot.

Opinion: Congress and the Weakest President Since the 1920s
How GOP leaders should behave during their time of reckoning

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should uphold the constitutional powers of Congress in the face of an unsteady president, Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Dear Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan,

I know you are not in the habit of reading open letters from liberal columnists. But I hope you will make an exception in this case since I am trying to avoid partisan talking points and predictable arguments.

Opinion: Amid the Alabama Mess, a Reason for Optimism
Gov. Kay Ivey provides an example of politics done right

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, center right, seen here with presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway, is a bright spot in the state’ political buffoonery, Murphy writes. (Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images File Photo)

It’s no secret Alabama politicians have been giving Chicago pols a run for their money when it comes to corruption lately.

The state’s most recent governor, Republican Robert Bentley, resigned in April as he faced possible impeachment related to campaign spending and a sex scandal.

Opinion: Another Health Care Bill, Another Health Care Cliff
Major rewrites of policy deserve more than partisan signoff

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer conducts a news conference in the Capitol on Sept. 18 to oppose the Graham-Cassidy legislation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Maybe we have finally established a lasting legislative principle for both parties: Don’t ever again try to pass major health care legislation using parliamentary gimmicks to avoid a filibuster.

The Democrats, under Barack Obama, followed this route in 2010 after they lost their filibuster-proof Senate majority when Republican Scott Brown unexpectedly won the special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. As a result, final tinkering and technical improvements could not be made in the Obamacare legislation using a House-Senate conference.