Read our latest musings about poltics, policy, and others out there who are making ideas matter.

Roll Call: “Elizabeth Warren’s big bad idea: Taxing our way to prosperity”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the economic plans of Democratic primary candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders:

Despite the fact that the country is benefiting from one of the strongest economies in history, these progressives are peddling unproven economic theories without any credible economic modeling to support their claims or an ability to cite a successful implementation of this kind of redistributive economic policy.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Adam Schiff’s post-hearing review: He got nowhere”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call on the release of Adam Schiff’s impeachment report.

For all the partisan back-and-forth, for all the hours of third-hand testimony and despite Schiff’s penchant for the personal spotlight, he has accomplished virtually nothing but a 300-page report that half the country will likely reject as little more than a Democratic Party campaign document.

Read the full piece here.

Happy Conflict-Free Thanksgiving

by Caitlin Peartree

Throughout this year, we have talked about the declining state of political discourse and current mood of the electorate. About half the electorate (49%) says that they keep quiet about their political views online to avoid conflicts with family and friends, with this number being particularly high among Republican women (63%) and independent women (52%). From a Winning the Issues survey at the end of July, 47% of the electorate described themselves as “definitely frustrated” over the state of politics and issues in the country; one-third (34%) were “definitely angry” but a similar percentage (33%) described themselves as “definitely interested.” On top of that, the newest survey for Winning the Issues (November 21-22) shows that over half the country (55%) watched at least some of the impeachment hearings. 

With the electorate’s current emotional mix of frustration and anger combined with an interest in politics, many of this year’s Thanksgiving family gatherings are likely to be more politically volatile than ever before. Even the large percentage of Americans trying to keep quiet to avoid conflict may find things getting out of hand if certain subjects come up while trying to enjoy their turkey and pumpkin pie. But as Linus reminded everyone in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, “Thanksgiving is a very important holiday. Ours was the first country in the world to make a national holiday to give thanks.” In the spirit of keeping the upcoming holiday focused on its original intent, this Thanksgiving edition of Discussion Points highlights four resources that might help you and your loved ones have meaningful discussions with less political conflict and more giving thanks. 

  1. Myra recently gave a TEDx talk “Is Your Voice Heard” at TEDx Foggy Bottom about the decline of civility in public discourse, its impact on institutions, and most importantly, the impact on people’s everyday lives – including political conflicts over Thanksgiving dinner. The 8-minute talk includes four ways to help avoid conflict and division in political discussions with others so that we can all enjoy our Thanksgiving dinners once again. 
  2. The Bipartisan Policy Center has developed a bipartisan Thanksgiving family survival guide with discussion tips, interesting facts and quizzes to promote engaging yet peaceful bipartisan conversation. 
  3. Last week, Speaker John Boehner’s official portrait was unveiled in Statuary Hall. There were gracious remarks and humorous tributes from leaders of both parties: Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell and McCarthy. As Speaker Boehner referenced at the ceremony, one of his famous sayings is that “we can disagree without being disagreeable.” Here is the link to the full ceremony and his speech. 
  4. Also last week, Democratic Representative John Lewis was among several Members paying tribute to retiring Republican Senator Johnny Isakson. After his remarks praising Isakson for his “reputation as a bridge builder,” Lewis walked over to the Republican side of the aisle to give Isakson a hug, saying “I will come over to meet you, brother.” Following Lewis’ moving tribute, Representative Austin Scott said, “I wish all of America could be here to see that…two icons from Georgia embracing. What a wonderful sight that I think is representative of the days of the past and the days to come and how we should work together,” he said.

Happy Thanksgiving.  

Roll Call: “The Democratic field: middle-class heroes or millionaire hypocrites?”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call on the wealth tax proposals emerging from the Democratic primary:

Centrist, middle-class voters are rightfully suspicious of politicians telling them that a million dollars is OK but a billion dollars isn’t. This approach lets these wealthy candidates tell voters, “You’re OK, but I’m OK too.” What they miss is that they are making the wrong argument.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Republicans need to study the lessons of 2018 and 2019 before racing to 2020”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the need for Republicans to study the lessons of the 2018 and 2019 elections in anticipation of 2020:

Unfortunately, I get the feeling that many party operatives seem to be racing ahead to the 2020 election that’s one year away, when they should be studying more closely the lessons of the 2018 and 2019 elections. Many of last Tuesday’s outcomes are indicative of the same problems Republicans faced in 2018, yet that election seems to be in the rearview mirror for a lot of party consultants.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “McConnell defeats Schumer’s tax cut for the wealthy”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the recent Senate vote with regard to the cap on state and local tax deductions.

Democrats running for president, including several sitting senators, have chosen to wage a divisive class-based strategy centered on punitively taxing the “wealthy” to fund their multitrillion-dollar “free stuff” agendas.

Back in D.C., their leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, seems to be walking a different path. Instead of working to lower drug prices or improve education or protect the climate, the New York Democrat, who represents one of the nation’s highest-taxed states, has chosen for one of his major political gambits legislative action that would almost singularly benefit the wealthiest, most elite taxpayers in the country. The very same people his Democratic presidential candidates have harshly criticized for “not paying their fair share of taxes.”

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Democrats may come to regret choosing impeachment over independents”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston in today’s Roll Call on impeachment and its potential implications for 2020:

As we move toward next year’s election, one of the most critical strategic dynamics now in play is how each party chooses to address key issues with the electorate. Will the Democrats be able to balance kitchen-table issues with their focus on impeachment? Will Republicans get back to an economic agenda centered on keeping the economy moving forward? Or will both parties and the media continue to focus on their priorities as they hammer each other in increasingly harsh tones?

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Why Pelosi should heed the Rodino precedent on impeachment”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in yesterday’s Roll Call about the latest on impeachment:

If the Democrats are resting their decision to impeach the president, or not, on political advantage rather than principles, they are on shaky ground. Instead, Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff would be wise to follow the standard that House Judiciary Chairman Peter Rodino set in 1974 as his committee moved forward with the Nixon impeachment inquiry. Unlike Schiff, whose Intelligence panel is more star chamber than objective investigation, Rodino understood that to be effective, his committee’s process and methods had to be fair to both sides.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Washington is trapped in a bad spy novel”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call on the latest in impeachment.

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.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “While Trump tweets, Pelosi prays and Schiff parodies”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call on the recent news on impeachment, and with some words for Congressional Democrats:

What I am saying to Democrats, from personal experience, is be wary of choosing this path without bipartisan deliberation and recognize the responsibility to clearly lay out the rationale for impeachment.

Read the rest here.

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