The Winston Group is a strategy and research firm dedicated to making ideas matter.

Roll Call: “A needed lesson in bipartisanship: The Civil Rights Act of 1964”

by Caitlin Peartree

In today’s Roll Call, the Winston Group’s David Winston writes about the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its lessons in bipartisanship that are still applicable today.

Beyond the rightness of the legislation, it was bipartisan unity that delivered the Civil Rights Act of 1964. No rules were changed to get it done. This transformational legislation wasn’t jammed through on a partisan vote. Quite the contrary.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “As Democrats plot to overturn Iowa result, it’s déjà vu all over again”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about Democrats’ ongoing attempt to oust Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa’s 2nd District, whose election was certified and who has been seated in Congress, and the similarities it bears to the situation in Indiana’s 8th Congressional District in the 1984 election cycle.

So what should Iowa voters expect when Nancy Pelosi’s nine-seat majority after the 2020 election meant that the Democratic majority on any vote could be upended by 5 switches? We know the answer. Reach back into the old playbook for Indiana’s 8th, and dust off the “rule” that says when Democrats are in the majority, even by a razor-thin margin, the House is empowered to supersede the will of the people when it is politically necessary. Translation: when Speaker Pelosi’s power is threatened.

Read the full piece here

Roll Call: “Biden’s progressive agenda doubles down on past policy failures”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the $1.9 trillion COVID relief law, and how Democrats may have taken the wrong lesson from President Obama’s first two years in office:

Despite winning Congress and the White House by razor-thin margins, Democrats have decided to double down on Obama’s strategic mistake that cost his party the House in 2010. 

Their takeaway from Obama’s first two years isn’t that they lost the House because he put his progressive health care policy ahead of what people wanted: jobs. Instead, they appear to be laboring under the assumption that they may not get another chance to transform what is a center-right country into a progressive paradise. So let’s go big and, if we have to, use reconciliation or a change in the Senate rules to get it done.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Republicans can’t win the economic argument if they don’t make it in the first place”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the strong argument in favor of Republican economic policies that the GOP could be making.

Instead of criticizing the positive economic report, Republicans ought to take credit for producing an economy so strong the country has been able to weather shutting down almost our entire economic system, not without pain, but with the power to rebound and quickly. But many Republicans seem ready and willing to cede the rebounding economy over to the Democrats.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “For Joe Biden, unity is for Democrats only”

by Caitlin Peartree

In this week’s column for Roll Call, the Winston Group’s David Winston assesses how Biden’s actions so far are measuring up against his inauguration day promise of unity.

In the case of his unity promise, less than a majority — only 48 percent — said Biden has been working to promote unity. Thirty-eight percent said he was focused on his base. Only weeks into his presidency, his numbers on this question should be stronger.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Partisan voters claim, ‘We wuz robbed.’ No, they weren’t”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the present political environment, one that has gone far beyond politics as usual.

The country today is mired in the alarming aftermath of two extremely polarizing presidential elections where the losing side in each refused to accept the outcome.  Not a good prescription for a strong democracy. 

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “In our political rewards system, fundraising tops accountability. That has to change”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the role of money and fundraising in politics and the impact they have had on the larger political environment:

The political reward system has created a model that works for consultants, the media and super PACs that dominate the political environment, but it is failing candidates, the donors who fund campaigns and those who value civil political discourse and democracy. And it’s dividing the country in the process.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Anger has been the drug of choice for our political system for too long”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the divisiveness of our current politics and what we should do moving forward.

“This didn’t start with the 2020 election. It has been years in the making. Whether you voted for Donald Trump or Joe Biden, don’t think this goes away because Trump is no longer in office. This was already in motion long before Trump came on the scene; and unless the system changes, it will continue to deteriorate and become even more dangerous.”  

“I don’t know why anyone should be surprised. When anger is the drug of choice in politics, when it takes a bigger and bigger hit to grab eyeballs and get attention, where else would we end up?”

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Note to Joe Biden: Unity is more than just words”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the need for unity in the country, and whether the President’s actions in his first days in office will help achieve that unity.

So far, his support for unity has been more rhetorical than substantive. Biden’s unilateral executive orders will only further divide the nation, but his approach isn’t very different from his most recent predecessors. Whether it was Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, Donald Trump or Biden, right out of the gate, each focused on policies that reflected base priorities rather than looking for compromises that might have avoided what has been a downward spiral of bitter partisanship in Washington.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “2020 was no fluke for congressional Republicans, no matter the Georgia runoff results”

by Caitlin Peartree

In his first Roll Call column of 2021, the Winston Group’s David Winston offers an assessment of the 2020 elections in light of the Georgia run-offs:

What happens in the next 48 hours in Georgia and the halls of Congress will change the political dynamics of the next two years.

What it won’t change, however, is how and why President Donald Trump lost and Joe Biden won.

And it also won’t change the fact that congressional Republicans outperformed the president and upended the expected blue wave by focusing on legislative priorities that connected ideologically with a broader electorate.

Read the full piece here.

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