op-ed
July 30, 2020

He voted for President Trump in 2016 and opposed his impeachment earlier this year, but Steven Calabresi, co-founder of the conservative Federalist Society, believes Trump took things too far by tweeting about delaying November's election.

In an op-ed published Thursday afternoon by The New York Times, Calabresi, a professor at Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law, wrote that he was "appalled" by Trump's tweet. "Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats' assertion that President Trump is a fascist," he added. "But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president's immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate."

Through wars, the Great Depression, and general upheaval, the United States has never canceled or postponed a presidential election, Calabresi said, and Trump's fears over increased mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic is no reason to consider doing so this year. Each state, he wrote, will decide "whether to allow universal mail-in voting and Article II of the Constitution explicitly gives the states total power over the selection of presidential electors."

Now is the time for every Republican in Congress to stand up to Trump and let him know he "cannot postpone the federal election," Calabresi said. "Doing so would be illegal, unconstitutional, and without precedent in American history. Anyone who says otherwise should never be elected to Congress again." Read the entire op-ed at The New York Times. Catherine Garcia

July 9, 2020

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) says Fox News host Tucker Carlson is questioning her patriotism in order to distract Americans from President Trump's incompetence.

Carlson and Trump are "desperate for America's attention to be on anything other than Donald Trump's failure to lead our nation," she wrote in a searing New York Times op-ed published Thursday. Trump wants Americans to focus on her rather than "mourning the 130,000 Americans killed by a virus he claimed would disappear in February" or remembering he is a "failed commander-in-chief" who has "still apparently done nothing about reports of Russia putting bounties on the heads of American troops in Afghanistan."

An Army veteran, Duckworth lost both her legs while serving in Iraq. Last weekend, she writes, she "expressed an openness to a 'national dialogue' about our founders' complex legacies." In response, Carlson said on his Monday night show she is a "deeply silly and unimpressive person" and one of several top Democrats who "actually hate America."

Duckworth said that "even knowing how my tour in Iraq would turn out," she would "do it all over ago," because of the "importance of protecting our founding values, including every American's right to speak out." She will fight "to defend every American's freedom to have his or her own opinion about Washington's flawed history," Duckworth continued, and Carlson needs to learn "we can honor our founders while acknowledging their serious faults, including the undeniable fact that many of them enslaved Black Americans." He and Trump should also know, she added, "that attacks from self-serving, insecure men who can't tell the difference between true patriotism and hateful nationalism will never diminish my love for this country — or my willingness to sacrifice for it so they don't have to. These titanium legs don't buckle."

Read Duckworth's entire op-ed at The New York Times. Catherine Garcia

July 25, 2019

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) knows exactly why President Trump makes racist statements, as it's a move that's been in the political playbook throughout U.S. history, she wrote in a New York Times op-ed published Thursday night.

Racist language "has been used to turn American against American in order to benefit the wealthy elite," Omar said. "Every time Mr. Trump attacks refugees is a time that could be spent discussing the president's unwillingness to raise the federal minimum wage for up to 33 million Americans. Every racist attack on four members of Congress is a moment he doesn't have to address why his choice for labor secretary has spent his career defending Wall Street banks and Walmart at the expense of workers. When he is launching attacks on the free press, he isn't talking about why his Environmental Protection Agency just refused to ban a pesticide linked to brain damage in children."

For two weeks, Trump has been steadily attacking Omar and three other House Democrats — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) — telling them they don't love the United States and need to go back to their home countries. This is a distraction, because "if working Americans are too busy fighting with one another, we will never address the very real and deep problems our country faces — from climate change to soaring inequality to lack of quality affordable health care," Omar said.

Americans must push back against the administration's policies, Omar said, because it's "not enough to condemn Mr. Trump's racism." She ended her op-ed with a warning. "Right-wing nationalism in Hungary, Russia, France, Britain, and elsewhere is on the march in ways not seen in decades," Omar said. "America has been a beacon of democratic ideals for the world. If we succumb to the fever of right-wing nationalism, it will have consequences far beyond our borders." Read the entire op-ed at The New York Times. Catherine Garcia

July 20, 2018

In an op-ed for The New York Times published Thursday night, Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), a former CIA officer, said he has seen Russian intelligence agents "manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them."

When President Trump stood next to Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday in Helsinki as he "spouted lies," it "confused many but should concern all Americans. By playing into Vladimir Putin's hands, the leader of the free world actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign that legitimized Russian denial and weakened the credibility of the United States to both our friends and foes abroad."

It's up to lawmakers to "fulfill our oversight duty as well as keep the American people informed of the current danger," Hurd said, and he's been asked by constituents what Congress can do to protect Americans from Russian interference. Hurd said "if necessary," the U.S. should "send lethal weaponry to assist Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed separatists," continue to enact sanctions, and fund intelligence agencies so they can have "the tools they need to confront Moscow and prevent this from happening in the future." Read Hurd's entire op-ed at The New York Times. Catherine Garcia

December 28, 2017

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave the State Department an A rating for the work done in 2017, writing in a New York Times op-ed published Wednesday night that despite dealing with "immense challenges" like North Korea and Russia, progress has been made toward "global peace and stability."

President Trump identified North Korea as the United States' "greatest security threat," Tillerson wrote, and since he "abandoned the failed policy of strategic patience" for "a policy of pressure through diplomatic and economic sanctions," North Korea should feel pushed into "serious negotiations on the abandonment of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs." He also said China "could and should do more" to "exert its decisive economic leverage on Pyongyang" and when it comes to Russia, "we have no illusions about the regime we are dealing with. The United States today has a poor relationship with a resurgent Russia that has invaded its neighbors Georgia and Ukraine in the last decade and undermined the sovereignty of Western nations by meddling in our election and others."

At the same time, it's important to work with Russia where "mutual interests intersect," like in Syria. Tillerson said he's "confident" Russia will fully participate in peace talks in Geneva, and those will ultimately lead to "a Syria that is free of Bashar al-Assad and his family." Read more of Tillerson's praise for the State Department at The New York Times. Catherine Garcia

October 25, 2017

In an op-ed in The Washington Post published Tuesday night, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) — who dramatically announced he's retiring at the end of his term in January 2019 — wrote that when he thinks about President Trump's time in office, he can't help but link what's happening now to a statement made in 1954.

On June 9, 1954, Joseph Welch, the Army's chief counsel, asked communist-hunting Sen. Joseph McCarthy, "Have you left no sense of decency?" Others in the room broke into applause, because "someone had finally spoken up and said: Enough," Flake wrote. "By doing so, Welch reawakened the conscience of the country. The moment was a shock to the system, a powerful dose of cure for an American democracy that was questioning its values during a time of global tumult and threat."

Reflecting on some of Trump's darker moments over the past year — public feuds with Gold Star families, "shocking bigotry," and "childish insults" spewed at hostile foreign powers — Flake said there is a "sickness in our system," and "nine months of this administration is enough for us to stop pretending that this is somehow normal, and that we are on the verge of some sort of pivot to governing, to stability. Nine months is more than enough for us to say, loudly and clearly: Enough." Now more than ever, elected officials need to stand up for good, Flake said, and he'll be vocal about doing what's right. "For the next 14 months, relieved of the strictures of politics, I will be guided only by the dictates of conscience," he said. "It's time we all say: Enough." Read the entire op-ed at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

September 10, 2015

In an op-ed for Time, education activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai said the world's response to refugees fleeing Syria "has been pitiful."

"Only 37 percent of the U.N.'s response plan for this year has been funded and more than 63 percent of funding needs are unmet," she added. "Food rations for refugees are being cut because nations will not contribute their fair share to help. Entire refugee camps have only one or two schools for children. If we say we care, we must not just use words, but take action."

The U.N. estimates that at least 11 million Syrians have been displaced due to the raging civil war, with more than 7 million inside Syria and 4 million outside the country. "Syria's refugees have committed no crime that justifies their suffering," Yousafzai wrote. "They are doing what anyone would do if their home were no longer safe." For three months in 2009, Yousafzai and her family had to leave their own home in Pakistan's Swat Valley due to conflict. "I know very well how hard it is to live like that, and how desperate is the desire of parents to find a safe place for their children to call home," she said.

Although she is "distressed" that more isn't being done to help Syrian refugees, Yousafzai said she is moved by people greeting refugees at train stations, and hopes other governments follow German Chancellor Angela Merkel's lead and allow refugees to settle in their countries and apply for asylum. "I hope that our humanity will guide decisions and allow all of us to stand with the millions of Syrian refugees who need our voice and our help more than ever today," she said. Read Yousafzai's entire op-ed at Time. Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads