Collecting Our Thoughts: Selected Insights from Recent Schar School Op-Eds

By Buzz McClain

From The Washington Post: 

To Beat Trump, Democrats Must Counter His Lies With Realistic Solutions

Resisting dishonest populism is not just a policy imperative for serious Democrats but also a political imperative for 2020. Throughout the country, voters just sent a powerful message that they are tired of the broken promises of this administration, especially on health care and taxes.

While I haven’t decided whether to be a candidate myself, I will be closely watching our side and working to ensure that the Democratic message is realistic, optimistic and focused on helping all Americans. The stakes are simply too high for a race to the bottom.

Distinguished Visiting Professor Terry McAuliffe


From Axios:

Time Is Running Out for the U.S. and China to Resolve the Trade War

The risks for energy trade are particularly great. As trade conflict with China increased, Chinese energy imports from the U.S. fell to nearly zero at the end of 2018, which affected the U.S. tanker shipping industry and oil producers. Even if the trade war threat diminishes, it will be difficult to recoup lost market share in the face of competition from Russia and elsewhere.

By escalating the tit-for-tat trade war, President Trump has worked against America’s energy interests, leaving domestic energy firms to struggle with a glut of oil and gas at home.

Distinguished Visiting Professor Richard Kauzlarich


From NBC News:

Trump’s Government Shutdown Rhetoric Is a Reminder of Just How Normalized Shutdowns Have Become

In fact, we’ve had 21 federal government shutdowns since 1976. Most, however, lasted no more than a few days. The longest and most contentious was in late 1995 and early 1996, when House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., led his new Republican majority into a standoff against President Bill Clinton in the fight over a budget deal.

Gingrich admitted that he started the shutdown in part because he felt snubbed by Clinton when they returned from Israel on Air Force One. He had to sit in the back of the plane and exit using the rear door!

Professor Bill Schneider


From The Washington Post:

The House Should Investigate Impeaching Trump

Both of us have been critical of the president. But we fervently hope and pray that an impeachment investigation would come back with no evidence of crimes or conspiracy. To find such evidence would rip at the fabric of our nation and force a wrenching process upon it. There is only one thing worse than knowing the answers to these questions, and that is not knowing them.

Distinguished Visiting Professor Michael V. Hayden and Neal Katyal


From Project Syndicate:

Dirty Populists

Of course, American democracy is still comparatively entrenched, and the Trump administration has faced significant pushback from the judiciary and media (both of which he has repeatedly attacked). That is not quite the case in Hungary under Orbán, the first of few world leaders to endorse Trump’s candidacy, or in Poland under Kaczyński. Whereas Trump has facilitated corruption by weakening government, Orbán and Kaczyński have focused on seizing control, changing the rules, and making government institutions their own.

University Professor Janine Wedel


From The National Review:

Trump’s Strategic Unpredictability, Its Pros and Its Cons

Donald Trump throws fastballs at allies and adversaries alike. Considered as a package, unpredictability in national-security policy carries both advantages and disadvantages, and critics along with supporters should be intellectually honest enough to admit it. Being unpredictable at the operational level is a plus. Even peacetime unpredictability designed to throw adversaries off balance can be advantageous. Unpredictability with allies is more of a mixed bag. It has secured certain limited concessions for the United States over the past two years, but at the same time carries undeniable risks. The worst risk of all is deterrence failure. In effect, we are left hoping that Trump’s incalculability unnerves America’s enemies as much as its allies. 

Professor Colin Dueck