Commentary

Capitol Perspectives: Legislative independence

BY: - February 5, 2021

A major question for this year’s session of the Missouri General Assembly is whether Republican legislative leaders will continue a recent display of independence from their fellow Republican Gov. Mike Parson. Three times in recent months, Republican legislative leaders have shown near historic resistance to their party’s leader. In the first 2020 special session, the […]

Gov. Parson’s letter exposed longstanding rift with Missouri House leader

BY: - February 2, 2021

Gov. Mike Parson’s scolding letter over the weekend accusing House GOP leadership of scheming to embarrass him caught Missouri’s political world by surprise.  Not because the governor was attacking his fellow Republicans, but because he was doing it publicly.  Those close to both Parson and House Speaker Rob Vescovo — who was the clear target […]

Exterior Missouri State Capitol building

There should be no pandemic privilege for religion

BY: - February 1, 2021

Even before we are out of the coronavirus pandemic, Missouri’s lawmakers are considering bills that would make it more difficult to keep people safe in a future pandemic. And several bills would also upset our healthy church-state balance by carving out a special pandemic privilege for religious groups. As a Baptist minister who takes seriously […]

I thought I had a sure thing. After the D.C. insurrection, I’m not so sure

BY: - January 20, 2021

There’s an old poker adage that says, “if you look around the table and can’t figure out who the fish (that is, sucker) is, then you’re probably the fish.” In a very different realm of gambling, I had a recent experience evoking that maxim. Just after the Dec. 14 Electoral College vote, an old friend […]

Capitol Perspectives: An invasion of the U.S. Capitol 

BY: - January 18, 2021

This column is prompted by the pictures of the Capitol assault that triggered fond memories of where I had been an NPR reporter for about six months before I was recruited to start MU’s State Government Reporting in Missouri’s Capitol. While the invasion of our U.S. Capitol raises several major issues for our country, this […]

How Eric Greitens and Josh Hawley soared so quickly in Missouri politics

BY: - January 15, 2021

Flush with ambition and cash, a newcomer arrives like a bolt from the blue. Or, in Missouri’s case, red. He jumps a line of aspirational politicians, lands in a statewide elected office and immediately sets his sights on a higher target, heedless of the wreck just up the road. Missouri has seen this movie twice […]

Let’s not get fooled again: Fight lies by learning to recognize truth

BY: - January 14, 2021

We have a crisis of credulity in this country. We’ve become a nation of dupes. The inability of far too many Americans to separate fact from fantasy, and the people who are eager to take advantage of that failure, are the root of the rot in our country. The consequences, long evident, should now be […]

Our home was attacked Wednesday. It may never be the same.

BY: - January 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Many of us in our working lives have places away from the office that feel like a second home. It could be a back room at a business, a warehouse, a barn, even the front seat of a car. For me, that place for years was the U.S. Capitol. Thousands of people’s lives […]

The latest threat to America comes from within

BY: - January 7, 2021

I was in tears. Shown by CNN in live video, the floor of the U.S. Senate was occupied by terrorists in MAGA hats waving Trump flags. Those still outside the Capitol were smashing windows. As the cameras panned the House floor, congressional staffers cowered behind desks and police aimed guns at the door, their obvious […]

We’ve lived under McNutt’s persistent surveillance. Here’s why St. Louis should say ‘no’

BY: - January 5, 2021

Ross McNutt wants to help the St. Louis Police Department spy on you. I’m familiar with his promises about how his company — Persistent Surveillance Systems (yeah, really) — can save your city by flying airplanes over your heads at all waking hours. For years, I’ve heard him say the same thing about our city, […]

Exterior Missouri State Capitol building

Capitol Perspectives: A time for setting legislative priorities

BY: - January 4, 2021

The start of Missouri’s legislature during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic raises questions about how lawmakers will adjust to the realities of this rampant virus. Just visualize a state Capitol during a normal legislative session with legislators, legislative staffers, lobbyists, agency officials, visitors and reporters crowded into committee rooms and narrow hallways. Because […]

Can Joe Biden ‘heal’ the United States? Political experts disagree

BY: and - December 25, 2020

Editor’s note: When Joe Biden becomes president on Jan. 20, 2021, he will lead a fractured nation whose political factions are separated by a chasm. In his victory speech, Biden asked Americans to “come together” and “stop treating opponents as enemies.” Is healing possible between red America and blue America? We asked experts on political […]