Three pieces on how Speaker Mike Johnson and the House face different responsibilities now, especially with regard to Ukraine, Israel, and the border. The link to each full piece is embedded in each headline.

Johnson can do well for Louisiana, but must improve his attitude (Advocate/T-P column, Oct. 27):

Louisiana suddenly is sitting pretty in the U.S. House of Representatives, but new Speaker Mike Johnson now must recognize a higher calling than merely representing home-state constituents, pushing an ideology and indulging the impulses of a former president.

First, to be clear: Louisiana should be celebrating now. For any state, much less a smallish one, to boast both the House speaker and majority leader — Johnson, of Benton, and Steve Scalise, of Jefferson — is like winning the legislative SuperLotto….

If he approaches the job correctly, Johnson has the right skill set to bring credit to the Pelican State. He is tremendously smart. ….

Heretofore, Johnson’s service carrying Donald Trump’s water has been ethically discreditable. …In playing a game of ethical Twister to justify Trump’s election challenges, Johnson went way beyond legalistic distinctions, well into demagoguery…..

Johnson shouldn’t lie by saying Ukraine and the border present an either/or choice (Examiner column, Oct. 27):  As the new House speaker, chosen almost out of the blue under historically bizarre circumstances, Mike Johnson (R-LA) suddenly must shift from a parochial focus to national responsibilities. This is especially true regarding foreign policy and national defense, on some areas of which his views are not those of the American majority….Several times, he has pushed the intellectually dishonest line that aid to Ukraine and funding for enforcement at the Mexican border is an either-or proposition, as if one priority takes money away from the other. The line is a damnable fiction. It’s akin to saying one can’t support both Social Security and Medicare at the same time, or that spending for veterans programs comes at the expense of weapons for active-duty military….

Congress shouldn’t dawdle on aid to Israel, Ukraine, and the border (Examiner column, Nov. 3): 

There is no good, substantive reason for the Senate to insist on bundling aid to Israel with aid to Ukraine and with Mexican border security. Then again, there is no excuse for House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) to avoid giving Ukrainian aid a prompt, fair vote on the House floor.

And “prompt,” by the way, means within the next week……


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