From the Left



Clinton, Sanders and 'Visionary Gradualism'

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- The success of Bernie Sanders' insurgency is a marvel and an achievement.

His showing is a mark of the anger and frustration felt by so many Americans over the abuses of capitalism that led to the crash of 2008. With the help of millions of voters, especially the young, he has broadened a political debate long hemmed in by the ...Read more

Obama Didn't Birth Trump's Movement

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- Blaming President Obama for the rise of Donald Trump is popular among Republican leaders. They don't want to take responsibility for the choices made by their own voters or their complicity in tolerating and even encouraging the extremism Trump represents.

They also don't want to face the fact that many Trump ballots were aimed at...Read more

Don't Mainstream Trump

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump's Republican primary triumph means that this cannot be a normal election. Americans who see our country as a model of tolerance, inclusion, rationality and liberty must come together across party lines to defeat him decisively.

Many forces will be at work in the coming weeks to normalize Trump -- and, yes, the media ...Read more

The Irony of Celebrity Populism

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

BOSTON -- "When you become famous," the famous political consultant James Carville once said, "being famous becomes your profession."

It's a sign of the stunning success of Donald Trump's crossover act that we no longer even think about this campaign's most revolutionary effect on our politics: the demolition of the line between celebrity and ...Read more

The New Trump As New Coke

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- If authenticity is your calling card, how do you become authentically inauthentic?

Welcome to the New Donald Trump, a marvel of the Twitter-Cable-Facebook Non-Industrial Complex and the age of minuscule attention spans.

It took Richard Nixon prodigious feats of hard work between 1962 and 1968 to create the New Nixon who got ...Read more

What Clinton And Sanders Owe Progressives

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- Compared with the ferocious fractiousness of the Republican campaign, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are operating by rules inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, the gentle animal-loving holy man whom Pat Buchanan once derided as "the pacifist with the pigeons."

But with the GOP setting a very high standard for political ...Read more

In The GOP, No Room For Nice

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- On the day that Paul Ryan said he really, truly, honestly did not want to be the Republicans' presidential savior, John Kasich did his best to channel the House speaker. Both undertakings underscored how much trouble the old pro-business, pro-tax-cut conservatism faces.

A cynic might theorize that since absence makes the heart ...Read more

The Clinton Broadway Revival

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- It will not be the first time that a Clinton relies on the tough-minded voters of New York to salvage a front-running presidential candidacy.

On March 24, 1992, an insurgent candidate named Jerry Brown (yes, California's current governor) upended Bill Clinton, the Democrats' nominee-in-waiting, in the Connecticut primary. To re-...Read more

The End Of Trump

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- It's time to go back where we began: not only that Donald Trump will lose the Republican presidential nomination, but that he could be so weakened by the end of the primaries that his party will not even have to worry about choosing someone else.

I feel your skepticism. Hasn't Trump so far defied all predictions of his demise? ...Read more

The Belgian X-Ray

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- Sudden, horrific events in the middle of a presidential campaign provide an X-ray of the instincts and thinking of the candidates. We can see what their priorities are, and pick up clues about their character.

The terrorist attacks in Belgium brought out the worst in Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Cruz demonstrated that his only focus...Read more

The Court Fight Is About Democracy

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- There's a reason beyond garden-variety partisanship that Senate Republicans resist even holding hearings on President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Their gambit evades a full and open debate over the conservative judicial agenda, which is to use the high court in an aggressive and political way to ...Read more

The Party Of Trump V. Merrick Garland

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

PHOENIX -- In a span of about 12 hours, Americans were given definitive evidence that the Republican Party is now in thrall to its most ideologically and tactically extreme forces while the Democrats still look to the center ground and to compromise.

Exhibit A: The results of Tuesday's primaries. Exhibit B: President Obama's nomination of Judge...Read more

The GOP Vulgarians

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- It was William Bennett, education secretary in the Reagan years and the Republican Party's premier moralist, who embedded a phrase in the American consciousness when he bemoaned the fact that "our elites presided over an unprecedented coarsening of our culture."

Well, to borrow another famous phrase, it is Bennett's party and two ...Read more

A GOP Trapped By Trump

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- The Republican Party is on the verge of being taken over by an egomaniac who appeals to the nation's darkest impulses. Yet Donald Trump's foes are splintered, tactically but also philosophically.

It doesn't help that each of his three serious challengers is a flawed alternative. None is sufficiently dominant to force the others ...Read more

How Dixie Rules The GOP

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

MADISON, Wisc. -- The Super Tuesday primaries underscore how super Southern our presidential nominating process has become. This makes our way of picking standard-bearers unrepresentative of the country as a whole. In particular, it sharply reduces the influence of the great American Midwest even though the region's states are among the most ...Read more

Bush Is Out; Clinton Dynasty Intact

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- The Clinton political dynasty is still alive. The Bush dynasty has been routed. Their contrasting fates, to this point at least, tell us much about our two parties, the nature of this year's presidential election, and the dueling legacies themselves.

The Republican and Democratic contests are very different, beginning with the ...Read more

Getting Obama's Story Straight

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- There is an imbalance in the argument at the heart of the 2016 presidential campaign that threatens to undercut the Democrats' chances of holding the White House.

You might think otherwise. The divisions among Republicans are as sharp as they have been since 1964. Donald Trump may be building on the politics of resentment the GOP ...Read more

A Court Fight For The Ages

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- In most presidential elections, Supreme Court nominations are a major issue for elites and a substantial concern for significant parts of the conservative movement. Other voters usually see the future makeup of the court as a side matter, or not essential to their decisions at all.

Justice Antonin Scalia's death on Saturday will ...Read more

New Hampshire Spanks The Elites

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- The conservatism that has dominated the Republican Party for decades is in crisis. Capitalism has lost its allure among a large swath of young Americans. And the Clinton and Bush brands are yesterday's products in desperate need of renovation.

These are, admittedly, large conclusions to draw from one contest in one small New ...Read more

Is Rubio Too Good To Be True?

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

GOFFSTOWN, N.H. -- There was a time when Republican governors were not all that different from Democratic governors.

The politicians from both parties who ran the states tended to be a pragmatic lot. They were pro-business because they wanted their people to have jobs but they championed government spending in the areas that contribute to ...Read more


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