From the Left



Can we build a moral economy?

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

WASHINGTON -- Do you build the economy from the top down or from the bottom up? And is the main purpose of the economy the production of things or the enhancement of life?

I can imagine immediate objections to both questions. Don't all successful economies involve bottom-up and top-down elements? Doesn't everybody claim to be a bottom-up person...Read more

Trump to Kim: I'm with you, not the CIA

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

WASHINGTON -- When the president of the United States sides with a murderous dictator over our own CIA, you would think it would be big news. When that dictator is a communist who has threatened the United States with missile attacks, you would think leaders of the Republican Party might be at least a little agitated.

But Tuesday's news ...Read more

Give Trump an ultimatum on stonewalling

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

WASHINGTON -- If you want to understand how fundamentally President Trump and his Republican allies have damaged our capacity for self-government, look no further than the debate over whether he should be impeached.

In a more virtuous political world, a significant number of Republicans would read Robert Mueller's report and decide: Yes, these ...Read more

A gun showdown is approaching in Virginia

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

If you want to know how things have rolled in Virginia on the firearms issue, consider that Gun Lobby Day is an unofficial but highly memorable event held every year at the state capitol on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"That was so wrong for so many reasons," Jennifer Wexton, a former state senator who is now a member of Congress, observed about...Read more

Dear Robert Mueller: Your report can't speak for itself

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

WASHINGTON -- Mr. Mueller, your job is not done yet. In fact, it's a long way from done. It's honorable of you to act as if you are part of a process that's on the level. But there is nothing by-the-book in how President Trump and Attorney General William Barr have responded to your findings about Russian interference in the 2016 election or ...Read more

Mitch McConnell, court packer

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

WASHINGTON -- Permit me a question to every truly fair-minded person in our country. Imagine that one party packs the Supreme Court with ideologues and the other party does absolutely nothing in response. Isn't this abject surrender to an unscrupulous power grab?

This inquiry can no longer be ducked. Even those in the deepest denial can no ...Read more

Trump's other cover-up

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

WASHINGTON -- The late Steve LaTourette came into Congress as part of Newt Gingrich's 1994 conservative revolution. The Ohio Republican was a party loyalist but not an ideologue. He thought that government ought to do such revolutionary things as build roads and bridges. So when I asked him why he decided to quit Congress in 2012, he had a ready...Read more

Trump goes on strike

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

WASHINGTON -- It's often said that when our founders wrote the Constitution, they had a leader like Donald Trump in mind when they included various safeguards for our liberties and against abuses of presidential power.

I think that gets it wrong. The founders could not have imagined a president like Trump.

They certainly never expected that a ...Read more

Alabama's unexpected lesson on abortion

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

WASHINGTON -- It's instructive that Alabama has handed the anti-abortion movement a great victory by passing a law banning it across the board -- and Republican politicians who regularly tout themselves as pro-life don't like it.

Abortion is cast by its opponents as a "non-negotiable" question. Yet it turns out to be very negotiable and, indeed...Read more

The NRA is in disarray

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

WASHINGTON -- It's a long-standing joke among journalists that the go-to political headline in a pinch is: "Democrats in Disarray." Somewhere, somehow, it's probably true.

So it's a change of pace that a slew of reports in recent weeks amply justify the headline "NRA in Disarray." Accounts about the organization's financial crisis and internal ...Read more

Protecting health care -- and our Constitution

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

WASHINGTON -- For House Democrats, this will be health care week. How many voters will notice?

The answer will be instructive about how the constitutional crisis that is upon us will affect action on every other problem voters expect their government to confront.

President Trump is engaged, as is his way, in a two-faced game. He says that by ...Read more

If impeachment comes, it's on Trump and the GOP

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

EDITORS: This column will be updated if the House Judiciary Committee votes to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.

WASHINGTON -- Our nation does not have to face a constitutional crisis, but we are barreling toward one at breakneck speed. The House should not have to move quickly toward impeachment, but it may now have ...Read more

Bringing foreign policy home

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

WASHINGTON -- Why aren't Democratic presidential candidates talking more about foreign policy?

Are they being shrewd in playing down a divisive concern that is not at the front of voters' minds, or are they missing an opportunity? The right answer is: Both.

A new study by the Center for American Progress (CAP) finds that when Americans look at...Read more

William Barr has shamelessly corrupted the Mueller report

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

One of our most colorful legal concepts is the "fruit of the poisonous tree." The phrase was introduced by Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter 80 years ago to hold that evidence obtained illegally cannot be used to convict a defendant.

We now know that the entire debate the country has been having over special counsel Robert Mueller's ...Read more

Biden's trump cards: Restoration, reassurance and tranquility

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

WASHINGTON -- Joe Biden's decision to seek the presidency is a clarifying event. It will require those who see Donald Trump's tenure as disastrous to decide whether restoration or transformation should be the primary task after he leaves office.

And Biden's entry gives greater definition to the sprawling contest for the Democratic nomination. ...Read more

Will Trump and the Supreme Court tear our democracy apart?

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

WASHINGTON -- Our nation faces a constitutional conflagration, and President Trump is not the only actor willing to put personal and partisan interests above the preservation of our system of self-rule.

Five conservative justices on the United States Supreme Court signaled clearly on Tuesday that they are willing to allow the administration to ...Read more

After Mueller, the path for House Democrats

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

WASHINGTON -- It may not have been his intention, but special counsel Robert Mueller has forced a momentous choice on the Democrats who control the House of Representatives. How they navigate the next several months will matter not only to politics but, more importantly, to whether the rule of law prevails.

If we lived in a normal time with a ...Read more

The cathedral and the path to renewal

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

EDITORS: Note spelling of "Alleluia" in final graf. In the interest of accuracy, the spelling is taken directly from the Catholic Easter liturgy.

WASHINGTON -- The burning of Notre Dame Cathedral, a monument to human creativity and divine inspiration, invites first a mournful silence and then a search for meaning. This often involves efforts to...Read more

Our parties need to learn the opposite lessons

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

WASHINGTON -- It would save pixels, ink and talking time if we all agreed on the obvious: Democrats are more divided than Republicans and will remain so for the foreseeable future. What matters is everything else you say once this reality is acknowledged.

First, the facts: Democrats are more diverse than Republicans in almost every imaginable ...Read more

Netanyahu's ominous victory not the brand of politics Israel expected

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

WASHINGTON -- The last decade has been trying for liberals who support the existence of a democratic Jewish state and believe that Palestinians have a right to self-determination within a state of their own. Tuesday's election in Israel made the liberal path even rockier, both inside the country and in the United States.

Prime Minister Benjamin...Read more


Social Connections


Gary Markstein David M. Hitch Lee Judge Mike Luckovich Clay Bennett Brian Duffy