From the Left



Trump and Bannon are the ‘Corporatists’

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

WASHINGTON -- Just when you despair that only chaos animates the Trump administration, along comes Steve Bannon, the White House ideologue, to offer the Rosetta Stone illuminating what this circus is all about.

And when you realize what Trump & Co. might really be up to, your despair turns to alarm.

There is no way of knowing how much ...Read more

Can Democrats Rise to Trump’s challenge?

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

WASHINGTON -- The most striking aspect of the vast and swiftly organized movement against Donald Trump is how little it had to do with the Democratic Party. Whoever is elected to chair the Democratic National Committee this weekend should draw two conclusions from this, and they are in tension.

First, the anti-Trump effort, while broadly ...Read more

The Death of a Hero

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

NEW YORK -- We buried one of my heroes on Friday. She was my mother-in-law.

In the case of Helen Boyle, hero might be a form of understatement. Rather than begin with gushing words and bloated adjectives, permit me to recite just a few facts about her 85 years on this earth.

She lost her father at age 5, and learned of his death from a kid on ...Read more

Face Trump’s Unfitness Sooner, Not Later

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

NEW YORK -- Let’s not mumble or whisper about the central issue facing our country: What is this democratic nation to do when the man serving as president of the United States plainly has no business being president of the United States?

The Michael Flynn fiasco was the entirely predictable product of the indiscipline, deceit, incompetence ...Read more

Steve Bannon vs. Pope Francis?

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

WASHINGTON -- Steve Bannon disrupted American politics and helped elect Donald Trump as president. Will he disrupt the Roman Catholic Church by joining forces with right-wing Catholics who oppose Pope Francis?

Bannon’s dark vision contrasts sharply with the sunny disposition of a pope who has chided “sourpusses” and “querulous and ...Read more

A Game Plan for Trump’s Foes

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

WASHINGTON -- The movement that Donald Trump’s presidency has inspired against him is broad, passionate, engaged and determined. Its prospects depend upon highlighting a set of principles that can unite an American majority already appalled by what Trump is doing to our country.

While almost everything in our politics these days has a ...Read more

Supreme Hypocrisy

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

WASHINGTON -- You want bipartisanship on Supreme Court nominations? Let’s have a consensual moment around Sen. Ted Cruz’s idea that having only eight Supreme Court justices is just fine.

“There is certainly long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices,” the Texas Republican said last year when GOP senators were ...Read more

Shutting Up is Not an Option

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

WASHINGTON -- Let me begin with a word of thanks to Stephen K. Bannon, the chief White House strategist. With a single interview, he dispelled any illusions that normal or productive relations with the media will even be possible under the Trump administration.

True, the new president’s modern predecessors in both parties all tangled with the...Read more

In Search of the Truth About Trumpism

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

WASHINGTON -- Is Trumpism a scam? And if so, who is Donald Trump scamming?

Or is the country confronting something even more troubling: a president unhinged from any realities that get in the way of his impulses, unmoored from any driving philosophy, and willing to make everything up as he goes along, including “alternative facts”?

Of ...Read more

Our New President: Radical, Divisive and So Bleak

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

WASHINGTON -- Donald John Trump intends to govern as the same fiercely angry man who inspired the discontented but aroused the worries and fears of so many other Americans.

In his inaugural address, he offered no outreach to those who had opposed him. There was no acknowledgment of the achievements of any of his predecessors and he spoke as if ...Read more

Inauguration Consternation

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

WASHINGTON -- Why is this inauguration different from any other?

Let’s start with the fact that most Americans are not happy that Donald Trump is about to become president. The Washington Post/ABC News poll this week found that Trump enters the Oval Office with the lowest favorable ratings since the question has been asked. Only 40 percent ...Read more

Trump Proved Obama’s Point

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

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Ben Cardin used one of the oldest saws in politics to lay out an imperative for the coming Trump era. “It cannot be business as usual,” Cardin said.

He was talking primarily about Russia, but his statement stands on its own. Under the 45th president, it cannot be business as usual for the media, for Congress or for any ...Read more

Killing Obamacare Threatens Real Americans

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

WASHINGTON -- Let’s try to get this straight. Donald Trump campaigned as the champion of lower-paid working people who deserve better than they have. Republicans have spent the Obama presidency complaining about high deficits and promising to cut them.

And whenever liberals put forward major reforms, conservatives say: No, no, you can’t ...Read more

Will Trump Let Obama Go Quietly?

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

WASHINGTON -- Will Donald Trump deprive President Obama of what we have come to think of as a normal post-presidency, the relatively serene life of reflection, writing, philanthropy and high-minded speeches to friendly audiences?

In recent decades, we have become accustomed to the idea of ex-presidents who leave political combat behind. They ...Read more

2017’s Priority: Protecting Democracy

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

WASHINGTON -- The most important political task of 2017 transcends the normal run of issues and controversies. Our greatest obligation will be to defend democracy itself, along with republican norms for governing, and the openness that free societies require.

To say this is not alarmist. Nor is it to deny the importance of other issues. ...Read more

The Imperative of Hope

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

WASHINGTON -- Gloom is a terrible way to ring out the old and despair is of no help in trying to imagine the new.

So let us consider what good might come from the political situation in which we will find ourselves in 2017. Doing this does not require denying the dangers posed by a Donald Trump presidency or the demolition of progressive ...Read more

Is Democracy a ‘Fetish’?

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

WASHINGTON -- It’s important for those who favor the popular election of our presidents to separate their arguments for direct democracy from the outcome of a particular contest.

My colleague George F. Will’s recent column in defense of the Electoral College offers an excellent opportunity to make a case that has nothing to do with the ...Read more

Happy Holidays, Donald Trump

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

WASHINGTON -- Some things Donald Trump says enrage me while others get under my skin. The pronouncement that does both is his regular claim that until he prevailed, Americans were not free to say “merry Christmas” to each other.

He was at it again last week in West Allis, Wisconsin, during his Watch-Me-Divide-The-Country-Further “Victory ...Read more

Will the GOP be the Pro-Putin Party?

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

WASHINGTON -- Beneath the surface of the controversy over Russia’s efforts to help Donald Trump become president is a dramatic reconfiguration of opinion on foreign policy.

Many Republicans who had long been critical of Vladimir Putin’s despotic rule are readjusting their positions to accord with Trump’s more sympathetic views. Others are...Read more

The Electoral College’s Trump Dilemma

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

WASHINGTON -- In making what is likely to be the most consequential decision of this transition period, Donald Trump couldn’t resist petty vindictiveness.

Mitt Romney was briefly touted as the front-runner to become secretary of state. After meeting with Trump over a meal, he pronounced himself “very impressed” by the man he had described...Read more


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