From the Left



The evangelicals' enforcer

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

WASHINGTON -- Are the dominant voices of white evangelical Christianity in the United States destined to be angry and defensive? Is President Trump making sure they stay that way?

I found myself asking these questions after I read my Washington Post colleague Elizabeth Bruenig's revealing and deeply reported essay about her journey to Texas to ...Read more

Real change depends on the Senate

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

There are two quite different paths toward change in the 2020 elections. One would involve getting rid of President Trump but leaving Washington gridlocked. The other would see a Democratic president elected with a Democratic Congress. For the first time in a decade, progressives, with some help from moderates, would have a chance to govern and ...Read more

Trump's China policy: incoherent, value-free

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

WASHINGTON -- A concern for human rights and democracy has often been seen as an add-on to our country's foreign policy, an attractive veneer over the usual realpolitik. But President Trump is demonstrating that a supposedly "America First" policy focused entirely on trade and divorced from a commitment to our values is incoherent.

Trump is ...Read more

On guns and white nationalism, one side is right and one is wrong

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

When one side proposes ways that human beings might begin to solve a deadly problem while the other side leaves it up to God, you know which side is right.

When one side proposes solution after solution to contain gun violence -- and offers compromise after compromise to get something done -- while the other side blocks action every time, you ...Read more

Booker broke through. Biden struck back. Harris got put in the hot seat.

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

WASHINGTON -- Wednesday night's debate was New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker's breakthrough, former vice president Joe Biden's comeback and California Sen. Kamala Harris's turn in the hot seat.

If Tuesday's Democratic debate was overwhelmingly ideological, Wednesday's debate was intensely personal. The attacks flew across the stage, with Harris and ...Read more

The first night of the CNN debate showed just how fractious the Democratic primary fight may get

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

It was the Detroit Donnybrook. Tuesday's Democratic debate was choppy but passionate, opening up wide philosophical divisions within the party's presidential field and providing sound bites critical of progressive ideas and candidates that Republicans are certain to use in 2020.

Moderate candidates trailing in the polls went in determined to ...Read more

Trump, Impeachment and #MoscowMitch

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

WASHINGTON -- Nothing unites Democrats more than a deep belief that President Trump must be driven from office. And right now, nothing divides Democrats more than finding the best way to bring this about.

Trump is not a political genius. He is president because of our outdated and undemocratic Electoral College. What he is skilled at is taking ...Read more

Republicans make it clear: They're lying about Trump's innocence

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

WASHINGTON -- President Trump and his Republican apologists -- including his defense lawyer who moonlights as the nation's attorney general -- do not believe a single word they have said about former special counsel Robert Mueller's report. The GOP has claimed that it shows "no collusion, no obstruction." But their behavior at Wednesday's ...Read more

For migrants, a light in the darkness

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

WASHINGTON -- In these mean and ghastly times, we have to seek grace wherever we can find it. I found it last week in two groups, one of nuns and the other of Jewish activists, both willing to be arrested as witnesses on behalf of immigrant and refugee children being abused by our own government.

It's troubling these days if you're a Christian ...Read more

A time for choosing: Trump or John Paul Stevens

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

WASHINGTON -- It was by chance that former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens died on the same day that the House of Representatives voted -- sadly, very nearly along party lines -- to condemn President Trump for racism in a resolution laden with quotations from Ronald Reagan. This accident of timing was highly instructive.

It can make you...Read more

Will Democrats fight Trump or each other?

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

WASHINGTON -- Have Democrats reached the point where they would rather beat each other's heads in than defeat Donald Trump? Have they forgotten that the opposition's first task is to build a broad coalition for change?

Yes, the media love conflict, and the current fights among Democrats -- in the House of Representatives and on the presidential...Read more

Would Republicans prefer socialized medicine?

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

WASHINGTON -- When President Obama conceived of the Affordable Care Act, he did everything he could to bring Republicans to his side. He created a system that was market-friendly and drew on ideas that members of the GOP had endorsed in the past.

His conciliatory efforts bought him nothing except a long delay in getting a bill through the ...Read more

A patriotism worth defending

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

CAPE NEDDICK, Maine -- To suggest on the Fourth of July that we need to consider the downsides of patriotism is to risk a heresy far more troublesome than challenging the merits of baseball, fireworks, hot dogs and beer.

Let's leave baseball unsullied. But we know that fireworks, misused, can be dangerous, and that excess when it comes to hot ...Read more

The 2020 issue that matters is democracy itself

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

WASHINGTON -- The future of American democracy will be on the ballot next year. No one should pretend otherwise.

We witnessed President Trump's obvious disdain for democratic rights and liberties once again last week during his warm encounter in Japan with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

And the U.S. Supreme Court's partisan, anti-democratic...Read more

The first debate showed Democrats are far more in consensus than at odds

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

Elizabeth Warren began Wednesday night's opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary campaign physically occupying center stage. And substantively, the Massachusetts senator held that ground.

It was not at all obvious that being the only one of the top five Democratic candidates in this first gaggle of 10 contenders would be an asset. Most of...Read more

A pivotal week for Biden and Sanders

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

WASHINGTON -- This week's two-day Democratic debate-fest is so sprawling that it looks more like a New England town meeting than a confrontation among presidential candidates. But don't count on its being neighborly.

First, advice to everyone: Figure out who you are. This makes it easier to answer surprise questions and explains why both Sen. ...Read more

Moderate Democrats own their mistakes

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

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., argued that Democrats need to pay far more attention to rural America if they ever want to take back the Senate. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., urged his party to be more open to people of faith. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., spoke for new members of Congress from swing districts in insisting ...Read more

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


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