From the Left

/

Politics

The twin threats to our republic's health

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

The news is being reported on split screen as if the one big story in Washington is disconnected from the other. But President Trump's lawless threats against Attorney General Jeff Sessions have a lot in common with the Senate's reckless approach to the health coverage of tens of millions of Americans.

On both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, we ...Read more

Trump's election commission lacks integrity

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

WASHINGTON -- President Trump had some remarkable things to say at the inaugural meeting of his Commission to Promote Voter Suppression and Justify Trump's False Claims, which is formally known as the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. He also asked a question that deserves an answer.

Lest anyone believe Vice President ...Read more

Why Obamacare won and Trump lost

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

WASHINGTON -- The collapse of the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act is a monumental political defeat wrought by a party and a president that never took health care policy or the need to bring coverage to millions of Americans seriously. But their bungling also demonstrates that the intense attention to Obamacare over the last ...Read more

On health care, history is watching

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

WASHINGTON -- Over the last century, there has been a characteristic American cycle of response to far-reaching social reforms.

When the breakthroughs are first proposed, conservatives fight them with a devout passion, warning that the measures on offer would move the nation toward socialism and perdition. Then, over time, the disastrous ...Read more

Will Republicans ever break free of Trump?

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

WASHINGTON -- "Will he tell the president 'no'?"

This question was at the heart of Sen. Dianne Feinstein's opening statement at Wednesday's confirmation hearing for Christopher Wray, President Trump's nominee as FBI director. Wray was there because the man who appointed him had fired James Comey for failing, as Feinstein put it, to "pledge his ...Read more

What Trump teaches left and right

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

WASHINGTON -- President Trump has performed a service of sorts to our debate over how the United States views itself and its role in the world. He has reminded the democratic left and the democratic right -- note the small "d" -- that they share more common ground than they often realize about the importance of democracy, the gifts of modernity,...Read more

Trump and the degeneration of politics

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

WASHINGTON -- The most corrosive aspect of Donald Trump's presidency is its rousing success in making our politics ridiculous.

The political class (yes, including columnists) is obsessed with his most unnerving statements, especially on Twitter. These are analyzed as if they were tablets from heaven or the learned pronouncements of a wise elder...Read more

United and divided by history

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

NEW ORLEANS -- During a week when we try to put aside our divisions to celebrate a shared love for our country, we should ponder that we are as badly fractured in approaching history as we are in confronting the present.

There is, of course, a case for using the holiday to shelve our differences altogether. This would be a useful reminder that ...Read more

Hating government doesn't solve problems

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

WASHINGTON -- In its current iteration, the Republican Party truly seems to believe that the solution to every problem involves throwing more money at rich people. This explains the health care fiasco in the Senate, and it's why President Trump and Congress have yet to address a single major problem the country faces.

Everything is secondary to...Read more

The big lies about health care

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

WASHINGTON -- To succeed in gutting health coverage for millions of Americans, Senate Republican leaders need to get a series of lies accepted as truth. Journalists and other neutral arbiters must resist the temptation to report these lies as just a point of view. A lie is a lie.

Lie One: Democrats and progressives are unwilling to work with...Read more

A victory for party, not Trump

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

WASHINGTON -- What we learned from Tuesday's special congressional election in Georgia is that there is no magical solution to the country's Trump problem. This will be a long fight.

Karen Handel's victory over Democrat Jon Ossoff was not an endorsement of the president. It was a personal and party success achieved despite him.

Democrats are, ...Read more

The jungle of political suspicion

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

WASHINGTON -- Let it be said that for one lovely moment, House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi responded exactly as those in authority should to a shocking assault on human lives and our political system. After Wednesday's shooting on a baseball field, both spoke in a spirit of thoughtful solidarity and genuinely ...Read more

Gutting health care in darkness

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

WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell once had passionate views about how carefully Congress should consider sweeping changes to the health care system.

"Fast-tracking a major legislative overhaul such as health care reform or a new national energy tax without the benefit of a full and transparent debate does a disservice to the ...Read more

How the British right went wrong

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

WASHINGTON -- Britain's election was a catastrophe for Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and a personal vindication for Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party's left-wing leader.

It was also the revenge of the young, whose voices go unheard because their turnout is usually low. Britain's new generation taught a lesson to their counterparts ...Read more

A constitutionally impossible relationship

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

WASHINGTON -- Succeeding in politics in a democratic nation is different from making a go of it in a business centered on one person -- or in an autocracy. Almost all of President Trump's problems can be traced to his failure to grasp this. It explains why he now has such a big problem with former FBI Director James Comey.

It's not surprising ...Read more

The diplomacy of narcissism

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

WASHINGTON -- The problem with "America First" is that it describes an attitude, not a purpose. It substitutes selfishness for realism.

It implies that nations can go it alone, that we stand for nothing beyond our immediate self-interest, and that we should give little thought to how the rest of humanity thinks or lives. It suggests that if we ...Read more

Trump unleashes the 'neo-moderates'

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

WASHINGTON -- Most of the conservative Republicans opposed to President Trump are writers and policy specialists. Few are politicians -- or, perhaps more precisely, few of the conservative politicians who see Trump as a danger to the nation are prepared to say so in public.

So does this mean that the writerly anti-Trump right is ineffectual? ...Read more

JFK, 100 years on

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

WASHINGTON -- We cannot imagine John F. Kennedy on his 100th birthday. For all of us, he will always be a man in his 40s, exuding the vigor that became one of his trademark words, pronounced in his distinctively New England way.

He was a student of history whose rhetoric gloried in the future, challenge and change. He became an icon even though...Read more

The wider Trump scandal

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

WASHINGTON -- President Trump's budget demonstrates the costs of accepting lies as a normal currency in politics, broken promises as a customary way of doing business, false claims of being "populist" as the equivalent of the real thing, and sloppiness as what we should expect from government.

Trump's fiscal plan was described as dead before ...Read more

Can the pope save Trump?

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

WASHINGTON -- If anyone ever needed a conversion experience -- and fast -- it is President Trump. The issue here is not switching religions. What he could use is an honest examination of his conscience, his attitude toward himself and others, and his approach to what it means to be a leader.

Even to suggest such a possibility seems absurd, more...Read more

 

Social Connections

Comics

Clay Bennett Nick Anderson Ken Catalino Mike Luckovich Chris Britt Gary Varvel