From the Left



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

Trump Can’t Wait to Sell Out His Base

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

WASHINGTON -- “Watch what we do, not what we say.”

At the beginning of Richard Nixon’s presidency, that’s how Attorney General John Mitchell explained the way reporters could best understand what the country was about to experience.

It’s also good advice for understanding the administration of the billionaire phony populist who will ...Read more

The New Politics of Fear

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

PARIS -- French Socialist President Francois Hollande knew which way the winds were blowing. His announcement last week that he would not seek reelection was a response to record-breaking unpopularity. But it also reflects weaknesses haunting the left and center-left throughout the democratic world.

Donald Trump’s victory may thus be ...Read more

Democrats: Skip the Civil War

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

WASHINGTON -- Democrats are in danger of moving from complacency to panic. Neither is particularly helpful.

The complacency part is obvious: Until about 9 p.m. Eastern time on Nov. 8, supporters of Hillary Clinton (myself included) were certain that Donald Trump’s weaknesses among women, nonwhite voters, and younger Americans would ...Read more

An Ethical Double Standard for Trump?

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

WASHINTGTON -- Republicans are deeply concerned about ethics in government and the vast potential for corruption stemming from conflicts of interest. We know this because of the acute worries they expressed over how these issues could have cast a shadow over a Hillary Clinton presidency.

“If Hillary Clinton wins this election and they ...Read more

Avoiding Thanksgiving Armageddon

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

WASHINGTON -- In my politically diverse extended family, Thanksgiving was always a happy version of “Crossfire” or “Firing Line,” the occasion for raucous debates over the future of our country. My childhood and early teen years coincided with the 1960s, so the discussions sometimes got bitter.

Bitter, but never devoid of love and ...Read more

What Democrats Owe the Country

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

Senate Democrats think they can hold Donald Trump accountable by challenging him to deliver on issues where he has made populist noises.

Supporters of this strategy insist that offering to work with Trump where he shares Democratic goals is the best way to split the Republican Party or, alternatively, to expose Trump’s flimflam if he ...Read more

Defeating Both Trump And Trumpism

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

WASHINGTON -- Although Donald Trump's defeat is a prerequisite to national recovery, the profound damage he has done to our nation will not be wiped away if he loses.

And even if she wins, Hillary Clinton will still be feeling the effects of the multiyear campaign waged by Republicans in Congress to destroy her. The evidence suggests that her ...Read more

Outsiderism's Mysterious Ways

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Will Missouri be the one state next Tuesday that produces an anti-establishment trifecta? And will we ever get to exploring how Donald Trump, who has trafficked with old-style politicians all his life, has gotten away with casting himself as the year's premier outsider?

Missouri was, as recently as 2008, a presidential swing...Read more

Trump Is Not A GOP Aberration

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

WASHINGTON -- The lies and distortions that Donald Trump's campaign messengers deploy to rationalize their candidate's outrageousness are more typical of the last couple of decades of our politics than we'd like to admit.

Especially revealing and infuriating are the efforts to use Al Gore as a human shield against the public indignation Trump ...Read more

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