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E.J. DIONNE: Jeb Bush offers ray of optimism

OPINION: Jeb Bush is exception to the general gloomy pessimism of the Republican Party

Jeb Bush is critical of President Obama, but he does not suggest, as so many in his party do, that because of President Barack Obama, the United States is on a path to decline and ruin.

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E.J. DIONNE: A program Republicans should love

OPINION: Voluntary service is something that should cross political divides

AmeriCorps gives mostly young Americans a chance to spend a year helping communities and those in need while also nurturing thousands of organizations across the country. Senior Corps provides Americans over 55 a chance to serve, too.

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E.J. DIONNE: The renewed appreciation of LBJ is justified

OPINION: Historians have taken a more positive view of President Lyndon Johnson

The Lyndon B. Johnson comeback brings with it a new appreciation of the durability of the reforms enacted on his watch.

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E.J. DIONNE: Court confuses oligarchy with democracy

OPINION: The Supreme Court chief justice and four others always side with the wealthy

If Congress acts to contain the power of the rich or to protect the rights of the minority, the Roberts court slaps it in the face.

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E.J. DIONNE: When Obamacare was doomed

OPINION: Hitting its 7 million sign-up goal should have been a moment of truth

By reaching the White House’s stated goal for sign-ups, opponents and doomsayers about the Affordable Care Act should be exposed for their false predictions.

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E.J. DIONNE: Who cares about the value of work?

OPINION: The value of work should unite all political ideologies

Many conservatives realize they need to embrace hardworking Americans, but the question is what they are willing to do about it.

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E.J. DIONNE: The pope is no party boss

OPINION: American bishops hoped Pope Francis would puch their respective agendas when meeting President Obama

While Francis has decidedly moved the church back toward the social justice Catholicism that Obama connected with as a young man, Francis’ worldview is plainly not American. Efforts to shoehorn him into American debates will always have a distorting effect.

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E.J. DIONNE: Whats really at stake with health care

OPINION: Affordable Care Act gets third chance to make good impression

If opponents of the ACA can discredit it, they can move on to demonize other necessary public programs — and undercut arguments for further government efforts to ease inequalities and injustices.

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E.J. DIONNE: Will Putin bring America together?

OPINION: The Russian president has united a deeply divided U.S. Congress

While members of Congress have been unusually united in denouncing Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea, polls show most Americans don’t want the U.S. getting “too” involved in the situation.

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E. J. DIONNE: The politics of hopelessness

OPINION: President Obama and the Democrats are in danger of letting the GOP set terms of the mid-term elections

The most telling fact about the Democrats’ defeat in Florida’s special House election last week was the party’s failure to get its voters to the polls.

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E.J. DIONNE: Conservatives try on new clothes

OPINION: Conservative conference has face-off between not surrendering and trying to win

Conservatives purport to be interested in new ideas, but it may be that they’re just trying to improve their image.

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E.J. DIONNE: Even when agreeing, Obama foes blame him first

OPINION: Some Republican critcis of the president seem to have a case of Putin envy

Republicans blame past Obama failures for Russian agression in Ukraine even though the administration is following policies they prescribe for the situation.

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E.J. DIONNE: The unfulfilled challenges of President Obama

OPINION: Though blasted by Republicans for using executive orders, President Obama has issued fewer than his immediate predecessors

Stymied by the House of Representatives, Obama’s supposedly aggressive measures have been rather restrained initiatives to achieve widely shared goals.

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E.J. DIONNE: Conservatives should love this idea

OPINION: Conservatives outlook the positives of raising the minimum wage

A higher minimum wage would promote work over dependency, reduce the cost of social welfare programs, foster economic growth and strengthen families.

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E.J. DIONNE: Principles of Austrian economics haunt U.S. politics

OPINION: Conservatives of today in thrall to Austrian thinking

Popular measures such as raising minimum wage and extending jobless benefits are stymied by the assumption that people are better off if government stays out of the marketplace.

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E.J. DIONNE: Must the Obamacare debate be stupid?

OPINION: Reaction to the CBO report on the ACA shows how willfully stupid the debate has become

Oppoents of Obamacare don’t look to the Congressional Budget Office report for enlightenment, but to twist the findings into dishonest slogans.

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E.J. DIONNE: Has the GOP has its fill of tea?

OPINION: The next issue coming up is immigration reform

The immigration principles House Speaker John Boehner announced at his caucus’s retreat last week in Cambridge, Md., are a breakthrough because they are potentially more elastic than they sound.

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E.J. DIONNE: President works to build confidence

OPINION: President Obama makes case for restoring equality

In his State of the Union address, President Obama tries to move the national conversation to opportunity for everyone.

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E.J. DIONNE: President Obama should focus on the big picture tonight

OPINION: In his State of the Union address, President Obama should look at effects years down the road

President Obama should focus on economic inequality and decling social mobility in his State of the Union address tonight.

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E.J. DIONNE: Gov. Chris Christie now forced to function on two levels

OPINION: Sidestepping controversies, Chris Christie blasts U.S. approach to its drug problems

At his inaugural address, Chris Christie’s ideology came draped in anti-partisan, anti-gridlock fashion.

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E.J. DIONNE: Year six of hope and change

OPINION: The November elections will determine whether President Obama can make good on 2009 promises

As his administration enters its sixth year, President Obama has found the hope and change he promised strangled by politics.

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E.J. DIONNE: Tough liberalism is a lost art

OPINION: U.S. House is losing its Ted Kennedy to retirement

U.S. Rep. george Miller, D-Calif., has been true to his liberal ideals while knowing when to compromise.

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E.J. DIONNE: Liberals are the least of the problems of Gov. Chris Christie

OPINION: Gov. Christie condemned the bridge lane closure only after a smoking gun surfaced

Gov. Chris Christie doesn’t have the conservative base of previous Republican presidents to overcome the problems that have arisen in regard to George Washington Bridge political payback.

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E.J. DIONNE: Decriminalization of marijuana needed

OPINION: The enforcement of marijuana laws is harsher for African Americans

The way America enforces its marijuana laws is unconscionable, with the arrest rates for possession astoundingly and shamefully different for whites and African Americans.

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E.J. DIONNE: A hidden consensus for justice

Unemployment insurance and minimum wage issues reflect a larger problem in American politics

A substantial section of the conservative movement is now determined to blow up the national consensus that has prevailed since the Progressive and New Deal eras.

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E.J. DIONNE: 'Duck Dynasty,' meet Pope Francis

OPINION: Humility defines the chasm between a living religious tradition and a dead traditionalism

Those of us who are Christian need to acknowledge that over the history of the faith, there have been occasions when “a supposedly changeless truth has changed,” as the great church historian and theologian Jaroslav Pelikan put it.

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E.J. DIONNE: Battle for control of GOP has just begun

OPINION: Republicans are dealing with a showdown between two conservative power centers

Conservative fundraising organizations have morphed into an alternative Republican establishment.

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E.J. DIONNE: Family values should be more than talk

OPINION: The FAMILY Act proposal would provide partial income during family leave

The FAMILY Act legislation would create an insurance program that would be funded by premiums.

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E.J. DIONNE: President Obama expands the playing field

OPINION: Moving from health care reform, the president focuses on economic immobility

A long trend that has squeezed the size of the American middle class is a growing inequality from a lack of upward mobility.

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E.J. DIONNE: At the heart of the mission of Pope Francis is concern for the poor

OPINION: Pope Francis taking a stand against economic injustice

Liberals who love Pope Francis also need to come to terms with aspects of his thought that may be less congenial to their assumptions.

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E.J. DIONNE: True gratitude entails admission and a demand

OPINION: Gratitude is built into the structure of most forms of faith

If faith without works is dead, gratitude without generosity of spirit is empty.

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E.J. DIONNE: Era of denial in the Senate ends

OPINION: Nuclear option in the Senate derails Republican efforts to control federal courts

In the Obama years, conservatives have abused the filibuster in ways that liberals never dreamed of.

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E.J. DIONNE: We still miss what we lost when John F. Kennedy was killed

OPINION: The passion for public service and politics shown by JFK has not been duplicated

John F. Kennedy has come to represent a time of widespread confidence in the possibilities of America.

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E.J. DIONNE: United States has become a kinder, gentler nation

OPINION: Over the past three decades, America has made strides in combating lawlessness

Falling crime rates may lead to bipartisan cooperation on prison and sentencing reforms.

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E.J. DIONNE: Obamacare opponents have no alternative plan

OPINION: Opposition to Affordable Care Act is more noise than substance

Affordable health Care opponents create noise to distract attention from their lack of a solution for reforming U.S. health care.

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E.J. DIONNE: Professor Clinton explains the far right

OPINION: Former President Bill Clinton says conservative ideology does not accomplish anything

Former President Bill Clinton tells Virginia voters that the electorate that goes to the poll in off-presidential election years is different from the one that votes when the White House is at stake.

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DIONNE: Don't give up on the uninsured

Opinion Column

Obamacare is working.

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DIONNE: A case for hope

Opinion Column

“Blessed are they who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed.”

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DIONNE: Obama can't afford to waste this moment

Opinion column

The senseless government shutdown has led to a rout of the tea party, right-wing extremism and a Republican leadership that was cowed into a march toward oblivion. But a great deal hangs on what happens next

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DIONNE: Stupid politics disrupting U.S. growth

Opinion column

Seeing our government and our creditworthiness held hostage to the demands of a right-wing minority is infuriating. It is also heartbreaking because the only thing keeping our country from being its growing, innovative and successful self is genuinely and unnecessarily stupid politics.

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DIONNE: Tea Party may coming to end

Opinion column

If the nation is lucky, this October will mark the beginning of the end of the tea party.

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DIONNE: Who is more American these days?

Opinon column

As we face several more weeks of ludicrously irresponsible hostage-taking politics driven by tea-party radicalism, we would do well to study how postwar Germany — yes, encouraged by the United States — has embraced the sort of consensual, problem-solving politics for which we were once famous.

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DIONNE: Obama's foreign policy defined by irony

Opinion column

The public’s reluctance to support Obama’s effort to punish the Assad regime does not mean the American people want the United States to give up on its global role. But it was a cry for more time — and a demand that the case for American global responsibility be made afresh.

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DIONNE: Obamacare creates strange bedfellows

It was the last thing the Rev. Tim Ahrens expected to do during a chat in his book-lined office at the historic First Congregational Church at Columbus, Ohio: He expressed admiration for Gov. John Kasich.

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DIONNE: GOP fears Obamacare will succeed

Opinion column

The coming battles over budgets, the debt ceiling, a government shutdown and Obamacare are not elements of a large political game. They involve a fundamental showdown over the role of government in stemming rising inequality and making our country a fairer and more decent place.

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DIONNE: Political thunder booms in New York City

Opinion column

Bill de Blasio, the insurgent and defiantly progressive New York City mayoral candidate, did not hold his Tuesday night victory party in one of those faux-ornate midtown Manhattan hotel ballrooms, the usual power venue for such festivities.

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DIONNE: America acting like a second-class nation

It was only a matter of time before our polarized politics threatened to destroy a president’s authority and call into question our country’s ability to act in the world. Will Congress let that happen?

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DIONNE: Christie suffering from debate phobia

“We are not a debating society. We are a political operation that needs to win.” Thus did Chris Christie offer one of the most pregnant statements yet in the ongoing Republican argument over the party’s future.

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Acts of kindness and generosity are unearned

Opinion column

In thinking about inequality, we tend to focus on practical remedies such as raising minimum wages or supplementing the incomes of the working poor. We have far more trouble affecting that ineffable thing we call luck

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