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E.J Dionne

Stories by E.J

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E.J. DIONNE: Big money playing a big role in campaigns

OPINION: Outside groups are blanketing the airwaves with negativity

Structural changes in our politics are making campaigns more mean and personal than ever.

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E.J. DIONNE: Will election turn on terrorism issue?

OPINION: ISIS may be a defining issue in New Hampshire Senate race

The campaign approach of former Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire next month, reflects the GOP’s confidence that when the country gets scared of terrorism, it turns to Republicans.

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E.J. DIONNE: Eric Holder and the legacy of Robert F. Kennedy

OPINION: Resiging Attorney General Eric Holder says he was inspired by Robert F. Kennedy

If ever a public figure was exempt from Holder’s much contested depiction of our country as a “nation of cowards” on race, it was RFK, a man who was in constant struggle with his demons and his conscience.

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E.J. DIONNE: Appointment of Chicago archbishop sign of big change

OPINION: Blase Cupich, now bishop of Spokane, is seen as a moderate within the Catholic church

The appointment will have an impact beyond the Catholic Church because it reveals a great deal about the role Pope Francis wants the church to play in American life.

E.J. DIONNE: A wistful no in Scotland

OPINION: In the final days of the campaign, the very finality of separation kicked in

Scotland’s referendum on independence was decided by voters whose hearts said yes but whose heads said no.

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E.J. DIONNE: Can Washington be responsible?

OPINION: Midterm elections should not affect debate on U.S. policy in the Middle East

We need a responsible Congress to begin the search for a sustainable foreign policy. An unconstrained debate after this fall’s campaign is the place to start.

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E.J. DIONNE: New politics of foreign policy

OPINION: President Obama is pushing a tough-minded multilateralism

Two things are clear about where the public stands now: It is more ready to use U.S. power than it was even a few months ago. But it remains deeply wary of again committing U.S. combat troops to the Middle East.

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E.J. DIONNE: When moderates fight back

OPINION: Moderate Republicans fuel independent challenges in Kansas and Alaska

The Republican establishment may have overcome many tea party challenges this year, but it is increasingly captive of the right wing.

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E.J. DIONNE: President Obama beyond the sound bite

OPINION: The president is working to build a broad coalition to roll back the Islamic State

In contemplating Obama’s foreign policy, Mark Twain’s reference to Richard Wagner’s music — it’s “better than it sounds” — comes to mind. His policy is better than he has articulated it, and it’s certainly better than his remark about strategy.

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E.J. DIONNE: The limits of rage

OPINION: Gubernatorial races will be the barometer for politics in the long run

The question to ask: Do voters begin to push back against the tea party tide that swept governorships and legislatures into Republican hands four years ago and produced the most radical changes in policy at the state level in at least a generation?

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E.J. DIONNE: Obamacare beyond the label

OPINION: Democrats have not recovered from President Obama’s llousy sales job for the Affordable Care Act

Democratic consultants say that candidates who explain what the Affordable Care Act does and stay away from the term “Obamacare” will fare better with voters.

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E.J. DIONNE: Neighborhoods becoming less neighborly

OPINION: Neighborliness has evolved into leaving people alone

Individual choice certainly has big advantages over a rigid collectivism. But solidarity sure beats impulsiveness, self-involvement and fragmentation.

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E.J. DIONNE: U.S. needs plain vanilla bipartisanship

OPINION: Most Americans now disapprove of their own U.S. representative

The GOP talks a great deal about family values, but what, pray, is it willing to do to ease life for parents trying to make a living and do right by their kids at the same time?

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E.J. DIONNE: Can voters effect change in the GOP?

OPINION: Republicans appear to be halfway there in gaining control of the U.S. Senate

Solving the country’s problems requires, above all, turning the Republican Party back into a political enterprise willing to share the burdens of governing, even when a Democrat is in the White House.

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E.J. DIONNE: Paul Ryan's new clothes

OPINION: Paul Ryan cloaks his retread idea with language of innovation

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan gave a well-crafted address at the American Enterprise Institute in which the centerpiece sounded brand spanking new: the “Opportunity Grant.” The problem is that this “pilot program” amounts to little more than the stale conservative idea of wrapping federal programs into a block grant and shipping them off to the states.

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E.J. DIONNE: Justice blinded by ideology

OPINION: By gutting the Affordable Care Act, two right-leaning judges have strayed from impartiality

Because the subsidies are established in a part of the law referring to state exchanges, the D.C. Circuit ruled that no one on the federal exchange is eligible for them. Poof! There goes the health law in most of the country.

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E.J. DIONNE: Will Flight 17 sober us up?

OPINION: Our political debate in America is just plain stupid

The deaths of 298 innocent people transformed the battle for Ukraine into a global issue. President Obama now needs to offer the other side of his doctrine. The notion that the United States is retreating from the world is simply wrong.

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E.J. DIONNE: Bordering on heartless

OPINION: Do we rush to repeal commitment the moment it becomes inconvenient?

Unless the United States is willing to open its borders to all comers — a goal of only the purest libertarians and a very few liberals — we will face agonizing choices about whom to let in and whom to turn away.

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E.J. DIONNE: Where does the buck stop?

OPINION: Unhappy voters results in election battle

Some elections are contests between voters who are happy and voters who are not.

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E.J. DIONNE: Our Constitution a progressive one

OPINION: Because the Constition is a framework for government, it cannot answer every question in 2014

Progressives should think constitutionally themselves, thereby challenging conservative claims about what the Constitution really demands.

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E.J. DIONNE: Hobby Lobby decision expands corporate rights

OPINION: In one way, the decision was a small win for socialized medicine

It’s unfortunate that the Obama administration’s initial, parsimonious exemption for religious groups helped ignite the firestorm that led to the Hobby Lobby ruling.

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E.J. DIONNE: Majority of Americans does not fit ideological political boxes

OPINION: There is no coherent middle party for those unhappy with left and right

Democrats’ prospects in November will depend largely on their ability to strengthen themselves among voters who are hurting economically.

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E.J. DIONNE: The year of living negatively

OPINION: The GOP game plan for 2014 is do as little as possible

Since the party can’t agree to anything that would pass muster with President Obama and the Democratic Senate, it will bet that Obama’s low poll ratings will be enough for them to make gains in House races and could give them control of the Senate.

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E.J. DIONNE: Where's the bread and butter?

OPINION: Public discussion has been a strategic advantage for Republicans

Bread-and-butter concerns are the stuff of Democratic victories because the polls show that most voters still think of the GOP as more protective of the interests of the wealthy than of their own.

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E.J. DIONNE: Seeking sanity on Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl deal

OPINION: The partisanship of the last week discredits constructive partisanship

Self-restraint and discipline were two early casualties of the reactions to the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five high-risk Taliban militants who had been held at Guantanamo.

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E.J. DIONNE: Will Congress be as brave as Eric Shinseki?

OPINION: By resigning from Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki called the bluff of Congress

If there is any cause that should be bipartisan, it’s care for our veterans.

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E.J. DIONNE: Nuclear winter hits Kentucky politics

OPINION: On election night, Kentucky demonstrated all that is wrong in American politics

After defeating a Tea Party challenger, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took immediate aim at his Democratic opponent as being a lackey for President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

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E.J. DIONNE: Sen. Elizabeth Warren is defense counsel for liberals

OPINION: It is unlikely that Sen. Warren will challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination

Sen. Warren contends that being pro-government doesn’t mean that she can’t also be pro-business.

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E.J. DIONNE: Democrats sending ambiguous message

OPINION: Democrats are espousing a difficult be-happy-but-worry theme

Democratic Party office holders worry that if they focus on good things that have happened over the past five years they’ll appear to be out of touch with reality to an America that, according to polls, believes the nation is on the wrong track under the Obama administration and moving further in the wrong direction.

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E.J. DIONNE: The Democrats’ strategic ambiguity

Bragging about what they’ve achieved is what incumbent politicians do.

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E.J. DIONNE: President Obama problems are not sticking to Hillary Clinton

OPINION: Majority of Americans disapprove of Obama, but also favors Democrats

An important 12.5 percent of U.S. voters both disapprove of President Obama and support Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy.

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E.J. DIONNE: The gun supremacists' folly

OPINION: New guns laws in Georgia are too permissive

While conservatives claim to hate the centralization of power, georgia’s new law wipes out a series of local gun regulations. The gun supremacists just don’t trust those pesky local elected officials.

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E. J. DIONNE: New York City mayor offers no apologies

Mayor Bill de Blasio says his biggest mistake has been underestimating those opposed to change

Mayor Bill de Blasio has fulfilled many of this campaign promises during his forst 100 days in office.

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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.