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washingtonpost.com - E. J. Dionne Jr.



E. J. Dionne Jr.



 



Tests for an Unbending Pope . . .

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

ROME -- Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Ratzinger, is not afraid to be unpopular. That is why he was elected pope Tuesday. It is also why he will face excruciating difficulties in holding together the most ethnically, geographically and ideologically diverse religious institution in the world.



Cardinal Ratzinger's Challenge

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

ROME -- The words broke like a thunderclap inside St. Peter's Basilica. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, addressing the world's cardinals just hours before they sequestered themselves Monday to choose the next leader of the world's 1 billion Catholics, decided to define this conclave.



Tom DeLay And the Wright Stuff

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

Being Tom DeLay means never having to say you're sorry. So when the embattled House majority leader apologized Wednesday for the "inartful" way in which he attacked the federal judiciary after Terri Schiavo's death, it was the surest indicator that DeLay's days are numbered.



The Paris Hilton Tax Cut

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

The same people who insist that critics of Social Security privatization should offer reform proposals of their own are working feverishly to eliminate alternatives that might reduce the need for benefit cuts or payroll tax increases.



The Cardinal Principles of Politics

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

Outsiders scoff at the claims we Roman Catholics make, that the Holy Spirit guides the cardinals who will be electing a new pope. To those skeptics, I would suggest that divine protection is the only rational explanation for how our magnificent but flawed church has survived all these years.



A Papacy of Spirit

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

The pope's plane was heading to the Ivory Coast from Togo on a journey that was to end that evening in Cameroon. In the press section, my friend Victor Simpson of the Associated Press had just read through the thick packet of speeches that John Paul II was to give on that long August day.



Stepford Town Meetings

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

If President Bush is so insistent on the need for his political adversaries to talk to him about fixing Social Security, then why does he keep throwing them out of his campaign rallies -- excuse me, "town meetings" -- on the subject?



Conservative, Liberal, Principled

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

Liberals have so little respect for conservatives these days that people on the left are genuinely astonished when people on the right have principled disagreements with each other. The left assumes the right marches in lock step under orders from the White House.



A Thin View of 'Life'

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

What does it mean to be pro-life? Might the one good thing to come out of the rancid politics surrounding the Terri Schiavo case be a serious discussion of the meaning of that term?



Will Republicans Go Nuclear?

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic leader, called an urgent meeting last week with leaders of civil rights, civil liberties, environmental and women's groups. His message: The Senate faces a nuclear winter that could engulf them.



Destined for Deficits

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

The sexy issues in budget fights get the headlines, and, Lord knows, drilling for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a big deal. But the budget's most revealing details are hidden in plain sight and thus ignored.



Rolling the Dice on a GOP Rift

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's ethics troubles threaten more than his own political future. They have the potential to create a much wider scandal over lobbying on the Indian gambling issue and to open a rift among socially conservative Republicans.



The GOP's Lesson on Abortion

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

Why are George W. Bush and his party so skillful in dealing with the abortion issue, and why are Democrats so clumsy?



Bush's Misplayed Hand

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

American politics has been so corrupted by concepts such as "positioning" and "message discipline" that citizens don't get credit for their ability to decide issues on the merits. But when the public knows and cares a great deal about what's at stake, it is quite discerning about what's true and what's not.



Good-News Bind

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

When the news from abroad is good, what is the political opposition to do? Should Democrats let President Bush crow about favorable developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Lebanon and Iraq? Should they crow with him? And how should Democrats deal with Bush's appropriation of what Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) calls "Wilsonian" and "Kennedyesque" rhetoric promoting the spread of democracy? If Bush pushes policies that are both "Democratic with a large D and a small d," Lieberman asks, shouldn't Democrats encourage him?



A Bill Bankrupt Of Pity

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

My late parents, who came of age during the Great Depression, offered my sister and me a couple of simple rules about money: Never take on financial burdens you can't bear, and always pay your bills. Many years later, I still think they were right.



Getting the Democrats Back in Commission

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

When the going gets tough, Democrats form commissions.



About Those 'Greedy' Seniors

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

Of all of the arguments for cutting and privatizing Social Security, the most obnoxious and misleading focus on the alleged "greed" of senior citizens -- present and future.



Where's the Faith In This Agenda?

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

I recently reread one of the best political speeches of the 1990s. It was powerful because the leader in question not only discussed his own views but also offered a vision of who we are as Americans.



Arthur Miller's Lessons

Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMT

Facing grave new threats from demonic forces, we can't be as exacting as we used to be about our rights and traditions, can we?