Back to profile

Eugene Robinson

Stories by Eugene

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Obama following Thatcher's footsteps

WASHINGTON -- In his bid to be remembered as a transformational leader, President Barack Obama is following the playbook of an ideological opposite, Margaret Thatcher. First you win the argument, she used to say, then you win the vote.. Obama is gradually winning the argument about what government can and

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Wrong on drone hits

WASHINGTON -- If George W. Bush had told us that the "war on terror" gave him the right to execute an American citizen overseas with a missile fired from a drone aircraft, without due process or judicial review, I'd have gone ballistic. It makes no difference that it's Barack Obama doing it.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: A solvable problem

WASHINGTON -- It was always clear that the 11 million people in this country without papers were not going to be rounded up and deported.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Questions that need asking

WASHINGTON -- Republicans wanted nothing more than to summon Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Capitol Hill and grill her about the tragic fiasco in Benghazi. Sadly for them, they got their wish.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: No impossible dream

WASHINGTON -- Don't listen to those who say President Barack Obama's bold plan to reduce gun violence -- including an assault weapons ban -- has no chance in Congress. I seem to recall that health care reform was deemed impossible, too. Until it happened.. I also recall that the health

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Hot enough for you?

WASHINGTON -- All right, nowcan we talk about climate change? After a year when the lower 48 states suffered the warmest temperatures, and the second-craziest weather, since record-keeping began?. Apparently not. The climate change denialists -- especially those who manipulate the data in transparently bogus ways to claim

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Our clown-around Congress

Congress makes a fool of itself on cliff deal. To say that Congress looked like a clown show this week is an insult to self-respecting clowns.. Painful though it may be, let's review what just happened. Our august legislators -- aided and abetted by President Obama -- manufactured a

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Wonderland on a cliff

WASHINGTON -- Are you as sick of the "fiscal cliff" as I am? Actually, that's a trick question. You couldn't possibly be.. Having to read and hear all the constant blather about this self-inflicted "crisis" is an onerous burden, I'll admit. But just imagine having to produce that blather

Tease photo

ROBINSON: As an architect, Niemeyer soared

WASHINGTON -- Just this once, I wish I could write with pictures instead of words. That would make it easier to explain why the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who died Wednesday at 104, was one of my heroes.. Not for his politics, of course -- he was, to the end

Tease photo

ROBINSON: A legacy we dare not leave

WASHINGTON -- You might not have noticed that another round of U.N. climate talks is under way, this time in Doha, Qatar. You also might not have noticed that we're barreling toward a "world ... of unprecedented heat waves, severe drought, and major floods in many regions." Here in Washington

Tease photo

ROBINSON: A new America speaks

WASHINGTON -- So much for voter suppression. So much for the enthusiasm gap. So much for the idea that smug, self-appointed arbiters of what is genuinely "American" were going to "take back" the country, as if it had somehow been stolen. On Tuesday, millions of voters sent a resounding message to the take-it-back crowd: You won't. You can't. It's our country, too.

Tease photo

EUGENE ROBINSON: What America will we pick?

WASHINGTON -- This election is only tangentially a fight over policy. It is also a fight about meaning and identity -- and that's one reason why voters are so polarized. It's about who we are and who we aspire to be.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Why the chill on climate change?

WASHINGTON -- Not a word has been said in the presidential debates about what may be the most urgent and consequential issue in the world: climate change.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Biden to the rescue

DANVILLE, Ky. -- If the question is who did more to help his ticket, Joe Biden won the vice presidential debate by a mile.. Republican Paul Ryan performed pretty well. He made no major mistakes, and a CNN instant poll of viewers actually had him winning narrowly, 48 percent to

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Debate gave Romney an opening

DENVER -- I would be careful about declaring the presidential contest "a whole new race" following Wednesday's debate. But make no mistake, it was a very good night for Romney -- and a bad one for President Obama.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Deluded by 'skewed' polls

WASHINGTON -- Conservative activist circles are abuzz with a new conspiracy theory: Polls showing President Obama with a growing lead over Mitt Romney are deliberately being skewed by the Liberal Mainstream Media so that Republicans will be disheartened and stay home on Election Day. This is denial and self-delusion.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: No Gipper here

WASHINGTON -- Once upon a time there was a silver-tongued president. His foreign policy must have been seen by enemies of the United States as weak and feckless, because these enemies became emboldened. Mideast terrorists staged a brutal, bloody attack in which innocent Americans were killed. I'm referring, of course, to Ronald Reagan.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: For GOP, storm has already gathered

WASHINGTON -- The uninvited participation of a hurricane at next week's Republican convention would be superfluous. Buffeted by powerful internal winds, the party may be flooded with cash, but it's already kind of a debris-strewn mess.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Facts get in the way

WASHINGTON -- Republicans and Democrats are being equally nasty in their campaign rhetoric, but they're not being equally truthful. To cite one example, much of what the GOP is saying about Medicare simply isn't supported by the facts.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Global warming is here to stay

WASHINGTON -- Excuse me, folks, but the weather is trying to tell us something. Listen carefully, and you can almost hear a parched, raspy voice whispering, "What part of 'hottest month ever' do you people not understand?"

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Bush and his open heart

WASHINGTON -- This is a moment for all Americans to be proud of the single best thing George W. Bush did as president: launching an initiative to combat AIDS in Africa that has saved millions of lives.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: A brave and intrepid pioneer

WASHINGTON -- Bill Raspberry wore his eminence well. In a city full of preening, self-centered journalistic royalty, he was a warm and generous prince who never deluded himself into thinking he knew all the answers. He is desperately missed.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Joe Pa's shame

WASHINGTON -- Outside the Penn State football stadium stands a statue of legendary coach Joe Paterno, his arm raised in victory. Right next to it, university officials should erect another figure in bronze: A young boy crying out in anguish and being coldly ignored.

Tease photo

EUGENE ROBINSON: The money manager

WASHINGTON -- You can conduct byzantine transactions through opaque investment accounts and private corporations in offshore tax havens such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Or you can credibly run for president at a time of great economic distress. I don't think you can do both.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: The bigger picture

WASHINGTON -- The political impact of Thursday's stunning Supreme Court decision on health care reform is clear -- good for President Obama and the Democrats, bad for Mitt Romney and the Republicans -- but fleeting, and thus secondary. Much more important is what the ruling means in the long term.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Fast and Furious -- the witch hunt

WASHINGTON -- In 2006, when George W. Bush was president, federal law enforcement officials came up with a spectacularly dumb idea: Allow powerful firearms purchased in the United States to "walk" across the Mexico border, where authorities would trace the weapons and eventually nab the big-time criminals.

Tease photo

EUGENE ROBINSON: Romney plays his Trump card

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump has said he would be "open" to accepting a Cabinet post if Mitt Romney becomes president. Don't laugh. OK, go ahead and laugh.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Why Bain questions matter

WASHINGTON -- Who are the dastardly enemies of free enterprise who decided to make an issue of Mitt Romney's tenure at the private-equity firm Bain Capital? Er, those would be his fellow Republicans.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Disco Queen and Go-Go King

WASHINGTON -- The soundtrack of my youth is fading. That's hardly an original observation, I realize, but self-indulgence is a columnist's inalienable right and music has unique power to summon unbidden waves of nostalgia. I'll spend the rest of the day listening to the "Queen of Disco" and the

Tease photo

ROBINSON: A whiff of 'hope and change'

WASHINGTON -- President Obama's evolutionary leap on same-sex marriage is a historic advance in the nation's long march toward equality and justice. It is also a bold political gambit that sacrifices some votes in exchange for potentially renewing his image as a leader of vision and hope.

Tease photo

EUGENE ROBINSON: What immigration 'crisis'?

WASHINGTON -- Now that the immigration "crisis" has solved itself, this is the perfect time for Congress and the president to agree on a package of sensible, real-world reforms. Yeah, right, and it's also the perfect time for pigs to grow wings and take flight.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: The right-wing bully machine

WASHINGTON -- Not all overheated political rhetoric is alike. Delusional right-wing crazy talk -- the kind of ranting we've heard recently from washed-up rock star Ted Nugent and tea party-backed Rep. Allen West -- is a special kind of poison that cannot be safely ignored.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Handicapping the veep stakes

WASHINGTON -- Playing second fiddle to Mitt Romney won't be easy, but somebody has to be his running mate. Let's handicap the field.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: The price if health care is overturned

WASHINGTON -- In arguments before the Supreme Court this week, the Obama administration might have done just enough to keep the Affordable Care Act from being ruled unconstitutional. Those who believe in limited government had better hope so, at least.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: To be black in America ...

For every black man in America, from the millionaire in the corner office to the mechanic in the local garage, the Trayvon Martin tragedy is personal. It could have been me or one of my sons. It could have been any of us.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Santorum needs Gingrich in the race

f Rick Santorum wants to keep Mitt Romney from wrapping up the Republican nomination before the convention, he should encourage Newt Gingrich to stay in the race.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: A field of hawks

Unless Ron Paul somehow wins the nomination, it looks as if a vote for the Republican presidential candidate this fall will be a vote for war with Iran.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Santorum goes to the extreme

For all his supposed authenticity, Rick Santorum is not what he seems.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: The danger of Mitt being Mitt

Political consultants tell candidates to be authentic -- to "be yourself." In Mitt Romney's case, that might not be such good advice.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Gulf War III isn't an option

We've heard this quickening drumbeat before. Last time, it led to the tragic invasion and occupation of Iraq. This time, if we let the drummers provoke us into war with Iran, the consequences will likely be far worse.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Pay close attention to China

WASHINGTON -- China, for better or worse, is a serious country. The United States had better start acting like one.

Tease photo

EUGENE ROBINSON: Romney's indifference to the poor

I wish Mitt Romney's cavalier dismissal of poverty in America could be chalked up as just another gaffe, but it's much worse than that.

Tease photo

EUGENE ROBINSON: An argument Obama can win

If you heard a loud "gulp" Tuesday night after President Obama's State of the Union address, it probably came from Republican political strategists as they realized their party's odds of capturing the White House this fall are getting longer.

Tease photo

EUGENE ROBINSON: Change they don't believe in

For Republicans, beating Obama is the most important issue. That's weird to me.

Tease photo

EUGENE ROBINSON: The dream that came true

King would be an elder statesman now, a lion in winter, an American hero perhaps impatient with the fuss being made over his birthday. At 83, he'd likely still have his wits and his voice.

Tease photo

EUGENE ROBINSON: Romney's two-for-two and game on

It's going to be mean and dispiriting, this campaign. We'll be assailed with talk of "European socialism" and "vulture capitalism" -- not "hope" and "change" -- and the months between now and November will seem an eternity.

Tease photo

EUGENE ROBINSON: Grand Old Party, fit to a 't'

WASHINGTON — Finally. After a year of artful camouflage and concealment, Republicans let us glimpse the rift between establishment pragmatists and tea party ideologues. There may be hope for the republic after all.Forty Republican senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, joined Democrats in voting

Tease photo

EUGENE ROBINSON: Been there, thought that

Newt's mind? Been there, thought that. WASHINGTONCan we please bury the notion that Newt Gingrich is some kind of deep thinker? His intellect may be as broad as the sea, but it's about as deep as a birdbath.I'm not saying the Republican presidential front-runner is unacquainted with ideas. Quite

Tease photo

ROBINSON: The two faces of China

BEIJING — Don't hold your breath waiting for any kind of Occupy Beijing movement to set up camp.

Tease photo

ROBINSON: Waiting for the GOP's love

WASHINGTON — Moderator Wolf Blitzer opened Tuesday's Republican debate by introducing himself and adding, for some reason, "Yes, that's my real name." A few moments later, the party's most plausible nominee for president said the following: "I'm Mitt Romney, and yes, Wolf