E.J. Dionne Jr. is the author, most recently, of Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics after the Religious Right. He is a Washington Post columnist, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, and a professor at Georgetown University.
Did Clinton succeed or fail? It depends on how you define success. We need to consider him as a president, as a party man, as a world leader, and as a political figure who we hoped would rebuild confidence in the enterprise of democratic government.
you can hear Republican members of Congress touting how much they have spent on
programs for children, bragging about how pro-environment they are, recounting
their efforts to buck the party leadership and pass a higher minimum wage. The
party line, which once emphasized fierce loyalty to the impending conservative
revolution, now tacitly encourages avoiding any party line. Many members who
voted loyally with Newt Gingrich boast about how independent of the speaker they
have been all along. To have at least one vote against a Contract with America
item was once a sign of disloyalty in Republican circles. Now, it's an electoral