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'Why are so many people afraid of black people?'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

We're not going to spend a lot of time talking about what happened.

Not that Austin Police Officer Bryan Richter's June 2015 takedown -- let's not dignify it by calling it an "arrest" -- of 26-year-old school teacher Breaion King is not worthy of discussion. As seen in a dashcam video unearthed last week by the Austin American-...Read more

My old Dems are back, feudin' and fussin'

From the Left / Clarence Page /

After attending the unusually raucous and divided National Republican Convention in Cleveland, I expected a reasonably sedate coronation of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Maybe I should have known better.

But who would have expected a cascade of internal Democratic National Committee emails to be released...Read more

Turning the Page on Partisan Gridlock

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

PHILADELPHIA -- Even as President Obama prepares to speak on her behalf at the convention here and to campaign for her this fall, a big element of Hillary Clinton's electoral case hinges on the implicit argument that she can somehow succeed where Obama failed: overcoming partisanship and dislodging Washington gridlock.

This tricky path is made ...Read more

Does Hillary Get It?

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

Does Hillary Clinton understand that the biggest divide in American politics is no longer between the right and the left, but between the anti-establishment and the establishment?

I worry she doesn't -- at least not yet.

A Democratic operative I've known since the Bill Clinton administration tells me, "Now that she's won the nomination, ...Read more

Clinton Leaves Party's Liberal Wing High and Dry

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

PHILADELPHIA -- As protests go, this one was a doobie.

Democrats gathering here to nominate Hillary Clinton for the presidency had some company: hundreds of Bernie Sanders supporters marching through town, escorted by a 50-foot dirigible in the form of a reefer.

"Berned by the DNC" was the, er, joint declaration printed on the balloon's side. ...Read more

Can The Democrats Stay Out Of Their Own Way?

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- I've spent a lot of time this year counseling Democrats, independents and establishment Republicans not to freak out. That advice still holds -- but barely.

The release of illegally hacked Democratic National Committee emails, coming on the eve of the convention in Philadelphia, was a fiasco that the forces of truth, justice and ...Read more

If Hillary Clinton Were a Man

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

What if Hillary Clinton were a man? What if she were a 68-year-old man rather than a 68-year-old woman? Would we think differently of her? Her raised voice would be lower. She would be better at physically commanding the stage. Her indomitability might be seen as manly. If she were taller and bigger, might she have been able to get away with ...Read more

Republicans Have Ceded the Ground on Faith

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- With Thomas Hobbes now firmly in charge of Republican messaging -- the world is a dark, Darwinian bloodbath, unless we turn over power to a strong ruler who will protect us -- Hillary Clinton has a number of rhetorical and ideological gaps she could fill in Philadelphia.

She might, for example, use some self-effacing humor, in ...Read more

No Lives Matter

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I think this may be when black and white in America finally have it out, when we finish the race war that began at the end of the Civil War. There are people on both sides who want it, or who think they want it, or who think it will make them heroes, and those people have guns.

We're pretty close to the last battle now. We have dead cops (and...Read more

GOP, RIP?

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

The Republican Party came to life as the bastion of "Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Speech, Free Men." It was a reformist party dedicated to stopping the spread of slavery and to fighting a "Slave Power" its founders saw as undermining free institutions.

The new political organization grew out of the old Whigs and reflected the faith that Henry ...Read more

Donald Trump's Pivot to the Center -- of Darkness

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Where's the pivot?

That's what I was wondering throughout Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's lengthy and surprisingly humorless acceptance speech Thursday at the Grand Old Party's national convention in Cleveland.

Ever since Trump won enough delegates to clinch the nomination in May, I've been waiting to see if and when Trump would...Read more

Battle Between Left and Right No Longer a Contest of Ideas

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Well, that was sure ugly.

Last week's Republican conclave in Cleveland came across less as a nominating convention than as a four-day nervous breakdown, a moment of fracture and bipolarity from a party that no longer has any clear idea what it stands for or what it is. Everywhere you turned there was something that made you embarrassed for them...Read more

Trump Set the Table for Clinton

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

CLEVELAND -- Donald Trump's botched convention made Hillary Clinton's task in Philadelphia easier. Not necessarily easy, but easier.

The Republicans' four days here were marked by disorganization, division and darkness. This was the Ronco of flubbed conventions: But wait, there's more. After the plagiarism debacle, a preventable problem made ...Read more

It's Midnight in America

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In 1984, Hal Riney, a San Francisco advertising man, wrote and narrated "Morning in America," which became the signature television commercial of Republican Ronald Reagan's winning re-election campaign. In Riney's calm and reassuring voice, the script began: "It's morning again in America. Today more men and women will go to work than ever ...Read more

Why America Recoils From Trump

From the Left / Joe Conason /

The revulsion evoked by Donald Trump as he accepted the Republican presidential nomination in Cleveland goes far beyond his speech, which was memorable only for its angry mood, not its vapid content. What repelled so many Americans in that moment was the realization -- or simply the intuition -- that the candidate of the Grand Old Party in ...Read more

Morning in America It Wasn't

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

CLEVELAND -- It was a grand old party at Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday night.

Delegates wore cowboy hats, straw hats, tricorn hats, stovepipe hats, cheesehead hats, evergreen hats and Uncle Sam hats. They bopped to the music of a seven-piece band and waved red, white and blue pompoms. There was a Donald Trump action figure here, a Donald ...Read more

The Carnival In Cleveland

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- The Republican National Convention wasn't a complete disaster, but only because Mike Pence showed signs of being a more able running mate than many thought. Other than that? Hot mess, dumpster fire, train wreck -- pick your overused metaphor. It was huge, but not in a good way.

Political conventions are supposed to stoke ...Read more

Mike Pence Is A Sign Of Trump's Weakness

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

Donald Trump's selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate is just what everyone is saying it is: a safe, traditional choice. Pence won't hurt Trump too much and may help him with Republican politicians and some conservatives.

But the pick is also -- and more importantly -- something else: a sign of real weakness. There were many ...Read more

Mike Pence Pushes an Imaginary and Corrupt Narrative

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

EDITORS -- This column is longer than normal, but worth it. We urge you to publish it in full, especially if you put it online.

WASHINGTON -- On a national convention stage that includes the kettledrum personalities of Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is more in the snare or bongo category. His speech to the convention ...Read more

The GOP's Convention Of Chaos

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- Did that just happen?

After Ted Cruz had finished his drop-the-mic Republican National Convention speech and been booed off the stage, historian Michael Beschloss posted the following tweet: "Never seen anything quite like this." If a leading scholar of the presidency says we're in uncharted waters, I have to agree.

No convention...Read more