From the Left





The Crusades

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

At the United Nations, where nothing ever really gets done, Russia is calling for a worldwide coalition to crush terrorist groups wherever they may be found.

The timing of this ringing call to crusade is particularly odd when you consider that Pope Francis just left the United States, where his parade took him close to the United Nations ...Read more

Welcome to Rev. Trump's Church of Emotional Economics

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Donald Trump would not tell reporters whose advice he received in creating his recently unveiled tax plan, but I hear a familiar voice in its three-and-a-half pages. It sounds like Jeb Bush.

Bush released his own tax reform plan a couple of weeks earlier in September than his fellow Republican presidential candidate Trump. I'm not saying Trump ...Read more

We Need Cops With People Skills

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

What can I do?

Not quite six months ago, a reader named Tracy posed that question to me and I, in turn, posed it to you. Tracy, a 55-year-old white woman from Austin, said she was sick of hearing about unarmed African-American men being injured or killed by police. "What can be done?" she asked. "What can I do? I'm sincere in this question. I ...Read more

Boehner Climbs Off The Tiger

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

WASHINGTON -- John Boehner was a deal-maker who took over the House speakership at a moment when making deals had, for many Republicans, become a mortal sin.

He was thoroughly conservative in a Republican Party that had moved the goal posts on what constituted conservatism. He could never be conservative enough for his critics on the right.

...Read more

Spreading the Ugly Truth

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Political Washington just got a welcome dose of refreshing candor. Democrat Fred Yang, one of the bipartisan team that conducts the respected Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, took a look at the most recent numbers -- showing Democratic favorite for 2016, Hillary Clinton, in a statistical tie with two less famous newcomers, a retired ...Read more

Shame on Our Routine Response

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- A confession: When the news of Thursday's mass shooting in Oregon broke, it did not occur to me to write about it.

I was thinking about Planned Parenthood and Benghazi; about Bernie Sanders' fundraising and Hillary Clinton's emails; about Putin and Syria. Another shooting is tragic and enraging, but what is left to say? What is ...Read more

Hunting Hillary: Dim Speaker-to-Be Reveals Select Committee's Partisan Goal

From the Left / Joe Conason /

Ever since House Speaker John Boehner unveiled yet another committee to investigate Benghazi -- the eighth congressional panel to investigate that September 2012 tragedy, along with a State Department Accountability Review Board -- suspicions have festered that its purpose was purely partisan and political.

Even Fox News Sunday host Chris ...Read more

A Message to Hillary Supporters

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Do not panic.

Of all the candidates in this race, Hillary Clinton is the only one that most Americans could imagine being president. Think about it. Every day, people ask me, "Could (Trump/Carson/Sanders) ever be president? Could (Paul/Cruz/Rubio) ever be president?" Most of the time I just shrug, because winning the White House is only one ...Read more

Whom Are We For in Syria?

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

NEW YORK -- Vladimir Putin has been able to act forcefully in Syria not because he's bolder or more decisive than Barack Obama but because he has a clearer strategy. Putin has an ally, the Assad government. He has enemies, the opponents of the government. He supports his ally and fights those enemies. By comparison, Washington and the West are ...Read more

America's Populist Moment?

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- The most fateful, unanswered question of the 2016 campaign: Is this a populist moment in America?

It certainly sounds like one. The "establishment" is so universally despised that one wonders who is left to comprise it. A putsch might find only empty offices. Outsiders with no political experience dominate the Republican field. ...Read more

Sanders' Clarion Call

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- First came the big crowds, now comes the big money. At this point, anyone who doesn't take Bernie Sanders seriously must not be paying attention.

Sanders' campaign announced that it raised an eye-bugging $26 million in the third quarter -- essentially matching the $28 million raised during those three months by Hillary Clinton, ...Read more

Sen. Warren On The Hunt Again

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- Elizabeth Warren, collector of corporate hides, is on the hunt again.

Fresh from her triumph Tuesday over the Brookings Institution in which she forced the ouster of a corporate-backed scholar, the populist Democratic senator from Massachusetts was at Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon, firing ...Read more

Francis' Antidote To Cynicism

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

WASHINGTON -- This can be a very cynical city. Yet there were many moments on Wednesday when cynicism seemed to dissolve -- and I don't think I felt this just because I'm a Catholic who admires Pope Francis.

This city also rarely sees moments where Jim McGovern and Paul Ryan are genuinely happy about the same thing, McGovern being one of the ...Read more

Francis Prods Congress' Conscience

Wouldn't it be grand if Pope Francis could be a recurring visitor to the U.S. Congress, a sort of spiritual superintendent who occasionally drops in to chide, cajole and mostly just remind our legislators when their actions don't promote the common good? What kind of country would we become?

Watching as the pontiff stepped away from the podium ...Read more

Modern Family

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

There is a lot going on in the world, and most of it seems frightening, depressing and utterly beyond our control. So if you have not heard, let me tell you about a really wonderful thing that happened this week, a reminder of what matters most.

It's the story of a wedding that took place in Ohio last weekend. The father of the bride was set ...Read more

Boehner's Departure Doesn't Help

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /


That's just what the conservative movement needs right now. Less adult supervision.

But with the fall last week of House Speaker John Boehner -- more accurately, with his decision to resign because life is too short for Ted Cruz -- that is precisely what conservatives now have. It is a development with sobering implications far ...Read more

Say No 'Free Stuff' for Anybody, Jeb

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Jeb Bush wants you to know that he's not running for president in order to give "free stuff" to black folks. I don't have a problem with that, as long as he says he won't give any "free stuff" to white folks, either.

That's right, Jeb. It's only fair. Tell us, the American voters, that you won't give any of us any free stuff. Your lavish ...Read more

Mr. Boehner, Clean Up This Barn

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- "I don't want to leave my successor a dirty barn," John Boehner, the soon-to-depart Speaker of the House, told CBS News' John Dickerson. "I want to clean the barn up a little bit before the next person gets there."

Heaven knows, there's lots of shoveling to do. Boehner's resignation, and the month until it takes effect, offers the...Read more

Our Economic Problem is Really a Political Problem

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

You often hear inequality has widened because globalization and technological change have made most people less competitive while making the best-educated more competitive.

The tasks most people used to do can now be done more cheaply by lower-paid workers abroad or by computer-driven machines.

But this common explanation overlooks a ...Read more

Rep. McCarthy's Battle with English

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- Kevin McCarthy is about to ascend to the highest office in the House of Representatives and become second in line to the presidency.

But there is a problem: The speaker-apparent apparently still can't speak.

I have been tracking the California Republican's valiant but often unsuccessful struggles with the English language for ...Read more