From the Left





How Conservative Pundits Helped Break Reality

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Ordinarily, I might gloat.

Last week, a prominent conservative pundit conceded a point yours truly and countless others have been making for a long time. Namely, that in their constant assaults on mainstream news media, conservatives have wrecked the very idea of objective, knowable fact. In effect, they broke reality. And Donald Trump came ...Read more

Donald Trump, Shifting Tone, Still Tone Deaf

From the Left / Clarence Page /

As Donald Trump expressed "regret" for saying "the wrong thing" sometimes in his campaign, I thought he was going to break into song:

"Regrets, I've had a few/ But then again, too few to mention...."

Yes, that line from Frank Sinatra's "My Way" (actually Paul Anka's rewrite of a French song) reflects the wealthy developer-turned-Republican ...Read more

Trump's Bannon Bomb

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

WASHINGTON -- If you thought the old Donald Trump campaign was wild and crazy, just wait for the new Trump campaign now that Breitbart's Steve Bannon has taken over as chief executive.

The new leadership -- with Bannon and pollster Kellyanne Conway displacing Paul Manafort of the Ukranian Connection at the top of the heap -- is likely to steer ...Read more

Why a Single-Payer Health Care System is Inevitable

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

The best argument for a single-payer health care plan is the recent decision by giant health insurer Aetna to bail out next year from 11 of the 15 states where it sells Obamacare plans.

Aetna's decision follows similar moves by UnitedHealth Group, the nation's largest health insurer, and by politics/fromtheleft/robertbreich/s-1865349">Read more

Sean Hannity, Trump's 'Spin Doctor'

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

"I'm a journalist who interviews people who I disagree with all the time."

-- Sean Hannity, 2008

"I never claimed to be a journalist."

-- Sean Hannity, 2016

WASHINGTON -- Not since lawmakers diagnosed Terri Schiavo's condition from the Senate floor has there been such medical quackery in the political realm.

Last week, Newsweek's Kurt ...Read more

Trump's 360-Degree 'Pivot'

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump's "pivot," desperately hoped for by sane Republicans, was over before it began. He couldn't pretend to be inclusive and statesmanlike for two days in a row if his life depended on it.

Anyone who doubts this should only consider Trump's idea of an appeal to African-American voters: "What do you have to lose by trying ...Read more

Cheap Populism Helps No One

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- With defeat now the likely outcome for the Republican presidential nominee, the blame shifting has begun early and in earnest.

To some partisans such as Sean Hannity, the responsibility for the expected loss -- as well as for Hillary Clinton's Supreme Court picks and "whatever illegal immigrants do" -- lies with Never Trump ...Read more

Trump's Hollow Yet Damaging Charge of Fraud

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

At the time Germany signed the armistice ending World War I, no battles had been fought on its territory and no foreign army had invaded it. The German people suffered greatly -- food shortages and the like -- but defeat to many did not seem to come from the battlefield in front but from traitorous civilians from behind. This came to be known as...Read more

Things I Learned on the Street

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I'm a newspaper reporter for a midsize daily paper in an economically depressed Massachusetts city. While I'm not on the "crime beat," the paper has a small enough staff that everyone does a little bit of everything.

I like doing a little of everything. I'm also my paper's columnist, and I write this column, and you can't learn how to write a...Read more

Politics As An Olympian Endeavor

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

WASHINGTON -- Simone Manuel, Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles will not be eligible to run for president until 2032, although Michael Phelps hits 35 years old in 2020. After watching these Olympians display so many traits we admire -- persistence, discipline, grace, goal orientation, resilience, and inner strength -- perhaps we should consider ...Read more

John McLaughlin's Last 'Bye-Bye'

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Back in the early 1990s, when our son was 4 years old and accustomed to seeing his dad on a certain Washington-based public television talk show, he'd annoy us by skipping through the house singing, "Bye-bye! Bye-bye...!"

John McLaughlin, creator-host of "The McLaughlin Group," was delighted to hear that news. "Watch out, Clarence," he said in ...Read more

Sickening Attacks on Clinton's Health

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump -- he who likes to fly home at night in the comfort of his own plane to sleep in the comfort of his own bed -- is at it again on the question of Hillary Clinton's stamina, or alleged lack thereof.

"To defeat crime and radical Islamic terrorism in our country, to win trade in our country, you need tremendous physical ...Read more

'I Am Tired of Donald Trump'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I have a confession to make. I am tired of Donald Trump. At this point, November can't come fast enough. If we could cancel September and October, I'd do so in a heartbeat.

In this, I'm hardly alone. Other pundits have said as much. Even comedians, for whom Trump is the functional equivalent of time off with pay, seem weary of him. As Larry ...Read more

Happy New Year

From the Left / Mark Shields /

As regular readers may remember, I have long insisted that Jan. 1 -- smack in the middle of winter and completely overshadowed by Christmas, just a week earlier -- makes no sense as to when to begin the year. Labor Day -- the first Monday in September, when days grow shorter and weather cooler, when vacations end and schools reopen and summer ...Read more

A Worse August Than 1998

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It took a long time, but every record must eventually get broken, and no one is happier about this one than me: Finally, a presidential campaign has had a worse August than we did in 1988. That year, Michael Dukakis came out of the convention with a lead a mile wide and an inch deep, only to turn his campaign plane around and head back to ...Read more

Trump and the Politics of Cultural Despair

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

NEW YORK -- For some of us, the puzzle of this election is not why Donald Trump is doing so badly but why he is doing so well. Given his obvious lack of qualifications, his absurd proposals, his hypocrisy, his obnoxious rhetoric, his sheer incompetence as a candidate, why is he not down 10 points in every state?

In other words, who are Trump's ...Read more

Trump's Shakeup Further Imperils The GOP

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- Shaken by the fact that he's losing, Donald Trump has fled into the parallel universe of the extreme right -- and apparently plans to stay there for the remainder of the campaign. Let's see if the rest of the Republican Party is dumb enough to follow him.

Trump has reportedly been feeling "boxed in" and "controlled" by the few ...Read more

Trump Confronts 'Common Decency'

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

YORK, Pa. If Donald Trump doesnt carry Pennsylvania, his chances of becoming president reach the vanishing point. For now, hes in deep trouble in a place that, demographically, ought to be a Trumpian promised land.

A poll released Tuesday, by NBC News, the Wall Street Journal and Marist, found Hillary Clinton leading by 11 points in ...Read more

Sylville Smith, Racial Martyr

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

As racial martyrs go, you could hardly do worse than Sylville Smith.

He was no Trayvon Martin or Tamir Rice, no unarmed innocent gunned down. No, Milwaukee police say Smith was an armed 23-year old with a lengthy arrest record -- drugs, weapons, robbery -- who bolted from a traffic stop Saturday afternoon. They say he ran a short distance, then...Read more

Once elected, Hillary must tap the power of Bernie's progressive movement

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

It looks increasingly likely that Hillary Clinton, a self-described "progressive who likes to get things done," will have her chance starting next January. But how much that's progressive will she actually be able to get done?

The Senate may flip to the Democrats, but there's almost no way Democrats will have the 60 votes they need to stop ...Read more