From the Left





Conservative Politburo Control of The House

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- You think John Boehner had a rocky time as speaker of the House? Just wait until you see how his successor fares this fall -- if House Republicans can even find a successor.

The same conservatives who badgered Boehner into retirement wasted no time in ousting his hand-picked successor, Kevin McCarthy.

Conservatives had been ...Read more

Should Prisoners Raise Your Food?

Fellow foodies, here's a question for your conscience: Do you wonder whose hands helped bring your meal to the grocery?

As you dollop the farm-fresh goat cheese on top of your micro greens and remove the antibiotic-free tilapia from under the broiler, would you lose your appetite if you found out that workers who helped produce it earn in a ...Read more

The Super-Delegate Primary

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It was January 1982, and the Hunt Commission was meeting in Washington, D.C., to decide on the rules that would govern the selection of the nominee in 1984. I was a "Kennedy" member of the drafting committee, which was basically comprised of Kennedy members (those loyal to Ted Kennedy and determined to protect his interests for '84) and the ...Read more

Bush Family's War on English

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

And the Bush family's War on English continues.

You are, by now, familiar with the astonishingly tone-deaf response by Jeb Bush, the nation's would-be 45th president, to last week's shooting at a community college in Oregon in which a gunman killed nine people. "Look," said Bush, "stuff happens."

Like a stink bomb in the flower bed, the ...Read more

Clinton Signals Willingness to Regulate Guns by Executive Action

From the Left / Clarence Page /

After a gunman killed nine people at an Oregon community college last week, Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed a new attitude on gun control. She sounds a lot like President Barack Obama's new attitude on immigration: If Congress doesn't act, she says, she will.

"This epidemic of gun violence knows no boundaries," the Democratic presidential ...Read more

Clinton's Hard Choice On the TPP

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton is facing one of the most fateful decisions of the presidential primary season: what to say about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and when to say it.

Politically, Clinton's choice is a true Sophie's Choice. Whatever she does is guaranteed to generate criticism and anger key constituencies. The best case scenario for ...Read more

Joe Biden's Never-Ending Delay

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- Finally, it can be reported: Joe Biden is running for president, unless he isn't. He will announce his decision this weekend, unless he doesn't.

Furthermore, Biden is approaching important deadlines for declaring his candidacy, unless those deadlines don't matter. His advisers really want him to run, except those who don't, and he...Read more

Obama Is Right To Be Cautious On Syria

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- Contrary to popular belief, President Obama does have a plan for Syria. It's just not one that promises to have much immediate impact on the course of the brutal civil war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, by contrast, has a plan that is far bolder and much more likely to produce results on the ground -- but only in the short ...Read more

Presidential Tantrums Won't End Gun Violence

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Following the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College, a "smoldering" (as one commentator put it) President Obama gave a revealing speech -- a clarification, a culmination, of much that had come before. "What has become routine," he said, "of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of commonsense gun legislation. ...Read more

In Syria, Obama Sees a Yellow Light

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

In the desperate fight against the Islamic State, the Pentagon has it all wrong. It has been using color coding to designate the eligibility of various Syrian rebel groups to receive American aid. According to The Wall Street Journal, some groups were assigned green dots while others were given red and some yellow. This is where things went ...Read more

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