From the Left



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

Trump Likes Snub From Republican Elite

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Mark Shields is off. The following is a column by Jamie Stiehm.

From on high they have spoken to us, we the people.

The neocon foreign policy elite vigorously embraced and enforced President George W. Bush starting three wars going into the 21st century: Afghanistan, Iraq and the global "war on terror." Detainees, drones and now ISIS in...Read more

In the Company of Heroes

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Air Force Col. Bud Day, having already fought in World War II and the Korean War, was flying his 65th mission over Vietnam, when his plane was shot down and he, after bailing out, suffered a broken arm and injuries to his back and eye. Captured by North Vietnamese soldiers, he was beaten up before becoming that conflict's only U.S. prisoner of...Read more

Another Iwo Jima Memorial

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In 1945, Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn, the first Jewish chaplain in the history of the United States Marine Corps, was asked by his senior Protestant colleague to deliver the sermon at a single, interdenominational service dedicated to the fallen after the historically bloody Battle of Iwo Jima -- which cost the lives of nearly 7,000 Marines, ...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

A Steppingstone to Oblivion

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The first very first "presidential" test in public for every nominee for the White House is the selection of a vice presidential running mate. Right after the 1968 Miami Beach convention where he had won the Republican nomination, Richard M. Nixon explained why he chose his running mate: "There is a mysticism about men. There is a quiet ...Read more

The Campaign Post-Comey

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Even though Democrat Hillary Clinton continues to lead Republican Donald Trump in nearly all major public polls, the answer to one question in the most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll had to trigger panic attacks throughout the entire Clinton campaign. Respondents were asked whether Trump or Clinton "would be better" on "being honest ...Read more

The 'Death' of the GOP

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In 1986, some 34 years after he had first been elected to the U.S. Senate from Arizona, Barry Goldwater, the hero of the conservative movement that made possible the eventual election of Ronald Reagan, retired. As Sen. Goldwater cleaned out his Capitol Hill office, I was privileged to listen as he reminisced about the 1964 presidential contest ...Read more

Pennsylvania to Washington: The 2016 Election Is Not Over

From the Left / Mark Shields /

"Everyone in Washington wants to write that this election is over," cautions respected pollster Peter D. Hart, that Republican Donald Trump -- after six weeks of highly public unforced errors -- has effectively shattered his chances of winning the White House. Hart, after conducting a two-hour focus group of 11 blue-collar and service industry...Read more

American Elections and the 'Biblical Imperative'

From the Left / Mark Shields /

History offers little encouragement to either major American party this election year. Sobering for Republicans is the fact that in the past 87 years, no GOP ticket that did not have on it either a Bush or a Nixon has won any presidential election. Democrats live with their own distressing jinx: In the past 179 years, their party has won a ...Read more

History Is Watching

From the Left / Mark Shields /

On Nov. 30, 1967, I stood in the caucus room of what is now called the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill and heard Sen. Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota announce that he would indeed challenge the renomination of Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson. His issue was the U.S. war in Vietnam. "I am concerned that the administration ...Read more

Iron Rule of Politics

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Having worked, as a younger man, in three losing presidential campaigns and having been lucky enough to cover the past 10 presidential campaigns as a journalist, I have been forced to learn a few semi-iron rules of politics that might even be helpful in trying to understand our bizarre presidential year of 2016.

The most reliable test I know ...Read more

Character Truly Is Destiny

From the Left / Mark Shields /

It turns out that Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, knew exactly what he was talking about some 25 centuries ago when he wrote: "Character is destiny." Consider American presidents who have disappointed, even failed, in office -- theirs were not failures of intellect or education. Most almost certainly aced their SAT tests. Almost without ...Read more


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