From the Left



Challenge Us; Don't Coddle Us

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The late William Safire, a certified wordsmith who had been a speechwriter for President Richard Nixon before becoming a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, concluded, after reading 56 of them, that there had been only four great presidential inaugural addresses: Abraham Lincoln's first and second, Franklin Roosevelt's ...Read more

For Republicans, the Year of Living Nervously

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Outspent by nearly a 2-1 ratio by Hillary Clinton and conspicuously not endorsed by the two most recent Republican presidents or the two most recent Republican presidential nominees, Donald Trump was still able to capture six states Democrat Barack Obama had twice carried -- Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- and the ...Read more

Did I Say That? I Apologize

From the Left / Mark Shields /

For your semi-faithful correspondent, 2016 has been a 12-month exercise in humility. I apologize to you, gentle reader, for the errors -- all unforced -- to which I subjected you.

My introduction to the 2016 campaign was to endorse the timeless wisdom of former Sen. Bill Cohen, a Republican from Maine who never lost an election: "I don't care ...Read more

Like Charity, Patriotism Begins At Home

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., holds an office higher than the presidency. John McCain is a patriot. Like his fellow warriors, he does not talk about the horror and the pain he endured and he lived with. The memories must no doubt be too personal and too powerful.

McCain, the most recent military veteran to be nominated for president by a major ...Read more

John Glenn, the Genuine Article

From the Left / Mark Shields /

If you were old enough to tie your shoes Feb. 20, 1962, then you almost surely remember Marine Col. John H. Glenn Jr. entering the history books by becoming the first American to orbit the Earth.

During that flight, Americans, watching on their black-and-white television sets, held their collective breath after reports that there was trouble ...Read more

Marines Invade Washington

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Every year, when he was commandant of the Marine Corps between 1995 and 1999, Gen. Charles Krulak and his wife would spend the week before Christmas baking hundreds of cookies, which they wrapped in small packages. At 4 a.m. on Christmas Day, Gen. Krulak would begin driving himself to every Marine guard post in the nearby Washington-Maryland-...Read more

Peace Begins With a Smile

From the Left / Mark Shields /

What do the following smile-worthy lines spoken by American politicians of the past all, surprisingly, have in common?

Rep. Brooks Hays of Arkansas used to tell about the temperance advocate in his home state who wound up, in an impassioned speech, endorsing Prohibition this way: "I'm a minister of the Gospel, and I would rather commit ...Read more

Reality Check for Democrats' Post-mortems

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In spite of the inconvenient fact that when all the votes cast have been tallied (probably in early December) Hillary Clinton could turn out to have won the national popular vote by close to 2 million votes, Donald Trump did in fact win an impressive victory Nov. 8 and will become the 45th president of the United States.

When one of the ...Read more

Gerald Ford and the 2016 Election

From the Left / Mark Shields /

On Sept. 8, 1974, one month after he became the nation's only un-elected commander in chief, President Gerald R. Ford granted a "full, free, and absolute pardon" to his predecessor, the resigned Richard M. Nixon, "for all offenses against the United States which he ... has committed or may have committed." Ford's pardoning of Nixon, a brave ...Read more

The Last Lap

From the Left / Mark Shields /

We now know that the October surprise of the 2016 presidential campaign has turned out to be first lady Michelle Obama.

When voters in the most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll were given a list of individuals and organizations and asked to rate their feelings toward each (on a four-point scale from "very positive" to "very negative")...Read more

Concession Is Good for the Soul

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The first time I ever saw my sainted mother cry was late at night on Nov. 4, 1952, as she listened to Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic presidential nominee, graciously congratulate -- from the Leland Hotel in Springfield -- Dwight D. Eisenhower on Ike's landslide victory that day. Stevenson consoled his supporters: "Someone asked me...Read more

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