From the Left



Understanding Woodrow Wilson

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

At Princeton University, the image and name of Woodrow Wilson could soon be erased. He was the school's president from 1902 to 1910, reforming it, transforming it and setting it on the path to academic excellence. He left the school and soon became America's 28th president -- a great one, some people believe -- but he was born in the pre-Civil ...Read more

Our Common Enemy is Intolerance

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

The eminent historian and public intellectual Niall Ferguson looked at what happened in Paris and somehow saw Rome. In his column for The Sunday Times of London, he conjured up Edward Gibbon, who wrote of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Gibbon said Rome fell to barbarians who "extended the promiscuous massacre to the feeble, the ...Read more

The Story of Ben Carson

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I have come to the conclusion that Ben Carson is a bit nuts. I say that not because I disagree with him politically, but because he doesn't seem to know what the truth is. Donald Trump, in contrast, does. When challenged, he becomes more forceful. He exhales a gale of fibs and just shoulders his way through until his interrogator, some hapless ...Read more

Even When He's Wrong, Netanyahu Feels He's Right

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Who am I to interpret the words of Benjamin Netanyahu? I am not his friend, although we do know each other, and I don't often agree with his policies and sometimes find his rhetoric about Palestinians repulsive. Yet, behind his recent and widely condemned statement that it was a Palestinian who gave Hitler the idea for the Holocaust lurks an ...Read more

Paul Ryan's Too-Familiar Struggle

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Good luck to Paul Ryan.

I am not referring to whether he will get along with the Freedom Caucus, what with its insistence on a congressional version of Magna Carta (down with the power of the speaker, up with the power of the committee barons), but whether he can make it home on the weekend to be with his kids. Many a man has pledged such a ...Read more

In Defense of the Tip

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Danny Meyer, the New York restaurateur, may have started something. Last week, he announced he would eliminate tipping at his 13 restaurants and raise his prices. There followed a plethora of editorials and op-ed articles, most of them in support of the new policy, some of them pointing out -- as you might have guessed -- that tipping is anti-...Read more

Trump, Farrakhan Speak Language of the Pitchfork

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Why Donald Trump bothered to issue an economic program is beyond me. It has some good things in it, like raising the tax on carried interest, but no one really cares about Trump's economic plan -- no matter his supposed expertise. He says he's a businessman who knows about such things. His supporters don't care that he's a builder. They care ...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

A Scandal of a Committee

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I have a new hobby. It has nothing to do with balsa wood or fly-fishing, stamps or even books. Instead, I fashion myself as a modern-day Diogenes -- he was the guy with the lantern who went around ancient Athens seeking an honest man -- and so I go around asking people if they know what the Benghazi committee is looking for. Yesterday, I posed ...Read more

After Being Fired, Fiorina Shouldn't Be Hired

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I want to say something about Carly Fiorina right at the outset: I don't care if she was a brilliant or awful CEO of Hewlett-Packard. I don't care if her firing was justified or the work of mean old men. I don't care if she increased cash flow and doubled revenues or whether those are misleading indicators -- which, as it happens, they are. What...Read more

Merkel, a Model American

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

It has come to this: The leading Republican presidential candidate struts like a martinet and has taken on the persona, if not the rhetoric, of a hater, while the leader of Germany, an altogether humble woman of clear moral vision, is performing in the Western tradition of enlightened tolerance. How did we lose this war?

Of course, we have not ...Read more

Remembering Marvin Mandel, a Towering Figure in Maryland Politics

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Although he certainly did not look the part, Marvin Mandel thought of himself as a latter-day Duke of Windsor. Just as the duke had abdicated the British throne to marry "the woman I love," so did Mandel lose the Maryland governorship and even go to jail so that he, too, could be with the woman he loved. Unfortunately for him, he was married at ...Read more

A Picture of Dachau

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

DACHAU -- It is August and the parking lots are full. Throngs course through the barracks, stroll the once-electrified perimeter, view huge photos of horror and, inevitably, drift over to the crematorium. There, a father places his son -- about 6, I'd guess -- in front of the oven and poses him for a picture. Speaking in German, he has the boy ...Read more

Truman Was Right to Use the Bomb

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Should the United States apologize for the nuclear bombing of Japan at the very end of World War II? The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 70 years ago this month, killed as many as 250,000 people, most of them civilians. For many of the victims, it was a horrible, excruciating death, and for many others, the effects of burns and radiation, ...Read more

All on Clinton's Emails That's Fit -- Or Not -- To Print

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

The New York Times on Sunday printed 2,973 words explaining how the fuss over Hillary Clinton's emails began and how it developed and what it means and why the newspaper has published so much stuff about it. As a result, I now know that her use of a private email server was either illegal or not, justified or not, reckless or not and that most ...Read more

Biden Stalked by Irony of His Age

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Some years ago, I worked out with Joe Biden. He lifted weights while I pedaled a stationary bike and I can report that the vice president of the United States, if he has kept up his exercise regimen, should be in splendid shape. Still, he is now 72, and if he runs for president, as he is now considering doing, he will be one of the oldest ...Read more

In Uber's Tracks

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Uber just ran over the mayor of New York. Bill de Blasio wanted to limit the company's expansion, citing traffic and complaints from the taxi industry, which is, as the saying goes, on the wrong side of history. Uber marshaled most of the world's lobbyists and consultants and, in the apt description of the online journal Capital "crushed the ...Read more

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