From the Left



The GOP's View From Under the Sand

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

If you're old enough to recall how the landslide election of Lyndon Johnson over the hapless Barry Goldwater supposedly spelled the end of the Republican Party, or how Ronald Reagan's election amounted to a revolution that put the Democratic party on the mat until -- more or less -- the end of time, then you will understand my caution in saying ...Read more

Uber Drivers as the Paperboys of Yore

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Before there was Uber, there was the Long Island Press. It was the local newspaper of my boyhood and I worked for it -- at least I thought I did. I was a paperboy, around 12 or so, and happy to emulate the paperboys of old, the Great Americans whose posters adorned the place where I picked up my papers. These included Dwight D. Eisenhower and ...Read more

Fight the Islamic State Now or Later

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

If you stare at the Islamic State areas of Iraq and Syria long enough -- a bit like Nietzsche's staring into the abyss -- it will not exactly stare back at you, but it will start to look a lot like Vietnam. The U.S. can either learn from that experience or get out now. President Obama, as is his custom, looks like he wants to do both.

The ...Read more

The Ugly Effort to Boycott Israel

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

The chief executive of Orange, the global telecom company based in France, says he is going to Israel, surely to apologize for recently saying that, if he could, he would end his company's relationship with its Israeli partner "tomorrow morning." The hitch is that he can't, since there is a contract, and now Stephane Richard says he doesn't want...Read more

Profiting From the Presidency

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Gerald Ford was very briefly vice president of the United States and, following the resignation of Richard Nixon, somewhat less briefly president of the United States. He was an affable fellow, strangely guileless, and yet a groundbreaker at what now gets little recognition. He was the first ex-president to sell the presidency.

Within a year of...Read more

Blanching Hitler

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

"I remember waking up," Adolf Hitler says. "I was lying on an area of undeveloped land, surrounded by terraces of houses." The year is 2011, somewhere in Berlin, and Hitler, uniformed as he was when he committed suicide, cannot account for how he got where he is. That's OK with him, because he can't really account for how he, impoverished and ...Read more

Are the Castros Willing to Confess?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Who am I to tell the pope how to be, well ... the pope? But after President Raul Castro of Cuba, an observant communist for most of his life, said he was so impressed with Francis that he was considering returning to the Catholic Church, I would have liked for the pope to first have handed him a list of political prisoners, adding, "Free these ...Read more

First Lady's Critics Have Much to Learn

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Sometimes I think that Rush Limbaugh is the dumbest man in America. This happens whenever I take him at face value and forget that he is basically an entertainer with contempt for his audience. He will tell them anything. Last week, as if to validate my opinion of him, he went after Michelle Obama for playing the "race card" at the dedication of...Read more

A Return to Nixonland?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Rick Perlstein prefaces his book "Nixonland" by noting that in 1964 Lyndon Johnson, the liberal Democrat, won one of the biggest landslides in American history. Eight years later, Richard Nixon, the conservative Republican, won a similar landslide. What had happened in the intervening years? Quite a bit, actually -- and some of it is happening ...Read more

If Trump Runs, Others Win

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Where's the Donald?

Where is Donald Trump? He has sort of hung around presidential candidate events and even launched a presidential exploratory committee, but when the media's lists of GOP contenders are printed, the name of Donald Trump is usually nowhere to be found. The man can't get no respect.

To show you what I mean, I have in my hand ...Read more

Criticism of Comey's Comments Misguided

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

In the category of "no good deed goes unpunished," we now have the speech of FBI Director James Comey at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. He said some remarkable things. The first is that he requires all his agents and analysts to visit the museum so that they can acquaint themselves with evil. The second is that he personally is so "haunted"...Read more

Being Hillary

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Ten days after I wrote a column in 2013 that was headlined "Just being Hillary Clinton isn't enough," I ran into her at a social event. She was on the way out and I was coming in and so we just chatted briefly. Referring to my column, she said, "Richard, I will have a message" and then quickly added, "If I run." Well, she's running, and ...Read more

Ol' Blue Eyes Still Sparkles

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Frank Sinatra would have been 100 years old by the end of this year (Dec. 12) and already the commemorations have begun -- an exhibition at the New York Public Library, a two-part documentary on HBO and the reissuance of several books. The music endures, but so does the dirt.

Of the dirt, there is plenty. Sinatra was lousy to his first wife, ...Read more

Lee Kuan Yew's Culture of Discipline

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Whatever the eulogists of Lee Kuan Yew told you about the Singapore he created or the Asia that seems resurgent, the praise of him says just as much about America. In editorials, essays, television commentaries and just plain conversations, we appear to be suffering from an acute case of authoritarian envy.

Lee was a disciplinarian. He ran ...Read more

When Facts Are Eclipsed by Passions

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Ferguson has become the liberal Benghazi. It is more of a cause than a place, more of an ideological statement than an incident. Ferguson was not the racist murder it was thought to be, and Benghazi was not an incident in which the Obama administration's incompetence or timidity allowed four Americans to die. The facts argue otherwise.

Both ...Read more

Hillary, in Need of An Opponent

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

In John F. Kennedy's first political race, he faced about nine opponents for a House seat. One of them was named Joe Russo, and he supposedly had the ethnic Italian vote locked up until someone else jumped into the race. By the sheerest coincidence, his name was also Joe Russo. According to "The Patriarch," David Nasaw's wonderful book, some ...Read more

Still Haunted By Our Past

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

SELMA, Ala. -- On one of my flights here, sheer luck took a liking to me. I got seated next to Thelma Adair, a 94-year-old black woman coming down from New York City for the Jubilee. It had been 50 years from when civil rights marchers were beaten bloody by the police wielding truncheons and the entitlement that comes from centuries of racist ...Read more

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