From the Left



'Ask Richard' Answers Your Bathroom Queries

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Richard, I am planning to drive from Massachusetts to Florida and, while I hope it will not happen, I might have to stop in North Carolina to use a restroom. Do I need to bring a birth certificate?

The "Ask Richard" column, now the most popular on the Internet, has gotten many such questions recently and "Ask Richard" has chosen this one...Read more

The GOP Would Unify Around Trump At Its Peril

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

NEW YORK -- The other day I spied a high Republican official walking on the street and called out his name. He stopped, hit his smile app and exclaimed how glad he was to see me. "What are you going to do about Trump?" I asked. He paused and then uttered the dreaded word: unity. "We have to have unity," he said. I got his message. He's selling ...Read more

The Questions I Never Asked

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I am reading a book about death. It is Katie Roiphe's "The Violet Hour" and it is about how some people, all of them famous, faced death or thought about it. I turned to the book because one of Roiphe's subjects is the writer James Salter, who was in good health when she interviewed him but who died last year at the age of 90, quickly and ...Read more

Obama's Hubris is On the Loose

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Donald Trump, sure to be a mystery to future historians, is heading for his preordained crackup, tripping over a tongue bigger even than his hands. To some, his performance has been appalling, not to mention frightening. To others, though, it has been downright fortunate. Among other things, Trump has averted our eyes from Barack Obama.

It was ...Read more

Unlock the Phone

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

A week ago, I spent a good deal of time on the phone with a woman in Manila. Her name is Carolina and she works for Microsoft, which insists on compelling me to "upgrade" to Windows 10. I tried, and for some reason it did not work. My computer froze and so I had Microsoft walk it back to Windows 7, whereupon, a bit later, Microsoft struck in the...Read more

GOP's Ambitions Should Be Made of Sterner Stuff

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

One of the oddest documents in a very odd political year is the transcript of an interview conducted by National Public Radio last week with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. He had previously endorsed Mike Huckabee for the Republican presidential nomination and later Marco Rubio and now he was "without a candidate" and, it seems, without much in ...Read more

Let Trump Have His horrible Say

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

If Nathaniel Lewis is not careful, he's going to get Donald Trump elected.

Lewis was one of the organizers of the demonstration in Chicago that closed down a Trump campaign event. He is a 25-year-old graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an African-American, like many of the protesters. The idea was to shout something ...Read more

A Choice Between Two Tigers

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Among some people, the new parlor game is choosing who would make the worst president: Ted Cruz or Donald Trump. This is not a lady-or-the-tiger dilemma, but a tiger-or-tiger one. The choice is between a fiercely friendless reactionary and a bombastic, thoroughly dishonest egomaniac. You pick.

My choice is Trump. He wins in this close and ugly ...Read more

Rubio Joins Trump in the Sandbox

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

In my school days, I read a poem called "If" by the painfully dated Rudyard Kipling. He was a champion of imperialism, the white man's burden and other such drivel, but the poem is a bully-pulpit exhortation to manliness that is not yet out of date. Its last verse begins "If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue" and ends "you'll be a ...Read more

Trump's Innate Cruelty

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I may never forgive Donald Trump for what he said about Mexicans. I may never forgive him for what he said about Muslims or that smutty crack he made about Megyn Kelly. I may never forgive him for his lies and his bravado and his nasty personalizing of political differences. I may never forgive him for all these things, but I draw the line at ...Read more

On Iraq, Trump May Be Wrong to Be Right

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Of all the surprises, of all the unexpected ironies, of all the unanticipated turns in the Republican presidential race, it's possible that Donald Trump has been hurt by telling the truth. Trump himself must be reeling from such a development and has probably by now vowed to return to lying and bluster seasoned with personal insult -- "You're a ...Read more

A Rising Storm of Ethnic Fear

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Let me tell you about my boat. It has a single mast and a cabin at the stern. It is painted white with a red stripe at the water line. I bought it in Denmark, at the port from where in 1943 Danish fishermen and others transported most of the country's Jews to safety in neutral Sweden. My boat measures 5 inches long. It is as huge as the human ...Read more

A Campaign That Cuts Down the Truth

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Monday was Parson Weems Day. This is my designation to mark the voting in Iowa as the end of the first lying season. The Rev. Mason Locke Weems (1759-1825) is the source of the story about George Washington and the cherry tree. When asked by his father if he had cut down the tree, the young Washington confessed. "I cannot tell a lie," he said. ...Read more

A Presidential Subway Series

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

NEW YORK -- Has anyone noticed? If the presidential race were baseball, then what's shaping up would be called a Subway Series. But instead of the Mets and the Yankees, we're getting Trump and (maybe) Bloomberg of Manhattan, Sanders of Brooklyn and Clinton who is headquartered in the same borough. New York is back -- once again the "mudder" of ...Read more

Clinton Needs More Than a Three-Point Plan

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Hillary Clinton is the Great Underestimator. Eight years ago, she underestimated Barack Obama and now she has underestimated Bernie Sanders. We know this not only from what happened in 2008 and what is happening now but from the pitiful confessions of her campaign staff who admit they never saw Sanders coming. That's understandable. It's not so ...Read more

El Chapo Couldn't Escape the Allure of Hollywood

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

"Nothing has hurt people more in this country than wanting to be in the movies." So said Edward Hayes, a sagacious New York lawyer who has been in some movies himself and been portrayed in others ("Bonfire of the Vanities"). He has also defended bad guys who have risked life, liberty and wealth (usually cash) in pursuit of stardom. To Hayes, El ...Read more

Playing the McCarthy Game

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

In 1949, Sen. Joseph McCarthy arrived in Columbus, Ohio, to make a speech but within an hour allegedly was shooting craps. "It was a disgusting sight," according to a source, "to see this great public servant down on his hands and knees, reeking of whiskey and shouting, 'Come on babies, Papa needs a new pair of shoes.'" What Papa really needed ...Read more

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