From the Left



Anti-Semitism That Can't Be Ignored

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Ordinarily I'd ignore the anti-Semitism. Not this week.

Invective goes with the columnist territory. To judge by commenters, emailers and tweeters, I am ugly and fat, a dried-up old hag, a leftist moonbat and spiteful Obama-hater.

Also, and I gather this is supposed to be another insult, a Jew.

I woke up Saturday morning -- I ...Read more

Our rhetoric on refugees has been unhelpful

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON --The political aftermath of the Paris attacks is tracing a trajectory as familiar as it is disappointing. The fundamental question -- how to defeat the Islamic State -- is so resistant to any simple fix that the debate shifts to subsidiary but more easily digestible topics.

Republican politicians have fanned the flames of public ...Read more

The Great Democratic Divide

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

AMES, Iowa -- Watching the Democratic primary contest can feel like reading a bad murder mystery. You may encounter some plot twists and surprises, but the end seems obvious. The butler did it. Hillary Clinton will win the nomination.

On a deeper level, though, the contest is more subtle and more interesting -- more Jane Austen than John ...Read more

Carson's Real Scandal is His Ignorance

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The vetting of Ben Carson is focused in the wrong direction. Yes, when a candidate's raison d'etre is biography, the accuracy of his purported life story is fair game -- even if some of the Carson flyspecking has been tendentious.

But the more fundamental question -- the scarier question -- about Carson isn't whether the retired ...Read more

College is Not For Coddling

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Trigger warning: I'm about to commit a micro-aggression. Maybe a macro one. Here goes: Yale students worked up over an email about Halloween costumes, grow up. Learn some manners. Develop some sense of judgment and proportion.

The Yalies are all spun up over Halloween costumes -- specifically, an administrator's suggestion that an...Read more

Angela Merkel's Migrant Dilemma

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

BERLIN -- Abdulela Alhajjar is a big fan of Angela Merkel, which is simultaneously the German chancellor's finest tribute and her biggest threat. Like many others crowding a refugee processing center here, the 21-year-old Syrian saw pictures of Merkel taking selfies with migrants, and took her message of welcome to heart.

"We will be treated ...Read more

A Harsh Sentence for Statutory Rape

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Owen Labrie behaved despicably. As a senior at St. Paul's, the elite New Hampshire prep school, he lured a 15-year-old freshman into having sex with him, as part of a repulsive tradition known as "senior salute," in which graduating boys compete to "slay" the greatest number of girls.

And yet, I find myself unsettled over the ...Read more

The GOP Debate Was Not Presidential

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- One of the 10 Republicans who debated Wednesday night is going to end up as the party's nominee. None of them looked like presidential material.

That theme was sounded early on, when Ohio Gov. John Kasich swatted away the first question -- what is your biggest weakness? -- by addressing the larger weakness of the field: "My great ...Read more

Dr. Carson, Please Read Holocaust History

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

BERLIN -- It would be a good idea for Ben Carson to spend some time in this city.

Some recommendations for the Carson tour:

-- The 1936 Olympic stadium, where Adolf Hitler presided over games in which the Aryanized German team won 33 gold medals, as exuberant German crowds thrust arms upward in the Nazi salute.

-- Track 17, where, starting on...Read more

Eliminate Gun Loopholes for Domestic Abusers

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The debate over measures to reduce gun violence poses a cruel paradox. The most effective steps are politically unthinkable and likely unconstitutional. More restrained approaches, such as tighter background checks and reduced ammunition magazine sizes, have proved maddeningly impossible to maneuver through the political process ...Read more

Costly Quest to Fix Failing Schools

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- When Dale Russakoff began writing about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million gift to help fix the failing schools in Newark, N.J., she assumed she would end up telling an uplifting story of transformational change.

"It sounded to me at the time like, well, that's enough money to do anything," Russakoff recalled of ...Read more

Clinton Embraces Her Gender

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- You know something has changed in the state of gender and politics when the Democratic front-runner jokingly alludes to the, er, plumbing differences that necessitated a longer-than-planned mid-debate bathroom break.

"It does take me a little longer," Hillary Clinton told CNN's Anderson Cooper.

This is not your Clinton 2008 ...Read more

Why Would Paul Ryan Want to Be Speaker?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- House Republicans face a fateful choice -- and not just over who will be their speaker. It is a choice about whether they want to be a realistic, governing entity or a bomb-throwing band of purists that will, inevitably, hurt the party's prospects not only for retaining the current GOP majorities in the House and Senate but for ...Read more

Mrs. Clinton, Why Hurt American Workers?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The mischievous columnist in me wants to ask: Why is Hillary Clinton trying to lose jobs and lower wages?

My more responsible columnist side quickly adds: Of course that's not Clinton's goal. Yet it is the predictable -- indeed, it's the predicted -- outcome of two important recent policy pronouncements. First, her call to repeal ...Read more

Clinton's Hard Choice On the TPP

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton is facing one of the most fateful decisions of the presidential primary season: what to say about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and when to say it.

Politically, Clinton's choice is a true Sophie's Choice. Whatever she does is guaranteed to generate criticism and anger key constituencies. The best case scenario for ...Read more

Shame on Our Routine Response

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- A confession: When the news of Thursday's mass shooting in Oregon broke, it did not occur to me to write about it.

I was thinking about Planned Parenthood and Benghazi; about Bernie Sanders' fundraising and Hillary Clinton's emails; about Putin and Syria. Another shooting is tragic and enraging, but what is left to say? What is ...Read more

Mr. Boehner, Clean Up This Barn

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- "I don't want to leave my successor a dirty barn," John Boehner, the soon-to-depart Speaker of the House, told CBS News' John Dickerson. "I want to clean the barn up a little bit before the next person gets there."

Heaven knows, there's lots of shoveling to do. Boehner's resignation, and the month until it takes effect, offers the...Read more

Pope Francis' Implicit Rebuke of the GOP

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Pope Francis did not come to Washington to side with one political party -- and, predictably, there was something in what the pope had to say for both Republicans and Democrats to dislike. Yet taken as a whole, Francis' remarks amounted to an unmistakable rebuke -- implicit and perhaps unintended, but nonetheless stinging -- of the...Read more

Fiorina's Dishonesty Eclipsed by Trump's Sexism

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- One part of me wants to bash Carly Fiorina for her persistent dishonesty. The other part wants to defend her against Donald Trump's persistent sexism. So here's both.

Fiorina's dishonesty is flagrant and unapologetic. Called on her misstatements, Fiorina doesn't cede ground, she attacks critics. Exhibit A is her evocative ...Read more

No Celebration of Constitutional Principles

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- It was a coincidence, but a jarring one, that the second Republican presidential debate took place the day before Constitution Day. The GOP candidates' remarks betrayed the need for a remedial course -- or maybe any course at all -- in constitutional law, judicial independence and the rule of law.

That the presidential candidates,...Read more

Social Connections


Steve Breen Signe Wilkinson Michael Ramirez Chip Bok Clay Bennett Nick Anderson