From the Left



The Art of Journalism in the Age of Trump

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The approaching presidency of Donald Trump poses daunting challenges for the journalists covering him, not merely because he has described them as dishonest, low-life scum or because of anxiety over whether the new administration will adhere to basic norms of access, such as daily briefings and regular news conferences.

The ...Read more

Does Trump Realize There Can Only be One President at a Time?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- One of the hallmarks of our democratic system is its commitment to the peaceful transition of power. This practice comes with two important, linked corollaries that fall under the umbrella that there can be only one president at a time. The first is that the incoming president, especially in the arena of foreign policy, takes care ...Read more

Trump Needs to Stop Celebrating and Start Healing

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- President-elect Donald Trump needs to heal, not revel. That is, he must work on healing the divided country he is about to lead, not continue to revel in his victory with a round of thank-you rallies.

Instead, we see: Trump griping about the political correctness of being named “person of the year.” Quieting, but not really, ...Read more

If Nothing is True, Then Everything Can Be False

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- After post-truth comes all-fake.

The election of Donald Trump has seen the flowering of the post-truth landscape. Emotion outranks fact; believing makes it so. We are all Tinker Bell now. Clap if you believe in voter fraud. Clap if you doubt a human role in climate change.

So when the president-elect claims, with no basis in ...Read more

Kellyanne Conway Plunges into the Mommy Wars

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- As if she didn’t have enough on her hands with the president-elect, Donald Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway has plunged full-force into a topic at least as emotionally charged: the Mommy Wars.

Speaking at a Politico “Women Rule” event Wednesday, Conway cited her four young children as the reason for declining a White House job...Read more

The Post-Truth Era of Politics

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Welcome to -- brace yourself for -- the post-truth presidency.

“Facts are stubborn things,” said John Adams in 1770, defending British soldiers accused in the Boston Massacre, “and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

Or so ...Read more

Breitbart Isn’t Just a Publication.’ It’s a Pestilence

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- To President-elect Donald Trump, Breitbart -- the racist, sexist and all-around offensive website once overseen by his campaign chairman and designated White House chief strategist Steve Bannon -- is “just a publication.”

Breitbart’s editors and writers, Trump told The New York Times, “cover stories like you cover ...Read more

Trump is Not Becoming Any More Presidential

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Less than two weeks into the reality that Donald Trump will be our next president, the situation feels more ominous than on election night.

“At the right time, I will be so presidential you will be so bored,” Trump assured us back in April, when the notion seemed fanciful. “I know when to be presidential.”

Does he? On ...Read more

Which Trump will emerge as president?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

EDITOR'S NOTE: An image of the Herblock cartoon mentioned in Ruth Marcus' Sunday column is available for your use and can be downloaded from Please credit the cartoon as: "A 1968 Herblock Cartoon © The Herb Block Foundation."

WASHINGTON -- Herblock, the legendary ...Read more

A prayer for America

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- On Saturdays in synagogues across the United States, Jews recite a prayer for our country. In my synagogue, the custom is that the congregation stands, and says the prayer in unison.

Our God and God of our ancestors: We ask Your blessings for our country -- for its government, for its leaders and advisers, and for all who...Read more

Clinton Needs to Learn from Her Mistakes

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton's top priority, if she is elected president, shouldn't be enacting an infrastructure plan or pushing immigration reform. It should be -- must be, if she is to succeed on any substantive front -- to combat her own worst instincts.

To be clear, I desperately want to see Clinton elected, not only because the ...Read more

Bill Clinton's Role as First Spouse: To Disappear

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- How do you solve a problem like Bill Clinton?

More precisely, how does, as is increasingly likely, President Hillary Clinton figure out what to do with First Gentleman Bill Clinton and his cargo hold of accompanying baggage?

Bill Clinton may be an asset to his wife, but he is also a problem -- a sprawling, messy and hard-to-...Read more

Trump's Repulsive Response to His Female Accusers Rings of Defamation

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Even as the country recoils, justifiably, from the prospect of Donald Trump threatening not to respect the election results, let us not lose sight of the mounting evidence of Trump's mistreatment of women -- and his offensive debate dismissal of their claims.

At the second debate, Trump claimed that his taped boasting about ...Read more

There is Something Depressingly Familiar in the Stories of Trump's Alleged Groping

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The arm went around my shoulder. Then the hand began to creep, farther and farther, down the neckline of my dress. I was 20, at a fancy dinner for my college newspaper. The hand belonged to a grown-up -- make that supposedly grown-up -- editor. An editor from whom I wanted a summer job.

I would like to tell you that I removed said...Read more

Is Personal Privacy at Odds with Literary Fame?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The apparent unmasking of pseudonymous author Elena Ferrante feels like an occasion not for outrage so much as for sadness, and regret at the vanishing space allotted to personal privacy in an age insatiable for celebrity tidbits and fueled by omnipresent technology.

Into this intrusive new world comes Ferrante, who has written a ...Read more

Do We Want a Middle-Schooler in the Oval Office?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Perhaps the best way to understand Donald Trump is as a case of arrested development.

In terms of personality and worldview, Trump is stuck in middle school. Early middle school.

And that's being charitable.

Part of growing up is developing self-control. Trump never has. Listen to him in the presidential debate, interjecting ...Read more

In Praise of Good Government Geeks

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Especially in an election year, federal employees make a tempting target. They are, in the popular imagining, entitled and entrenched, unresponsive to the public for whom they work and uninterested in anything but collecting a paycheck and a cushy pension. You never hear the phrase "bureaucrats in Washington" in a sentence that ...Read more

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