From the Left



Obliging a Donor is Not Necessarily Criminal

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- On the subject of the Clinton Foundation and newly disclosed State Department emails, let us first dispense with Donald Trump's unhinged calls for a special prosecutor to investigate what he terms a corrupt "pay for play" arrangement.

"The amounts involved, the favors done and the significant numbers of times it was done require ...Read more

Sickening Attacks on Clinton's Health

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump -- he who likes to fly home at night in the comfort of his own plane to sleep in the comfort of his own bed -- is at it again on the question of Hillary Clinton's stamina, or alleged lack thereof.

"To defeat crime and radical Islamic terrorism in our country, to win trade in our country, you need tremendous physical ...Read more

Trump's Ignorance About Sexual Harassment

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump says his daughter, were she a victim of sexual harassment, should "find another career or find another company." His son Eric Trump said that his sister Ivanka "is a strong, powerful woman" who would not "allow herself to be subjected to that" treatment.

How nice for them. How nice for her. In the real world -- the ...Read more

A Tale of Three Conventions

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

PHILADELPHIA -- The Democratic National Convention here was Broadway to the summer stock production that Republicans put on in Cleveland. The Democrats' show was polished and uplifting, while the grand spectacle Donald Trump had promised to produce was amateurish and angry.

The chants of "USA! USA!" -- even if they were, at times, a device to ...Read more

Hillary's Lack of Press Conferences Worrying

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- There is no equivalence -- none -- between the campaigns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton when it comes to mistreatment of and contempt for the media. The Trump campaign's latest outrage on this score involved the hassling of a Washington Post reporter, Jose A. DelReal, at a rally for vice presidential nominee Mike Pence. ...Read more

Turning the Page on Partisan Gridlock

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

PHILADELPHIA -- Even as President Obama prepares to speak on her behalf at the convention here and to campaign for her this fall, a big element of Hillary Clinton's electoral case hinges on the implicit argument that she can somehow succeed where Obama failed: overcoming partisanship and dislodging Washington gridlock.

This tricky path is made ...Read more

Trump Set the Table for Clinton

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

CLEVELAND -- Donald Trump's botched convention made Hillary Clinton's task in Philadelphia easier. Not necessarily easy, but easier.

The Republicans' four days here were marked by disorganization, division and darkness. This was the Ronco of flubbed conventions: But wait, there's more. After the plagiarism debacle, a preventable problem made ...Read more

Cruz Holds His Nose but Can't Endorse Trump

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

CLEVELAND -- Ted Cruz, vanquished presidential candidate, coughed up the name of the man who defeated him for the Republican nomination precisely once in his convention speech Wednesday night. "I want to congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination," the Texas senator managed to choke out. Then, in a line not contained in the prepared ...Read more

Campaign Mops Up Poorly After Melania Trump Speech Mess

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Well, Donald Trump can't tell his wife she's fired. Nor should he.

The evident plagiarism in Melania Trump's speech doesn't reflect poorly on Melania Trump, at least from what we know so far. Its presence, and the handling of it after its predictably swift disclosure, reflects poorly on the Trump campaign.

It demonstrates, as if ...Read more

Justice Ginsburg's Damage to the Supreme Court

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's admittedly "ill-advised" remarks about Donald Trump weren't only bad for the justice and her reputation. They were bad for the Supreme Court and, consequently, for the country.

Ginsburg was correct in her scathing assessment of Trump -- and correct to express her "regret" for voicing it publicly. But ...Read more

Comey Reasserts His Independence

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Law enforcement officials tend to inhabit a universe that is both binary and terse: Prosecute or don't prosecute. Let the facts in the indictment speak for themselves. No further comment.

So the remarks by FBI Director James Comey accompanying his announcement that he would not recommend bringing charges against former Secretary ...Read more

A Toxic Meeting on the Tarmac

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Loretta Lynch's tarmac conversation with Bill Clinton wasn't just stupid, although it was certainly that. It was a colossal misjudgment on both sides, most especially hers.

The encounter was toxic. It adds to the already settled conviction among too many voters that the system is, to use the essential word of the ...Read more

For the GOP, a Pickle of a Platform

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- How do you write a platform for a party whose candidate's positions span the unfortunate gamut from nonexistent to offensive to flatly at odds with those of the party?

Such is the thankless task consigned this year to Sen. John Barrasso. The Wyoming Republican is a Yale-trained orthopedist with a voracious appetite for history (he...Read more

The Danger We Can Confront

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Along came the alligator. A horrifying story at the end of a horrifying stretch, a heartbreaking coda befitting a nation on perpetual edge.

That the story would go viral was guaranteed: a 2-year-old grabbed, his father trying in vain to fight off the primordial beast, an unforeseen danger lurking in what is supposed to be the ...Read more

The Parent Trap

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Somehow, it's always the parents' fault. We are too lax, except when we are too helicoptery. We coddle the kids too much, except when we drive them into neurotic overachievement. We are enablers. No, we are Tiger Moms. The societal urge to blame is matched only by the parental instinct to second-guess -- ourselves as much as our ...Read more

Trump's Outlaw View of the Judiciary

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

"The complete independence of the courts of justice is peculiarly essential in a limited Constitution."

-- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 78

WASHINGTON -- Somewhere, Hamilton -- West Indian, not Mexican -- is weeping over Donald Trump and his alarming, ignorant conception of the role of the judiciary.

The latest, scariest manifestation...Read more

Hillary Clinton's Protective Crouch

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

"I don't want any risk of the personal being accessible."

-- Email from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to aide Huma Abedin, November 2010, contained in State Department inspector general's report on Clinton's private email use.

WASHINGTON -- This is not a smoking gun -- yet it explains so much.

Actually it is the opposite of a ...Read more

When It Comes to Lying, Trump Is In a Class By Himself

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Stonewaller, shape-shifter, liar. I wrote last week about how an all-but-certain presidential nominee embodied these characteristics, prompting comments from readers observing, with varying degrees of snarkiness, that they had assumed I was referring to Hillary Clinton.

My target was Donald Trump, but these readers raise a ...Read more

Trump: Stonewaller, Shape-Shifter, Liar

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The last few weeks have offered Americans a chilling glimpse of three faces of Donald Trump: the stonewaller, the shape-shifter and the liar.

Trump the stonewaller has been on display in his refusal to release his tax returns. "It's none of your business," Trump flatly told ABC's George Stephanopoulos when asked about his ...Read more

When Age Really Becomes a Number

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- "Ruth, you have a birthday coming up!"

My friend's voice contained an odd note of reproach, faint but unmistakable. The reason quickly became clear.

"You have to get your age off your Facebook profile," my friend said. She is an experienced Washington hand, a former administration official, a woman of, well, an uncertain age; her...Read more


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