From the Left



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

A Better Way to Assess a Candidate's Health

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- American voters have received, we are told, all they are going to get from their presidential candidates in the way of medical information. In light of Hillary Clinton's initially (and, if she had her way, permanently) undisclosed pneumonia, in light of Donald Trump's unhealthy body mass index and buffoonish physician, in light of ...Read more

The Glass Ceiling Isn't Shattered Yet

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- There are many better reasons to oppose Donald Trump than his rampant sexism. But the brazenness of Trump's recent comments, and the not-so-subtle piling on by the Republican National Committee, demand some attention. The remarks are worth noting not only because of what they tell us about Trump & Co., but also because they ...Read more

Cashing in On Presidential Prestige

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The president, as he prepared to leave office, was dead broke. So broke, in fact, that he had to take out a loan to get him through the transition. Bill Clinton in 2001? No, Harry Truman in 1953 -- and the resemblance ends there.

Back then, although Truman had only a monthly Army pension of $112.56, he was adamant about not ...Read more

Trump's New Hire is Captain Ahab of Clinton Haters

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas, the old saying goes. If so, Donald Trump should be awfully itchy.

Trump has just augmented his ever-changing cast of mostly second-string campaign operatives with a new deputy campaign manager, conservative activist David Bossie. "A friend of mine for many years," Trump told my Washington ...Read more

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

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