From the Left



God Bless America

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

With images of the carnage in Paris and the shuttering of Brussels flashing on every screen, it is hard to take to heart the president's urgings not to give in to fear. A global terror alert does not help. The front-page pictures of all the homegrown terrorists make it harder still. How could these young men have grown up among us, as ...Read more

Can We Talk About a Frozen Embryo?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

I'm more than a little reluctant to write this column. Whatever I write will be interpreted through another lens: that of the abortion debate. One of the many bad consequences of a debate that has now lasted more than four decades is that we can't talk about anything without first trying to fit it within the abortion debate, which is not ...Read more

Ben and Bernie's World

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

In the wake of the horrors in Paris, it only made sense to change the focus of Saturday night's Democratic debate from economic issues to national security, as CBS News did. You might think the candidates would jump at the opportunity to have a large audience hear them address the frightening specter of ISIS.

"It could have happened here," ...Read more

This Year's Abortion Battle

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

On Friday, the United States Supreme Court agreed to review the Texas abortion law that, were it allowed to go into effect, would reduce the number of abortion clinics in the state from 30 to 10. The new law would require abortion clinics to meet the same regulatory standards as surgery clinics, and would require the doctors who perform ...Read more

Florida's Favorite Sons

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

The news reports earlier this week that Jeb Bush's super PAC is ready to go after his former protege, Marco Rubio, come as no surprise. With Donald Trump hitting a ceiling and Ben Carson risking his credibility and trustworthiness in a fight with the media, the focus is finally shifting to the "real" candidates, and the question of who is ...Read more

Marco Rubio's Money Problems

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It worked like a charm in the last debate.

Marco Rubio knew he'd be questioned about his personal finances. When members of the Senate co-mingle campaign and personal funds, face foreclosures on second homes and are forced to liquidate their retirement funds (and pay thousands of dollars in taxes), it gets noticed -- especially if they're ...Read more

Aging Gracefully

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Aging gracefully was no doubt a concept invented by someone in their 30s. A few more decades and he or she would have known better. There is nothing graceful about aging.

I used to be one of those 30-somethings, and the target of my frustration was, of course, my mother, who had long blonde hair and bangs well into her 70s. When I arranged ...Read more

Clinton Plays the Gender Card

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Here's the setup. Hillary Clinton has been pointing out that her opponent Bernie Sanders, the darling of the left, has actually opposed gun control. I've been pointing that same fact out to folks for some time, and it's quite compelling. It's clearly had an effect on polls.

It's apparent that Sen. Sanders is feeling the heat. His recent ...Read more

Had Enough of Benghazi Yet?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Actually, I have to admit that I have.

Not that it wasn't fun to see Hillary Clinton appear to be the only grown-up in the room when the squabbling between the children (who are playing members of Congress) got at its worst.

If the Republican game plan was to get her goat, push her to counterattack, take her down before the American people ...Read more

Really, Could It Be Trump?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

For months I've been telling everyone who brings it up to calm down about the summer infatuation with the cartoonish Donald Trump, whose candidacy was perfect fodder for conversation over the barbecue. Then there was the early autumn period, where it still could be dismissed because it was early autumn. These days, I keep reminding people of ...Read more

What About Joe?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Now that the chattering class has reminded itself -- and its readers, viewers, etc. -- just how formidable a candidate Hillary Clinton is, now that the whispers about bad moments have been replaced by the enthusiastic exchange of one rave after another, now that the doubters have let out a sigh of relief, the question that obviously presents ...Read more

Winners and Losers: The Democratic Debate

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

The usual rule in politics is that frontrunners have little to gain and much to lose in debates. Debates put the frontrunner on the same stage as those who have absolutely no chance of winning, elevating the less popular candidates at the expense of the more popular. Debates also give the "lesser" (in terms of poll numbers) candidates the ...Read more

Wanted: A Speaker of the House

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It used to be considered a great job, back in the days of Sam Rayburn and Tip O'Neill. The speaker was powerful. No more.

John Boehner is as pro-life as you can be. But imagine this: He was reluctant to shut the government down over a symbolic vote with no other consequences. It's not like he hadn't done it before. He had; and it wasn't ...Read more

The Super-Delegate Primary

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It was January 1982, and the Hunt Commission was meeting in Washington, D.C., to decide on the rules that would govern the selection of the nominee in 1984. I was a "Kennedy" member of the drafting committee, which was basically comprised of Kennedy members (those loyal to Ted Kennedy and determined to protect his interests for '84) and the ...Read more

A Message to Hillary Supporters

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Do not panic.

Of all the candidates in this race, Hillary Clinton is the only one that most Americans could imagine being president. Think about it. Every day, people ask me, "Could (Trump/Carson/Sanders) ever be president? Could (Paul/Cruz/Rubio) ever be president?" Most of the time I just shrug, because winning the White House is only one ...Read more

Modern Family

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

There is a lot going on in the world, and most of it seems frightening, depressing and utterly beyond our control. So if you have not heard, let me tell you about a really wonderful thing that happened this week, a reminder of what matters most.

It's the story of a wedding that took place in Ohio last weekend. The father of the bride was set ...Read more

The 25 Percent Problem

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

The last round of polls are leading the more optimistic members of the chattering class to wonder if Donald Trump may have peaked. He's still ahead of the pack, but he seems to have hit a plateau at around 25 percent with Republican voters, which isn't going down (except in the Quinnipiac poll, where he went down from 28 percent to 25 percent)...Read more

The Law of Unintended Consequences

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

The first rule of "reforming" the system for selecting a presidential nominee is that the best-laid plans lead to unintended consequences. So it was that the Democrats in the 1980s, stung by repeated losses, decided that the answer was to give Southern states more influence in the process by creating "Super Tuesday." The idea, pushed by the ...Read more

Planned Parenthood Politics

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It wasn't just the Republican candidates who, with one exception, went out of their ways to outdo one another in their condemnation of an organization that is the sole provider of basic gynecological, obstetric and preventative care services to millions of American men and women.

That's 5 million people worldwide, and 2.7 million in the ...Read more

The Doctor Is In

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Given that it is September, when summer love fades and fall sets in, you might expect to see someone drawing even with Donald Trump. But you wouldn't expect that person to be one of the other least-likely-to-succeed candidates in the race: retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Between a retired doctor and a debt-ridden developer, who is least ...Read more


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