From the Left





The High Holidays

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

This week, Jews around the world will celebrate Rosh Hashana, the New Year, the high holidays.

It is a very strange time to be Jewish in America.

The first president with a Jewish daughter and Jewish grandchildren, the first Jewish "zayde" (grandpa) in the White House, has taught a new generation the lasting power of anti-Semitism. As the ...Read more

The danger of dynastic wealth

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, former president of Goldman Sachs, said recently that "only morons pay the estate tax."

I'm reminded of Donald Trump's comment that he didn't pay federal income taxes because he was "smart." And billionaire Leona Helmsley's comment that "only the little people pay taxes."

What Cohn was getting at ...Read more

The Boss Is a Weasel

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I don't want single-payer health insurance.

You know why?

Because I think the company you work for ought to give you health insurance. I think it's your employer's responsibility.

There, I've said it.

I've said the great forbidden thing in 2017, which is that your employer owes you something other than a paycheck.

It's forbidden to say ...Read more

President Trump says he's not a racist; he only sounds like one

From the Left / Clarence Page /

I love us Americans. When we're not arguing about politics, we argue about people who are arguing about politics.

I woke up Friday morning to a Twitterstorm from President Donald Trump, whom I follow so you don't have to.

After firing away at such obligatory topics as the Islamic State, North ...Read more

What did Jemele Hill get wrong?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Let's consider the evidence.

He was sued for systematically refusing to rent to African Americans and settled out of court.

He demanded the death penalty for five black and Hispanic kids charged in the notorious Central Park jogger rape case -- and refuses to recant to this day, though the young men were long ago exonerated and set free.

He ...Read more

The Vietnam War 2017

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Three aging U.S. veterans of the war in Vietnam, each of whom still bears the scars of battle, took their seats on the stage of Washington's Kennedy Center on a cool September evening. They were there to discuss Ken Burns' historic 18-hour PBS project, "The Vietnam War," which will deservedly earn the nation's attention. The three -- John ...Read more

Is Kim Jong Un crazy and unpredictable -- or smart and strategic?

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

LONDON -- I am sometimes asked what world figure I would most want to interview. For me, the answer is obvious: Kim Jong Un. The general impression around the globe continues to be that the North Korean leader is crazy, provocative and unpredictable, but I think that he might well be strategic, smart and utterly rational. Since I am unlikely to ...Read more

Progressives should push proudly for Medicare for all

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- The smartest, savviest people in Washington will tell you Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for all" idea is dead on arrival, a waste of time and energy. But since those same smart, savvy people told you Donald Trump didn't have a prayer of becoming president, I'd advise keeping an open mind.

What the Vermont senator's bill has going for ...Read more

The Democrats have become socialists

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- When Bernie Sanders launched his bid for the Democratic nomination, he was often asked whether he, a democratic socialist, would actually become a Democrat. Now, more than a year after he ignited a movement with his unsuccessful bid, that question is moot. The Democrats have become socialists.

This became official, more or less, ...Read more

Kris Kobach and the struggles of column-writing

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- It is neither paranoid nor alarmist to begin asking if the Trump administration plans to rationalize blocking a large number of voters who oppose the president from casting ballots in 2018 and 2020. And it is imperative that the civic-minded of all parties demand the disbanding of a government commission whose very existence is ...Read more

What it took for Republicans finally to feel betrayed by Trump

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, an early and loyal Trump enthusiast, gave an uncommonly candid assessment of the president to a group of young Republicans at home in California recently.

"He's an a--hole," Duncan said, "but he's our a--hole." So reported his hometown San Diego Union-Tribune.

That's close to a perfect summary of ...Read more

America's first hip-hop president

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Although they hardly could seem to be less alike sometimes, President Donald Trump and people of color have had a love-hate relationship for nearly three decades.

That thought came to mind as I was reading one of the least-reported nuggets in the nugget-filled "Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and the Storming of the Presidency," the...Read more

Nickel prophets are a dime a dozen

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"Be still and know that I am God." -- Psalms 46:10

It's an admonition some of us struggle to obey.

Indeed, some of God's self-appointed spokespersons seem to find it especially difficult. Thus, before the first raindrop fell, the first palm tree bowed, or the first transformer blew, they came out to tell us what He meant by pointing a monster ...Read more

The NRA's idea of recreation: Assault rifles, armor-piercing bullets and silencers

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- The days are growing colder, and soon millions of American hunters will pursue a time-honored tradition. They will load their automatic weapons with armor-piercing bullets, strap on silencers, head off to the picnic grounds on nearby public lakes -- and start shooting.

If you do not immediately recognize this pastime as part of ...Read more

When will GOP leaders admit that backing Trump was a losing bet?

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- House Speaker Paul Ryan promised Obamacare repeal, funding for the wall and tax reform, all by the end of August. For the GOP, it is now September, both literally and metaphorically.

In the spring of their hopes, Republican leaders placed a bet -- which seemed reasonable at the time -- that they could contain President Trump and ...Read more

Common plight helps unite polarized people

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I once had a very close friend named Charlie. We spent every day together, much of the night, too. I got to learn about his family and old neighborhood, and he got to learn about mine, and then one day I saw him no more. I went my way and he went his, and it has been many years but I remember him still. We had been in the Army together.

What ...Read more

Climate-change denial is a cruel insult to storm victims

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- When, if not now, is the time to talk about global warming and what to do about it? The answer from the Trump administration and the Republican Party, basically, is succinct in its willful ignorance: "How about never? Is never good for you?"

No rational U.S administration would look at the devastation from Hurricanes Harvey and ...Read more

Why the media want Hillary to shut up

From the Left / Joe Conason /

There is something slightly strange about the reproachful media response to "What Happened," Hillary Clinton's new book on the 2016 campaign.

Now everyone knows that the Washington press corps dislikes and distrusts the former Democratic nominee. After all, several of its most eminent members have admitted their herd's prejudice against her. ...Read more

Trump focuses on nonexistent problems, worsens actual problems

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

It's easy to get caught up in the deeply flawed character of Donald Trump. We also need to recognize the policy catastrophe of his presidency.

Compare the trumped-up problems he's been focusing on with the real problems facing this country. Last week, for example, Trump ordered an end to the Obama-era executive action that shielded around 800,...Read more

Trump and the road not taken

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- Be wary of anyone who purports to understand the deep meaning of President Trump's decision to side with the Democrats on short-term budget issues. Nobody knows what he's up to, and this probably includes Trump himself.

Nonetheless, his recent foray into bipartisanship provides the occasion to explore the path he chose not to take...Read more