From the Left



Which J.D. Vance Will We Meet Next?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

“Are you a racist?” asks the young bearded man in the TV ad. “Do you hate Mexicans?”

“The media calls us racists for wanting to build Trump’s wall,” he says, sounding to my politically attuned ears a lot like The Donald himself.

“They censor us, but it doesn’t change the truth,” he continues. “Joe Biden’s open border is...Read more

Dems, If You Don’t Care About the Supreme Court, You May Not Deserve to Win

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Since I’m not a fan of their political agenda, I can’t quite bring myself to congratulate the anti-abortion movement, but I have to give them credit where it’s due.

They’ve worked long and hard to weaken and ultimately repeal the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion legalization decision and their persistence appears to be paying...Read more

Clarence Page: A ban on menthol cigarettes? It’s about time

From the Left / Clarence Page /

The Food and Drug Administration’s new plan to ban sales of menthol-flavored cigarettes reminded me, as so much of life does, of an often-quoted scene in “The Godfather.”

In a discussion by mob leaders of the rising and risky business of illegal drug trafficking, boss Don Giuseppe declares: “In my city, we would keep the traffic in the ...Read more

Elon Musk’s Next Surprise? ‘Free Speech’ Has Limits

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Although it may take several months for Elon Musk to complete his purchase of Twitter, reaction to the $44 billion deal was immediate and decidedly partisan.

On the right we saw robust #ThanksElon memes tweeted out on the social network, especially from folks who believe President Joe Biden’s election was “stolen” and call the Jan. 6 ...Read more

How to Push Back Against Bully Politics

From the Left / Clarence Page /

As I have seen political discourse degrade into a verbal form of gladiator death match, I find myself recalling my old friends on “The McLaughlin Group” with an unexpected fondness.

From its debut in 1982 to its final show after host John McLaughlin’s death in 2016, “the Group,” as The New York Times described it, “took on the ...Read more

Clarence Page: What the right doesn’t get about ‘ghost guns’

From the Left / Clarence Page /

An often-repeated story about W.C. Fields holds that as he approached the end of his life, a friend was surprised to find him reading a Bible.

“Looking for loopholes, m’boy,” he reportedly explained. “Looking for loopholes.”

That scene comes to mind these days as I hear the standard response given by the National Rifle Association, ...Read more

Elon Musk Makes His Move on Twitter — But Toward What?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

First he said he would, then he didn’t.

Less than a week after the announcement that Tesla CEO Elon Musk had become Twitter’s largest shareholder and would be joining the company’s board, Twitter announced over the weekend that, well, not quite.

Musk, the world’s richest man, remains the largest shareholder of Twitter after purchasing ...Read more

What is a Woman, Judge Jackson? We’ll See You in Court

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Of all the questions that ranged from wise to wacky during Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings to the Supreme Court, one sticks out with memorable prominence: What is a woman?

Was Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, reaching for a “gotcha” with that question to President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the high ...Read more

Louis C.K. Cancels His Cancellation, Is it OK to Laugh Now?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Compared to the instant shock of watching Will Smith slap Chris Rock at the Academy Awards, the Recording Academy seemed to be delivering a quieter but just as profound slap to cancel culture a week later when it awarded a Grammy to embattled comedian Louis C.K.

Born Louis Szekely, C.K. was one of the nation’s most successful comedians until ...Read more

Burner Phones and Ginni Thomas’ Paranoid Ways

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Character, according to an old saying, is defined by what you do when you think nobody’s looking. So, one might say, are a lot of criminal indictments.

That’s particularly true in Washington, where investigations of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack by a pro-Trump mob on the U.S. Capitol show how many secrets can be revealed when somebody keeps ...Read more

Little Room for Rationality in Attacks on Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Record

From the Left / Clarence Page /

The Supreme Court nomination hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson should have gone down as easily as ice cream on a hot summer day.

That was before a cloud of culture-war politics darkened the process with what President Joe Biden’s White House correctly labeled an “embarrassing QAnon-signaling smear.”

That spot-on assessment came ...Read more

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Defense Background Matters Too

From the Left / Clarence Page /

When Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s Republican leader from Kentucky, suggested that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson had “a special empathy for criminals,” he was not speaking as though that was a good thing.

He was speaking about the years when the federal judge and Supreme Court nominee worked as a public defender, a job in which a little ...Read more

Free speech is under assault, but we still need to talk

From the Left / Clarence Page /

After witnessing Vladimir Putin brutally, yet routinely, assault basic freedoms in Russia and Ukraine, it is reassuring to think of free speech as alive and well in America.

Yet polls and recent news events show free speech to be under renewed assault here too, and often from both political sides.

Free speech disputes are hardly new in our ...Read more

Jussie Smollett’s Sideshow Mocks Real Tragedies

From the Left / Clarence Page /

True to his profession, actor Jussie Smollett reacted to his sentence of jail time for his hate-crime hoax, with the passion of a courtroom drama.

As he was about to be escorted out of the courtroom in Chicago to begin serving 150 days in custody, he seemed to call up his own inner Atticus Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird” to say, “I am ...Read more

Ukraine’s Crisis is No Excuse for Racism or Xenophobia

From the Left / Clarence Page /

How should we Americans feel about reports from Ukraine that, amid the chaos of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, some Africans, Arabs and other refugees of color have been treated unfairly?

As if we didn’t have enough bad news generated by Russia’s autocratic leader, Vladimir Putin.

You don’t have to be Black like me to feel shock ...Read more

Clarence Page: President Joe Biden needed to defend himself against the ‘defund the police’ smear

From the Left / Clarence Page /

When President Joe Biden called for “funding the police” in his State of the Union speech, some outraged conservatives responded like a child whose favorite toy had been taken away.

That’s because the same folks who portray Biden’s election as “stolen,” Democratic electoral victories as “fraud” and the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol ...Read more

Clarence Page: First Black woman Supreme Court nominee faces same old ‘ridiculousness’

From the Left / Clarence Page /

You can tell a lot about the strength of President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee by the weakness and shallowness of the political backlash against her.

When Biden announced on the campaign trail that he intended to nominate the first Black woman justice, everyone knew that conservatives would still control the Supreme Court, regardless of...Read more

After P.J. O’Rourke, Who Can Save Conservative Comedy Now?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

It was poignantly appropriate that the news of P.J. O’Rourke’s death was broken by a tweet from his friend Peter Sagal, host of the Chicago-based NPR quiz show “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” where O’Rourke had been a frequent panelist.

“(O’Rourke) made his debut as a special guest on our first show after 9/11,” the show’s ...Read more

We Can Learn to Live with COVID-19, and With Joe Rogan Too

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Since the threat of being “canceled,” shamed or otherwise erased from public discourse seems to be a mark of success in media work these days, congratulations, Joe Rogan! You truly have arrived.

If you haven’t heard of him, he’s big. Since he launched “The Joe Rogan Experience” in 2009, his talk show has become one of the most ...Read more

Can We Learn to Live with COVID-19, Before COVID-19 Fatigue Kills Us?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Can it be? Two years into our politically polarized fight to end the pandemic, COVID-19 fatigue seems to be rising faster these days than the pandemic itself.

No, I haven’t joined the anti-vaxxers or the anti-mandate protesters who block commerce with truck convoys to push back against vaccine mandates.

But, even after willingly masking up, ...Read more



Kirk Walters Bart van Leeuwen Andy Marlette Joel Pett Jeff Koterba Tim Campbell