From the Left



Call it Payback for That Birther Business, Mr. Trump

From the Left / Clarence Page /

If you're going to play the victim, make sure you're really victimized.

That's the lesson that I hope conservative CNN commentator and radio host Ben Ferguson learned after criticizing Rep. John Lewis for describing Donald Trump as an "illegitimate president."

Ferguson said it was "unprecedented" for the Georgia Democrat and civil rights icon ...Read more

Why Politicians Don't Make Great Art Critics

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Congress has a lot of touchy issues to deal with these days, including one that boils quite literally beneath their feet.

A painting, entitled "Untitled #1," by former Missouri high school student David Pulphus, has been on display in the busy underground walkway between the Cannon House Office Building and the Capitol since June 2016...Read more

A Note of Gratitude for Meryl Streep

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Thank you, Meryl Streep.

I often have been annoyed by Hollywood stars who use award shows to make political statements, although I have made exceptions for those who support causes that I also happen to support. Call me human.

I would have been delighted by Streep's pitch for press freedom and the Committee to Protect Journalists even if -- ...Read more

A Kidnapping Reopens Our Racial Wounds -- If We Let It

From the Left / Clarence Page /

It didn't take long for the emails to arrive, as I expected.

"Chicago hate crime today against Trump!" said one. "Let's see your column justify that one."

He was writing about the big news of the day, the "Facebook torture case," as some called it. It involved the kidnaping and torture -- streamed live on Facebook -- of a white teenager with ...Read more

As Obama Leaves, Battles Over His Legacy Begin

From the Left / Clarence Page /

As President Barack Obama's two terms near an end and we talk of his legacy, we cannot ignore the grand come-together vision of unity he expressed in his 2004 debut on the national stage -- and wonder what happened to it.

We are not "red states" and "blue states" but "the United States of America," he said to vigorous applause.

After the ...Read more

Why Has the Homicide Epidemic in Chicago Been Left to Spread?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Chicago, the nation's third largest city, ends 2016 with the more homicides than the two larger cities -- New York and Los Angeles -- put together. Everyone is shocked but not everyone is surprised.

More than 750 people were killed in Chicago in 2016, the highest total since 1997, and more than 3,500 were wounded by firearms.

Dr. Gary Slutkin,...Read more

Taking 2016 'Literally,' but Not All 'Seriously'

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Our long wait is over. The time has come to honor the most quotable quotes, in my opinion, from a bizarre political year that many of us wish we could forget.

I call my award, which includes no prize other than a firm handshake, "the Earl." That's my salute to the late Earl Bush, long-time press secretary to the late Chicago Mayor Richard J. ...Read more

The First Family for Sale

From the Left / Clarence Page /

While Mr. Page is away, Bill Press is filling in for him.

Tacky. There's no other word to describe it.

Tacky. That adjective best sums up the self-serving behavior exhibited by almost the entire Trump family so far -- father, daughter, and both sons -- all busy finding ever more creative ways to sell themselves off to the highest ...Read more

The Creeping Tyranny of Donald Trump

From the Left / Clarence Page /

While Mr. Page is away for the holidays, Robert Reich is filling in for him.

On the evening of Dec. 7, minutes after a local Indiana union leader, Chuck Jones, criticized Donald Trump on CNN for falsely claiming that he had kept 1,100 Carrier jobs in the United States, Trump tweeted, "Chuck Jones, who is President of ...Read more

Remembering John Glenn, a Down-to-Earth American Icon

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Mr. Page is on vacation. The following column is by Jules Witcover.

WASHINGTON -- John Glenn, a former Marine combat pilot and the first American astronaut to orbit the earth, died last week at age 95. He was a genuine national hero who represented the eternal youth of his country's adventurous spirit.

I got my first glimpse of him at a...Read more

Welcome to Donald Trump's Bizarro World Cabinet Picks

From the Left / Clarence Page /

As low as my expectations might be for the Donald Trump presidency, he finds new ways to drop the bar even lower.

Take his cabinet nominees. Please.

They aren't all bad. Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, the president-elect's choice for secretary of defense, comes well-recommended by old guard defense experts like Sen. John McCain (R., ...Read more

When Fake News Leads to Real Dangers

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Imagine that you have owned a family-friendly pizza restaurant for about a decade in an upscale northwest Washington, D.C., neighborhood. Suddenly, without warning, you're getting slimed by sickos on the Internet with death threats and obscenities.

What would you do?

There's wasn't much James Alefantis, owner of Comet Ping Pong, could do when ...Read more

What's Fair to Donald Trump Should be Fair to Keith Ellison

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Republican president-elect Donald Trump, as everyone knows, launched his campaign with insults to women, Muslims, Mexicans and other minorities -- and without apologies to anybody. He won election anyway.

Now we have Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, frontrunner for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee, receiving renewed ...Read more

Forget 'Identity Politics,' Think 'Coalition'

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Should political candidates appeal to particular racial, ethnic or gender groups? Or should they broaden their message to appeal to all groups?

Such are the questions that presidential campaigns ask themselves in the circular firing squad of blame and finger-pointing that follow a big loss.

Four years ago, the big word for Republicans after ...Read more

New Haters, Same Old Backlash

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Maybe now when I tell you that we're not in a post-racial society, you'll pay attention, OK?

The latest evidence includes an intriguing debate over how to identify the loosely organized but increasingly prominent alt-right movement.

Should we call them by their chosen label, "alt-right," which is short for "alternative right?" Or should we ...Read more

Don't Normalize Donald Trump; 'Abnormalize' Him

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Much has been said about how we Americans, particularly we Americans in the mainstream media, should not "normalize" Donald Trump. I think it's way too late for that.

Look around. Most Republicans already have normalized Trump. So have the independent swing voters and even disgruntled Democrats who helped to get him elected. Either he was ...Read more

How to Cool Voter Anger? Pay Attention to Them

From the Left / Clarence Page /

"Why," a reader recent asked after president-elect Donald Trump's stunning upset victory, "don't you liberal mainstream media columnists get over it and write something positive to unify the country?"

Why, I wondered, must it be left up to liberals to repair the divisions ripped open by conservatives like Trump?

Maybe Trump supporters have a ...Read more

Why Many of Us Will Miss Gwen Ifill

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Like other friends and fans of Gwen Ifill, I did not expect to be talking about her in the past tense. Not this soon.

The groundbreaking, award-winning "PBS NewsHour" co-anchor died Nov. 14 in hospice care in Washington. The cause was endometrial cancer, according to her brother Roberto Ifill.

She was 61. That surprised me. With...Read more

Now it's Democrats Who Need an 'Autopsy'

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Want to get attention in the Big Apple? Try carrying a big Donald Trump campaign sign through Times Square.

A network news producer and friend of mine happened to do just that on her way home from the Republican president-elect's victory speech.

The people whom she passed on the street didn't know that she was bringing the sign to give to a ...Read more

Now it's Trump's America, But Can He Deliver?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

President-elect Trump? Well, whaddaya know. There really was a "hidden Trump vote" after all.

For months almost every opinion poll had Democrat Hillary Clinton firmly holding onto her No. 1 position in the presidential race. No problem, said Republican Donald Trump's team, which claimed a "hidden vote": Trump voters who didn't want to admit ...Read more

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