From the Left



Following Trump off a cliff -- to a war won and done

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

A monologue overheard on Air Force One:

What a rush. My greatest speech, on the Fourth of July. Trump, loud and clear. Better than that Frederick Douglass. Everybody's talking about me. South Dakota, you made America great again!

I said to myself, Donald, it's showtime -- a season finale. I had to clear the field of my enemies, America'...Read more

The Yankee and the Cavalier still speak on our bittersweet Fourth

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Pen pals in the sunsets of their lives, they wrote between Massachusetts and Virginia until they both died on the same Fourth of July. It's an extraordinary rhyme in American history, which has extra meaning for our hard times.

"I loved Jefferson, and I have always loved Jefferson," one wrote about the other, after a long silence separated the ...Read more

Trump's trail of tears and rage

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Please pass the schadenfreude. How sweet it is. Let me count the ways.

On this side of the Civil War, we're reveling in the summery rose garden of President Donald Trump's utterly failed few days. We hope to see many more.

Schadenfreude is a German word for pleasure at another's pain. True to his Teutonic roots, Trump is a master. Never have ...Read more

The Capitol's Confederate past is still present

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- Eleven Confederate statues still stand tall in the Capitol. Let the ghost of the "Lost Cause" be gone for good as the nation undergoes a wrenching racial awakening.

Oh, no, says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. He refuses to "airbrush the Capitol."

Call me a Yankee, but I have no love for men who praise men who took ...Read more

7 Days in June: War and Peace

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- In June light, the American president waged war against the people. In a mass mobilization, the people won a peaceful victory, wresting the nation's meaning from the maw. Two female leaders made all the difference.

I heard it first from a fighter pilot named Smash. Active duty military must never be deployed at home. That's un-...Read more

A Tale of Two Cities out on the Streets

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- It was the worst of times. But the best of times are far from here. President Donald Trump is veering toward martial law, as announced in the Rose Garden the very moment peaceful resisters were tear-gassed in nearby Lafayette Square. Mounted police were a nice touch, too -- part of the plan. Flanked by the president's men, Trump ...Read more

A key place for Trump: If only he knew

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Political wisdom says the 2020 election is simple: a referendum on President Donald Trump, even if he ran against the village idiot. It's about the strong feelings he stirs up.

You have your unforgettable Trump moments. I have mine. The nation's would fill a salty sea. Memorial Day in Baltimore made me see red, white and blue.

Baltimore's ...Read more

The House of Democracy falls silent

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- I went to the House to hear the noise of democracy. It might be my last chance. Amid the pandemic, members met for a day and rewrote the rules of American politics, perhaps for good.

Within the Capitol walls, the marble halls were hushed. The plush Speaker's Lobby, where we do press interviews under chandeliers, was dark. That ...Read more

Pence's disrespect for medical caution telegraphs contempt for science

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- The vice president's refusal to wear a mask in the Mayo Clinic began a big reveal: his pattern of exposing others to COVID-19, including the nation's top doctors and a close aide.

Vice President Mike Pence unmasked his true character that April day in Minnesota, and again every day in May since. He put vulnerable patients at risk,...Read more

Survival skills rise from a Wisconsin girl's roots

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

You may see me as a Washingtonian journalist, but there's a Wisconsin girl more than skin deep. Facing the pandemic alone has turned me back to simpler times for consolation.

First things first: bacon fat and real butter on the stove, just like Grandma Hicks used to keep. Eggs in the fridge, next to milk and cream for coffee. Wisconsin isn't ...Read more

Trump's plot to take out the Post Office

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

"The post office is a wonderful establishment! ... If one thinks of all that it has to do, and all that it does so well, it is really astonishing!" -- Jane Austen, "Emma."

Author Jane Austen loved the post office. So did Benjamin Franklin, the Philadelphia postmaster later appointed our first postmaster general by the Continental Congress. They...Read more

Trump takes over the virtual public square

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

The pandemic means President Donald Trump has people where he wants them: at home watching him on television as a captive audience. His likely opponent, Joe Biden, is confined and chained in a virtual political dungeon -- his Delaware basement.

Count on Trump to pounce on the COVID-19 crisis for a path to victory in November. The cunning deed ...Read more

Death in the Kennedy family: A graceful goodbye in tragic times

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

I know the place where they got lost on the water. Shady Side was in my mind's eye through the mother and son's celebration of life gathering, with 3,000 in the Zoom ether. The Kennedy family pioneered a new form of mourning amid the pandemic.

First, from South Africa came a song with a promise, "We're together in spirit." For this we prayed.

...Read more


Social Connections


Al Goodwyn John Deering Chip Bok Jimmy Margulies John Branch Gary Varvel