From the Left



Manchin: The Man in the Middle Moves

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Now I can say it: I never thought Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was as nefarious -- ahem! -- as accused by Democrats of a more liberal stripe.

I never thought Manchin was dealing in bad faith on President Joe Biden's stuck congressional agenda. The centrist took grief with good grace after Biden's major "Build Back Better" package failed. He ...Read more

A Midsummer's Nightmare: Onstage in Washington

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

While Washington burns, enchanted evening relief from hot air floats from the Folger Theatre's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

In real midsummer 2022, we're caught in an agonizing Greek drama, with a Shakespearean villain. Some leading scenes and characters follow.

(Advisory: avoid choking on your morning coffee.)

Young and somber, Cassidy ...Read more

Trump's Knots and Dots: It's All Over

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

A figurative noose is tightening around Donald Trump's neck.

The sweet thing is that he knows it. The desperado is shrewd enough to sense his day is done.

Let's count the knots. Some are political, some are legal.

We already know the dots add up to a portrait of a screaming, swearing president who tried to overthrow the government by force.

...Read more

A Summer Full of Sadness and Dark Signs

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

You know the moments that mean nothing will ever be the same? Like the loss of a beloved friend, unbidden. Your tears fall in the night and when you wake, you realize you feel the same way about your country.

Brimming with precious memory, but gone.

This summer's dark signs, served up by the new Supreme Court, changed America as we knew it. ...Read more

A Pearl of Hope For An Unhappy Birthday

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Some birthdays are better or worse than others. America's 246th was a lot like 1863.

In a dark gloom, a civil war without cannons is now on, full blast.

On one side, we have a relentless truth-seeking missile, the Jan. 6 committee. I was in the stately room when Cassidy Hutchinson testified that former President Donald Trump lunged at a Secret...Read more

Supreme Court Lost Its License to Practice Law

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Over one last cup of coffee in Athens, Greece, it became clear they've gone too far. The shameless Supreme Court will pay for these days of taking constitutional rights away from women and girls.

I had a long journey home. So did the mythical king Odysseus, who found Ithaca completely changed when he reached it after 20 years. So did I, except ...Read more

Athens and America: Helpful Hints for the Fix We're In

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

ATHENS, GREECE -- Greetings from the land where democracy began 2,500 years ago.

I came seeking shelter under the Aegean sun from American democracy running ragged.

Our own government is the oldest extant democracy in the world. But America is reeling from the revelations of the House select committee hearings on the Jan. 6 mob attack on the ...Read more

My Father's Father: The Traces He Left

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

My father's father died when he was 8, just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Born in 1901, the grandfather I never knew died in 1941. It was the darkest of times for the family and country.

Dr. Reuben Stiehm left a wife and four children, including baby Elizabeth. He was on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin medical school. They ...Read more

Sharing a Cell in History Hell: Trump and Nixon

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- Former Presidents Donald Trump and Richard Nixon share a cell in presidential history hell.

Their arc is apt, 50 years apart, from June 1972 to June 2022. No matter how much time they do down there, the damage their deeds did to American democracy lives long after them.

Trump and Nixon, first-class haters who viewed the world ...Read more

Reunion: A Thank-You Note to Friends in the Arc of Justice

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

You can't lie about your age at your college reunion. Returning to my verdant campus in Philadelphia was like watering a garden of friendship, strikingly lovely in late spring light.

Maybe you went to one, or a joyous graduation put off because of COVID-19.

Yet there's bitter salt in the air.

Is this my country 'tis of thee, with cold-blooded...Read more

Midterms: The First Stress Test for Democracy (And Trump) Since Jan. 6

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Today is Tuesday, democracy's favorite day. There's a lot to talk about in that word.

Primaries are upon us. The national news media, especially The Washington Post, can't get the story straight about former President Donald Trump's sway in the midterms.

Barely a week ago, Trump's "potency" was front-page news, to be feared by all Republicans ...Read more

A Sad Situation, the State of the Nation

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- Ineffable. The state and soul of the nation is just that. The National Cathedral bell tolls for thee and me.

But all I have are words. Let me try to explain the sharp sense of loss we carry these days. The fear is real, that the worst of us are stealing America's meaning from the rest of us.

At once, we're suffering four crises: ...Read more

The Fence: Which Side Are You On?

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Now comes Justice Samuel Alito, the Princeton man and Eastern elitist who never met a woman he liked, save colleague Justice Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court. He's a "justice" sitting in judgment on us.

Known for his sharp and sour edge, Alito authored a 98-page "draft" opinion that takes away human rights, a rarity in American history.

...Read more



Randy Enos David M. Hitch Bob Englehart Marshall Ramsey David Horsey John Branch