From the Left



Rumpled Giant of the Senate: Carl Levin's Life and Times

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

Whether or not you enjoyed watching Carl Levin question witnesses during U.S. Senate hearings depended entirely on where you were sitting while he was doing it. If you were a Senate committee staffer sitting behind the senator from Michigan while he eviscerated arrogant or dissembling corporate executives whose weeks of preparation with high-...Read more

Lucky Once More: America Finds Itself a Leader

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

At moments of historic national crisis, America has had a knack for getting lucky. The first month of Joe Biden's presidency suggests that, thank goodness, we have gotten lucky once again.

When the nation split in two in 1860, there was no reason to expect that Abraham Lincoln was suited to the herculean task of restoring the Union. "There is...Read more

Dead Souls: Those Who Gave Us Donald Trump Would Do It Again

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

No American with an ounce of patriotism could have watched the video of the animals who overtook the nation's Capitol without being revolted by what former President Donald Trump has done to the country we love. But plenty of Americans who profess to be patriots have watched this Trump impeachment trial not merely stone cold to the evidence, ...Read more

Block the vote: The GOP's suppression obsession

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

Black History Month 2021 arrived just in time to cap a year in which white Americans' eyes have been opened in a new way to the burdens endured by communities of color. In the year since the pandemic broke into the open, a particularly harsh spotlight has shone on race in America, shattering the false confidence that allegations of systemic ...Read more

Married to the mob: The GOP becomes the party of the kooks

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

The cliche of the moment is that the Republican Party is not only "divided" but "fractured," that an internecine war has split the party in two.

If only.

The truth is that the Republican Party is now officially the party of choice for political nut cases, including some genuinely dangerous ones. The overwhelming majority of Republicans ...Read more

Family Tradition: Jewish agency's Bougie Herzog takes on the protection of world Jewry

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

Israelis do not "do" royalty, to put it mildly. They are famously irreverent, deeply skeptical and distinctively if not scathingly critical of their leaders.

But if Israel recognized royal families, surely Isaac Herzog, known to Israelis as "Bougie," would qualify as a prince. His Irish-born father, Chaim Herzog, fought with the British Army ...Read more

Teachable moment: America gets its own chance to say, 'never again'

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

Donald Trump's presidency involved no Holocaust, no concentration camps, no gas chambers. There was no genocide and no threat of one.

But what it did feature was bad enough -- more than bad enough for America to stop, search its soul and commit itself to declaring, "Never again."

It featured a narcissistic sociopath of a president, a ...Read more

Shame: Trump's apologists owe America an apology

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

The neo-fascist mob that bashed in Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick's skull with a fire extinguisher, wielded lead pipes, ransacked Congress and terrorized members of Congress have a plausible claim that they were only following orders -- those of the president of the United States. Donald Trump had told them it was their duty to come to ...Read more

Whatever it takes: Time for an all-out national assault on hunger

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

The video gone viral of New Year's Eve at Mar-A-Lago with Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and assorted Trumpettes dancing while a lounge lizard sang "Play That Funky Music (White Boy)" seemed certain to take first prize as the perfect coda of the Trump years. It was merely cringeworthy, however, and was quickly overtaken by a ...Read more

The splendid and the vile: Enter Joe and Jill Biden, spelling relief

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

In the reunion classic "The Big Chill," a criminal defense lawyer played by Mary Kay Place tries to find the words to convey to her old college friends just how awful her clients are and settles on the phrase "extreme repulsivos." Asked who she imagined she would be representing, Place replies, "I just didn't think they would be this guilty."

...Read more

Confederacy of dunces: Trump world takes its leave

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

It's been disclosed that the White House will be fumigated before Joe Biden moves in, and one hopes that the chemical agent will be extra-strength. It's unclear whether mere fumigation will be enough to remove the disease that Donald Trump has spawned in the American people's house. Even if one round suffices to rid the White House of COVID-19, ...Read more

Repairing the arts is yet another challenge for an administration tasked with repairing the country

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

When Alexander Kutik and his wife, Alla Zernitskaya, fled the Soviet Union in 1990, the two Belarussian musicians took with them two young sons, two suitcases and a shared faith in the power of music. Alexander was a trumpeter; Alla taught violin to children. The anti-Semitism that has forever been a poisonous fixture in Russia had given them no...Read more



Bart van Leeuwen Daryl Cagle Dave Whamond John Branch Joel Pett Jeff Koterba