From the Left



Biden Threw Down the Gauntlet in the Battle Over Voting Rights

From the Left / John Micek /

It was hard to miss the challenge that President Joe Biden posed to Americans as he burned through a fiery speech at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia this week.

Led by “bullies and peddlers of lies,” Republicans in Congress and state legislatures around the country are engaged in an historical assault on the right to vote ...Read more

Local Republicans Weaponizing Constitution to Restrict Voting

From the Left / John Micek /

When Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ran his veto pen across a Republican-authored rewrite of state election law last week that included new voter identification requirements and tighter deadlines for requesting mail-in ballots, Republicans in the General Assembly announced plans to undo the Democratic governor’s handiwork by taking the issue to ...Read more

These Moms Lost Sons to Gun Violence. The Want Help.

From the Left / John Micek /

Tina Ford understands the toll of gun violence like few of us ever will. She lives with it every day.

In April 2019, her, son, Armani Ford, a local high school football legend, was shot and killed in his hometown of Clairton, Pa., a steel town in the Monogahela River Valley, just south of Pittsburgh. He was just 23 years old.

In the wake ...Read more

Republicans Hit a New Low in Insurrection Denial

From the Left / John Micek /

So just how desperate are some Republicans to deny the reality of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol?

Desperate enough that 21 of them voted against a slam-dunk of a bill earlier this week awarding one of the country’s highest civilian honors, the Congressional Gold Medal, to the law enforcement officers who defended them from the ...Read more

Why is Joe Manchin?

From the Left / John Micek /

As a Democrat from a staunchly Republican state, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is a vanishing breed, not only in contemporary American politics, but in a Democratic Party that is steadily tacking to the left.

The senator from the Mountain State has tied his party in knots this year with an insistence on bipartisanship with Republicans who...Read more

Fight Over Critical Race Theory Hits the Statehouse

From the Left / John Micek /

Everyone’s complaining about Congress, but if you want to track the real, festering growth of Trumpism and its corrosive effect on our politics, you’re better served keeping your eye on state capitols throughout the land.

Take my home state of Pennsylvania, where the Republican-controlled state House kept itself busy last week by ...Read more

Republican Talking Point Reveals Undemocratic Ideals

From the Left / John Micek /

Who knew that America was filled with so many amateur social studies teachers?

Whenever I write about Republican-led efforts to sharply curtail voting rights (which disproportionately impact Black and brown voters who tend to support Democrats), I’ll often get a letter from aggrieved conservative readers who remind me, “John, you of all ...Read more

Republicans and the Return of Class Warfare

From the Left / John Micek /

Having tired of the culture wars, Republicans have returned to the familiar and comforting battlefield of the class wars.

The GOP is seizing on disappointing jobs numbers as an excuse to call for the end of extended unemployment benefits, based on the slender and debunked premise that they have discouraged people from seeking work.

Neil ...Read more

The Propaganda is the Point

From the Left / John Micek /

In three decades in the news business, most of them spent covering government and politics, I’ve been to more than my share of press conferences.

They’re part of the gig when you’re a reporter. And you just kind of learn to make your peace with them. Some of them are informative. Most are self-serving and explicitly partisan. Some are ...Read more

In Speech to Congress, Biden Bets on Democracy

From the Left / John Micek /

During his anything-but-typical address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, President Joe Biden used the word “democracy,” over and over again.

Some were run-of-the-mill evocations, as was the case when he spoke of “revitalizing” our democracy - a promise made by more than one more president, and a bromide meant to ...Read more

Chauvin Verdict Reignites Calls for Police Reform

From the Left / John Micek /

With this week’s conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, America once again finds itself at an inflection point in its politics.

We’ve been here before: After Newtown, after Parkland, after the protests of 2020, after Atlanta, after Boulder - the chance to really reimagine public safety has sat right in front of us....Read more

Calls for Justice After Another Teen Killed by Police

From the Left / John Micek /

With the eyes of the nation on Minnesota with the twin dramas of the ongoing criminal trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin and the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright, a Pennsylvania community also finds itself facing a reckoning over the use of deadly force by police.

Family and supporters of Christian Hall, an Asian-American teen...Read more

Voters Already Saying Yes to Biden’s Infrastructure Plan

From the Left / John Micek /

Here's a quiz for the Republican politicians among you. Check as many as apply.

Do you support:

- Repairing and rebuilding America's deteriorating network of roads and bridges, including the interstate highway system brought to life by GOP President Dwight D. Eisenhower?

- Ensuring that every American public student isn't drinking water...Read more

So Much For a Transitional Presidency

From the Left / John Micek /

What caretaker presidency?

If you thought President Joe Biden was going to be content whiling away his four years at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, serving, as he once described himself, as a "transition[al]" candidate and president, then the last few weeks should put that misconception to rest.

Even if he stopped at the $1.9 trillion American ...Read more

The Answer on Guns is Staring Us in the Face

From the Left / John Micek /

Where do we go next? What do we do now?

Those are the questions I found myself asking after I spoke to a panel of gun violence reduction activists this week. It was two nights after the murders in Boulder, a week after the rampage in Atlanta, and hours after the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee played out a drama so reliably scripted that it ...Read more



Tom Stiglich Kirk Walters Dave Whamond Walt Handelsman A.F. Branco Bart van Leeuwen