From the Left

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Politics

'Enough' was a long time ago

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Maybe this is futile. After all, there's little point in talking back to a deranged person, especially if he is dead.

Both descriptions fit the man who took his own life after opening fire in a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, last week, killing 12 people, among them Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus, the "good guy with a gun" who the ...Read more

What journalists do

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"The fact that a man is a newspaper reporter is evidence of some flaw in character." -- Lyndon Johnson

"They are a sort of assassins..." -- John Quincy Adams

"I look forward to these confrontations with the press to kind of balance up the nice and pleasant things that come to me as president." -- Jimmy Carter

"The president of the United ...Read more

We could lose our country, or save it

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"What are these politicians going to do for us?"

A guy in Texas asked that question a few weeks back on "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee," by way of explaining why he won't be voting in the most important midterm election in modern American history. His words have been playing on an endless loop in my head ever since. You'll seldom hear ...Read more

Trump sets a poisonous tone

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Rob Rogers is an editorial cartoonist who was fired in June after 25 years with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His departure, he said, came after weeks of tension with a publisher who wanted a more pro-Trump stance.

"We're living in a very dark time," Rogers told...Read more

Reality always has the last word

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Just knock the hell -- I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees." -- Donald Trump, Feb. 1, 2016

"I'd like to punch him in the face." -- Donald Trump, Feb. 22, 2016

"You know, part of the problem ... is, ...Read more

Exactly how does 'black racism' impact your life?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I have a question for white people.

I will preface it with an excerpt from a recent email sent by a reader named James. He wrote: "It is the blacks who are by far the most racist of all people as they can't seem to simply forget their damn color and move on with life, get more education and skills, manage their money, stay married, stay out of ...Read more

A walk down memory lane ... with Stevie, Aretha, Gladys...

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Boy, this takes me back.

That's what I kept thinking the other night as I paged through a new coffee table book, "Soul R&B Funk: Photographs 1972-1982" by my friend and former colleague, Bruce W. Talamon. Another friend had sent it for my birthday -- thanks, Herschel -- and I opened it up, intending to spend a couple minutes with it. Next thing...Read more

Young people, the GOP is scared of you

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

A word for young people, people of color and, in particular, young people of color:

The Republicans are scared of you.

Maybe you find that hard to believe. Maybe you wonder how the party can be scared of you -- or of anybody -- given that it controls all three branches of the federal government and most of the nation's state houses. You're ...Read more

America doesn't shrug

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

What if the end of the world came and nobody noticed?

It's not quite an idle question.

You see, something remarkable happened last week. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists working under the aegis of the United Nations, issued a report on our planet's health. ...Read more

Progressives need more than a majority

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Here's what gets me about progressives.

They never seem to realize that they are the majority. Yet on issue after issue, the polling consistently shows that they are.

Abortion? Sixty-four percent of Americans support Roe v. Wade.

Guns? Sixty-seven percent want stricter laws.

Taxes? Sixty-one percent say the rich need to pay more.

Health ...Read more

'The Republican Party has clearly lost its way'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

The other day, a woman confessed to me that she's a Republican.

Republicans may bristle at the verb, but it's used advisedly. The lady admitted her party affiliation the way you would some personal failing. "I don't tell a lot of people," she said, "but . . ."

In fairness, her reticence might have been in part because we met in a blue state. ...Read more

Where there's doubt, men get the benefit thereof

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Let's get something straight: Men are not the victims here.

It is a foolish and offensive line of reasoning, so naturally it has caught traction on the political right. Indeed, for some, it is an article of faith as the confirmation of would-be Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh becomes ever more deeply mired in accusations that, as a high ...Read more

The Republicans put on quite a show

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Give the Republicans credit: they worked hard to create the appearance of enlightened compassion.

Meaning, of course, Thursday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing into claims by psychology professor Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that, 36 years ago, when she was 15 and he 17, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh drunkenly tried to rape her. With ...Read more

9/30 Leonard Pitts column updated

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

The 9/30 Leonard Pitts column has been updated to reflect recent actions by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The sixth graf has been rewritten. Use updated version.

'What boy hasn't done this in high school?'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Gina Sosa is not impressed by attempted rape.

"What boy hasn't done this in high school?" she asks. "Please, I would like to know."

Since she asked so nicely, I went on Twitter, looking for men who managed to get out of school without committing attempted rape. Turned out to be pretty easy. I found lots of them.

A guy named Phil said: "It was...Read more

Hazards of an era of digital lynch mobs

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"Judge not, and ye shall not be judged." Jesus preaches that in the book of Luke.

But then, Jesus never had Twitter. Or, for that matter, Instagram or Facebook. He never had, in other words, one of the social media platforms on which millions of us routinely judge other people every day. It's a habit we might do well to reconsider.

Not that ...Read more

Ari Fleischer asks if we're being fair to Brett Kavanaugh

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Ari Fleischer wants to know if we're being fair.

"How much in society should any of us be held liable today when we've lived a good life, an upstanding life by all accounts, and then something that maybe is an arguable issue, took place in high school? Should that deny us chances later in life?"

Fleischer, a former spokesman for President ...Read more

'Where have you gone, Bob Woodward?'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"Where have you gone, Bob Woodward? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you."

I asked that question in January, repurposing a Paul Simon lyric to implore the dean of American political reporters to help us make sense of the mess that is the Trump White House. On Tuesday, Woodward finally came through.

That was the release date of his latest ...Read more

Both-sideism not just a journalistic problem

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

A prediction.

When the history of this era is written, when future generations wonder how a mostly educated and largely literate nation became mired in "truthiness," when they ask how we became so mentally muddled that we lost the ability to identify facts and the capacity to care, they'll find many culprits.

They'll blame Fox "News" for ...Read more

Actually, there are no 'adults in the room' at the White House

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

For a man who places such a premium on loyalty, Donald Trump inspires remarkably little.

Bad enough his administration is a sieve, embarrassing accounts of bungled phone calls with foreign leaders and cheeseburger-fueled rants with cronies regularly showing up in the news. Bad enough top aides keep fleeing his White House like it's on fire. Bad...Read more

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