From the Left



Candor: A politician's secret, unused weapon

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Let me be blunt, please: Most of us ink-stained wretches in the political press corps are complete suckers for candor from politicians when speaking about themselves. Candor can truly be disarming.

Early in the first Reagan term, on Aug. 19, 1981, in a major incident, two Libyan fighter jets attacked two U.S. Navy F-14 fighter jets over the ...Read more

Odds and ends as 2021 (thankfully) arrives

From the Left / Mark Shields /

My friend Mark Russell, the wonderful American humorist, had an ironclad prediction:

The results of the 2020 Census will show that more than 215,000 Americans, in the coming year, will reach the age of 100, and Russell adds, "All of them will have valid Florida driver's licenses."

The unreelected 45th president is (sadly) that rare human being...Read more

Rebutting the myth of white superiority

From the Left / Mark Shields /

By way of introduction: Tommy Tuberville is the new Republican U.S. senator from Alabama.

He was previously a successful college football coach at the University of Mississippi, Texas Tech, Cincinnati and Auburn -- where his team six times defeated their powerful in-state rival, the University of Alabama. Tuberville -- with the strong ...Read more

Who will be President Biden's Stu Spencer?

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The first reviews are in on President-elect Joe Biden's choices for Cabinet and White House positions. And they are overwhelmingly positive: "seasoned," "experienced," "qualified professionals," "capable and sensible."

But I wonder if Biden ever had a chat with the late Bryce Harlow, who first worked for Gen. George C. Marshall in dealing with ...Read more

Afghanistan and Iraq: When will we ever learn?

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Missing in any debate about whether it is wise for the United States to reduce our troop numbers in both Afghanistan and Iraq, as the Trump administration has ordered, down to 2,500 Americans in each country (a number, let it be noted, that is too few to fight and too many to die), is the question members of Congress and policymakers invariably ...Read more

Semifinal thoughts on election 2020

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Joe Biden won the White House, we are reminded almost daily, on his third try, having run unsuccessfully in both 1988 and 2008.

It's funny; I can't recall, having covered the 1980 presidential race, much ever being made of the fact that that year's winner, Republican Ronald Reagan, also won on his third White House run.

The Gipper had mounted ...Read more

Amid Democrats' White House win, a sobering fact

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Joe Biden has reason to be proud; in the last 107 years, only three American presidential nominees have managed to defeat an elected, incumbent president who was seeking a second term. Let history show that the winning trio were all politically gifted leaders who became successful presidents: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and Bill ...Read more

A little compassion, please

From the Left / Mark Shields /

There is no place quieter or more forlorn than the losing candidate's headquarters the morning after election night. If the phone rings, it's a good bet that it is either one more unpaid creditor looking for payment or a wrong number. Gone are yesterday's hopes for the upset win to confound the pollsters and the pundits. If you know or run into ...Read more

Patriotism on full display

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Mick Mulvaney was a four-term Republican congressman from South Carolina with a reputation as a hawk on government spending in 2017 when President Donald Trump chose him to be director of the Office of Budget and Management, the nation's top fiscal officer. Mulvaney held that position until December 2018, when Trump named him "acting" White ...Read more



Mike Lester Bill Day Bob Englehart Marshall Ramsey Scott Stantis Kirk Walters