From the Left



Ross Perot, truly one of a kind

From the Left / Mark Shields /

As someone who was lucky enough to cover the 1992 presidential campaign --involving Republican incumbent President George W. Bush, Democratic challenger Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and the independent maverick, Texas billionaire businessman Ross Perot -- from start to finish, allow me to make one semi-important point: Perot was not at all like ...Read more

Unintended consequence of summer of '19

From the Left / Mark Shields /

At least three score years ago, my savvy precinct committeewoman impressed upon me an immutable political truth: Every election is not about the candidate(s); no, every election is about the voters ... and about the future. I'm relieved that my precinct committeewoman was not around to hear the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates ...Read more

Democrats are organizing a circular firing squad

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Mo Udall, the legendary Democratic congressman from Arizona, was brutally candid about his party's bad habit of succumbing to intramural recriminations that became the political equivalent of a civil war in the leper colony. "When Democrats organize a firing squad, they form a circle," Udall wisely observed.

Politics, let it be noted, is a ...Read more

Lies the liars tell

From the Left / Mark Shields /

When politicians talk in private, they regularly use a cruel shorthand. For example, a candidate who is uninformed, unreflective and uncurious is often branded a "lightweight," as in, "He is so lightweight he could tap-dance on a souffle." Conversely, a "heavyweight" would be a politician of some substance, some political clout and personal ...Read more

'We' once did fight wars

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Beneath the perfectly manicured lawns and under the pines and elm trees at the Normandy cemetery lie 9,388 Americans who died during D-Day or in the liberation of France that followed. Among them is a most unlikely combatant, a 56-year-old Army officer who was a wounded veteran of World War I also suffering from a heart condition and arthritis. ...Read more

Understanding why Donald Trump loathes John McCain

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain, "Big Bad John," was christened in 1992 in honor of the U.S. Navy's first father-son duo of four-star admirals, "Slew" and Jack. On July 12, 2018, their son and grandson respectively, retired Navy captain and U.S. Sen. John S. McCain III was added to the official namesake of that Navy ship in a ...Read more

Remember: American politics is very imitative

From the Left / Mark Shields /

It's a better than even bet that in Massachusetts today there is more than one ambitious young Democratic candidate running for local office who is deliberately pronouncing the word "again" so that it rhymes with "a pain." Why, you logically ask? Because that's how the martyred John F. Kennedy pronounced "again." American politics and campaigns ...Read more

Trustworthiness and likability, 2020 could well be a very good year

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In my line of work, I run into more than a few Democrats whose mood swings of late are frankly semi-wild. Last November, when their party won 41 Republican U.S. House seats and took the House majority from the GOP, Democrats were almost giddy, increasingly confident that voters in 2020 would see the error of their ways and make Donald Trump the ...Read more

A story 'too good to check'

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Shortly after the cooling of the earth, when I was working for The Washington Post, I more than once heard a grizzled editor skeptically caution a younger reporter who was sure that he, alone, had gotten a stop-the-presses exclusive scoop that was going to lead the paper and, quite possibly, change the world: "If your mother tells you she loves ...Read more

Norman Mineta's is an uniquely American story

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Feb. 19, 1942, was not President Franklin Roosevelt's finest day. Some 10 weeks after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, FDR signed Executive Order 9066, which violated the legal rights of some 120,000 Japanese Americans. In short order, people of Japanese descent were given just 48 hours to dispose of their homes, their farms, their businesses. ...Read more

America has an urgent need for baseball today

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In America today and in its capital city of Washington, D.C., we see, sadly, that with enough money and influence, the fix can be put in. A widely used passenger plane model -- whose safety standards were certified by the manufacturer -- had to be grounded after separate crashes took 346 lives. According to the sworn testimony of the president's...Read more

What will we, the voters, be looking for in our next president?

From the Left / Mark Shields /

We Americans have a predictable reaction when a president in his performance or his conduct disappoints us: We almost always go looking for a successor presidential candidate who, we think, possesses the very qualities of character and talent we unhappily learned were missing in the president who has just let us down.

Think about the pattern: ...Read more


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