From the Left



Most wasted of all days: One without laughter

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Most American political leaders would agree with the poet e.e. cummings, who wisely wrote: "The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." For example, then-presidential nominee George W. Bush garbled in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on Oct. 18, 2000, "Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream." Once elected, Bush 43 was ...Read more

Democrats have a sobering responsibility

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Yes, it's true that their party just won the House majority and more House seats, 40, than in any election since 1974 (and with the increasing likelihood of a new election in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District after confirmed reports of Republican election fraud there, maybe 41) and Democrats have had reason to celebrate -- especially ...Read more

'College' Dropouts

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In spite of continued attempts, either misguided or malevolent -- or both -- by national leaders to undermine public trust and confidence in the American free press and free elections, the United States' model of political and individual freedom has inspired billions around the planet. Barely 75 years ago, we had only 11, count 'em, ...Read more

The cases against Nancy Pelosi don't hold up

From the Left / Mark Shields /

For loyal Democrats, it must be painful to realize that so much of the criticism of your party turns out to be true. No better Democrat ever drew a breath than the late congressman from Arizona and presidential candidate Mo Udall, who candidly observed, "When Democrats organize a firing squad, they form a circle."

Think about it. The Democratic...Read more

Which leader is the emotionally secure grown-up?

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus taught us that "character is destiny." Nowhere is character more apparent than in how one responds to adversity. After the failed U.S.-organized invasion of Fidel Castro's Cuba, President John F. Kennedy rightly took responsibility: "Victory has 1,000 fathers, but defeat is an orphan." After his GOP lost 30 House...Read more

You Can't Choose Your Relatives

From the Left / Mark Shields /

George Mitchell, a former federal judge and Senate majority leader, was the chief negotiator of the Good Friday Agreement, which brought to a peaceable end 30 years of civil war in Northern Ireland.

He was a kid from Waterville, Maine, whose father was the orphaned son of Irish immigrants and whose mother, who had come to the United States ...Read more

Yes, the press has much to answer for

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Our states are anything but united. Our politics are indeed polarized -- with too many of us Americans retreating into our own comfortable spaces, where we can associate only with those who agree with us. And yes, we of the press are anything but blameless for this situation.

Take the simple matter of Election Day exit polls, which we in the ...Read more

What Gerald Ford could teach Beto O'Rourke in 2018

From the Left / Mark Shields /

When people learn that I have spent the past 50 years either working in or covering the past 13 presidential campaigns, I'm often asked my opinion of what was the best-run national campaign.

My answer -- the losing 1976 Republican presidential campaign of President Gerald Ford -- surprises some people.

Consider the facts: On Labor Day 1976, ...Read more

The irrationality of baseball fans knows no bounds

From the Left / Mark Shields /

American philosopher Jerry Seinfeld famously exposed how irrational we American baseball fans must be: "Team loyalty is a kind of hard thing to justify, in the end. ... Every year, it's different guys. ... You're rooting for clothes, when you get right down to it. ... I want my team's clothes to beat the clothes from the other city. It's laundry...Read more

Timeless -- and wise -- advice

From the Left / Mark Shields /

On a Sunday morning two days before the crucial California presidential primary, hundreds of college-age volunteers crowded into their candidate's campaign headquarters on Market Street in San Francisco to get their marching instructions for getting every registered voter the campaign had identified as backing Sen. Robert Kennedy to the polls on...Read more

Why do I like Jeff Flake so much?

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Not for the first time, the criticism reads: "Why don't you admit it, Shields? You reflexively like politicians." It's true. I do like most people who dare to run for political office.

For me and most people I know, our lives are a succession of unpublicized setbacks and occasional wins. If you and I were the two finalists for the same ...Read more

In economic boom, how can Trump be a political liability to the GOP?

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The stock market has just hit a new historic high. Median household income in the U.S. is higher than ever. Fewer laid-off Americans are today forced to file for unemployment benefits than at anytime since 1968, when the U.S. civilian labor force of 81 million was one-half of today's 162 million. With the 2018 midterm elections only little more ...Read more


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