From the Left



Will Democrats in 2020 again 'fall in love'?

From the Left / Mark Shields /

There are large historical differences between America's two major political parties in how they choose their presidential nominees.

Consider this: Since 1952, there have been 11 presidential elections where there wasn't a Republican president running for reelection. In 10 of those 11, the Republican candidate who led in the major polls in the ...Read more

Mike Pompeo was definitely NOT a Marine officer

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has impressive credentials: He graduated third in his class from Los Amigos High School in California's Orange County before winning an appointment from his congressman -- "B-1 Bob" Dornan, a conservative remembered for his unstinting support for the California-built U.S. supersonic aircraft -- to the United States...Read more

Elijah Cummings quiet eloquence of example was a model for us all

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The 1994 funeral of former Speaker of the House Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill was truly memorable. To the same North Cambridge, Massachusetts, church, St. John the Evangelist -- where O'Neill was baptized as an infant and had married his beloved Millie -- came two former U.S. Presidents, George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford, scores of senators and members...Read more

Why the Nationals in the World Series is good for America

From the Left / Mark Shields /

For the first time in 86 years, a baseball team from Washington, D.C., is in the World Series. This is good news -- obviously for the long-suffering Nationals fans in and around Washington, but also for every American who cares deeply about the survival of our republic.

In spite of the semiterminal greed of multimillionaire team owners who feel...Read more

There once was a time where there was a Republican with a sense of humor

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Twenty years ago, former U.S. Transportation Secretary, President of the Red Cross and future North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole was a decidedly long-shot candidate for the Republican presidential nomination -- an honor her husband, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole had won four years earlier, only to lose in the general election to ...Read more

Joe Biden's most important 'endorsement'

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Let's repeat it together three times: Preprimary polls testing would-be presidential nominees have all the permanence of numbers written with a stick in the wet sand at the ocean's edge just before the high tide comes in.

Recent history confirms the unreliability of such polls. In October 2015, the respected Washington Post-ABC News Poll showed...Read more

Time to look at the record

From the Left / Mark Shields /

"History never looks like history when you are living through it" wrote John Gardner. "It always looks confusing and messy, and it always feels uncomfortable."

Forty-five years after President Richard Nixon faced certain impeachment by the House of Representatives and Nixon, confronting an overwhelming Senate vote to convict him, resigned his ...Read more

He walks where he chooses to walk

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Years ago, when the great American socialist Norman Thomas was speaking at the University of Virginia, he was cross-examined by a self-satisfied undergraduate who charged that Thomas' call for universal health insurance, federal civil rights laws and federal aid to education were all backed by the U.S. Communist Party. Thomas, a man of great ...Read more

No new edition of 'Profiles in Courage'

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Then-Sen. John F Kennedy wrote admiringly in his 1955 book, "Profiles in Courage," about Republican U.S. Sen. Edmund G. Ross of Kansas. In 1868, in a decision Ross knew would end his political career, he broke with his party to vote against the impeachment of then-President Andrew Johnson, the Tennessee Democrat who had succeeded the martyred ...Read more

Politics as It Should Be Practiced

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Back when Richard Nixon was president, a Washington saloon five minutes' walk from the White House named the Class Reunion was the go-to watering hole where press, politicians and real people could rub and bend elbows. To be candid, I was a regular at "the CR," as it was called, but frankly went there more for the uniquely bipartisan ...Read more

Could the 2020 Election Be Another 1980?

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The final results of the 1980 presidential election between the Democratic President Jimmy Carter and his Republican challenger, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan are rightly recorded as a landslide Republican victory. Carter carried just six states: his native Georgia; his running mate's home state of Minnesota; Rhode Island; Maryland; ...Read more

Making Debates Really Matter

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Presidential debates -- even those featuring 10 or more candidates well over a year before Election Day -- can tell us much about those self-confident enough to offer themselves as the nation's next commander in chief.

For example, eight years ago, the candidates of the out party, running to challenge then-White House incumbent Democrat ...Read more


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