From the Left



In Defense of Iowa

From the Left / Mark Shields /

We have reached that time in every presidential nominating year when distinguished, national opinion leaders beat up on Iowa and that admirable state's influential role in determining the two major parties' eventual presidential nominees and, therefore, the next president. The USA Today editorial board indicts Iowa for being "one of the least ...Read more

'Nations with allies thrive'

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Retired Marine Corps Gen. Jim Mattis, the former secretary of defense and an exceptionally well-read warrior, has said, "Throughout history, we see nations with allies thrive, and nations without allies wither."

Mattis' words brought to mind those 13 fateful days in October 1962 when, after the United States discovered that the Soviet Union was...Read more

Try to Remember ...

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Is anyone here old enough to remember the urgent warning issued in a speech to the National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in August 2002 by an American vice president who had artfully avoided the military draft during wartime? Dick Cheney, after acknowledging he was convinced that Saddam Hussein would "acquire nuclear weapons ...Read more

Help (urgently) needed: US head of state

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The American president, in addition to serving as commander in chief, is expected to be this nation's consoler in chief, as well as the nation's teacher and even preacher. Who alive on Jan. 28, 1986, does not remember the words of then-President Ronald Reagan from the Oval Office following the explosion of the Challenger that killed all seven ...Read more

Heraclitus Was Right

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Although I qualify for the senior discount at the movies, even I'm not old enough to have met Heraclitus, the wise Greek who lived some 25 centuries ago and whom we can thank for the timeless wisdom "Character is destiny."

Here in Washington, one elected national leader commands the affection and the respect of her constituents. That leader ...Read more

It may not build it, but politics can reveal character

From the Left / Mark Shields /

First, an anecdote circulating about the most courageously candid staff person in the White House allegedly speaking to President Donald J Trump: "Mr. President, you're coming across as mean-spirited, abusive and so unlikable that people frankly do not want to work for you. Sir, in all due respect, you have to make some immediate changes." ...Read more

In 'defense' of Donald Trump Jr.

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Donald Trump Jr., in his better-selling book, "Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us," writes of his reactions to visiting Arlington National Cemetery and driving "past the rows of white grave markers." He explains: "In that moment, I ... thought of all the attacks we'd already suffered as a family, and about all the ...Read more

Time past for Democrats to get real on health care

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In listening to the Democratic presidential debates, we might conclude that "Medicare for All" is a legislative possibility. It is not, and any presidential candidate with a scintilla of self-respect must admit that fact. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that just 30% of Americans "strongly favor" a plan in which all of us get ...Read more

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


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