From the Left



Needed From Democrats: A Realistic Case for Optimism

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The differences between an ideologue -- someone who subscribes completely to a political ideology (whether conservative or liberal) and a pragmatist -- someone who is concerned almost exclusively with the practical results of a specific public policy -- is the biggest divide in American politics.

Simply stated, the ideologue believes that ...Read more

Opening Day Is Good News

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Baseball is back, and not a moment too soon. America -- and especially Washington -- in 2021 desperately needs the values and the constancy of baseball. Nobody put baseball better than did war hero, team owner and American original Bill Veeck: "Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world. If you get three strikes, even ...Read more

Raising Campaign Money Doesn't Build Character; It Reveals Character

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Shortly after the cooling of the earth when I was a younger man, I managed political campaigns for Governor, for mayor, for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. Some of my candidates, in spite of my brilliant managing, actually won. I learned early on that the legendary Speaker of the California State Assembly, Jesse "Big Daddy" Unruh, was ...Read more

Antidote to March

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In the New England where I grew up, March was an unpopular month -- wet, muddy, cold and, with the occasional late-spring snowfall and mud, really ugly. Nobody ever wrote a memorable (or unmemorable) ode to the charms of March.

For this reason, we all about now need a good smile, or even a chuckle, for which I turn, irrespective of party of ...Read more

2020 Voters Knew What They Wanted

From the Left / Mark Shields /

There has always been something faintly Old Testament about the way we Americans pick our presidents. Remember the first election of the 21st century when, by a 2-to-1 margin in national polls, voters found the country to be "headed in the right direction" and the then-term-limited President Bill Clinton was given a favorable job rating by 65%...Read more

Before They Vote for You, They First Have to Like You

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Bill Cohen, the former Republican three-term U.S. senator and U.S. representative from Maine, never lost an election. He was elected to the Bangor City Council before being elected that city's mayor and then winning the first of three terms in the U.S. House. When he was nominated by a new Democratic president, Bill Clinton, to be secretary of ...Read more

Does Sen. Ted Cruz Really Look Like Texas?

From the Left / Mark Shields /

While glued to the coverage, both riveting and chilling, of the Senate trial of former President Donald J. Trump, and watching the House prosecutors and the Senate jurors, I kept wondering how much -- or how little -- our elected representatives look like the people and the places they are elected to represent.

For example, Sen. Jon Tester, ...Read more

Political hypocrisy on deficits and the national debt

From the Left / Mark Shields /

On April 1, 2018, when Thad Cochran retired after 40 years as a U.S. senator from Mississippi, he made history; Cochran was the last Republican in Congress to have ever voted to increase federal taxes. He had done so on Dec. 19, 1990, when Republican President George H.W. Bush, deeply concerned about the rising federal budget deficit, persuaded ...Read more



Dave Whamond Kirk Walters Bill Day Joey Weatherford Jeff Koterba David Horsey