From the Left



Losers Blame the Voters

From the Left / Mark Shields /

On Nov. 4, 2008, American voters faced the happy task of choosing between two popular presidential nominees, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, both of whom, according to the last pre-election Gallup Poll, about 3 in 5 Americans regarded positively. In stark contrast, the 2016 Election Day exit poll of voters revealed an ...Read more

50 St. Patrick's Days Ago

From the Left / Mark Shields /

After a lifetime spent in the company of the rogues, the rascals and, yes, the phonies of politics, I have concluded that American voters are searching for one of two presidential types: a warm conservative with a generous heart or a tough liberal with a steel backbone. As the late wise conservative leader Jeffrey Bell once said admiringly of ...Read more

Ronald Reagan and Nancy Pelosi: 2 Real Professionals

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Former President Ronald Reagan is hands down the most electorally successful American politician of the post-World War II era. As the outsider nominee of the nation's then-decidedly minority party, nobody has ever come close to matching his back-to-back 44-state and 49-state landslide White House victories. Acknowledged as a conviction ...Read more

Underestimating the voters' intelligence -- and paying for it

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Politics can be both cruel and unsentimental. Consider the case of Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., known on Capitol Hill -- since his first election to Congress in 1972 -- for his civil and amiable treatment of others, irrespective of party, and, as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, for securing federal billions for his small, poor ...Read more

Finally, a Unifying Theme for 2018

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Democrats whom I talk to confess privately that despite President Donald Trump's unpopularity and the fact that nearly all polls show their party with a lead over Republicans when it comes to the upcoming midterm elections, they are increasingly nervous about 2018. Fueling the Democrats' anxiety is the growing perception that their party is ...Read more

False humility is better than none at all

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Thanks to the reliable American Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara, which keeps careful track of such information, we know that in 2000, President Bill Clinton gave -- at one hour and 28 minutes -- the longest State of the Union address. In marked contrast, to deliver his own 1986 State of the Union, President ...Read more

Patriotism on the cheap

From the Left / Mark Shields /

For the first two centuries of U.S. history -- while Americans were proudly winning a war for independence, founding a nation, abolishing slavery, settling a continent and winning two world wars -- the patriot was that admirable fellow citizen willing to sacrifice his own individual well-being for the common good or to sacrifice her own personal...Read more

'Always proud he was my President'

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, who created the international scholarship program that bears his name and that has produced 59 Nobel Prize winners among its estimated 360,000 alumni, was not, for entirely legitimate reasons, a humble man. Admitted to the University of Arkansas at 15, he would become a star halfback on the school's ...Read more

A prophet who deserves a little honor

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Anyone who cannot resist the temptation to offer public predictions about public events invites and can expect public ridicule.

Even pre-eminent 20th-century American columnist and public intellectual Walter Lippmann, who was courted by presidents and prime ministers, is regularly remembered for dismissing in print then-New York Gov. Franklin D...Read more

Our Sore President

From the Left / Mark Shields /

During his winning campaign to capture the White House, Democrat Barack Obama was harshly critical of the White House record of his predecessor George W. Bush. But once in office, Obama -- like nearly all presidents before him -- heeded the sage advice of a great chief executive also from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, who, when faulted for ...Read more

Resolutions and Predictions

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The calendar reminds us that it's that special time of the year to make reckless predictions and fleeting resolutions. So let us do a little of both.

I predict that with history and national poll numbers warning them daily that 2018 is shaping up as a truly bad year electorally for Republican candidates, there will be a sharp increase in the ...Read more


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