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Unanswered Questions of 2017

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In the nervous Washington summer of 2017, with Republicans reeling from embarrassing disclosure after embarrassing disclosure, opposition Democrats, even before President Trump recently announced in Paris: "France is America's first and oldest ally. A lot of people don't know that," have already been following the strategy first recommended by...Read more

Not the most dependable of friends

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Dean Heller is a 57-year-old Mormon, husband and father of four who -- because he is a U.S. senator from Nevada (having won in 2012 by a paper-thin 46-45 percent margin), a state that Barack Obama carried twice, and because he is the only GOP senator running in 2018 in a state that Hillary Clinton carried -- is commonly referred to as the most ...Read more

Character beyond measure

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Americans have reason to trust in progress. By so many different yardsticks, we can gauge improvement just over the past half-century. We are indisputably more tolerant and accepting than we were in the 1960s. The percentage of American women with a college degree is five times greater today than it was in 1964. Back then, millions of black ...Read more

Donald Trump is no Richard Nixon

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In just 13 days in October 1973, Washington endured a series of seismic political shocks. On Oct. 10, Vice President Spiro Agnew -- having pleaded guilty in a federal courthouse in Baltimore to failure to pay taxes on thousands of dollars in bribes he, as both Maryland governor and VP, had shaken down from businessmen -- resigned his office. On ...Read more

Virginia Shows the Future

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Without Virginia, we probably never would have become the United States. It was Virginian leadership and talent that created the nation. Think first of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe, and don't forget Chief Justice John Marshall, Patrick Henry and George Mason. It's understandable that state ...Read more

Two polar opposite examples

From the Left / Mark Shields /

For baseball fans of a certain age, Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals stands alone. Musial's on-field statistics were beyond impressive. He led the National League in batting seven times, was named the league's MVP three times, was selected as an all-star 24 times and had 3,630 career hits. But what is most cherished about "Stan the Man" is...Read more

The praying mantis explains today's politics

From the Left / Mark Shields /

To understand the bizarre political era in which we live, let us recall the mating rituals of the praying mantis. In their amorous encounter, the male mantis approaches the female -- which is the physically larger and stronger of the two -- and, if permitted, mounts the female from the rear. In the frenzy of the pair's passion, the female will ...Read more

Self-pity can be politically fatal

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In polls of American historians conducted over the past 17 years by C-SPAN, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt have consistently ranked -- along with George Washington -- among the three best U.S. presidents. Yet President Lincoln was vilified in life, referred to in print as "the Illinois ape," "the Ourang-Outang at the White House," a ...Read more

3 memorable American presidents and the truth

From the Left / Mark Shields /

There have been three memorable American presidents, the story goes. President George Washington could never tell a lie. President Richard Nixon could never tell the truth. And President Donald Trump cannot tell the difference. At a White House news conference, Trump referred to his November 2016 victory, in which he received 304 electoral votes...Read more

Democrats' dumb move from 'pro-choice' to 'no choice'

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Just eight years ago, there were 256 Democrats in the U.S. House. Today there are just 193. Then, there were only 40 Republican U.S. senators; today the GOP Senate majority numbers 52. During that same span, Democrats have suffered a net loss of 947 state legislative seats, and today in only five states -- Rhode Island, Connecticut, Oregon, ...Read more

Missing Kate O'Beirne

From the Left / Mark Shields /

My adopted hometown of Washington has been accused, not always unfairly, of being a city full of scheming climbers who are frantically courting the company and the favor of the powerful. In this and so many respects, Kate O'Beirne -- the conservative leader and writer who died too soon, at 67 on April 23 -- was anti-Washington. Kate was not ...Read more

Can special elections to the US house predict our political future?

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Is there an emerging national pattern to be found in special House elections, such as the one that just happened in Georgia to fill the reliably Republican House seat once held by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, most recently held by the current secretary of health and human services, Tom Price, and for which, in the first round of voting, a...Read more

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