From the Left





Open letter to Sen. Marco Rubio

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Sen. Marco Rubio:

You didn't answer the question.

Questions, plural, actually. As a result, I find myself addressing you for the second column in a row via open letter -- and feeling not unlike Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction." That is to say, "I'm not going to be ignored, Mario."

But first, let me offer some context for those who are ...Read more

Time for journalists to fight back, not play party hosts

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- How do we square these two scenes from the weekend?

On Saturday night, Washington journalists hobnobbed with politicians and celebrities at the black-tie White House Correspondents' Association dinner -- and then spent Sunday arguing about whether comedian Michelle Wolf was too harsh toward President Trump, who uses his ...Read more

Denying asylum seekers would be a stain on America's conscience

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- The "caravan" of asylum-seeking migrants that has finally arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border is a test of American character and purpose -- a test that President Trump wants us to fail.

I put caravan in quotation marks because the group that reached Tijuana hardly qualifies for the term. Just a few dozen would-be entrants presented...Read more

Trump is where the end begins

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

The Economist, a news magazine of British pedigree, devoted a recent cover to an obituary. The stiff in question is the GOP, once the party of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt but now decidedly that of Donald J. Trump. He has taken it over. He demands personal loyalty, refuses to abide dissent and rules by whim. For the once Grand Old Party, ...Read more

No, Mr. President, the roast must go on

From the Left / Joe Conason /

Only Donald Trump could manage to justify the continued existence of the White House Correspondents Association dinner, a springtime ritual of journalistic self-indulgence that might just as well have ended years ago. By declaring the dinner "DEAD" -- after yet another humiliating comic takedown of him and his enablers -- the president is ...Read more

How Democrats can stop Trump (and prevent future Trumps)

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

Why did working-class voters choose a selfish, thin-skinned, petulant, lying, narcissistic, boastful megalomaniac for president?

With the 2018 midterms around the corner, and prospective Democratic candidates already eyeing the 2020 presidential race, the answer is important because it will influence how Democrats campaign.

One explanation ...Read more

The steep price of the Trumpian circus

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- One of the many costs of the Trump era is the dumbing down of our political discourse. The incoherent spoken and tweeted outpourings from President Trump and the daily outrages of his administration leave little time for serious debate about policy or meaningful dialogue about our larger purposes.

In a normal environment, the ...Read more

I'm a Protected Species

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I'm 60. I'll be 61 next month. If life is a 9-5 shift at work, I've just returned from my 3 p.m. coffee break. I'll be getting off work soon. Because I personally have always envisioned death as an endless fifth grade snow day, I'm fine with the approaching end of my shift.

Still, there's mighty little to celebrate about advancing age, and if...Read more

Fighting for our country

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Sen. Marco Rubio:

So I see where you came after me on Twitter. I'm flattered. Never knew you cared.

"This well known national writer," you tweeted about my last column, "states very clearly that the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump are haters who should not be ...Read more

Hostile Language

From the Left / Mark Shields /

It's an established American tradition to call people what they wish to be called. That's why after he converted religions, nearly everyone -- except a few die-hard bigots -- called the heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali instead of Cassius Clay. Marion Morrison chose to become John Wayne. Ilyena Lydia Vasilievna Mironov would later become Dame ...Read more

If you preach about the poor, you don't have a prayer in Washington

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- Praying for the poor is now apparently a firing offense in the corridors of power.

House Speaker Paul Ryan did not give a reason when his chief of staff this month told the Rev. Patrick Conroy, a Jesuit priest and House chaplain, to resign or face dismissal.

But we know this much: Ryan's office complained to Conroy about a prayer...Read more

Don't erase Bill Cosby's poverty-fighting message

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Looking back, it's ironic to remember how the charges against Bill Cosby were not taken seriously until after they became a joke.

The joke was told on a stage in Philadelphia four years ago by rising Chicago-based actor-comedian Hannibal Buress.

Buress, 35, is probably too young to remember much of Cosby's heyday as "America's dad" on stage, ...Read more

Trump's trickle-down decency deficit

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON --The nation's capital today suffers from multiple deficits: The budget deficit, a failure to match resources to appetite, measured in hard dollars and red ink. The institutional deficit, the misalignment of national needs and political capacity to respond, displayed in legislative gridlock and partisan bickering. But also, and maybe ...Read more

The Jewish Question

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It was Associate Justice Elena Kagan, former solicitor general, former Harvard Law School dean and brilliant liberal, who raised the question during Wednesday's United States Supreme Court argument on the latest travel ban. It's the same question I used to raise with my students whenever they jumped too quickly to the conclusion that a ...Read more

Emmanuel Macron's bid to save the West

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

NEW YORK -- Emmanuel Macron came, saw and conquered Washington this week. But the French president is trying to do something much harder than generate buzz and goodwill. He is trying to stop Donald Trump from dividing the Western alliance and disrupting the (already turbulent) Middle East. Watching him at work -- flattering Trump, then politely ...Read more

Cohen needs to ask himself: Does Trump have my back?

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- Michael Cohen reportedly said he'd rather jump out of a building than turn on President Trump. I wonder what he's thinking as the floors whiz by.

Cohen has been Trump's lawyer, finder of deals and devoted "Ray Donovan"-style fixer of problems for a decade. At least that's what Cohen thought he was. In a phone interview ...Read more

Only a blind justice could overlook Trump's anti-Muslim bigotry

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- Wednesday's Supreme Court argument about the travel ban on certain majority-Muslim nations probably wouldn't have happened at all if the ban hadn't been issued by President Trump.

"If it were just the text of the order alone," Neal Katyal, the lawyer arguing against the travel ban, told the justices, "… we wouldn't be here."

...Read more

Macron on Trumpism: Non!

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- The early story line about President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron focused on their "bromance" and Trump's puerile claim to dominance when he brushed what he said was dandruff off Macron's suit.

But on the last day of his state visit on Wednesday, Macron showed he will not be trifled with. He used a speech to a joint ...Read more

L'affaire dandruff shows Trump has become the alpha

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- A century ago, l'affaire Dreyfus roiled France. Now, that nation must confront l'affaire dandruff.

Standing in the Oval Office on Tuesday, and with the cameras rolling, President Trump announced to the world that the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, has a flaky scalp.

"We do have a very special relationship," Trump said, ...Read more

America is once again a house divided

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Shania Twain:

I used to love "Roseanne." I don't know if that show aired in Canada, where you're from, but here in the States, it was considered appointment TV, groundbreaking and mercilessly funny.

That's why I welcomed news of its reboot. But the show ended up sitting on my DVR for weeks. See, I had read where its star, Roseanne Barr, ...Read more