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Politics

Trump knows well that everyone has a price

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

On April 29, 1962, John F. Kennedy gave a White House dinner for Nobel Prize winners. The president famously observed that his guests were "the most extraordinary collection of talent ... that has ever been gathered together at the White House -- with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." Many years later, in 2007 to be ...Read more

Trump's parade: 76 trombones and a nuke

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Call me prescient, call me prophetic, call me whatever you want, but I'm here to tell you that the Donald J. Trump Military Parade will be held June 14, a date certain for two reasons. It is, since 1916, Flag Day, commemorating the adoption of Old Glory by the Continental Congress in 1777. It is also, since 1946, the birthday of Donald J. Trump ...Read more

Trump is our modern-day McCarthy

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

From time to time, the Republican Party goes off the rails. It did so back in the McCarthy period when it either failed to stand up to the demagogic Wisconsin senator or cheered him on in the name of anti-communism. It did so just recently when it elevated Hillary Clinton from political opponent to absolute evil, and it is doing so now, ...Read more

A new Trump is not possible

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

If, as it is said, an infinite number of monkeys pounding on an infinite number of typewriters will eventually produce "Hamlet," then sooner or later Donald Trump was going to deliver an inoffensive speech. By nearly universal agreement, he did so Friday at Davos, but the speech was highly notable in only one respect: It contained no bombastic ...Read more

Unlike his successor, Obama recognizes his good luck

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Toward the end of David Letterman's recent interview with Barack Obama, the subject turned to the matter of luck. The former president acknowledged the role it has played in his life. Yes, he had talent, he said, and he had worked hard, but neither of those could fully account for how a mixed-race kid who had known his father for only one month ...Read more

The coup that succeeded

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

The Wall Street Journal celebrated the new year with wonderful news. "We're pleased to report that there hasn't been a fascist coup in Washington," announced a Jan. 1 editorial. True enough, but as two Harvard professors point out in a new book, coups are so 20th century. Democracies perish, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt point out, by a ...Read more

Wolff's book is a reminder of Hitler's frightening ascent

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

About halfway through Michael Wolff's new book on Donald Trump, I had the sense that all this was familiar. As the pages flew by -- and the reading is both alarming and delicious -- the sense of deja vu became even more pronounced. At the three-quarters mark, I realized where I had read all this before: William L. Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of ...Read more

Wolff's book is a reminder of Hitler's frightening ascent

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

About halfway through Michael Wolff's new book on Donald Trump, I had the sense that all this was familiar. As the pages flew by -- and the reading is both alarming and delicious -- the sense of deja vu became even more pronounced. At the three-quarters mark, I realized where I had read all this before: William L. Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of ...Read more

In Trump's Washington, the lie has become the truth

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

The cover of what was once Time magazine's "Man of the Year" is now five women -- "the silence breakers" who spoke up about sexual harassment. This was a worthy choice, but it is not the one I would have made. I would have picked Oliver Schmidt. He took a bullet for Volkswagen.

Schmidt, 48, was sentenced earlier this month in Detroit to seven ...Read more

Trump's chief of staff is on alert for 'contraband newsprint' and other hijinks

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

NEW YORK -- In August, Donald Trump asked for a certain newspaper clipping, thus throwing the White House went into the Trump version of DEFCON 2. Chief of Staff John F. Kelly dispatched two aides to investigate how the clipping had gotten to the president without being "cleared." These aides, anonymous but clearly brave, determined that Keith ...Read more

The widening chasm between American Jews and the Israeli government

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

When I was a kid, I went door to door in my neighborhood, asking for donations to the Jewish National Fund, best known then for its Israel forestation program. At the age of 11 or so, I imagined myself a regular Johnny Appleseed, responsible for vast forests. My neighbors were easy pickings. No one asked about the occupation of the West Bank, ...Read more

Trump has ushered in America's darkest hour

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

If every member of the Senate looks into the mirror and sees a future president, then every president looks into that same mirror and sees himself on Mount Rushmore. Donald Trump, a mess of a man but brimming with self-regard, probably already sees himself up there with Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln. It won't happen. Instead...Read more

J. Edgar Hoover, not just Robert E. Lee, should go

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I was Ubering down Pennsylvania Avenue the other day when I passed my favorite Washington location that demands a wrecking ball. It's not a statue to some forgotten slaveholder nor a memorial to some Jim Crow booster -- Woodrow Wilson, for instance -- but a building bearing the name of a racist, anti-communist zealot who, in the name of God and ...Read more

Murdoch's Teflon coating is wearing thin

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Back in 1983, then-Rep. Pat Schroeder, D-Colo., was fixing eggs for her kids when she looked down and got an idea about President Ronald Reagan. She called him "Teflon-coated" because nothing bad stuck to him. The same could be said about Rupert Murdoch. He's the Teflon mogul.

Earlier this year, the Fox News that he controls signed Bill O'...Read more

Putin and Trump: The art of the backfire

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

NEW YORK - When my son was little, I used to read to him from a book called "The Stupids." This decidedly un-P.C. series was about a family of incompetents who managed to screw up the simplest of tasks. I no longer remember what they look like, so pardon me if I envision Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. They fit the bill.

The measure of Trump ...Read more

Martin Luther was a flawed figure. But does he too deserve the red paint of protest?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

It's always the anniversary of something or other. In November, we have the Russian Revolution and the Balfour Declaration, and this week marks the 500th year since Martin Luther challenged the Roman Catholic Church with his 95 theses. Given the loopy zeitgeist of our times, I should rush into the street and mark the occasion by defacing ...Read more

 

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