From the Left



Bolton is the new Dr. Strangelove

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

If Stanley Kubrick were making his classic dark comedy "Dr. Strangelove" today, the part of Strangelove himself would not be modeled on a German scientist, but on an all-American type, born in Baltimore, educated at Yale and with no ominous physical tics -- like a barely repressed Nazi salute. Instead, he would have a shoe-brush mustache and the...Read more

Haspel's competence is not the issue -- her moral standing is

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Gina Haspel, almost certainly the next director of the CIA, is almost certainly the most qualified person available. She's spent 33 years at the agency, rising through the ranks to deputy director, garnering the admiration and support of her colleagues but having an unfortunate association and identification with the agency's post-9/11 ...Read more

Does Trump recognize his own lies as lies?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Donald Trump is the jester in his own court. He is the fool in his own village. He sputters lies by the bushel. In a single week, the Stormy Daniels story zinged back and forth like alternating current, the alleged payoff escalating, the lies bombarding each other until, as in some political cyclotron, critical mass was reached and even The Wall...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

Trump tweeted himself into a corner on North Korea

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

If Donald Trump knew anything about history, he would be worried about his success with North Korea. Never mind that there is no agreement yet, and never mind that no summit meeting has yet been held, the facts speak to a Trump triumph. Could it be that Trump's bluster and belligerence have convinced North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to play ball...Read more

Whose privilege?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I am the child of privilege -- or so I am being told. I am white, I am male. Put them together and you would think I've been sitting on a trust fund -- unearned, unappreciated and unjustified. There are people who think that being male has historically been an unalloyed privilege. The many dead of our national cemeteries suggest otherwise.

Let ...Read more

Spineless Congress plays to basest part of its base

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

It came over the city during the night, hovering eerily over the Capitol. Some people saw a spooky cloud, while others saw a haze of sorts, appropriately tinged yellow. But as it moved over the Capitol dome, everyone heard the same thing -- a terrifying crunching sound. One by one, congressional leaders were having their spines removed.

The ...Read more

King: The courage to be right

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Not long after he had been freed from prison, the former deputy sheriff met me at the motel where I was staying. His name was Cecil Ray Price, and he had been convicted of sending three civil rights workers to their deaths. Their names -- never to be forgotten -- were Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney. This was Philadelphia, ...Read more

Get this man a lawyer

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I have two words for Donald Trump: David Barrett. He was appointed an independent counsel to investigate payments made by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros to a former mistress. That was in 1995. Barrett finished up only 11 years later, by which time almost no one could remember what the investigation was about or, even, ...Read more

The saga of the adult film star and the juvenile president

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

It was just a little thing, a scratch, that he failed to treat and gangrene set in and it was killing him. They were on safari, in Africa, and their truck had broken down and the rescue plane was never going to make it on time. This is the way Harry died in Ernest Hemingway's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro." I reread it the other day because of ...Read more

Dreamers are trapped by squalid deal for a wall

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

They left Hamburg, Germany, on May 13, 1939, and reached Havana, Cuba, 14 days later. The ship's name was the "St. Louis" and it held 937 passengers, most of them Jews fleeing Nazi Germany and hoping, while in Cuba, to be admitted to the United States. But the Cuban authorities barred them, and so the ship sailed on, getting so close to America ...Read more

Trump disrespects the presidency, so I don't respect him

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

What respect -- if any -- is due Donald Trump?

I ask that because, ever since his State of the Union speech, I've been wondering if congressional Democrats were out of line when dozens of them refused to stand for the president as he entered the chamber. My Washington Post colleague, the enviably talented Dana Milbank, took the Democrats to ...Read more

It's time to get out of Afghanistan

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

NEW YORK -- In 2010, diplomat Richard Holbrooke wrote a secret memo to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding the war in Afghanistan. The title was "How does this thing end? In search of a policy." Holbrooke died later that year, Clinton was gone by 2013, and the Trump team has now taken over -- mostly pursuing a strategy that had already ...Read more

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


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