From the Left



America is in a sinkhole of its own making

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Mario Puzo begins "The Godfather" with a quote from Honore de Balzac: "Behind every great fortune there is a crime." That certainly seems to be true of Donald Trump's fortune, sneaked to him by his father, Fred, with accounting sleights of hand designed to fool the IRS and everyone else. That, though, is not the crime. It is this: Much of what ...Read more

Gentlemen, what did you do during the revolution?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Both women are successful. One is a lawyer, a partner in a prosperous New York firm. The other is a show-business personality, famous but not street-stoppingly so. We met at an event and quickly the talk turned to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. This was days before last week's testimony from him and Christine Blasey Ford, and so there ...Read more

If the FBI can investigate Lincoln's hat, why not Ford's claims?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

The FBI, which can do anything, has tried to solve the mystery of a purported Abraham Lincoln hat. It looks like one of his and it's his size, 7 1/8, and the band is stretched near where Lincoln would often keep some papers. But when the FBI did a DNA analysis, it could not substantiate the claim of an Illinois museum that the hat was one of ...Read more

The party of Lincoln is about to drown

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

In "Fear," Bob Woodward's nonfiction Gothic tale of the haunting of the White House, dread stalks the Oval Office and overcomes anyone who approaches the ironically named Resolute desk. They all but tremble before Donald Trump, fearing his temper, his enormous and unfathomable ignorance, his obsessions and his Category 5 dishonesty but there, on...Read more

Trump has stripped the GOP of its dignity

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

The Republican Party has a communicable disease. It has been intimate for so long with Donald Trump that it acts pretty much as he does. He lies and then Republicans lie about his lies -- they don't matter, just noise, the wall is more important, etc.. These evasions are intended to suggest that moral squalor can be cleansed by a jump in ...Read more

Agnew was Trump before Trump

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

It is about this time in his presidency that Donald Trump must be feeling like the Paul Newman and Robert Redford characters in the marvelous movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." Being relentlessly pursued by a posse, the men repeatedly ask in both puzzlement and exasperation, "Who are those guys?" In their case, they're armed men paid by...Read more

Kavanaugh owes Lewinsky an apology

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

WASHINGTON -- On the Today Show in June, Bill Clinton was asked if he had ever apologized personally to Monica Lewinsky. The normally eloquent and loquacious former president went into the verbal equivalent of a mad dash to the sidelines -- once again getting comeuppance for his appalling behavior while in office. But Clinton was hardly the only...Read more

It's our government, not Trump's

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

It is highly unlikely that Donald Trump knows or cares anything about poetry, but just in case he does, he should know that T.S. Eliot was wrong. When it comes to U.S. presidents, April is not the cruelest month. It's August. The month's a killer.

It was Aug. 9, 1974, that Richard Nixon, surrounded by a fed-up Congress and an unsympathetic ...Read more

Trump is the kind of president the Founding Fathers feared

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Has there ever been a president as obscene as Donald Trump -- a president as obtuse, as ignorant, as base, as dishonest, as indifferent to precedent, as contemptuous of civil liberties, as critical of his own government and officials, as brutish, as cold to consequences, as hostile to the media, as casually racist and as self-centered? The ...Read more

Spicer's dismal book tells tale of working for a liar

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

It took a nanosecond to download Sean Spicer's new book on my iPad and, believe me, that was more time than it was worth. "The Briefing" is entirely forgettable, but it does offer some insight into the mind of a mindless apparatchik. After Spicer is told by President Trump that his first briefing asserting the historic hugeness of Trump's ...Read more

Trump's appeal is saying what his supporters think

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

EDITORS -- Note quoted language in 2nd sentence of 4th-to-last graf.

The results of the Helsinki summit are in. President Trump couldn't handle statecraft or, for that matter, double negatives, but he came out of the meeting undefeated and invincible. Like the Charlottesville hatefest or the "Access Hollywood" tape, it was just another day at ...Read more

What Donald Trump shares with Frank Sinatra

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Franklin Roosevelt had "Happy Days Are Here Again," Harry Truman had "I'm Just Wild About Harry," John Kennedy had "High Hopes," Richard Nixon had the unsingable "Nixon's The One," and Barack Obama had several theme songs, but none that stick. That is the case, too, with Donald Trump. He's tried the Rolling Stones hit "You Can't Always Get What ...Read more

Is a president who doesn't remember the past condemned to repeat it?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

If you think history repeats itself, consider this: For the last 73 years, the Western alliance has been led by the nations that defeated Nazi Germany, foremost among them, the United States. For the last year or so, it has been led by the former Nazi Germany, reformed and reconstituted as a liberal democracy. The U.S., it is fair to say, has ...Read more

Democrats' chatter about socialism could bring them another defeat

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

The trouble with left-wing Democrats is that they lack a proper respect for right-wing demagoguery. Hence, at the moment, many of them extol socialism -which is to American politics what curling is to sports -- and are calling for the abolition of ICE, generously giving Donald Trump yet another opportunity to demagogue on immigration. They will,...Read more

A dazzling story of deception in Silicon Valley

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

It is quite a tale John Carreyrou tells in his book, "Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup." It is a story of jaw-dropping lying and greed so immense that billions of dollars fly by with every turn of the page. It's a tale of heroic cupidity on a scale that made the very best and the very brightest look like the very, very ...Read more

The shadow across the picture

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

John Moore may have lost the midterm elections for the Republican Party and badly damaged the re-election prospects of President Trump. Moore is the Getty Images photographer who snapped a viral picture of a crying 2-year-old Honduran girl at the U.S.-Mexico border. It's not clear if the girl was separated from her mother, and, in fact, she had ...Read more


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