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Politics

Obama’s Latest Shrug of the Shoulders

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

We finally have an Obama Doctrine. It is the 223 words of the White House statement on the death of Fidel Castro. It is blank of moral judgment, empty of indignation, blind to injustice, dismissive of history and indifferent to injury. A dictator has died and Barack Obama sent him off with lazy weasel words: “History will record and ...Read more

Our Next President, the Godfather

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Following the Oct. 4 vice presidential debate, Donald Trump’s son Eric was asked how Mike Pence had done. He answered as a Corleone -- maybe not the storied Michael because he was the youngest, and not Fredo since he was weak and destined to be fired in the manner of those times, but possibly Sonny since Eric looked CNN’s Wolf Blitzer ...Read more

Clinton was too civilized in defeat

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Kellyanne Conway and I have a difference of opinion. She thinks that Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and other once-important Democrats ought to call off the anti-Trump demonstrations now tying up several square blocks of several cities because, as she said about Trump, "This man is our president." It took her a while, but Conway finally ...Read more

The Gangs of Washington are drawing their knives

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Deaths are often called untimely. But Janet Reno's this week was anything but. She was the attorney general who refused to appoint a special prosecutor to look into the Clinton administration's fundraising -- White House solicitations that metastasized into a scandal that few can remember and none can explain. It had to do with campaign ...Read more

The Gangs of Washington are Drawing Their Knives

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Deaths are often called untimely. But Janet Reno's this week was anything but. She was the attorney general who refused to appoint a special prosecutor to look into the Clinton administration's fundraising -- White House solicitations that metastasized into a scandal that few can remember and none can explain. It had to do with campaign ...Read more

Director Comey, What's This All About?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Beyond the precedent that the Justice Department, particularly the FBI, bends over backward not to interfere in a presidential election, there is yet another precedent, this one established during the Monica Lewinsky investigation: A high official, under pressure from both Congress and the press, can lose his mind. The mind in question belonged ...Read more

Could WikiLeaks Actually Be a Blow to Transparency?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Pearl and Harry Cohen, aka my parents, did not believe in transparency. When a big decision had to be made regarding my sister and me, my parents retreated to their bedroom and issued their pronouncement the next morning. They spoke as one. There was no way to divide them. As a child, I could have used WikiLeaks.

Now WikiLeaks is all over the ...Read more

This Awful But Illuminating Campaign

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I have a man in mind. He is in his 60s, successful, handsome in his way with a commanding voice, an apartment in the city, a place in the country and a driver to take him there. Before I had ever met him, I knew him by reputation. So, in a far different way, did lots of women. At a dinner party, his hands roam under the table.

After I learned ...Read more

Trump Files for Moral Bankruptcy

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Over the weekend, Donald J. Trump did what he always does when things go south for him. He walked away. He announced he is not the man at 70 he had been at 59 when he had boasted of sexual assault, and he pledged "to be a better man tomorrow." With that, he effectively declared moral bankruptcy, paying about a dime on the dollar of sincerity.

...Read more

Obama Can Still Act to Quell the Syrian Horror

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

The New York Times' David Sanger had an interesting observation in a recent article on Vladimir Putin's bizarre foreign policy. Russia, Sanger wrote, is a "declining economy with the gross domestic product of Italy." So how come it manages to push around the United States, which has the world's biggest economy and, as President Obama put it just...Read more

Aleppo is the Lesson the World Always Seems to Forget

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

In April of 1937, the war planes of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy chose a market day to bomb a Basque town, one of the first times a civilian population was deliberately targeted. Pablo Picasso, a native of Spain, quickly reacted by depicting the horror in his famous mural named for the town, "Guernica." It was finished by June. If he were ...Read more

A Frightening Precedent for Trump's Disregard of the Truth

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

The Economist, a fine British newsmagazine, is rarely wrong, but it was recently in strongly suggesting that the casual disregard for truth that is the very soul of Donald Trump's campaign is something new under the sun. The technology -- tweets and such -- certainly is, but his cascade of immense lies certainly is not. I'd like to familiarize ...Read more

Clinton's Lack of Transparency Could Prove Fatal

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

NEW YORK -- Frank Luntz, the Republican political consultant, is a master of the political epigram. Under his tutelage the estate tax became the death tax and global warming became climate change. So Luntz, once again going to the heart of the matter, recently put an either-or question to a group of about 50 people: What would you rather see, ...Read more

Trump's Check to Voters Will Forever Be in the Mail

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Some time ago, the public intellectual Milton Himmelfarb put his finger on what the current presidential campaign is all about. Referring to his fellow Jews, he said that they "earn like Episcopalians, and vote like Puerto Ricans." Never mind the rearview mirror of PC tut-tutness, what Himmelfarb had observed was that not all the people all the ...Read more

The Alchemy of Turning Bribes Into Gifts

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Back when I worked for the claims department of a major insurance company, I got stuff. Some of the stuff consisted of tickets to Broadway shows and sporting events and sometimes I got bottles of booze, Canadian Club being a popular choice for some reason. These items were tendered to me by auto appraisers, repair shops and other firms, large ...Read more

Trump's Hollow Yet Damaging Charge of Fraud

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

At the time Germany signed the armistice ending World War I, no battles had been fought on its territory and no foreign army had invaded it. The German people suffered greatly -- food shortages and the like -- but defeat to many did not seem to come from the battlefield in front but from traitorous civilians from behind. This came to be known as...Read more

Has Trump Jumped the Shark?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

The other night, I went to a dinner party. The guests were all friends of mine -- a scattering of writers and some business people -- and we talked about the ouster of Roger Ailes amid a sexual harassment scandal and wondered why he was awarded a multimillion-dollar settlement and we talked about the travails of his boss, that incredibly ...Read more

My Trump Addiction

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

PARIS -- I awake to brilliant sunshine. It is a glorious day here on the Left Bank, a short walk from the storied cafe Les Deux Magots where I'm told Hemingway has preceded me. What shall I do today? There is a wonderful exhibition of Picasso sculptures at the Picasso Museum and one of contemporary Chinese art at the Louis Vuitton Foundation and...Read more

 
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