From the Left

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Politics

Trump: a Gong Show With No Gong

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

WASHINGTON -- Whether he knows it or not, the specter of Lyndon Baines Johnson haunts Donald John Trump. There are some jarring similarities -- two big fleshy men given to vulgarities and gauche behavior, boastful, thin-skinned, politically amoral, vengeful, unforgiving and, most important, considered illegitimate presidents. For Johnson that ...Read more

Can the Constitution Save Us From Trump?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Donald Trump is a one-man basket of deplorables. He is a braggart and a liar. He is a bully and a demagogue. He is an ignoramus and a deadbeat, a chiseler and either a sincere racist or an insincere one, and his love for himself is matched only by my loathing of him. He is about to be president of the United States. A constitutional coup may be ...Read more

The Year of the Chicken

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

In Chinese culture, this will be the year of the rooster. It will be celebrated in the usual style with firecrackers and dragon dances. In the culture of political Washington, this will instead be the year of the chicken. It will be celebrated by mute men, uniformed in dark suit and red ties, nodding insincerely as the president of the United ...Read more

Syria: The Stain on Obama’s Presidency

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

If Dec 7, 1941, is the day that Franklin D. Roosevelt said “will live in infamy,” then Dec. 20, 2016, has got to be a close second. No Americans died that day as they did at Pearl Harbor but the American Century, as Time magazine founder Henry Luce called it, came to a crashing end. Turkey, Iran and Russia met in Moscow to settle matters in ...Read more

Syria: The Stain on Obama’s Presidency

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

If Dec 7, 1941, is the day that Franklin D. Roosevelt said “will live in infamy,” then Dec. 20, 2016, has got to be a close second. No Americans died that day as they did at Pearl Harbor but the American Century, as Time magazine founder Henry Luce called it, came to a crashing end. Turkey, Syria and Russia met in Moscow to settle matters in...Read more

Senate Must Reject Trump’s Pick for Ambassador to Israel

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

In the machinery of the Holocaust, in the places where Jews and others were murdered by the millions, certain prisoners were compelled or volunteered to help the Nazis in the arduous business of genocide. These people were called Kapos, reviled by Jew and Nazi alike, and few of them survived. The word, though, lives on, its origins obscure but ...Read more

No, Voting Against Trump Doesn’t Mean I Know Nothing About My Fellow Americans

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

This column is for Bernard Gibson, a good man from the state of Indiana. Late last month, National Public Radio went out to Vigo County there to explain why it flipped from voting for Barack Obama in 2012 to Donald Trump in 2016. Gibson was one of those interviewed and here is what he said: “These are real people here. These are not New York ...Read more

The Echoes of Weimar Germany Should Not be Ignored

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Last week on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” a guest mentioned the new unmentionable: Weimar. The guest was Bob Garfield, a liberal media critic, and he was discussing Donald Trump. Hayes was mildly disapproving of the reference. “I tend to stay away from Weimar comparisons for a variety of reasons,” he said. That would make sense ...Read more

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

 
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