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Politics

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

General Kelly has tarnished his stars

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Of all the repellent statements issued by Donald Trump or his aides, the one that came out of the mouth of Sarah Huckabee Sanders last week was maybe the most chilling. There she stood, a dead ringer for Aunt Lydia, the severe overseer in "The Handmaid's Tale," asking a White House reporter who the hell he thought he was to question the veracity...Read more

Weinstein is no liberal archetype. He's just a brute.

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

In 2004, I wrote a column about Bill O'Reilly's alleged sexual harassment of Andrea Mackris, one of his producers. Her suit charged that O'Reilly pressured her to have telephone sex with him. Mackris had taped some of their conversations, including O'Reilly's threat that he would destroy any woman who retaliated against him. A transcript of that...Read more

Tuning out the evil

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I recently cut the cord. I did so because my cable bill was sky high and I knew I was paying for channels I never watched. So I called in Leo, who is my personal help desk , and he figured out what he could do, and then asked if I wanted him to de-cable me then and there. Impulsively, I said yes, and so for a week I had no television at all. I ...Read more

More madness from a shooter, more cowardice from Congress

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

First came Harvey, which flooded Houston. Next came Irma, which barreled through the Caribbean and laid waste to Florida. Then came Maria, which hit Puerto Rico like a huge bunker-buster bomb. Earlier an earthquake shook Mexico City and, Sunday night in Las Vegas, more than 50 people were murdered at an outdoor concert -- another natural ...Read more

Nixon poses a cautionary tale for Trump critics

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Forgive me for starting with a cliche: Beware of what you wish for. I apply it today to the impeachment of President Trump, which is as fervently desired by liberals as it is presently unlikely. Still, with special counsel Robert Mueller raiding homes and the FBI tapping phones, the unlikely is looking ever more likely. Sooner or later, Mueller ...Read more

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