From the Left



Can this White House Cancer be Managed?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- On March 21, 1973, White House counsel John Dean confronted President Richard Nixon about the growing Watergate scandal. “We have a cancer -- within, close to the presidency, that’s growing,” Dean warned. “It’s growing daily.”

Dean’s famous metaphor is relevant to the Trump administration -- not because the risk is ...Read more

Please Don’t Retire, Justice Kennedy

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

This is a column on a subject of broad public interest but with a single reader in mind: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. Justice Kennedy, if you’re reading this, my message is simple: Please don’t retire. It could put your legacy at risk; even more, it would be terrible for the country at a moment that demands healing, not another bitter ...Read more

The President’s Alarmingly Erratic First Week

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Week One of the Trump administration was among the most alarming in the history of the American presidency.

There have been scarier weeks for the country, certainly -- the Cuban missile crisis and the Sept. 11 attacks. There have been more tragic ones -- the Sept. 11 attacks again, the terrible toll of wartime, the horror of four ...Read more

Trump’s Clenched Fist Address

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- This will be the presidency of the raised fist, not the outstretched hand.

Inaugural addresses are traditionally occasions of inclusion and healing. In that transformative moment, the new president sheds a partisan identity and assumes the mantle of national leader, president of and for all the people. If any new president should ...Read more

The Art of Journalism in the Age of Trump

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The approaching presidency of Donald Trump poses daunting challenges for the journalists covering him, not merely because he has described them as dishonest, low-life scum or because of anxiety over whether the new administration will adhere to basic norms of access, such as daily briefings and regular news conferences.

The ...Read more

Does Trump Realize There Can Only be One President at a Time?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- One of the hallmarks of our democratic system is its commitment to the peaceful transition of power. This practice comes with two important, linked corollaries that fall under the umbrella that there can be only one president at a time. The first is that the incoming president, especially in the arena of foreign policy, takes care ...Read more

Trump Needs to Stop Celebrating and Start Healing

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- President-elect Donald Trump needs to heal, not revel. That is, he must work on healing the divided country he is about to lead, not continue to revel in his victory with a round of thank-you rallies.

Instead, we see: Trump griping about the political correctness of being named “person of the year.” Quieting, but not really, ...Read more

If Nothing is True, Then Everything Can Be False

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- After post-truth comes all-fake.

The election of Donald Trump has seen the flowering of the post-truth landscape. Emotion outranks fact; believing makes it so. We are all Tinker Bell now. Clap if you believe in voter fraud. Clap if you doubt a human role in climate change.

So when the president-elect claims, with no basis in ...Read more

Kellyanne Conway Plunges into the Mommy Wars

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- As if she didn’t have enough on her hands with the president-elect, Donald Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway has plunged full-force into a topic at least as emotionally charged: the Mommy Wars.

Speaking at a Politico “Women Rule” event Wednesday, Conway cited her four young children as the reason for declining a White House job...Read more

The Post-Truth Era of Politics

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Welcome to -- brace yourself for -- the post-truth presidency.

“Facts are stubborn things,” said John Adams in 1770, defending British soldiers accused in the Boston Massacre, “and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

Or so ...Read more

Breitbart Isn’t Just a Publication.’ It’s a Pestilence

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- To President-elect Donald Trump, Breitbart -- the racist, sexist and all-around offensive website once overseen by his campaign chairman and designated White House chief strategist Steve Bannon -- is “just a publication.”

Breitbart’s editors and writers, Trump told The New York Times, “cover stories like you cover ...Read more

Trump is Not Becoming Any More Presidential

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Less than two weeks into the reality that Donald Trump will be our next president, the situation feels more ominous than on election night.

“At the right time, I will be so presidential you will be so bored,” Trump assured us back in April, when the notion seemed fanciful. “I know when to be presidential.”

Does he? On ...Read more

Which Trump will emerge as president?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

EDITOR'S NOTE: An image of the Herblock cartoon mentioned in Ruth Marcus' Sunday column is available for your use and can be downloaded from Please credit the cartoon as: "A 1968 Herblock Cartoon © The Herb Block Foundation."

WASHINGTON -- Herblock, the legendary ...Read more

A prayer for America

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- On Saturdays in synagogues across the United States, Jews recite a prayer for our country. In my synagogue, the custom is that the congregation stands, and says the prayer in unison.

Our God and God of our ancestors: We ask Your blessings for our country -- for its government, for its leaders and advisers, and for all who...Read more

Clinton Needs to Learn from Her Mistakes

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton's top priority, if she is elected president, shouldn't be enacting an infrastructure plan or pushing immigration reform. It should be -- must be, if she is to succeed on any substantive front -- to combat her own worst instincts.

To be clear, I desperately want to see Clinton elected, not only because the ...Read more

Bill Clinton's Role as First Spouse: To Disappear

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- How do you solve a problem like Bill Clinton?

More precisely, how does, as is increasingly likely, President Hillary Clinton figure out what to do with First Gentleman Bill Clinton and his cargo hold of accompanying baggage?

Bill Clinton may be an asset to his wife, but he is also a problem -- a sprawling, messy and hard-to-...Read more


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