From the Left



Sleepless in Santa Monica

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

When I was a kid, my mother and sister used to castigate me for being too emotional (I cried), not tough enough. "Susie just can't handle hard things," the two of them would smugly agree.

As it turned out, Susie didn't have any choice.

No one has questioned whether I'm tough enough since I walked out of an alley after having been raped and ...Read more

The newest federalism is about politics, pure and simple

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It's "federalism time" again in Washington. No, don't get your "Federalist Paper No. 10" (my favorite) out yet. Federalism time rarely involves a serious debate about the balance of power between the federal government and the states, although that is technically what American federalism is about. It's about politics, pure and simple. It's about...Read more

Biden should consider Jenny Durkan, the mayor of Seattle, as his VP

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

The novel coronavirus has made clear who in this country actually runs things.

It should be, and occasionally is, the president.

But in this instance, President Donald Trump has mostly been a cheerleader, often cheering for the wrong side -- the side that thought the virus was just a hoax, that there's nothing to worry about here, and that it ...Read more

The back room may not be smoky, but it's still a back room

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

What if?

The novel coronavirus' fatality rate is highest in men over 70. All three men left in this presidential race are over 70. I am certainly not the only one who has thought about this.

Parties, not states or the federal government, control the nominating process. I know the Democratic rules; for better and for worse, I wrote some of them...Read more

I'm done holding in my anger

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

I'm old enough to know that anger is sure to harm only one person: the one who is angry. I know because I've done it. So I have learned as best I can to put my anger in a black box, not in my poor stomach.

The black box isn't working anymore. This pandemic has me worried sick for my loved ones (although, for some reason, I'm not worried about ...Read more

HIPAA wasn't meant for this

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

HIPAA was a great law for its time. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects the privacy of your personal medical records. You don't have to tell anyone about underlying diseases. That's your business, not theirs. For years, it has protected Americans with AIDS and cancer and everything else from discrimination, private ...Read more

No one is better at the blame game than Trump

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

No one is better at playing the blame game than Donald Trump. For three years, the president has been blaming the press ("fake news") and the Democrats ("low IQ" Joe Biden and the wicked Nancy Pelosi) for anything that has gone wrong and taking credit for anything that has gone right (notably, the stock market).

News flash, Trump: Now it's our ...Read more

The president meets his match

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

We are now officially dealing with a pandemic. No one but the president thought a $2.5 billion program would be enough to address the threat. Congress -- not only the Democratic House but also the Republican Senate -- nearly quadrupled the appropriation, even as health officials around the country are warning about shortages of everything from ...Read more

Why must a woman be perfect?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Elizabeth Warren checked every box. Brilliant. Tough. Prepared. A Harvard Law professor who didn't go to a fancy private law school. Married young, followed her husband, made it to the United States Senate by dint of hard work, determination and courage.

Bernie Sanders checks no boxes. A socialist without a plan. An old man who had a heart ...Read more

Were voters pro-Biden or anti-Bloomberg?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

I had the flu. I woke up. Pete Buttigieg was out. Amy Klobuchar was out. Elizabeth Warren was running third in Massachusetts. Joe Biden was winning everywhere. Now Mike Bloomberg is out. Warren is virtually gone.

Biden's the One.

How long was I sick?

Was it all because of South Carolina?

Congratulations, Joe.

The Democratic Party may yet ...Read more

Playing politics with a pandemic

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

On Dad's favorite morning show, Junior was asked whether he was "surprised the way they've been handling the coronavirus situation, meaning Democrats."

Put aside all the problems with the question itself -- put aside fair and balanced, much less smart and stupid -- because the answer is so much more.

Said the First Son, Donald Trump Jr., the ...Read more

When women stand up for one another, it's the man who ends up on trial

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

"Did you know him?"


"Oh, then you were really raped."

The first time I had this conversation was in the back seat of a Boston police car in 1974. I've been having it ever since. What could it possibly mean to be raped but not really raped?

I answered that question myself. As a young professor at Harvard, I read every single ...Read more

How to lose 50 states

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Easy. Nominate Bernie Sanders. I've been through my share of blowouts. I was a kid when George McGovern won Massachusetts -- and nowhere else. I was in Florida working for Jimmy Carter (on loan from Ted Kennedy's office) when we lost not only the White House but also the Senate majority in Ronald Reagan's first landslide. I was in Minnesota ...Read more

LA Times posts about Kobe's 'complicated' legacy

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Nine days after the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Times -- which treated the crash as if the entire city were on fire, taking down the paywall on digital stories about him in a transparent effort to boost its circulation numbers -- finally got around to acknowledging that Bryant's legacy might be "complicated."

Not ...Read more

Here Comes Mike

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Back in the 1980s, then-Democratic National Committee Chairman Chuck Manatt tried to get rid of Iowa, which is to say, get rid of the special status that allowed it to conduct the first of the nation's caucuses.

He was right, of course. Iowa is the wrong place to start, and caucuses that attract the hardcore ideologues who can be relied upon ...Read more

And the loser is ...

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

The winner of the Iowa caucus is very rarely the next president. Looking at the Democratic side, Barack Obama was the only Iowa caucus winner to go on to win the presidency since 1980, when it was actually uncommitted, not Jimmy Carter, that won.

On the other hand, since 1984, five Iowa winners have gone on to lose the presidency.

This year, ...Read more

The Johns: Dean and Bolton

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

For those who don't remember or weren't born, John Dean was the White House lawyer who blew the Watergate hearings wide open, which led directly to the so-called Saturday Night Massacre (Nixon's firing of special counsel Archibald Cox via the No. 3 official at the Justice Department, after the attorney general and his deputy refused to do so),...Read more

Are you watching?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

There were two TVs on in the gym. The one in the front -- where all the training goes on -- showed two teams from somewhere else battling for a ball.

The one in the back, with no sound, no captions, was focused on the House impeachment managers.

No one was watching.

"Boring," one of my otherwise-very well-informed friends said.

I think, from...Read more

The question is whether anyone likes Clinton anymore

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It won't do. It is simply not the case that "nobody likes" Sen. Bernie Sanders. It isn't true that he hasn't accomplished anything. He ignited the progressive movement within the Democratic Party, and for 2020, Democrats will need every person who likes him.

In 2016, 13 million Democrats liked Sanders better than Hillary Clinton; she had ...Read more

Equality Deferred

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It was in 1972 that Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment.

The Amendment provides "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

Last week, 48 years later, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the amendment -- which would make it law but for the fact that ...Read more


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