From the Left



Clinton Sees Her Shadow

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

DURHAM, N.H. -- To return to this state for another primary with a Clinton on the ballot is to be reminded about how much has changed in Democratic politics over the last two-plus decades, and how much remains the same.

The change reflects the party's evolution -- or maybe its reversion to type -- since Bill Clinton ran here in 1992. The ...Read more

The Best of Clinton, The Worst of Clinton

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Wednesday night's televised town hall with Hillary Clinton featured the candidate at her best -- and her worst. Clinton and her campaign ought to study the lessons of both.

The candidate at her worst was obvious, and all the more painful for its predictability. When Clinton is pressed on big-dollar donations and hefty ...Read more

Rubio and Sanders Are the Real Winners in Iowa

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

DES MOINES-By the numbers, Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton, by a millimeter, won the Iowa caucuses. Still, the race for the top spot was not the big news of the night -- or, in Clinton's case, far into the following day, when the Associated Press finally called the race for her. The real winners were Marco Rubio, with his remarkably strong third-...Read more

The drawbacks of Iowa's caucuses

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

EDITORS -- This is written as a web item to be published no later than Monday, or until caucus voting begins at 7 p.m. Central.

DES MOINES -- Curt Johansen, 56, is leaning toward Bernie Sanders, but that inclination is irrelevant. Johansen works evenings dispatching mechanics to help truckers suffering breakdowns, which means he can't vote in ...Read more

Sanders' Supporters Ignore the Lessons of Obama

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

DES MOINES -- The sobering reality of Barack Obama's presidency has been the difficulty of achieving the change that he promised. The surprising development of the 2016 campaign is the degree to which a large segment of Democratic voters, at least in the early voting states, appear to have forgotten or rejected that lesson.

They seem willing to...Read more

Jeb Bush's Nerdy Decency

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

DES MOINES -- Jeb Bush has a cold. "I'm losing my voice, which is not a great sign, but we'll get through this," he tells the employees gathered in the cafeteria of Nationwide Insurance here.

We'll get through this -- kind of a melancholy epigraph for the Bush 2016 campaign, don't you think? Bush on the campaign trail exudes a kind of nerdy ...Read more

In Court Brief, Lawyers Testify On Their Own Abortions

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court briefs tend to be the driest of documents, stuffed with citations to precedent and recitations of lower court proceedings. Not one filed this month in an abortion case now before the justices. This friend-of-the-court brief mentions precisely three cases, one statute (the Texas abortion law being challenged) and zero ...Read more

John Kasich: 2016's Happiest Warrior

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

CONTOOCOOK, N.H. -- In the year of the angry candidate and the even angrier voter, John Kasich stands out as the self-proclaimed "prince of light and hope."

As Kasich instructed voters at a town hall meeting here -- his second in this town, population 1,444 -- "If you want to just yell and scream at the other side, you should not vote for me. ....Read more

Cruz Outshines Trump on the Trail

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

CONCORD, N.H. -- Donald Trump says Ted Cruz is a "nasty guy." The Texan's Senate colleagues agree. Yet here's the surprise from watching Cruz on the campaign trail: Ideology aside, he comes off as ... rather likable.

To watch Trump and Cruz campaign here is to witness the difference between a reality TV performer and a disciplined politician. ...Read more

Shame on Carly Fiorina

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Carly Fiorina has dwindled to near irrelevance in the Republican primary field, as illustrated by her demotion to the undercard debate. But Fiorina, piping up from the kiddie table Thursday, said something so calculatedly outrageous that it demands response: "Unlike another woman in this race, I actually love spending time with my ...Read more

A Reform Agenda Unfulfilled

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- President Obama's final State of the Union address was part stump speech for the third term he'll never have and part melancholy addendum to the first speech that propelled him to national attention.

Far more than with George W. Bush in 2008, Bill Clinton in 2000 or Ronald Reagan in 1988, the roiling presidential campaign was an ...Read more

Abolish the 'Natural Born Citizen' Test

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump has us all spun up in a bogus debate over the meaning of what constitutes a "natural born" citizen and whether Canadian-born Ted Cruz is thereby ineligible for the presidency. The conversation we should actually be having is about how stupid and cruel the requirement is in the first place, and how the Constitution ...Read more

Bluster of The Donald

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The emperor has no clothes. The Donald has no policy.

This is not exactly news, but it is too often forgotten in the substance-free carnival that is the 2016 presidential race. Donald Trump's bright-shiny-object campaign style serves to obscure the substantive void, leaving reporters endlessly chasing after his latest rhetorical ...Read more

Candidates Case of Affluena Affects Us All

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Ethan Couch, meet Donald Trump, fellow Affluenza sufferer.

Couch is the Texas teenager who killed four people and injured nine others when he lost control of his -- or, should I say, his mommy and daddy's -- speeding pickup. Couch was 16. Three hours after the grisly crash, his blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit ...Read more

Trump is Right about Bill Clinton

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump is crude and vulgar. He's every -ist in the book: racist, sexist, narcissist, for starters. His dis about Hillary Clinton getting "schlonged" in the 2008 campaign and the accompanying tirade about her "disgusting" bathroom break were weird and juvenile. But he has a point about Clinton playing the "woman's card," and ...Read more

The GOP's Ghastly Parlor Game: Cruz or Trump?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

LAS VEGAS -- Who would be a more dangerous president: Donald Trump or Ted Cruz? This ghastly parlor game lacks a satisfying answer; either would be toxic for America. That the question is not fanciful makes it all the more terrifying.

Trump's deficiencies are evident, increasingly so. He is a demagogue and a bully. He lacks both preparation for...Read more

Will the Supreme Court Add to Campus Turmoil?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Watching the racial ferment on campuses nationwide, and listening to the Supreme Court consider the charged topic of affirmative action, exposes the gulf -- the chasm, really -- between the difficult reality of race relations on campus and the out-of-touch, aggrieved perspective of the conservative justices.

Like me, you may not ...Read more

Trump Crossed an Uncrossable Line

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- It is happening here.

With his call for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," Donald Trump has crossed an uncrossable line of bigotry and xenophobia. The Republican front-runner presents a clearer, more present danger to U.S. interests than the supposedly threatening Muslims he seeks to exclude. He...Read more

Coming of Age In Terrorist Times

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- "Mommy, what did the news used to be about before it was about terrorism?"

That was my younger daughter, snuggling in bed a few weeks after 9/11. She was then 4, and, granted, there was probably more consumption of news in our home than was healthy.

Fourteen years later, that toddler is a college freshman, too cool to snuggle and...Read more

The Moral Blame for Colorado Springs Shootings

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Inflammatory rhetoric inflames. Words -- extreme language and overheated representations -- have consequences. The killer bears the ultimate responsibility for the carnage in Colorado Springs. But if initial reports of alleged gunman Robert Lewis Dear's comments about "no more baby parts" prove true -- and logic suggests that it ...Read more

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