Michael Barone from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:08:54 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Michael Barone from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/michael-barone-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone d991dfb5c87b7885fa5ef3a38dc9e3bf Today's Turn-of-the-Century Problems for 10/13/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/10/17/todays-turn-of-the-century-problems Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Is America in a new Gilded Age?</span> That's the contention of Republican political consultant Bruce Mehlman, and in a series of 35 slides, he makes a strong case.</p> <p>In many ways, problems facing America today resemble those facing what we still call "turn-of-the-century" America, the 1890s to the 1910s. Just as employment shifted from farms to factories a century ago, it has been moving from manufacturing to services recently.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 13, 2017</p> 194f1ad32c003367bba5cfce00194df8 Both Parties' Extremists Seem Determined to Lose the Next Elections for 10/06/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/10/17/both-parties-extremists-seem-determined-to-lose-the-next-elections Fri, 06 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Almost no one disagrees that our two major political parties, the oldest and third-oldest in the world, have become increasingly extreme and estranged over the past decade. It's a startling contrast with the state of political conflict in the dozen or so years after the fall of the Soviet empire.</p> <p>In 1992, Bill Clinton ran on a moderate Democratic Leadership Council platform and, after the implosion of Hillary Clinton's health care plan and the election of Republican congressional majorities in 1994, mostly governed accordingly.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 06, 2017</p> 20f485341fede0d2b91c567adbebf1f7 To Limit Gerrymandering, Supreme Court Needs Just to Reaffirm Equal Population Requirement for 09/29/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/09/17/to-limit-gerrymandering-supreme-court-needs-just-to-reaffirm-equal-population-requirement Fri, 29 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Next week, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Gill v. Whitford, a case challenging Wisconsin's legislative district lines as an unconstitutional Republican gerrymander. It's attracted attention because many high-minded commentators have blamed partisan gerrymandering for today's highly polarized politics &#8212; and for the fact that Republicans have won majorities in 67 of the 98 houses of state legislatures and in 10 of the past 12 elections in the U.S. House of Representatives.</p> <p>But as I and others have argued, <span class="column--highlighted-text">gerrymandering has contributed only marginally to Republican success. More important is demographic clustering.</span> Democratic voters are heavily clustered in central cities, sympathetic suburbs and university towns, while Republican voters are more evenly spread around.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 29, 2017</p> 9505533157609dee817f8c2b114e6045 Tension Between President and Congress Is Politics as Usual for 09/22/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/09/17/tension-between-president-and-congress-is-politics-as-usual Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For the first time in nearly 20 years, the president seems out of alignment, on policy and political goals, with his party in Congress. This strikes many as an anomalous, even alarming, situation. But if you look back at history, it's more like the norm &#8212; even if Donald Trump isn't.</p> <p>The current presidential/congressional alignment began in January 1998, when the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke into the news. For several years before that, President Bill Clinton had engaged in what was called triangulation, positioning himself on issues between his party's liberal congressional leaders and the conservatism of House Speaker Newt Gingrich.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 22, 2017</p> 1296cb9e224c9248e6e57850d964ddc0 House Republicans' Frustrations May Doom Their Majority for 09/15/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/09/17/house-republicans-frustrations-may-doom-their-majority Fri, 15 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The Founding Fathers didn't expect that serving in Congress would be a lifetime career. And for a century, it mostly wasn't. The first election in which more than half the incumbent members of the House of Representatives were re-elected was in 1898. Since then, the majority of House members have been returned in every election except the one in 1932.</p> <p>That's the context in which to weigh the fact that three incumbent Republican representatives who have been comfortably re-elected have announced they are retiring &#8212; and the rumors that more will do so. Incumbents tend to know &#8212; and be known in &#8212; their districts. They usually win, whereas open-seat contests often result in changes of party control.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 15, 2017</p> 333cf35251d32359f6492ad2a843e642 Can Trump and Democrats Make a Deal on Immigration? for 09/08/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/09/17/can-trump-and-democrats-make-a-deal-on-immigration Fri, 08 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Can President Donald Trump and the Republican-majority Congress make a deal? That's a question raised by the announcement that the Trump administration will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in six months. DACA, put in place by the Obama administration, provided protection from deportation to immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children and who didn't have serious criminal records and were working or in school or the military.</p> <p>Trump is on strong legal ground. Barack Obama established DACA in 2012, even though, as he had earlier explained, the Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the authority to set policy on immigration and naturalization.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 08, 2017</p> 2dbf800d402f7161d41e87c04ddb7472 Time to Drop Colleges' Racial Quotas and Preferences for 09/01/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/08/17/time-to-drop-colleges-racial-quotas-and-preferences Fri, 01 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span class="column--highlighted-text">When a policy has been vigorously followed by venerable institutions for more than a generation without getting any closer to producing the desired results, perhaps there is some problem with the goal.</span></p> <p>That thought was prompted by a New York Times story headlined "Even With Affirmative Action, Blacks and Hispanics Are More Underrepresented at Top Colleges Than 35 Years Ago." It presented enrollment data from 100 selective colleges and universities &#8212; the eight Ivy League schools, nine University of California campuses, 20 "top" liberal arts colleges, 14 "other top universities" and 50 "flagship" state universities. (They total 100 because UC Berkeley appears in two categories.)<p>Updated: Fri Sep 01, 2017</p> 223f56525882f5c4cbd03e9b4f2266f1 Trump's Palmerstonian Policy for 08/25/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/08/17/trumps-palmerstonian-policy Fri, 25 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>President Donald Trump's Afghanistan speech Monday night was disciplined, measured and sometimes verging on eloquence. It was presidential. Evidently, his vision wasn't impaired when he looked at the eclipse without the proper eyewear earlier in the day.</p> <p>Like Barack Obama, Trump came to office determined to get out of Afghanistan. "My original instinct was to pull out," he said Monday. But "decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office."<p>Updated: Fri Aug 25, 2017</p> 097477ce1e0fb2180844992b3e874e43 What Identity Politics Hath Wrought for 08/18/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/08/17/what-identity-politics-hath-wrought Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>There's a whiff of Weimar in the air. During the years of the Weimar Republic (1919-33), Germany was threatened by Communist revolutionaries and Nazi uprisings. Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau was assassinated, and violent street fighting was commonplace. Then Adolf Hitler took power in 1933.</p> <p>America is nowhere near that point. But many surely agree with The American Interest's Jason Willick, who wrote Sunday that "this latest round of deadly political violence has" him "more afraid for" the United States than he has "ever been before."<p>Updated: Fri Aug 18, 2017</p> b9907926fb68f427b23d6295ee5d3dbe Google's 'Tolerance' Requires Repression for 08/11/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/08/17/googles-tolerance-requires-repression Fri, 11 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p></p><p><p>Updated: Fri Aug 11, 2017</p> a85d7cdf1ff55e11e8c10796c353a24f Ignoring the Lessons of Effective Presidents for 08/04/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/08/17/ignoring-the-lessons-of-effective-presidents Fri, 04 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Who have been the most successful presidents in the past 80 years? Most successful, that is, in framing issues and advancing their policies, achieving foreign policy success, winning re-election and maintaining high job approval.</p> <p>My nominees are Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan. They had in common many things: winning smiles, confident optimism, a seeming sympathy with ordinary Americans. Together they won eight presidential nominations and eight general elections.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 04, 2017</p> a4b08ac9f1ccc11f5c2bb96952d7beaa Democrats and Trump: Both Behaving Irrationally for 07/28/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/07/17/democrats-and-trump-both-behaving-irrationally Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What is it about Russia &#8212; some vestige of all those Cold War spy films, perhaps &#8212; that makes so many people, on all political sides, behave so irrationally when it's mentioned?</p> <p>Consider the behavior of the Democrats, who are seeking to prove that Donald Trump and/or his campaign colluded with Russia, with the implication that this collusion somehow determined the outcome of the 2016 election.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 28, 2017</p> edfc44e393e4533f75010b602ff36add The Detroit Riot, 50 Years Later for 07/21/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/07/17/the-detroit-riot-50-years-later Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Fifty years ago this weekend, a deadly urban riot began in Detroit. It started around 3:30 a.m., when police arrested 85 patrons of a blind pig &#8212; an illegal after-hours bar &#8212; in the midst of an all-black neighborhood that had been all-white 15 or 20 years before. </p> <p>The statistics are horrifying. Rioting went on for six nights, with some 2,500 stores looted and burnt, some 400 families displaced and property damage was estimated around $300 million in 2017 dollars. Forty-three people, many of them innocent bystanders, were killed. More than 1,000 people were wounded. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 21, 2017</p> 11cbe65e309d2ef0c051b5f604a4a99b Anti-Trump Overreach Could Backfire for 07/14/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/07/17/anti-trump-overreach-could-backfire Fri, 14 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Overreach. Donald Trump seems to have an uncanny knack for prompting overreach by his opponents and critics. This often hurts him and the country. But it has the potential to hurt those doing the overreach as well.</p> <p>Start with Trump's speech in Warsaw last week. "As the Polish experience reminds us," he said after recounting in vivid detail how Poland rebounded from decades of horrors, "the defense of the West ultimately rests not only on means but also on the will of its people to prevail. The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive." <p>Updated: Fri Jul 14, 2017</p> e49c9788f5b8e545650a30eb6ef4c820 Will Trump Republicans Avoid the Off-Year Curse? for 07/07/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/07/17/will-trump-republicans-avoid-the-off-year-curse Fri, 07 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Curious fact, and one disquieting for Republicans looking ahead to 2018: In the past 65 years, starting with 1952, the president's party has managed to win a majority of seats in an off-year election only four times. In the other 12 off-year elections, the opposition party won a majority.</p> <p>Special circumstances, unlikely to be replicated next year, accounted for the four presidential party victories.</p> <p>In two of these off-year elections, 1966 and 1978, a Democratic president's party had won better than 2-1 majorities in the House two years before. In the 1966 backlash against Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, Democrats were reduced from 295 seats to 247, but it was still well above the 218 needed for a majority. In a milder recoil against Jimmy Carter in 1978, Democrats were reduced from 292 seats to a still robust 277.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 07, 2017</p> cf55e4e3158c86a0f4b09d2d5711d0e7 Democrats -- and Republicans -- Lack Credibility on Economic Issues for 06/30/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/17/democrats-and-republicans-lack-credibility-on-economic-issues Fri, 30 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Liberal writers and political operatives, now that it's finally dawning on them that no one is going to find evidence that Donald Trump conspired with Russia to steal the presidential election, are turning to giving advice to the Democratic Party.</p> <p>That's a natural, if somewhat delayed, response to an election that left the world's oldest political party out of power in the three branches of the federal government. The margins of defeat may have been small, but the consequences seem deep and maybe long-lasting.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 30, 2017</p> 49f5d99f2347893340fd39d08fc58a51 The Outlook After the Special Elections for 06/23/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/17/the-outlook-after-the-special-elections Fri, 23 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The victory of Republican Karen Handel in the special election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District on Tuesday has discouraged Democrats and encouraged Republicans. Democrat Jon Ossoff won 48.1 percent in the special election's first round April 18, and Democrats had high hopes that they could take this House seat from the Republicans.</p> <p>But even with $30 million spent &#8212; in what became the most expensive House race ever &#8212; and with a turnout of 260,000 (more than the 210,000 who voted in the 2014 midterm), Ossoff won exactly 48.1 percent again. Not quite enough.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 23, 2017</p> 231269ff0334f97ca337672cb6c24603 The Violent Political Left for 06/16/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/17/the-violent-political-left Fri, 16 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Violence is in the air these days. It was visible to the world in Manchester, Birmingham and London in the days before the British general election June 8. It was visible on the baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday morning as a Donald Trump hater and Bernie Sanders volunteer took a rifle and shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three others while Republicans were practicing for Thursday's congressional ballgame.</p> <p>Violence is increasingly visible from or threatened by ski-masked, hammer-armed antifas &#8212; people employing fascist-style intimidation on those who disagree &#8212; on campuses from Berkeley to New England and in the streets of "cool cities" such as Portland. Contrary to mainstream media expectations, the violence and threats come almost entirely from the political left, not the right.</p> <p>Sanders immediately issued a strong statement denouncing violence. That's in character. He had also called for free speech on campus when Ann Coulter was barred from Berkeley, as did fellow left-wingers Elizabeth Warren and Maxine Waters. That's in line with longtime liberal tradition yet contrary to the policies and actions of so many college and university administrators these days.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 16, 2017</p> aca94010dde1d638322ba1305a3e0a90 Is College Worth It? Increasing Numbers Say No for 06/09/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/17/is-college-worth-it-increasing-numbers-say-no Fri, 09 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Too many people are going to college," writes my American Enterprise Institute colleague Charles Murray. That's not a response to the mob of students who attacked him and the liberal professor who had invited him to speak back in March at Middlebury College. It's the title of the third chapter in his 2008 book, "Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America's Schools Back to Reality."</p> <p>Since Murray wrote those words, higher-education enrollment has in fact declined, from 20.6 million in 2011 to 19 million in 2016, according to Ohio University economists Richard Vedder and Justin Strehle, who wrote about it in The Wall Street Journal. That 8 percent drop was concentrated in community colleges and for-profit schools.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 09, 2017</p> db359f592ed8b8ad1a58f4330d489267 Let's Stop Acting as if the 2016 Campaign Were Still On for 06/02/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/17/lets-stop-acting-as-if-the-2016-campaign-were-still-on Fri, 02 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>If you keep up with the news, you might think that the unpleasant and unedifying 2016 presidential campaign is still going on.</p> <p>President Donald Trump, up early, is sending out tweets coarsely attacking foreign leaders and American politicians &#8212; complete with misspelled words, in at least one case to the point of indecipherability.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 02, 2017</p>