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 Thu, 01 Oct 2020 10:53:02 -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 3119de49362907774856134d6980375a Who's Violating Norms These Days? for 09/25/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/09/20/whos-violating-norms-these-days Fri, 25 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Norms, we are told, matter. Violating norms, recklessly disregarding norms &#8212; these are charges on which President Donald Trump is often arraigned in the court of public opinion. </p> <p>The indictment starts with his annoying habit of inventing insulting nicknames for his opponents and critics. You can add to the list as you will and perhaps come up with enough names for a 700-plus-word newspaper column.</p> <p>But Trump hasn't been the only one disregarding norms of late. Consider the question of whether and when the president and Senate should fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 25, 2020</p> e91b9c8ba3cc5a937cbf94403aa48d2e Statehood for Territories May Boomerang on Democrats for 09/18/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/09/20/statehood-for-territories-may-boomerang-on-democrats Fri, 18 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What happens if, as seems much more likely now than it did a year or six months ago, Democrats overturn the Republican majority in the Senate? </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">No clear answer yet, but NBC News reports Democratic senators have set up a "war room" to enable them to abolish the filibuster and quickly pass a Biden-Harris agenda. </span>Other Democrats have urged that a Democratic Congress admit new states to the Union &#8212; each with two senators, up to a dozen &#8212; to have a view to blocking a Republican majority forever. <p>Updated: Fri Sep 18, 2020</p> d75e82b9a216888e21ac8feefbb13ab0 The Campaign Is at Knife's Edge for 09/11/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/09/20/the-campaign-is-at-knifes-edge Fri, 11 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The presidential campaign is at knife's edge. Both parties' campaigns assume that patterns of support will closely resemble those in 2016. And both are making surprisingly little effort, considering how close that contest turned out to be, with the 46 crucial electoral votes decided by just 77,744 votes, to increase their levels of support.</p> <p>The past three years and 10 months have seen little outreach by President Donald Trump to most of those who didn't vote for him in 2016, particularly to the college-graduate suburbanites who tipped the House to Democrats in 2018. He seems unwilling or unable to squelch the undisciplined tweets and ad libs that repel such voters, and he seems nonplussed by the prospect of losing the national popular vote again. <p>Updated: Fri Sep 11, 2020</p> 32e7011a779c5991c366ee424c3c8f06 Were the Lockdowns a Mistake? for 09/04/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/09/20/were-the-lockdowns-a-mistake Fri, 04 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>To that nagging question, the answer increasingly seems to be yes. </p> <p>Certainly, they were a novelty. As novelist Lionel Shriver writes, "We've never before responded to a contagion by closing down whole countries." As I noted in May, the 1957-58 Asian flu killed between 70,000 and 116,000 Americans, between 0.04% and 0.07% of the nation's population. The 1968-70 Hong Kong flu killed about 100,000, 0.05% of the population. <p>Updated: Fri Sep 04, 2020</p> 9449d1423563ca4b0ae3ac369a5422c0 Trump's Republicans Scoring on Issues Democrats Wouldn't Mention for 08/28/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/08/20/trumps-republicans-scoring-on-issues-democrats-wouldnt-mention Fri, 28 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>You know the first two nights of the Republicans' virtual national convention have gone well when you see that Politico's morning Playbook leads with a lame joke about the U.S. Postal Service hiring a new lobbyist, aimed at reviving the post office non-scandal. Ho, ho, ho!</p> <p>The more pertinent news is that both parties have adapted deftly to the virtual format. Democrats invented an amusing roll call procedure &#8212; showing people from each state touting the party's virtues &#8212; and Republicans even improved on it a little. <p>Updated: Fri Aug 28, 2020</p> acbbb44a9179e26690f5db3b9e0a8eb1 Blue and Red America Differences Could Hurt Democrats for 08/21/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/08/20/blue-and-red-america-differences-could-hurt-democrats Fri, 21 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Give Politico's chief Washington correspondent, Ryan Lizza, some credit. After Michelle Obama's speech capping the first night of the Democrats' virtual convention, he tweeted: "Story of an era in two convention speeches: Barack 04: 'There's not a black America and white America . ... there's the United States of America.' Michelle 20: 'my message won't be heard by some people' because 'we live in a nation that is deeply divided.'" </p> <p>But who's to blame? Democrats like to load all the blame on President Donald Trump, and, despite their continued failure to cite evidence for his "racism," there's no denying his coarse insults have contributed to an increasing sense of national division.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 21, 2020</p> ca1208debef03fee1f2104e59d74f15e Biden-Harris/Trump-Pence Race 'Tightening' for 08/14/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/08/20/biden-harristrump-pence-race-tightening Fri, 14 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Just as Joe Biden announced Kamala Harris as his vice presidential nominee, and a week before the Democrats' virtual national convention is scheduled to begin at various sites, the basement strategy he's been pursuing, hailed as the political equivalent of "The Emperor's New Clothes," was starting to look tattered and torn.</p> <p>The basement strategy during the pandemic was an obvious choice for a 77-year-old candidate who was gaffe-prone even in his prime; particularly gaffe-prone against an incumbent president capable of stepping on his own best lines and tweeting himself into trouble; and perhaps even more so with a ticket mate whose own presidential campaign showed her chronically unprepared and undisciplined.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 14, 2020</p> 5ddbf8091c134f235c809a8b340598a8 Ticket Balancing May Be Risky for Joe Biden for 08/07/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/08/20/ticket-balancing-may-be-risky-for-joe-biden Fri, 07 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>If the presidential nominating process is the weakest part of our political system &#8212; and, perhaps not coincidentally, one not referenced by the founders &#8212; the vice presidential selection process comes solidly in second place. Some might even argue it's a contender for the top spot.</p> <p>That's been particularly the case in the two most recent election cycles. The 2016 election, with Republican and Democratic nominees ages 70 and 69 on Election Day, respectively, elevated the actuarial odds of a vice president succeeding to the presidency to the highest level in history.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 07, 2020</p> faff6b0d3ba8d0806065e1e6ea3c9aa3 Intensifying Into Violence for 07/31/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/07/20/intensifying-into-violence Fri, 31 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Protestors in California," tweeted ABC News, about an incident in Oakland, "set fire to a courthouse, damaged a police station and assaulted officers after a peaceful demonstration intensified."</p> <p>If you'd presented your ninth-grade teacher with that sentence in your weekly writing assignment, she might have taken out her red pen and asked you, "How does a peaceful demonstration intensify?"<p>Updated: Fri Jul 31, 2020</p> 8cc8e2964292251f0278da15beaa4622 Goodbye, After Nearly Two Centuries, to the National Conventions for 07/24/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/07/20/goodbye-after-nearly-two-centuries-to-the-national-conventions Fri, 24 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>If things had proceeded according to schedule, we'd be checking the polls this week to see if Joe Biden had gotten a bounce from his acceptance speech in Milwaukee. That's because the Democratic National Convention was originally scheduled for July 13-16. </p> <p>It has since been postponed, due to COVID-19, to August 17-20, and will evidently be transformed to a mostly virtual event. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 24, 2020</p> c88d0c1c285acac29624eda3db00d559 Trump Opponents' Worst Traits Are Trump's Fault for 07/17/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/07/20/trump-opponents-worst-traits-are-trumps-fault Fri, 17 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>You could say it's all Donald Trump's fault. His bad qualities &#8212; his carelessness about facts, his obstinance about admitting error, his contempt for others' views &#8212; have turned out to be contagious, to the point that you could argue they're more damaging to his opponents than to him.</p> <p>This started early on, during the 2016 campaign. "I will look at it at the time," Trump replied when asked during the final fall debate whether he would concede if he lost. "That's horrifying," Hillary Clinton replied, quite reasonably. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 17, 2020</p> c72a7447f24a5050b302c374a2e9c059 Behind the Media's Breathtakingly Dishonest Coverage for 07/10/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/07/20/behind-the-medias-breathtakingly-dishonest-coverage Fri, 10 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"I don't think I've ever seen such dishonest and biased coverage of any event." That was Brit Hume, who has been covering events for more than 50 years for Fox News, ABC News and investigative reporter Jack Anderson. </p> <p>The event, as you may have guessed, was President Donald Trump's Independence (without the scare-quotes) Day speech at Mount Rushmore. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 10, 2020</p> a152a0470f7f26358c44cca395db7edc Generations Defining -- and Redefining -- American History for 07/03/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/07/20/generations-defining-and-redefining-american-history Fri, 03 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Americans naturally tend to think of their presidents in terms of generations, like they do with their families. This may have started with the news that former Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, half a century to the day the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence they jointly drafted. </p> <p>The Founding Generation (birth years 1732-1767) held the presidency for nearly half a century, from 1789 to 1837. Five were adults during the American Revolution. Two had childhood memories of it: John Quincy Adams of watching the gunfire smoke from Bunker Hill at age 7, Andrew Jackson of being slashed by a British officer's sword at age 14. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 03, 2020</p> 3a096705fb96e1ef7a74919c3fde81a8 Violent Crime Is a Confiscatory Wealth Tax for 06/27/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/20/violent-crime-is-a-confiscatory-wealth-tax Sat, 27 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"What gives urgency to debates about race in America today &#8212; and what drives the reparations movement, are two basic facts," Walter Russell Mead writes in the Wall Street Journal. </p> <p>The first, he says, is that "The median white household has a net worth of $171,000, roughly 10 times the median net worth of black households." The second is that the gap "is essentially unchanged from the levels of 1962." The persistence of this gap advances the case, advocates say, for racial reparations.<p>Updated: Sat Jun 27, 2020</p> 1ff13c640d52cf7290f11cbb66b312e1 The Frivolous Democrats for 06/26/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/20/the-frivolous-democrats Fri, 26 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>White college graduates have emerged from the last two decades of elections as an increasingly large and cohesive political bloc &#8212; and one that poses problems for both political parties. </p> <p>Back in the pre-COVID-19 era, their numbers augmented by recent products of woke campuses, they seemed the dominant force in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 26, 2020</p> 5e6bb325da6fda74c204ff5ca4c60c29 Success Breeds Failure for 06/19/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/20/success-breeds-failure Fri, 19 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Success breeds failure. That's a lesson taught by America's current woes, the stumbling attempts to cope with the novel coronavirus, and the all-too-familiar scripts for responding to police misconduct and violent riots.</p> <p>What worked once upon a time no longer proves functional; policies that once enjoyed consensus now evoke multivarious complaints; procedures that long proved availing suddenly seem dysfunctional. <p>Updated: Fri Jun 19, 2020</p> eb08ecb3a9bfb4c12d987f2d5ebafcb4 The New Religion of Woke Anti-Racism for 06/12/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/20/the-new-religion-of-woke-anti-racism Fri, 12 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It's all about religion, isn't it? "(W)e have the cult of social justice on the left," Andrew Sullivan wrote in New York Magazine, "a religion whose followers show the same zeal as any born-again Evangelical."</p> <p>Linguist John McWhorter elaborated on that theme in The Atlantic. "(A)ntiracism," he wrote, "is a profoundly religious movement in everything but terminology."<p>Updated: Fri Jun 12, 2020</p> bfe7dc36604df76582d208bab6007b0c Violent Rioting, as in the 1960s, Hurts the Most Disadvantaged for 06/05/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/20/violent-rioting-as-in-the-1960s-hurts-the-most-disadvantaged Fri, 05 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"America is burning. But that's how forests grow." So spoke Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.</p> <p>"Riots are an integral part of the country's march towards progress." So read a now-deleted tweet from the Democratic Committee of Fairfax County, Virginia, the affluent Washington suburb with a population of 1 million. <p>Updated: Fri Jun 05, 2020</p> 09bf737da452d570634a588ba61b5328 Plague in a Time of Partisanship for 05/29/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/05/20/plague-in-a-time-of-partisanship Fri, 29 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>America faces a contagious infection: partisanship. Consider the responses to a poll question about treating the COVID-19 virus with the long-approved and widely used drug hydroxychloroquine.</p> <p>A Morning Consult poll shows 52% of Republicans supporting the drug and 16% against. At the same time and in the same country, 56% of Democrats opposed it, and 13% were in favor. <p>Updated: Fri May 29, 2020</p> aad85aaf6782c5445989a1751339e716 COVID-19 Shows We're More Risk-Averse Than Post-World War II Americans for 05/22/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/05/20/covid-19-shows-were-more-risk-averse-than-post-world-war-ii-americans Fri, 22 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Do you remember the 1957-58 Asian flu? Or the 1968-69 Hong Kong flu? I do. I was a teenager during the first of these, an adult finishing law school during the second. But even though back then I followed the news much more than the average person my age, I can't dredge up more than the dimmest memory of either. </p> <p>I don't have any memory of schools closing, though apparently, a few did here and there. I have no memories of city or state lockdowns, of closed offices and factories and department stores, of people banned from parks and beaches. <p>Updated: Fri May 22, 2020</p>