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 Mon, 24 Jun 2019 05:26:27 -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 984b2015a1bb4dc08c8ea561ed71b87c Yes, AOC, Your Generation Has Seen American Prosperity for 06/21/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/19/yes-aoc-your-generation-has-seen-american-prosperity Fri, 21 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"An entire generation, which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America," says Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., whose visibility as a spokesperson for this generation has been boosted by political friend and foe, "came of age and never saw American prosperity."</p> <p>Of course, AOC misspoke. It's ridiculous to say that someone who grew up in and worked in metropolitan New York City "never saw American prosperity." Those high-rise buildings didn't rise by spontaneous generation. Somebody put up money to build them.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 21, 2019</p> fa1bade577d572f0cefd464601f0f867 The Not-Inevitable Candidate and His Not-Feasible Pet Project for 06/14/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/19/the-not-inevitable-candidate-and-his-not-feasible-pet-project Fri, 14 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Will Joe Biden inevitably win the Democratic nomination for president? A month ago, many psephologists thought so, as national polls within two weeks of his April 25 announcement showed the former vice president with 41 percent of Democratic primary votes. </p> <p>Four weeks later, that number has fallen to 32 percent, still formidable in a field of 24 candidates but lacking the look of inevitability. His light schedule of campaign events suggests a lack of confidence in the stamina steadiness of a 76-year-old candidate, and his flip-flop on major issues strengthens that impression.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 14, 2019</p> c5a31b7615b592e2750f9dda7a9c5bfd Barr Asking Questions the Media Don't Want Asked for 06/07/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/19/barr-asking-questions-the-media-dont-want-asked Fri, 07 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"I'm amused," Attorney General William Barr told CBS News' Jan Crawford, "by these people who make a living by disclosing classified information, including the names of intelligence operatives, wringing their hands about whether I'm going to be responsible in protecting intelligence sources and methods." </p> <p>He went on after further questions: "Well, the media reaction is strange. Normally the media would be interested in letting the sunshine in and finding out what the truth is. And usually the media doesn't care that much about protecting intelligence sources and methods. But I do, and I will."<p>Updated: Fri Jun 07, 2019</p> ba8b3142895d94e99694e9cf55bfc8a5 Sometimes Parties Have to Change to Thrive -- or Even Survive for 05/31/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/05/19/sometimes-parties-have-to-change-to-thrive-or-even-survive Fri, 31 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Political parties generally go unappreciated, even among those inclined to celebrate representative democracy. The Founding Fathers famously didn't like them yet found themselves forming them, not long after the First Congress assembled. </p> <p>This suggests something I have come to believe while writing essays on our two long-lived American parties: <span class="column--highlighted-text">The quality of electoral democracy depends heavily on the performance, the steadiness and the adaptability of admittedly self-interested political parties.</span><p>Updated: Fri May 31, 2019</p> 9118ab9670a988910ae328aa93edc4ae Using the Big Lie to Delegitimize Election Results for 05/25/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/05/19/using-the-big-lie-to-delegitimize-election-results Sat, 25 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The Big Lie is back in style. Wikipedia tells us that the term was invented by Adolf Hitler to describe what others did &#8212; though he was the biggest liar of all. "The broad masses of a nation," he wrote in "Mein Kampf," "more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie." </p> <p>No one on the political scene in this country or any democratic nation is a monster comparable to Hitler. But <span class="column--highlighted-text">some have resorted to the Big Lie in their attempts to override clear decisions of the people, at the risk of delegitimizing the nation's democracy.</span><p>Updated: Sat May 25, 2019</p> 79568c77ce406e203261fbf0fc83d2af Will 'Whiteshift' Save America From Ethnic Strife? for 05/17/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/05/19/will-whiteshift-save-america-from-ethnic-strife Fri, 17 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>If you've been paying any attention at all to journalism in recent years &#8212; maybe not a good idea, but if you have &#8212; you surely have noticed those stories predicting, often with a certain relish, that the United States is about to become a majority-minority country. </p> <p>Such predictions, as the Obama administration Census Bureau director noted in 2014, "made demographic change look like a zero-sum game that white Americans were losing." Such fears contributed to Donald Trump's election in 2016. No one wants to vote for the side that seems to be saying, "Hurry up and die."</p> <p>But are those trends so inevitable? Not necessarily, writes political scientist Eric Kaufmann, a Canadian who teaches in Britain and is of Jewish, Chinese and Latino ancestry. His most recent book is called "Whiteshift," which he defines as "the mixture of many non-whites into the white group through voluntary assimilation."<p>Updated: Fri May 17, 2019</p> 2199e98ff7bea0647880b026141ef4bb For Joe Biden, on China It's Still the 1990s for 05/10/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/05/19/for-joe-biden-on-china-its-still-the-1990s Fri, 10 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Once upon a time, May 1 &#8212; May Day &#8212; was a day for working-class parades in factory towns. This year, it was a day for Joe Biden, to set off on his third presidential campaign in 32 years, to make news on the stump, not in a working-class venue but in the university town of Iowa City, now the state's Democratic stronghold. </p> <p>Biden's claims for the presidency rest heavily on foreign policy expertise gained in eight years as vice president and 34 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And, unusually for a Democratic candidate this cycle, he chose to speak about China. "China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man," he orated. "They can't even figure out how to deal with the fact that they have this great division between the China Sea and the mountains in the ... west. They can't figure out how they're going to deal with the corruption that exists within the system. ... They're not bad folks, folks, but guess what. They're not competition for us."</p> <p>"This will not age well," tweeted Sen. Mitt Romney, who surely remembers how then-President Barack Obama ridiculed him in the final 2012 presidential debate for bringing back the foreign policy of the 1980s by characterizing Russia as our "number one geopolitical foe." <p>Updated: Fri May 10, 2019</p> 2342a16cf474e0a5994a36627990454a Will Joe Biden's Long Career Help or Hurt? for 05/03/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/05/19/will-joe-bidens-long-career-help-or-hurt Fri, 03 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Joe Biden has been around a long time. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972, at age 29 (he reached the Constitution's required age of 30 before taking office in January 1973). No one in the current Senate was there then; the current senior-most House member only arrived there after a special election two months later. Few other Americans have had such long-lasting prominent political careers: John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay in the 19th century, arguably; Claude Pepper and Strom Thurmond in the 20th. </p> <p>Biden's poll numbers shot up after his announcement, by video and in person in Pittsburgh. The three most recent polls show him averaging 33 percent, way ahead of Sen. Bernie Sanders (16 percent), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (10 percent), Mayor Pete Buttigieg (8 percent) and Sen. Kamala Harris (7 percent). Biden seems to run strongest among those over 45 (who turn out more regularly than those younger) and in the Midwest (where Hillary Clinton lost 50 critical electoral votes, which the Obama-Biden ticket won twice). </p> <p>Is Biden's long career a help or hindrance? His 36 years in the Senate gave him experience dealing with multiple issues and seeing how positions he's taken have fared over the years. His eight years as vice president gave him the personal exposure to the White House and executive branch that few candidates, in our often dysfunctional presidential nominating system, possess. <p>Updated: Fri May 03, 2019</p> fb9c1da726c975386088b7bae92677e0 The Most Successful Presidents Keep to Themselves -- Not Twitter for 04/26/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/04/19/the-most-successful-presidents-keep-to-themselves-not-twitter Fri, 26 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>"The Mueller report makes Trump look vain, ignorant, inept, and astonishingly dishonest." So writes my Washington Examiner colleague Quin Hillyer, never an enthusiast of President Donald Trump. </p> <p>He refers to many passages of the report: one that shows the president ordering his White House counsel to arrange the firing of the special counsel and then ordering the counsel to state in writing he never said that; one suggesting that Trump was dangling pardons to cooperative aides; and others in which Trump vents his rage at the protracted investigation, which eventually, after almost two years, found no evidence that he or his people colluded with Russia.</p> <p>House Democrats are looking hard to find something a bare majority of House members will find a plausible basis for impeachment. They will ignore the fact that Trump's aides &#8212; notably, former White House counsel Donald McGahn &#8212; refused to carry out his orders or ignored his suggestions. They will call this obstruction of justice, even though it's nothing more than thinking bad thoughts &#8212; out loud.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 26, 2019</p> 30a22a83e427e76bc64d58099f0037fe Stopping the Campusfication of American Life for 04/19/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/04/19/stopping-the-campusfication-of-american-life Fri, 19 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Many people, years after they graduate from high school and college, have nightmares about taking exams for a course for which they have done none of the reading and are totally unprepared. They wake up full of anxiety and relax only when they realize they left school years ago. </p> <p>But <span class="column--highlighted-text">increasingly, it seems like none of us ever get out of school, as the rules and restrictions that have proliferated on college and university campuses over the last two or three decades ooze out and spread to the wider society. </span>We find ourselves dealing, exams aside, with the campusfication of American life.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 19, 2019</p> 07a0ae61da608f7dc372ddf9f197a018 What Does History Tell Us About 2020? Not Very Much for 04/12/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/04/19/what-does-history-tell-us-about-2020-not-very-much Fri, 12 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What does history tell us about the 2020 presidential election? Not as much as we'd like to know. We're an old republic and our two political parties are the oldest and third oldest in the world. But we've only had a limited number of presidential elections. </p> <p>Three were uncontested (1789, 1792, 1820), and six more were conducted under rules significantly different from our current system (legislatures selecting presidential electors, for example). That leaves just 49 elections, and when I was in the polling business, we wouldn't show any results for subgroups of less than 50 because of the huge statistical margin of error. <p>Updated: Fri Apr 12, 2019</p> e42e43802f7d90867d9fc1d563dbf328 Will Black Voters Keep Democrats From Going Too Far to the Left? for 04/05/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/04/19/will-black-voters-keep-democrats-from-going-too-far-to-the-left Fri, 05 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Which of the two dozen or so Democratic presidential candidates is going to carry black voters next year? The answer to that question is likely to be identical to the answer to the question "Which candidate is going to be the Democratic nominee, and maybe the president?"</p> <p>For years, black Americans have cast about 1 out of 4 votes in Democratic primaries. In 2016, they cast 71% of Democratic primary votes in Mississippi, 61% in South Carolina, 54% in Alabama, 51% in Georgia, 46% in Maryland, 32% in North Carolina and Tennessee, and 20 to 28% in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Virginia, New York, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. <p>Updated: Fri Apr 05, 2019</p> 7f50d714fb4b48d9742cac60a9f67580 R.I.P. Collusiongate for 03/29/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/03/19/rip-collusiongate Fri, 29 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Collusiongate is now history. The late-Friday afternoon announcement that special counsel Robert Mueller had completed his investigation and Attorney General William Barr's four-page letter released Sunday made it clear. "The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities," Barr wrote.</p> <p>This is not what you expected if you've been watching CNN or MSNBC or reading The New York Times or the Washington Post these past few years. Their viewers and readers have been savoring the prospect of Donald Trump being frog-marched out of the White House on his way to prison, the smirk off his face. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 29, 2019</p> 344f0a9ced0c0956361a59b29b66d6f2 Old Rules of Thumb Yield to Even Older Ones for 03/22/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/03/19/old-rules-of-thumb-yield-to-even-older-ones Fri, 22 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Success in politics &#8212; and in political predictions &#8212; depends on the ability to distinguish between old rules of thumb that don't apply any more and old rules of thumb that do. </p> <p>Take the old rule that an officeholder's chances of re-election depend on what James Carville in 1992 took to calling "the economy, stupid."<p>Updated: Fri Mar 22, 2019</p> 9f7672bb4ec757bdcc2d939b2fe9645b Chicago's Clues for the 2020 Democrats for 03/15/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/03/19/chicagos-clues-for-the-2020-democrats Fri, 15 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>There was a record-sized field of candidates containing as many women as men. Their surnames ranged from the long familiar to the novel and exotic; they had multiple racial and ethnic backgrounds, and at least one gay candidate was in the running. This sounds like the ever-expanding list of candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, but it's also a description of the field in last month's primary election for mayor of Chicago. </p> <p>It was a new experience for Chicago, two-thirds of whose elections over the last 65 years have produced mayors named Richard Daley. The 1980s saw high-turnout contests between black candidates and whites based in the "bungalow wards." Retiring Mayor Rahm Emanuel's base was high-education whites the in Lakefront wards, in combination with Hispanics against a black runoff opponent, and blacks against a Hispanic. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 15, 2019</p> 286d797b8500144399d5a429a1d07ccf Impeachment Quest Lets AOC Types Set Democrats' Agenda for 03/08/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/03/19/impeachment-quest-lets-aoc-types-set-democrats-agenda Fri, 08 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Has the Democratic Party reduced its chances of denying President Trump a second term by continuing to concentrate on throwing him out before the end of his first? You can make a good case that it has.</p> <p>Democrats have been itching to oust Trump since the days before he took the oath of office. Obama administration law enforcement and intelligence agencies launched investigations into candidate Trump's campaign, contrary to the general rule that such agencies should avoid interfering with electoral politics. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 08, 2019</p> 345f602932dd4bb34260bf2da89f010a Democrats Are Getting out on a Dangerously Left-Wing Limb for 03/01/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/02/19/democrats-are-getting-out-on-a-dangerously-left-wing-limb Fri, 01 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>There's an old political saying that presidential candidates appeal to their parties' wings &#8212; left for Democrats, right for Republicans &#8212; in the race for the nomination and then appeal to the center in the general election campaign. It was put in canonical form by Richard Nixon, one of only two Americans our major parties nominated for national office five times (the other was Franklin Roosevelt).</p> <p>The dozen or so already announced Democratic candidates seem to be following Nixon's rule, and with more reckless abandon than Nixon ever did. Maybe they figure that whoever gets the Democratic nomination will inevitably beat Donald Trump. After all, no one they ever talk to would vote for him.</p> <p>But a skewed sample can produce misleading results. If President Trump's job approval hasn't risen above 44 percent level since March 2017, it has not fallen below 40 percent either this year or last. That's about where opinion was when he got elected. And remember that his national rating is depressed by 2-1 disapproval in California, which casts 10 percent of the nation's votes. He'll never win its 55 electoral votes, but in 2016 he carried the other 49 states and Washington, D.C., by 1.4 million votes. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 01, 2019</p> 8e6a27e8f046822c71b2cd247756f3a3 Despite Short-Term Ruckus, Long-Term Progress on Border for 02/22/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/02/19/despite-short-term-ruckus-long-term-progress-on-border Fri, 22 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Compromise reached. Donald Trump is going to build &#8212; his administration is said to be building already, with appropriated funds &#8212; the wall, er, barrier. Congressional Democrats have reportedly inserted provisions that make it easier for purported asylum seekers arriving with children to disappear and augment the illegal population. </p> <p>Compromise unreached. Recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program haven't received the legalization both sides say they should. Central Americans are still advised to drag their children on a dangerous journey through Mexico to the border. Border apprehensions in January were up sharply from those in 2018, indicating increased inflow but far below levels from 1992 to 2007. </p> <p>But let's take a longer look at this unsatisfactory compromise, the result of President Trump's failure to get legislation from Republican congressional majorities, which is exacerbated by Democrats' determination to humiliate him.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 22, 2019</p> 4d87f7ff9a16062b9dd5bd738f48b159 Why Are Leading Democratic Presidential Candidates Endorsing 'the Green Dream, or Whatever They Call It'? for 02/15/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/02/19/why-are-leading-democratic-presidential-candidates-endorsing-the-green-dream-or-whatever-they-call-it Fri, 15 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>There's an old joke about an egotistical politician whose disgruntled speechwriter, just before quitting, prepares a draft that promises the moon, and specifics for how to pay for it, on the first two pages, and leaves the third page blank except for the words "You're on your own now." </p> <p>That's the position that freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal package, co-introduced by Sen. Edward Markey, has left the several Democratic presidential candidates who rushed to endorse it. AOC (as she's often called) herself has tried to repudiate some of it, as an early draft or a Republican prank. New York Times and Washington Post reporters have indulged her alibis. <p>Updated: Fri Feb 15, 2019</p> a6c1cec73de1f498e82e2ad3c810b2f3 Trump's Surprisingly Reflective and Disciplined State of the Union for 02/08/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/02/19/trumps-surprisingly-reflective-and-disciplined-state-of-the-union Fri, 08 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"This year," President Trump stated in his widely viewed and positively rated State of the Union address, "America will recognize two important anniversaries that show us the majesty of America's mission and the power of American pride." </p> <p>"On D-Day, June 6, 1944, 15,000 young American men jumped from the sky, and 60,000 more stormed in from the sea," he said. And in July 1969, "brave young pilots flew a quarter of a million miles through space to plant the American flag on the face of the moon."<p>Updated: Fri Feb 08, 2019</p>