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 Fri, 18 Aug 2017 22:32:33 -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 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> 6e8dbe2108b233b75ad62a1b80bc3886 Trump Acts Like a Competent, Conventional President Abroad for 05/26/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/05/17/trump-acts-like-a-competent-conventional-president-abroad Fri, 26 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What a difference a week makes. On May 19, President Donald Trump took off in Air Force One for the Middle East and Europe. He left behind a Washington and a nation buzzing about his firing of FBI Director James Comey, the multiple reasons he had given for doing so, the meeting he'd had with the Russian foreign minister a day later and his statement that Comey is a "nut job."</p> <p>The I-word &#8212; impeachment &#8212; was in the air as Democrats and mainstream media muttered that he was obstructing justice by attempting to throttle investigation of collusion with the Russians. Brainy and quirky conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat argued that the Trump Cabinet should remove him from office as unfit under the 25th Amendment.<p>Updated: Fri May 26, 2017</p> 6a5c22c9e9be9ab98e915705965880a6 The Demotic Politics of Theresa May -- and Donald Trump for 05/19/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/05/17/the-demotic-politics-of-theresa-may-and-donald-trump Fri, 19 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>DURHAM, England &#8212; When I first visited England to cover a British election 20 years ago this month, there were striking similarities between British and American politics.</p> <p>In Britain, Tony Blair's Labour Party was about to sweep to a landslide victory after 18 years of Conservative Party government, promising a third way between the free market policies of Margaret Thatcher and the socialist policies of traditional Labour. Voters and politicians seemed filled with exhilaration at the prospect of an articulate, optimistic 44-year-old leader promising an exit from the politics of deadlock.<p>Updated: Fri May 19, 2017</p> d507aae85f6c3b55ac1ecfe53052ea8b James Comey Is the Latest Victim of the Clintons for 05/12/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/05/17/james-comey-is-the-latest-victim-of-the-clintons Fri, 12 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Why did President Donald Trump fire FBI Director James Comey now? The answer, as my Washington Examiner colleague Byron York has argued, is that he waited until after his impeccably apolitical deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, was in place as Comey's direct superior. Rosenstein was confirmed April 25, and his memorandum titled "Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI" was appended to Trump's firing letter exactly two weeks later.</p> <p>In that document, Rosenstein characterized Comey's July 5 statement on the FBI's investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's secret email system as "a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do." In support of that proposition, he cited comments from five former deputy attorneys general and four former attorneys general of both major political parties (including Eric Holder, who held both offices).<p>Updated: Fri May 12, 2017</p> 8d6c09d2d0b512a36c8de6746c3faedd Cultural Appropriation: A Modest Proposal for 05/05/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/05/17/cultural-appropriation-a-modest-proposal Fri, 05 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Cultural appropriation" has become the latest evil denounced by soi-disant social justice warriors, on campus and off. Examples:</p> <p>"I was taught that white people shouldn't listen to rap music because it's cultural appropriation and could be offensive to my classmates," writes Pomona College student Steven Glick in The Washington Post.<p>Updated: Fri May 05, 2017</p> da40b5f72989d21805e8070aa891da73 The New/Old Politics of Capital vs. Countryside for 04/28/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/04/17/the-newold-politics-of-capital-vs-countryside Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Capital vs. countryside &#8212; that's the new political divide, visible in multiple surprise election results over the past 11 months. It cuts across old partisan lines and replaces traditional divisions &#8212; labor vs. management, north vs. south, Catholic vs. Protestant &#8212; among voters.</p> <p>This was apparent last June in Britain's referendum on whether to leave the European Union. London voted 60 percent to remain, while the rest of England, whether Labour or Conservative, voted 57 percent to leave. It was plain in Colombia's October referendum on a peace settlement with the FARC guerrillas. Bogota voted 56 percent "si," the heartland cordillera provinces 58 percent "no."<p>Updated: Fri Apr 28, 2017</p> 2187737454e28cf7924dd0a889440943 Reading the Kansas 4 and Georgia 6 Tea Leaves for 04/21/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/04/17/reading-the-kansas-4-and-georgia-6-tea-leaves Fri, 21 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What to make of the results of the first two of this spring's special House elections? Start off by putting them in perspective. They pose a challenge to both political parties, but especially to Republicans, who have been used to an unusually stable partisan alignment, an alignment that has become scrambled by Donald Trump.</p> <p>Those of us who can remember the 1964-84 years have seen much greater partisan churning. Almost half of the congressional districts that voted for Richard Nixon in 1972 elected Democratic congressmen. Some 191 districts split tickets. In 2012, that number was down to 26, the lowest since 1920.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 21, 2017</p> 376f40a75ce06e4e7c9a414cbd03566a Our Three Presidents Born in 1946 for 04/14/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/04/17/our-three-presidents-born-in-1946 Fri, 14 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>With the inauguration of Donald Trump this year, we have now had, for the first time in our history, three American presidents who were born in the same year. There have been three pairs of presidents born in the same year &#8212; the very dissimilar John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, in 1767; Richard Nixon and his surprise successor, Gerald Ford, in 1913; and Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, in 1924.</p> <p>Now we've had three presidents who were born in calendar year 1946: Bill Clinton (in August), George W. Bush (in July) and Donald Trump (in June). Note that all three were born just a little more than nine months after V-J Day. (For younger readers, that was the end of World War II.)<p>Updated: Fri Apr 14, 2017</p> 3d5aa2bc3f4fb777b00f89097f38cd48 Mistrust of Trump Threatens Political Corrosion and Rule of Law for 04/07/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/04/17/mistrust-of-trump-threatens-political-corrosion-and-rule-of-law Fri, 07 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Donald Trump's unorthodox campaign and unexpected victory have produced a culture of mistrust permeating our politics and threatening to undermine the rule of law. That's not healthy, whatever you think of Trump or his political opponents.</p> <p>The partisan mistrust is evident in Senate Democrats' filibuster of the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, which, at this writing, seems sure to result in an end to such filibusters, to at least the short-term detriment of the Democratic Party. Apparently, pressure from the party's base has pushed reluctant senators into this self-defeating course.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 07, 2017</p>