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 Tue, 25 Feb 2020 00:17:13 -0800 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 b055a23d272d97ec6f6e53a6b4e10951 Democrats' DNA Makes Them Feel the Bern for 02/21/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/02/20/democrats-dna-makes-them-feel-the-bern Fri, 21 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The 2020 presidential race has got the Democratic Party, the oldest political party in the world, twisted in knots. Its basic character and enduring values &#8212; its political DNA &#8212; which have enabled it to rebound from multiple political disasters, may be producing another disaster this year.</p> <p>Consider the Democrats' concept of fairness in representation. The party's delegate allocation rules, not just this cycle but going back years, favor proportionate representation.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 21, 2020</p> 1d802173094957bec6cbb970e89ba9f1 Another Year of the Interloper? for 02/14/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/02/20/another-year-of-the-interloper Fri, 14 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>It's a familiar plotline. An interloper runs for a party's presidential nomination and, with an anti-insider pitch, scores wins and near-wins in the first contests with vote pluralities. </p> <p>His numerous opponents, fearful of antagonizing his enthusiastic supporters, launch attacks on one another that, predictably, hurt the attacker as well as the target. <p>Updated: Fri Feb 14, 2020</p> 37a46d9dd635c43a8cf44f5174e2309d Democrats' Blunders Help Create Favorable Winds for Trump for 02/07/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/02/20/democrats-blunders-help-create-favorable-winds-for-trump Fri, 07 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Are we watching a great political party commit suicide?</p> <p>For more than a year, Democratic candidates, up to 26 of them at one point, have been crisscrossing Iowa's 99 counties, seeking votes in Iowa's precinct caucuses.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 07, 2020</p> 447f4f6e309a60e30e544daf13e0a1cb A Sanders Sweep? for 01/31/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/01/20/a-sanders-sweep Fri, 31 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The old becomes the new. It's less than a week from of the Iowa caucuses, and Bernie Sanders, born in September 1941, three months before Pearl Harbor, leads the RealClearPolitics average of recent polls by 4 points in Iowa, 10 points in New Hampshire and 5 points in the biggest delegate prize, the Super Tuesday-voting California. </p> <p>One hastens to add: The Sanders surge, like the Elizabeth Warren warming period from mid-September to mid-November and the Pete Buttigieg bump in December, may not last. <p>Updated: Fri Jan 31, 2020</p> 70fc9bc9c45c5472296402a27c315fe5 Historians Say New York Times Gets History Wrong for 01/24/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/01/20/historians-say-new-york-times-gets-history-wrong Fri, 24 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>We live in history-making times. Not so much because of the impeachment trial going on in the Senate, which will make history only if it routinizes impeachments of impolite presidents when their opposition party gets control of the House, but because of what looks like an ongoing battle for control of the central narrative of American history. </p> <p>That battle was opened back in August when The New York Times ran the first several articles of its 1619 Project. Named for the year when the first African slaves were offloaded in the dozen-year-old colony of Virginia, the central theme is that slavery and its effects are the central driving force in American history, the underpinning of everything from corporate capitalism to suburban sprawl.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 24, 2020</p> 58ab3889ddf33e3142e9a941ced5b62c What We've Learned From the Democratic Race -- So Far for 01/17/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/01/20/what-weve-learned-from-the-democratic-race-so-far Fri, 17 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Elections are a form of communication. Voting tells politicians, and the press if they're capable of getting the message, what citizens will tolerate and what they won't. The Democrats haven't voted yet, but they've been campaigning for more than a year and have just had their last debate before the Iowa caucuses two weeks from Monday.</p> <p>That's time enough to learn some useful things from the majority of the two dozen-plus declared candidates who have already dropped out and from those still in the race.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 17, 2020</p> 910adca0cf7099d30254f5e490072860 Trump Responds to Iran's Act of War for 01/10/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/01/20/trump-responds-to-irans-act-of-war Fri, 10 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In all the reportage and commentary on the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, I haven't seen much mention of an interesting parallel between the Iranian mullah regime's attacks on America this past week and its attacks when it first came to power 40 years ago. </p> <p>The similarity is that both times, the Iranian regime violated diplomatic immunity. In 1979, it seized 52 American diplomats and held them hostage for 444 days, releasing them only on the day former President Ronald Reagan took office. Last week they attacked the U.S. embassy in Baghdad after launching multiple attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq. <p>Updated: Fri Jan 10, 2020</p> b47e21f0e29905dc0fd72d32b611e7d0 Census Numbers Undercut 'Ascendant America' Theory for 01/03/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/01/20/census-numbers-undercut-ascendant-america-theory Fri, 03 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>From the first years of the one-fifth of this century already completed, we've been told that a new, ascendant America &#8212; more nonwhite, more culturally liberal, more feminist &#8212; was going to dominate our politics for years to come.</p> <p>Those predictions have partially come true. Barack Obama was elected and reelected president in 2008 and 2012, respectively, and Democrats won majorities in House contests in 2006, 2008 and 2018.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 03, 2020</p> 7dfbb3527b01c6cace1f9054ab24ea08 We're Living in the (Almost) Best of Times for 12/27/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/12/19/were-living-in-the-almost-best-of-times Fri, 27 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The best of times, the worst of times. Your instinct on which one we're living through is affected by your basic temperament, but it also depends on how well you're observing &#8212; and quantifying &#8212; things in the world around you.</p> <p>Temperamentally, in the United States &#8212; or at least in that loud, if not large, part of it dominated by political tweets &#8212; the overwhelming weight of opinion, crossing party lines that are unusually rigid in this period of American history, is that we live in the worst of times.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 27, 2019</p> b60f32690751c0c0ee298411412a0f2d 'One-Nation' Conservatism Wins Again in Britain for 12/20/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/12/19/one-nation-conservatism-wins-again-in-britain Fri, 20 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p></p><p>Last week the world's second-oldest political party showed, and not for the first time, its capacity to regenerate itself and win an impressive majority in difficult circumstances.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 20, 2019</p> 0f1576feb2b7b21c0ec2a338ba64b060 The (Sometimes) Bizarre Democratic Nomination Race for 12/13/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/12/19/the-sometimes-bizarre-democratic-nomination-race Fri, 13 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Some recent news stories verge on the bizarre &#8212; the House Democrats' futile fuss over impeachment, Speaker Nancy Pelosi's acceptance of President Donald Trump's U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade treaty. But they're not as bizarre, or possibly as consequential, as unanticipated developments in the Democrats' presidential nomination contest.</p> <p>Consider the role of money, which Democrats are always saying plays too big a role in politics. This year, it plainly isn't. Their two billionaire late entrants, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, aren't running away with the contest. <p>Updated: Fri Dec 13, 2019</p> 09bba8dccc7e9b24c384d86f6e63d3a8 Twitter Politics' Roots in Tabloid-War Politics for 12/06/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/12/19/twitter-politics-roots-in-tabloid-war-politics Fri, 06 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Sometimes the latest new thing is something antique. That's especially true in American politics, which has had seriously contested presidential elections every four years (with one exception) since 1800 and competitions between the same two durable parties since 1856. We're even on our (lucky?) 13th presidential race since the nominating rules were changed, back in the 1970s, to favor primaries rather than caucuses. </p> <p>It's even true that new technology can bring back old politics. Case in point: President Donald Trump's use of Twitter, which is often lamented and sometimes effective, and occasionally backfires. In 140 &#8212; and then 280 &#8212; characters, the unconventional candidate and president has communicated directly, over the heads of an almost uniformly hostile media, with the American people.</p> <p>Where might he have gotten the idea and developed the knack? In the unique tabloid politics of New York City, which was raging hot and heavy when the young, outer-borough real estate heir made headlines in his quest to use political clout to enter the Manhattan real estate market at rock bottom.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 06, 2019</p> 060e0c6704a857b4df2d51347a0a26f0 Give Thanks for America's Increasing Fairness for 11/29/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/11/19/give-thanks-for-americas-increasing-fairness Fri, 29 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>It's Thanksgiving week in a country whose warring political tribes are not much inclined to giving thanks. But any American with a reasonable historic perspective can easily find reasons to do so.</p> <p>For one thing, it's clear that we are a much fairer nation than we were in the past. Women, black Americans, immigrants and minorities of any perceptible kind are treated more fairly and in a more friendly manner than was the case within the memory of many of us now living.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 29, 2019</p> db3d1e180c941c2b04522e90b234a828 The Impeachment Pseudo-Event for 11/22/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/11/19/the-impeachment-pseudo-event Fri, 22 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America" is the title of a 1960s book by historian and librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin. Pseudo-events, he wrote, are staged solely to generate news media coverage. Real events involve independent actors and have unpredictable outcomes. Pseudo-events are shows.</p> <p>It's not difficult to say which category the House Democrats' impeachment hearings belong in. It's a classic pseudo-event stage-managed to prod sympathetic media into running predictable stories. Inconvenient questions from Republican members are blocked, and the name of the original "whistleblower" is concealed, though the stage managers know who he is. <p>Updated: Fri Nov 22, 2019</p> 7aa2259bfc38cf1a59e99741a50c9a4b A Late-Starting Presidential Campaign May Not Be Hopeless for 11/15/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/11/19/a-late-starting-presidential-campaign-may-not-be-hopeless Fri, 15 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Michael Bloomberg has delivered his latest delicious hint about running for president. Former Attorney General Eric Holder is fresh from taking credit for the new Democratic legislative majorities in Virginia, making it known he might be interested. And former Gov. Deval Patrick joined the presidential race after reportedly discerning a demand for another presidential candidate from Massachusetts. At this point, it might be helpful to note some patterns in former Democratic presidential nomination contests that might help late entrants.</p> <p>The first is that <span class="column--highlighted-text">opinion sometimes flows very rapidly and sweeps everything in its path, like lava down a volcano, like mud after the collapse of a dam, like the tide ebbing in the Bay of Fundy.</span> <p>Updated: Fri Nov 15, 2019</p> 62efa99895aae747d1f9f716af2e39e1 The 2 Parties' Very Different Fields of Candidates for 11/08/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/11/19/the-2-parties-very-different-fields-of-candidates Fri, 08 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Have you noticed that the two parties' fields of presidential candidates have, in the past two election cycles, grown enormously larger than (if not necessarily superior to) those in past years? Where parties used to have two to five serious candidates to choose from, Republicans had 17 in 2016, and, by my count, Democrats this cycle have had 27. </p> <p>Twenty-seven is a lot for a party that ended up holding no nomination contests in 1996 and 2012 and had only two serious candidates in 2000, 2008 and 2016, when no incumbent was running. Apparently, many Democratic politicos reasoned that if an oddball like Donald Trump can get elected, why can't they?<p>Updated: Fri Nov 08, 2019</p> 9e88db56bb1eaf95e5e5832822e22ebe Boris Johnson Headed to Big Brexit Victory? for 11/01/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/10/19/boris-johnson-headed-to-big-brexit-victory Fri, 01 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It has been 1,225 days since an all-time-high turnout of British voters chose, by a 52 to 48% margin, to Leave rather than Remain in the European Union. Now with a general election set for Dec. 12, it looks like Britain is finally about to escape the EU's "ever closer union."</p> <p>The issue is unfamiliar to most Americans, yet the cleavages it has caused closely resemble our own. American foreign policy elites have long encouraged European unity, on the sentimental principle that it worked well for us in 1776 or the long-obsolete argument that it would prevent another cataclysmic war between Germany and France.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 01, 2019</p> a8229c55b976cfb914e15bf6255f45bc The Perils of Downscale Political Parties for 10/25/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/10/19/the-perils-of-downscale-political-parties Fri, 25 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Political parties, and their travails, have been much on my mind recently as I've been speaking to radio and television interviewers about my new book, "How America's Political Parties Change (And How They Don't)." </p> <p>The book thesis is that our two parties, founded in 1832 and 1854, have often changed positions on issues but have retained their basic character in a nation that has expanded from 25 million people to almost 330 million.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 25, 2019</p> 4121e703bc4ab9b7fe2cf94bab9c48c8 Westerville Debate Leaves Democratic Race Wider Open for 10/18/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/10/19/westerville-debate-leaves-democratic-race-wider-open Fri, 18 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The world's oldest political party set an all-time record Tuesday night, with 12 presidential candidates on a single stage in Westerville, Ohio. That's a suburb of Columbus, the fastest-growing big metro area in the Midwest, in Franklin County, which voted Republican in every presidential election but one for a half century (1944-92) but has voted Democratic in the six elections since.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">It's an apt location for a party increasingly dependent on and dominated by white college-graduate voters, even as it has lost ground in heartland factory towns and blue-collar precincts.</span> <p>Updated: Fri Oct 18, 2019</p> 96a51de97dd409837af342fa30863072 The Democrats' Faute de Mieux Front-Runner for 10/11/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/10/19/the-democrats-faute-de-mieux-front-runner Fri, 11 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Is Elizabeth Warren the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination? You can make a strong argument that the answer is yes. You can also argue that she is, at most, a default front-runner and a problematic general election nominee. </p> <p>And you might reasonably conclude that both arguments taken together tell you some interesting things about the current state of the Democratic Party &#8212; the world's oldest political party.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 11, 2019</p>