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, 21 Aug 2019 03:35:44 -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 3eda6ffdea9b7dcd3a34e76fdd0d7293 Will Fact-Checkers Foil Democrats' Attempts to Play the Race Card? for 08/16/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/08/19/will-fact-checkers-foil-democrats-attempts-to-play-the-race-card Fri, 16 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Fact-checking journalists lean left, as Mark Hemingway documented in a canonical Washington Examiner analysis that is just as valid today as when it was published in 2011. But as John F. Kennedy once said, when asked why he wasn't supported by an odoriferous Massachusetts Democrat, "sometimes party loyalty asks too much." </p> <p>Case in point: the two solemn statements by Democratic presidential candidates. Last Friday at 2:24 p.m., Kamala Harris tweeted, "Michael Brown's murder forever changed Ferguson and America." Half an hour later, Elizabeth Warren got more specific: "5 years ago Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri." They weren't the only candidates noting this fifth anniversary, but others carefully avoided the M-word.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 16, 2019</p> 7f807ebf5c12aaa05524775f86bf5bfb Analyzing the Pieces of the Democratic Puzzle for 08/09/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/08/19/analyzing-the-pieces-of-the-democratic-puzzle Fri, 09 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>"No candidate received a polling bump as a result of the Detroit debates," writes Morning Consult analyst Anthony Patterson this week. That's a big disappointment for the dozen or more candidates struggling to make the Democrats' 2 percent cutoffs for further debate appearances, as well as for the pundits weary after six or so hours of debates and post-debate interviews. </p> <p>Actually, it appears that Kamala Harris sunk a bit from her numbers after her school busing hit on Joe Biden in the Miami debate, and Elizabeth Warren's post-Detroit numbers are up a bit. In the most recent national polls, Biden is still in first place; Bernie Sanders and Warren are competitive for second; and Harris follows in high single digits, with Pete Buttigieg trailing behind. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">What may be more interesting is how the polling differs from previous patterns.</span> In 2016 primaries, white non-college graduates in communities with low social connectedness thronged to Donald Trump, while college graduates shunned him. That was a new pattern, I wrote in a March 2016 Washington Examiner column, and one predictive of how Trump would switch 100 or so electoral votes and win the presidency in November.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 09, 2019</p> 322054cc5c540d26bc6792ff48cbe71e Nationalism, Rightly Understood, Is a Necessary Ingredient of Political Success for 08/02/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/08/19/nationalism-rightly-understood-is-a-necessary-ingredient-of-political-success Fri, 02 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Nationalism has a bad name. For many Americans, mention of the word summons up visions of Hitler and Nazism. Some condemn nationalism as thoughtless bragging that your nation is better than others, which should be discouraged just as second graders are told not to brag, lest they hurt classmates' feelings. </p> <p>Historical and international perspective is supplied by one of the conveners of the well-attended National Conservatism conference in Washington last month, Israeli think tank head Yoram Hazony, in his 2018 book, "The Virtue of Nationalism." Hazony argues that nationalism first emerged in the northwest corner of Europe, in Tudor England and in the Dutch republic rebelling against the overlordship of the king of Spain. These were small maritime nations, growing rich through international trade even while threatened by massive monarchies. In the years of religious wars, they were the most religiously diverse and tolerant polities in Christendom.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 02, 2019</p> 6e85d67ad397b12ccafe3241b4f96d31 Both Parties Are Misbehaving in Line With Their Historic Character for 07/19/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/07/19/both-parties-are-misbehaving-in-line-with-their-historic-character Fri, 19 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The air is thick with lamentations that our two political parties are tearing themselves &#8212; and the nation &#8212; to pieces. The Republican president has picked a Twitter fight with four Democratic freshman congresswomen, and the Democratic speaker has chosen to violate House rules to pick a fight with the president. </p> <p>Donald Trump's conduct has been treated as unprecedented by Democrats and legacy media, as has Nancy Pelosi's by Republicans and Trump supporters. That's true in a trivial sense. Twitter didn't exist before 2006; only seven current House members, not including Pelosi, were serving the last time a House speaker (Tip O'Neill) was called out (by Newt Gingrich) for violating House rules, in May 1984. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 19, 2019</p> 48b2877296cfa9c8751e440ef8630532 Democrats: Prisoners of the Past on the Economy for 07/12/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/07/19/democrats-prisoners-of-the-past-on-the-economy Fri, 12 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">We are all, to some extent, prisoners of the past. Things that have already happened &#8212; or that we remember as having happened &#8212; constitute the world that we know. Anything else is a product of imagination.</span><br></p> <p>But it can also be a pitfall for politicians, particularly for those seeking national visibility when they're running for president. <span class="column--highlighted-text">It's jarring to see candidates ignore recent changes and describe a world that no longer exists, as when they were asked leadoff questions about the economy in the first two Democratic debates.</span><p>Updated: Mon Jul 15, 2019</p> 7bd5c0efddfb933bf6d6bb8017cb07a8 Chief Justice Wisely Gets Courts out of Redistricting Politics for 07/05/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/07/19/chief-justice-wisely-gets-courts-out-of-redistricting-politics Fri, 05 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Partisan gerrymandering is nothing new," writes Chief Justice John Roberts near the beginning of his opinion in Rucho v. Common Cause. "Nor is frustration with it." The question is what, if anything, federal courts ought to do about it. The answer the chief justice and the four other Republican-appointed justices have endorsed, journalists have been reporting, is nothing. </p> <p>Actually, judges have a very effective weapon to limit, though not prohibit, partisan districting &#8212; which we'll get to later. But first, let's be clear that the chief justice is right about the history of the issue. He is correct in disagreeing with Justice Kagan's suggestion in her dissent that partisan districting has gotten much more common and effective in recent years. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 05, 2019</p> 73d557c4497d7ae07bf7d5884664dc40 The Lemon Is Squeezed Dry for 06/28/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/19/the-lemon-is-squeezed-dry Fri, 28 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>There's something attractive in the party names in the Supreme Court's decision on the relationship between government and religion: American Legion v. American Humanist Association. Both organizations, the veterans group formed after World War I and the secular humanist group founded the year this nation entered World War II, want to tell you how American they are.</p> <p>And they are locked in the longstanding debate over the meaning of the first clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," it reads, "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." <p>Updated: Fri Jun 28, 2019</p> 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>