If you've been paying any attention at all to journalism in recent years -- maybe not a good idea, but if you have -- you surely have noticed those stories predicting, often with a certain relish, that the United States is about to become a majority-minority country.
Once upon a time, May 1 -- May Day -- 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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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?"
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.
Success in politics -- and in political predictions -- depends on the ability to distinguish between old rules of thumb that don't apply any more and old rules of thumb that do.
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."
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.