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Commentary by Michael Barone

Most Recent Releases

June 2, 2023

Only One Republican Candidate Gets Results By Michael Barone

The Wollman Rink episode, or, rather, the unduly optimistic conclusion I drew from it, explains a lot about Donald Trump's presidency and why he may not do as well against Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) in the contest for the Republican nomination, as current poll numbers suggest.

May 26, 2023

Mugged by Reality? Or Respectful of Common Sense? By Michael Barone

A conservative, to paraphrase and slightly alter Irving Kristol's saying, is a liberal who has been mugged by reality -- especially by a reality that is plain to the vast bulk of ordinary people but remains inexplicably invisible to liberal intellectuals and politicians.

May 19, 2023

The Russia Collusion Hoax: Unpatriotic? By Michael Barone

The report of special counsel John Durham is, or ought to be, devastating for anyone who has put any credence in what has now been definitively revealed to be the Russia collusion hoax.

May 12, 2023

'Segregation' Is a Deliberate Act By Michael Barone

Getting words right can clear up a lot of confusion about politics and public policy. Example: "segregate" is a verb that requires a subject. "Segregate" is not an impersonal verb, nor is "segregation" a mere accidental result of unrelated outside processes.

May 5, 2023

Republicans Aren't Disappearing -- and May Even Be Growing Stronger By Michael Barone

Reports of the death of the Republican Party continue to be premature.

April 28, 2023

How to Stop Lies Begetting Lies By Michael Barone

Lies beget lies. That's one way to summarize nearly the past decade of presidential politics, as well as the potentially dismal presidential race underway.

April 21, 2023

Joe Biden's King Canute Environmentalism By Michael Barone

Are we watching a replay of King Canute commanding the waves to recede? That thought occurred to me while reading about the Biden administration's latest step in advancing the president's 2021 goal of having half of all new autos be electric by 2030.

April 14, 2023

A Republican Edge on Issues, but a Bigger Edge for the Party That Dumps Its 2020 Nominee By Michael Barone

It's just one poll, conducted by SSRS Research for CNN, but it provides interesting evidence about where voters are on issues, and it isn't glaringly inconsistent with other survey research.

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April 7, 2023

Trump Indictment Is Bad Law, Smart Politics By Michael Barone

What do you do to win an election when your candidate is universally known and unpopular with a majority of voters? That's a question both major parties have had to face in the last few years. Both look like they're going to face it for some time longer.

March 31, 2023

Will Republicans Find a Way to Get Their Way in 2024? By Michael Barone

Twelve or 13 months from now, the race for the Republican nomination for president -- and the race for the Democratic nomination, if there is one -- will probably be over.

March 24, 2023

America Seems to Go Crazy Every 50 Years or So By Michael Barone

Amid news that Donald Trump is about to be indicted by a hyperpartisan prosecutor and of his hysterical responses, and prompted by vagrant reading about the War of 1812 and Woodrow Wilson's violations of civil liberties in World War I, a thought occurred to me. America seems to go crazy every 50 years or so.

March 17, 2023

'Woke' Silicon Valley -- Sand Hill Road and Stanford Law -- Get Off Scot-free By Michael Barone

As one who has spent pleasant time on Sand Hill Road and the Stanford campus, I'm dismayed by the demands for special treatment coming from the denizens of one of America's most privileged and affluent precincts.

March 10, 2023

Anatomy of the Chicago Mayor's Election By Michael Barone

Big city elections provide clues about trends in national politics, the composition and attitudes of Democratic constituency groups, and voters' responses to emerging matters. Recent examples include the March 2019 primary for mayor of Chicago and the June 2021 Democratic contest in New York City.

March 3, 2023

Lab Leak Story: How Elite Scientists Lied and Concealed the Truth By Michael Barone

When the Wall Street Journal reported in a front-page lead story that the Department of Energy had concluded the COVID-19 pandemic resulted from a leak from China's Wuhan laboratory, you might have argued it was old news. The FBI had already, it turns out, come to the same conclusion and with a higher degree of confidence (moderate) than the Energy Department (low).

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February 24, 2023

Give Credit to Jimmy Carter By Michael Barone

Jimmy Carter, the 39th and the longest-living U.S. president, has chosen to enter hospice care at age 98. This is a good time to try to place his presidency in history. 

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February 17, 2023

Disinformation Inc vs. the Founding Fathers By Michael Barone

How many people believe, really believe, in freedom of speech? Or, as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, not just "free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate"?

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February 10, 2023

Will Biden's Primary Schedule Have Unintended Consequences? By Michael Barone

For a president who proclaimed proudly in his annual speech that his policies have made the state of the union good, Joe Biden betrayed a certain insecurity when, just two days before, he caused the Democratic National Committee to change its presidential primary schedule for 2024.

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February 3, 2023

We Don't Need Racial Quotas to Showcase America's Diversity By Michael Barone

   The ordinarily fluent and unperturbed Justice Elena Kagan seemed, judging from the transcript, to be sputtering a bit in the oral argument of the Supreme Court's case challenging the racial quotas and preferences used in admissions by the University of North Carolina.

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January 27, 2023

Are Public Employee Unions Unconstitutional? By Michael Barone

How did it come to pass that public employee unions, which scarcely existed 60 years ago, have come to run public schools and myriad state and local government agencies?

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January 20, 2023

Time for Truth and Reconciliation on the Russia Collusion Hoax By Michael Barone

What are "the major problems this country faces"? Writing in The Atlantic, New York Times columnist David Brooks leads off his list with "inequality, political polarization, social mistrust" before concluding with the inevitable "climate change." Today's "inequality," he notes, is as "savage" as the inequality in the 1890s.