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Commentary by Michael Barone

Most Recent Releases

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January 28, 2022

Voters Oppose 'Transformative' Policies, Want Reform of Dysfunctional Bureaucracies By Michael Barone

Do Americans really want transformative change? The evidence accumulates that they don't.

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January 21, 2022

Abolish Parenthood? No, Family Trumps 'Equity' by Michael Barone

"California should abolish parenthood, in the name of equity." That's the headline of a Ventura County Star column by Zocalo Public Square's Joe Mathews. "Want true equity?" the San Francisco Chronicle headlined the same column three days later. "California should force parents to give away their children."

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January 14, 2022

Joe Biden's Deplorable Lies May Not Even Be in His Partisan Interest by Michael Barone

How do you explain why an ultra-experienced politician makes a major speech on the behalf of a legislative goal that is both doomed to fail and unpopular with voters? Especially when his speech is boycotted by the bill's chief backers and consists of one big lie after another?

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January 7, 2022

The John Lindsay Democrats By Michael Barone

One way to anticipate what may be ahead in politics is to gauge the balance of power in the nation's two political parties. The Republican Party has always been centered on people regarded by themselves and others as "typical" Americans but who do not by themselves comprise a majority. The Democratic Party has always been a coalition of out-groups, powerful when united but often at risk of division.

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December 31, 2021

Plague-Year Immigrants Headed to Trump Country By Michael Barone

I want to add a few notes to my Christmas weekend column on the Census Bureau's July 2021 state population estimates and what stories they tell about growth and decline in the first 15 months of the coronavirus pandemic.

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December 24, 2021

A (Statistical) Journal of the Plague Year By Michael Barone

As a Christmas present to statistics lovers, the Census Bureau has released its estimates of the population of the nation and the 50 states as of July 1, 2021. The Bureau admits up front that, due to COVID, its numbers are subject to more uncertainty than usual. But overall, they provide important clues as to how Americans have coped with the pandemic, and how it may have changed the trajectory of national growth and contraction.

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December 17, 2021

Against the Religion of 'Woke Anti-Racism' by Michael Barone

"If you pull the camera back and think about 1965, and think about last week, there's been massive improvement. The question is why so many people pretend that that's not true."

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December 10, 2021

Redistricting Helps Republicans but Doesn't Guarantee Control By Michael Barone

Here's a suggestion for those who think that partisan redistricting -- or, as is often the case with these plaints, partisan redistricting by Republicans -- threatens to destroy American democracy. Take a look at "The Long Red Thread," the recent history by Sabato's Crystal Ball analyst Kyle Kondik of House of Representatives elections from 1964 to the present decade.

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December 3, 2021

A Post-Roe Abortion Political 'Revolution' Is Unlikely By Michael Barone

The Supreme Court, as this is written, is hearing oral arguments in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, challenging Mississippi's law banning, with a few exceptions, abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. There's a powerful argument that the Court can't logically uphold this statute, which is less restrictive than most other nations' abortion laws, without overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that overturned all 50 states' abortion laws.

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November 19, 2021

Biden Stimulus Failures Could Produce 1920s-Style Republican Victories

What's wrong with the economy? Nobody seems quite sure, but it's clear that the Biden administration's $1.9 trillion stimulus package passed in March, on top of the $900 billion approved in December, the last full month of the Trump administration, has not had the intended results.

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November 12, 2021

History Has Some Bad News for Biden Democrats by Micahel Barone

As in the 1880s, we live in an era of polarized partisan parity, in which changes of opinion among independent voters can sweep election results. One year ago, Joe Biden was elected president with 51% of the popular vote. Now, with his job approval down to 42%, his party is in trouble.

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November 5, 2021

Biden Democrats Lose Big -- And on Cultural Issues by Michael Barone

President Joe Biden returned the morning of Nov. 3 to a nation that no longer supports him or his party.

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October 29, 2021

Health and Education Elites Forced To Confess Error by Michael Barone

Confessions of error are rare enough in woke America that they should be strictly construed against the speaker. Two such confessions (the legal term is "admissions against interest") suddenly appeared last week.

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October 22, 2021

Republicans Gain Big in Blue-Collar Elections But Narrowly in Affluent State Legislative Elections by Michael Barone

State legislative special elections provide an interesting index of partisan sentiment these days. That wasn't so in the late 20th century, when clever local candidates and notables often got voters to cross party lines. But in this century of increasing partisan polarization and straight-ticket voting, local special elections are a proxy for opinion on national issues.

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October 15, 2021

Bill de Blasio Is On the Way Out, But His Mindset Lingers by Michael Barone

As his two terms as New York's mayor approach their end, and long after his presidential campaign ended with a whimper, Bill de Blasio has chimed in with one last act of destruction: a proposal to end the public schools' entry-by-exam gifted and talented program for first graders.

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October 8, 2021

Both Parties' Ignorance of Electoral Reality Has Led To Our Present Discontents by Michael Barone

Here's a jarring thought: Most political analysts, and most political strategists for our two political parties, have been operating off flawed data and flawed assumptions. The result has been one political surprise after another, and the election of the two most unsatisfactory presidents, in the minds of many voters, since Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan in the 1850s.

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October 1, 2021

Biden Policies Need Better Arguments Than 'Orange Man Bad' by Micahel Barone

"First you win the argument, then you win the vote." That advice from Margaret Thatcher has been ignored by President Joe Biden and Democratic Party leaders to their detriment.

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September 24, 2021

Hillary Clinton Should Apologize for the Biggest Political Hoax Since Titus Oates by Michael Barone

It's the biggest political hoax since Titus Oates's allegations of a "Popish Plot" to assassinate King Charles II in 1678. Oates's charge of a Jesuit conspiracy swept through London and led to the execution of four innocent men before Oates was proved a fraud.

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September 17, 2021

California Voters Get What They Deserve By Michael Barone

The nation's largest state has just voted in an election triggered by one of the nation's weirdest recall processes, and the results have come out just about where they've been before.

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September 10, 2021

The Feminization of America: What Will It Look Like? By Michael Barone

Are we witnessing the feminization of America? And if so, is that a good or bad thing, or is it, like so many quiet but ineluctable trends, a combination of the two?