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Commentary by Michael Barone

Most Recent Releases

September 27, 2023

The Problems With Net Zero By Michael Barone

 Net zero is in trouble. In utterly predictable trouble, in the king's-wearing-no-clothes trouble.

September 22, 2023

The Surge of Populism -- and Nationalism By Michael Barone

"Populist politicians and parties," writes the Ethics and Public Policy Center's Henry Olsen in The Spectator, are "rapidly gaining strength and power across the developed world."

September 15, 2023

People of Color Trending Republican By Michael Barone

Are non-white voters really  moving away from the Democratic Party? To partisan Democrats confronting this question on Twitter (sorry, X), it seems preposterous that the party of former President Donald Trump, whom they routinely call a racist, could be gaining support from blacks, Hispanics and Asians.

September 8, 2023

Legalized Shoplifting Becomes a Racket, and Minorities Hardest Hit By Michael Barone

You could blame Victor Hugo. In 1846, the French novelist observed a young man being arrested for holding a loaf of bread he stole.

September 1, 2023

The Tom and Daisy Buchanans North of Richmond By Michael Barone

"These rich men north of Richmond, Lord knows they just wanna have total control." So goes the refrain of singer and songwriter Oliver Anthony's suddenly famous song. "Wanna know what you think, wanna know what you do, and they don't think you know, but I know that you do."

August 25, 2023

Republican Debate: Whatever Happened in the Debate, Fundamentals Could Still Matter By Michael Barone

Having completed the first presidential debate of the 2024 campaign cycle, it's tempting to focus on minor but perhaps momentarily decisive details, such as whether Ron DeSantis was wise to outsource strategy to a committee that he's legally barred from communicating with or whether it was wise for Trump campaign spokesmen to not be allowed in the Fox News spin room.

August 18, 2023

Single Women Are the Odd Men Out, Politically By Michael Barone

America's political parties are the oldest and third-oldest in the world, and they have competed for votes among a population that has been diverse since colonial times. 

August 11, 2023

Which States Attract Outsiders and Which Don't -- 21st Century Version By Michael Barone

Let's take a time out from reports of indictments and threats of impeachment, from nostalgia for the 1940s days of American scientific creativity and ability to get big things done fast ("Oppenheimer") and the 1950s days of American popular culture appealing to every cultural subgroup without the trigger warnings and apologies for past national misdeeds.

July 28, 2023

The Proximal Origin of a Scientific Fraud By Michael Barone

"We do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible."

July 21, 2023

The Press's War Against Free Speech By Micahel Barone

Have we gotten to the point that it's politically necessary to defend the principle of free speech? Apparently so.

July 14, 2023

Different Groups That 'Don't Look Like America' Together Produce Success in America By Michael Barone

News stories have reported that despite the Supreme Court's decision in cases brought against Harvard and the University of North Carolina, those and other selective schools still want to employ racial quotas and preferences in admissions.

July 7, 2023

Supreme Court Rejects Liberal Arguments Based on Lies By Michael Barone

   "This is not a normal court." So said President Joe Biden last week as the Supreme Court was handing down its rulings in big cases decided since its current term began last October.

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June 30, 2023

The Arc of the Moral Universe Just Wobbles Around By Michael Barone

No one knows whether last weekend's Wagner Group uprising means the end of President Vladimir Putin's control of Russia, just as no one knew before the last few weeks of 1999 that Putin would replace Boris Yeltsin and become Russia's leader for the next quarter-century.

June 23, 2023

A Tale of Two Indictments: Politics in a Doom Loop By Michael Barone

Are America's 45th and 46th presidents politically invulnerable? That's a conclusion you might come to from the response to the indictment of Donald Trump on June 8 and the guilty plea by Joe Biden's son Hunter announced on June 20.

June 16, 2023

The Trump Indictment: Irresponsibility Squared By Michael Barone

Some observations on special counsel Jack Smith's indictment of former President Donald Trump:

June 9, 2023

Sununu's Good Move and Bad Advice By Michael Barone

Gov. Chris Sununu (R-N.H.) is not running for president. In his state's first-in-the-nation primary, "I can be more effective for the Republican Party in ways few other leaders can," he wrote in the Washington Post. 

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.