When John Quincy Adams was informed by a committee that he was elected president by the House of Representatives, for the first and only time through the procedure set by the 12th Amendment of the Constitution, he responded in writing.
Commentary by Michael Barone
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Are we living in an era of political contentment? Most Americans would answer that question with a bellowing "No!" But there's a case to be made that American voters, for all their negative talk, actually don't want a set of public policies markedly different from what we have today.
Note that that seems to be the practical result of the 2022 midterm elections last month.
Unsure of what to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season? Here's a suggestion of something to be thankful for: the Northwest Ordinance.
A House Popular Vote Majority Produced Few Seats but Is a Good Sign For Republicans in 2024 By Michael Barone
One of the puzzles in this year's surprising and unpredicted (including by me) off-year election results is why the Republicans' 51% to 47% win in the popular vote for House of Representatives did not produce a majority bigger than the apparent 221-214 result. (All numbers here are subject to revision in line with final returns.)
One way to look at this election is as a repudiation of Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
When you look around at the political scene, less than a week from the 2022 midterm elections, what do you see?
What issues are the candidates and the parties not talking about? It's worth asking, because sometimes these issues turn out to be important.
If Democrats take a drubbing in the off-year elections -- and it seems increasingly likely, but not certain, that they will -- it will be because they lost their moorings when the country seemed to go crazy with excessive COVID closedowns and irrational obsessions about systemic racism.
Human beings differ in how much risk they will accept. Thus, as an analyst I quoted in a recent column concluded, Russian President Vladimir Putin "was too risk-acceptant" in invading Ukraine and Chinese leader Xi Jinping "has been too risk-averse" in imposing "zero-COVID" lockdowns.
Will 2022 turn out be a hinge year, as a moment when long-standing trends in geopolitics suddenly shifted in a different direction? This week, two important writers, one a long-established and prolific historian, the other a provocative presence on the internet, have argued persuasively that the answer is yes. But there's one other interesting point in common: Neither sees the United States as having played a decisive role in the sudden shift.
Over the last three months, political journalists have been reporting a trend toward Democrats. The Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade, they have reported, has provided increased motivation for Democrats to turn out and vote. The easing of gas prices from their springtime peak has reduced concern about out-of-control inflation. Biden administration legislative victories have raised Democrats' morale.
The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and the praise pouring in from almost all quarters for her 70 years of service make a powerful case, even for small-r republican and small-d democratic Americans, for the institution of constitutional monarchy. There is much to be said for having a head of state who is politically neutral, culturally traditional but open to popular innovation, personally embodying the traditional strengths of a nation.
Morale matters more than materiel.
"All political lives, unless they are cut off at midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs." So said the British politician Enoch Powell, whose own once-stellar career ended in spectacular failure.
"A Bailout for Woke Higher Ed" reads the headline on the stringent analysis by the Wall Street Journal's Allysia Finley of the Biden student loan forgiveness program.
It was just a mini headline nationally on primary night this month, but one with some national implications and historic resonance. The city of Detroit, 77% of whose residents are Black, according to the 2020 Census, will not be represented by any Black members in the 118th Congress taking office next January.
When federal agents removed top-secret documents from former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence last week, they carried with them a search warrant citing possible violations of the Espionage Act.
Are Republicans losing what seemed for months to be their overwhelming advantage in elections to the House of Representatives this November? The answer is unclear.
Revisionist powers, nations whose leaders seek to undermine American leadership in the world, seem to be on the march.
America isn't intersectional. That's something the left-wingers who call themselves progressives have been learning, painfully, over the past 18 months.