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Commentary by Michael Barone

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December 9, 2022

The Downward Spiral of Disgraceful Misconduct By Michael Barone

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.  

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December 2, 2022

In a Winter of Discontent, Americans Vote for the Status Quo By Michael Barone

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. 

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November 25, 2022

Give Thanks for the Northwest Ordinance By Michael Barone

 Unsure of what to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season? Here's a suggestion of something to be thankful for: the Northwest Ordinance.

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November 18, 2022

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.)

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November 11, 2022

Trump and Biden Big Losers, DeSantis Big Winner in 2022 By Michael Barone

One way to look at this election is as a repudiation of Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

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November 4, 2022

It Looks Like the Republican Wave Is Coming In By Michael Barone

When you look around at the political scene, less than a week from the 2022 midterm elections, what do you see?

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October 28, 2022

This Campaign's Missing Issues: Foreign Policy and Economic Redistribution by Michael Barone

What issues are the candidates and the parties not talking about? It's worth asking, because sometimes these issues turn out to be important.

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October 21, 2022

Fundamentals, from COVID to Crime, Favor Republicans By Michael Barone

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.

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October 14, 2022

The Democratic Party's Risk Aversion Is Harming Us All By Michael Barone

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.

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October 7, 2022

It's a Hinge Year in History -- for Russia and China By Michael Barone

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.

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September 30, 2022

Are Polls Understating Republicans' Support? By Michael Barone

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.

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September 23, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II Showed Monarchy's Surprising Resilience By Michael Barone

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.

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September 16, 2022

On Ukraine and on Welfare, Morale Trumps Materiel By Michael Barone

Morale matters more than materiel.

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September 9, 2022

Political Careers Are Ending in Failure Because of Outdated 'Expert' Theories by Michael Barone

"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. 

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September 2, 2022

Student Loan Forgiveness: A Payoff for the Woke By Michael Barone

"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.

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August 26, 2022

In 'Systemically Racist' America, Lots of Whites Vote for Blacks By Michael Barone

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.

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August 19, 2022

The Espionage Act of 1917 Once Again Rears Its Ugly Head By Michael Barone

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.

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August 12, 2022

Will Dobbs Help Democrats? Will the Mar-a-Lago Raid Help Republicans? By Michael Barone

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.

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August 5, 2022

The West's Long-Lasting Enemies Cannot Be Cajoled b Michael Barone

Revisionist powers, nations whose leaders seek to undermine American leadership in the world, seem to be on the march.

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July 29, 2022

Sorry, Progressives, But America Isn't Intersectional By Michael Barone

America isn't intersectional. That's something the left-wingers who call themselves progressives have been learning, painfully, over the past 18 months.