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  • Ticket Balancing May Be Risky for Joe Biden

    08/07/2020 4:59:55 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 32 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | August 7, 2020 | Michael Barone
    If the presidential nominating process is the weakest part of our political system -- and, perhaps not coincidentally, one not referenced by the founders -- the vice presidential selection process comes solidly in second place. Some might even argue it's a contender for the top spot. That's been particularly the case in the two most recent election cycles. The 2016 election, with Republican and Democratic nominees ages 70 and 69 on Election Day, respectively, elevated the actuarial odds of a vice president succeeding to the presidency to the highest level in history. This year, the Republican and Democratic nominees turn...
  • Democrats' DNA Makes Them Feel the Bern

    02/21/2020 6:23:01 AM PST · by Kaslin · 13 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | February 21, 2020 | Michael Barone
    The 2020 presidential race has got the Democratic Party, the oldest political party in the world, twisted in knots. Its basic character and enduring values -- its political DNA -- which have enabled it to rebound from multiple political disasters, may be producing another disaster this year. Consider the Democrats' concept of fairness in representation. The party's delegate allocation rules, not just this cycle but going back years, favor proportionate representation. This comes naturally to a party that has always been a coalition of out-groups, of segments of America's always-diverse population that can form a majority when they stick together....
  • Boris Johnson Headed to Big Brexit Victory?

    11/01/2019 6:08:12 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 10 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | November 1, 2019 | Michael Barone
    It has been 1,225 days since an all-time-high turnout of British voters chose, by a 52 to 48% margin, to Leave rather than Remain in the European Union. Now with a general election set for Dec. 12, it looks like Britain is finally about to escape the EU's "ever closer union." The issue is unfamiliar to most Americans, yet the cleavages it has caused closely resemble our own. American foreign policy elites have long encouraged European unity, on the sentimental principle that it worked well for us in 1776 or the long-obsolete argument that it would prevent another cataclysmic war...
  • Chief Justice Wisely Gets Courts Out Of Redistricting Politics

    07/05/2019 4:50:45 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 14 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | July 5, 2019 | Michael Barone
    "Partisan gerrymandering is nothing new," writes Chief Justice John Roberts near the beginning of his opinion in Rucho v. Common Cause. "Nor is frustration with it." The question is what, if anything, federal courts ought to do about it. The answer the chief justice and the four other Republican-appointed justices have endorsed, journalists have been reporting, is nothing. Actually, judges have a very effective weapon to limit, though not prohibit, partisan districting -- which we'll get to later. But first, let's be clear that the chief justice is right about the history of the issue. He is correct in disagreeing...
  • Using the Big Lie to Delegitimize Election Results

    05/25/2019 12:33:10 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 17 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | May 25, 2019 | MIchael Barone
    The Big Lie is back in style. Wikipedia tells us that the term was invented by Adolf Hitler to describe what others did -- though he was the biggest liar of all. "The broad masses of a nation," he wrote in "Mein Kampf," "more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie." No one on the political scene in this country or any democratic nation is a monster comparable to Hitler. But some have resorted to the Big Lie in their attempts to override clear decisions of the people, at the risk of delegitimizing the nation's democracy....
  • Does the Media Deserve to Be Respected and Believed?

    01/25/2019 6:32:43 AM PST · by Kaslin · 48 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | January 25, 2019 | Michael Barone
    Is it true that Donald Trump's bad habits are contagious? Is it true that his Democratic opponents and, even more, his critics in the press are increasingly given to terminological inexactitudes, if not downright lies? Sure looks like it. Last week, large parts of the press -- we're looking at you, CNN and MSNBC -- were gleefully reporting and commenting on the BuzzFeed story about President Trump having allegedly ordered his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to members of special prosecutor Robert Mueller's staff. There were lots of smiles and (if we can use the word to describe...
  • The Most Successful One-Term President

    12/07/2018 7:56:53 AM PST · by Kaslin · 57 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | December 11, 2018 | Michael Barone
    George H.W. Bush "gave the nation its most successful one-term presidency." He "was the best one-term president the country has ever had, and one of the most underrated presidents of all time." So said two not impartial sources -- the late president's vice president, Dan Quayle, and his Houston friend and secretary of state, who was with him at the end, James Baker. But their assessments are entirely defensible. The toughest one-term competitor was President James K. Polk, who achieved all four of his goals -- gaining the Oregon Territory and the Pacific Coast, establishing an independent treasury and lowering...
  • Crosscurrents on a Democratic Election Day

    11/23/2018 10:01:53 AM PST · by Kaslin · 5 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | November 23, 2018 | Michael Barone
    Some random observations on the 2018 offyear elections, for Thanksgiving weekend pondering: 1. We hear constantly, and in some respects accurately, that Americans are deeply divided politically. Another way to look at it: The differences between north and south, visible for two or three centuries, are vanishing. As Real Clear Politics analyst Sean Trende tweeted, "Southern suburbs are starting to vote like northern suburbs, northern rurals/small towns starting to vote like Southern rurals/small towns." Republicans, who lost suburban House seats on the coasts and in the Midwest in the 1990s, lost them this year in metro Houston, Dallas and Atlanta....
  • Voters Head to the Polls to Relitigate 2016

    11/06/2018 11:35:27 AM PST · by Kaslin · 34 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | November 6, 2018 | Michael Barone
    On Tuesday, Democrats and Republicans will compete for the 42nd time in a nonpresidential-year contest -- a rivalry that goes back to 1854. That's the oldest such partisan competition in the world. And despite the complaints of today's Democrats that the Constitution is biased against them, Democrats have won Senate majorities 16 times -- versus 10 times for Republicans -- since senators started being elected by popular vote in 1914. Similarly, in the 164 years of midterm Republican-Democratic House contests, Democrats have won control of the House 24 times, compared with 17 for Republicans. In other words, over the...
  • Will Burly Men Stop House Democrats' Blue Wave?

    10/26/2018 5:33:12 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 54 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | October 26, 2018 | Michael Barone
    Do they live in two different worlds? White college graduate women favor Democrats over Republicans in House elections by a 62 to 35 percent margin. White non-college-graduate men favor Republicans over Democrats in House elections by a 58 to 38 percent margin. Those results are from a Washington Post-Schar School poll conducted in 69 seriously contested congressional districts, 63 of them currently held by Republicans. The numbers in other polls are only slightly different for these two groups. They all tell the same story. These Americans live in the same relatively small slices of America (average population about 750,000), not...
  • Can Anti-Trump Hatred Carry the House for Democrats?

    10/19/2018 5:27:42 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 16 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | October 19, 2018 | Michael Barone
    "I have some thoughts on 'enthusiasm' and the election," tweeted Amy Walter, the Cook Political Report's ace analyst of House races. What I and, I suspect, others expected to follow was a discussion of how voters' enthusiasm, positive or negative, tends to determine who wins elections, especially in off-year elections, when turnout is more variable. Democrats had greater enthusiasm in 2006 and won both houses of Congress; Republicans had even more enthusiasm in 2010 and gained the largest number of House seats either party had since 1948. In this off-year election cycle, it's been obvious for months that Democrats...
  • John McCain: Warm Remembrances of Roads Not Taken, or Taken and Now Abandoned

    08/31/2018 3:02:20 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 31 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | August 31, 2018 | Michael Barone
    Warm remembrances of Sen. John McCain have been filling the political air since his death last weekend. They'll continue through his memorial service in Phoenix, his funeral Saturday at Washington National Cathedral and his interment at the Naval Academy cemetery in Annapolis on Sunday. Praise has been voiced by longtime political foes, admiration from recent detractors and recollections of his (self- and other-) deprecating wit from those long close to him. Why this outpouring of admiration for a politician who was far from universally admired by members of his own party and whose positive commentary went suddenly silent when he...
  • Democrats Better off Playing by the Rules Than Denouncing the Rules

    08/24/2018 10:20:57 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 19 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | August 24, 2018 | Michael Barone
    When you lose a game, particularly a game you had good reason to expect you'd win, do you try to figure out how to play better? Or is your first reaction to demand changes in the rules? In the case of the Democratic Party, it's the latter. Perhaps that comes naturally to a party that takes some pride in having advocated changes in rules that everyone today sees as unfair (even those they enacted themselves, like racial segregation laws). But sometimes it's wiser to change the way you play than to denounce long-established rules. The Democrats argue that they've been...
  • Still Not Clear Which Party Will Lose the House

    08/10/2018 8:50:37 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 31 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | August 10, 2018 | Michael Barone
    We're heading into the home stretch in America's unusually lengthy (six months and nine days) primary election season. Some three-quarters of Americans have had a chance to vote for Democratic and Republican candidates for Congress, and state and local offices. Their choices tell us something about the results in November. But not everything, including which party will win the apparently close battle for a majority in the House of Representatives. The consensus of those who follow these elections most closely is that the Democrats will win. The most recent evidence comes from the ultra-narrow victory of Republican State Sen. Troy...
  • Michael Barone: Is America’s birth rate about to start booming?

    07/29/2018 3:10:20 AM PDT · by RoosterRedux · 27 replies
    NYPost ^ | Michael Barone
    Sometimes a society’s values change sharply with almost no one noticing. In 1968, according to a Gallup survey, 70 percent of American adults said that a family of three or more children was “ideal” — about the same number as Gallup surveys starting in 1938. That number helps explain the explosive baby boom after Americans were no longer constrained by depression and world war. Those values and numbers didn’t last. By 1978, Gallup reported that only 39 percent considered three or more children “ideal.” The numbers have hovered around there ever since, spiking to just 41 percent in the late-1990s...
  • Obama’s spying scandal is starting to look a lot like Watergate

    05/27/2018 8:18:26 PM PDT · by bitt · 118 replies
    nyPOST ^ | 5/27/2018 | MIchael Barone
    “F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims,” read the headline on a lengthy New York Times story May 18. “The Justice Department used a suspected informant to probe whether Trump campaign aides were making improper contacts with Russia in 2016,” read a story in the May 21 edition of The Wall Street Journal. So much for those who dismissed charges of Obama administration infiltration of Donald Trump’s campaign as paranoid fantasy. Defenders of the Obama intelligence and law enforcement apparat have had to fall back on the argument that this infiltration was...
  • Obama Administration's Spying on Trump a Departure From Norms

    05/25/2018 6:37:29 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 23 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | May 25, 2018 | Michael Barone
    "F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims," read the headline on a lengthy New York Times story May 18. "The Justice Department used a suspected informant to probe whether Trump campaign aides were making improper contacts with Russia in 2016," read a story in the May 21 edition of The Wall Street Journal. So much for those who dismissed charges of Obama administration infiltration of Donald Trump's campaign as paranoid fantasy. Defenders of the Obama intelligence and law enforcement apparat have had to fall back on the argument that this infiltration was...
  • Our Time-Tested Parties Aren't About to Fall Apart

    03/30/2018 8:16:43 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 18 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | March 30, 2018 | Michael Barone
    Some days, the Republican Party seems on the verge of splitting up. Its congressional majorities couldn't produce a health care bill and passed an omnibus spending bill its president regretted signing. Prominent never-Trumpers call for the creation of a new political party. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who carried seven counties outside his home state in the 2016 Republican primaries, hints at a 2020 independent candidacy. In special elections, Republican candidates fail to win percentages above President Donald Trump's approval ratings, which nationally is at 42 percent. That makes Republicans fear and Democrats hope that Democrats will capture the House of...
  • Trump on Trade: Better Than Smoot-Hawley?

    03/09/2018 7:03:56 AM PST · by Kaslin · 28 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | March 9, 2018 | Michael Barone
    Donald Trump's announcement that he is imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from other countries has aroused little enthusiasm and much criticism. It evidently prompted the resignation of Gary Cohn as head of his National Economic Council. It has also prompted free trade-minded Republicans in Congress to propose repealing Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which delegates to the president the power to adjust trade restrictions and impose tariffs. It's not clear exactly what trade restrictions Trump is poised to impose or whether negotiations with Mexico and Canada will end the North American Free Trade...
  • After shutdown, Republicans have leverage on immigration

    01/22/2018 10:54:07 PM PST · by lowbuck · 13 replies
    Washington Examininer ^ | 22 January 2018 | Michael Barone
    My speculation in a blogpost yesterday that Senate Democrats were willing to vote for a government shutdown on the DACA issue because of their great solidarity, built up for many years since their narrow capture of seven Senate seats in 1986, has been vindicated by their surrender on the shutdown today — sort of. My argument was based on what was, in my view, the serious political weakness of their position, portrayed even in much of mainstream media as blocking funding for the government in favor of legalizing certain illegal immigrants. To maintain near total cohesion, in such circumstances, seemed...