Michael Barone

Posted September 19, 2014

Which of our two great political parties is the stronger? Maybe it makes more sense to ask which of the two is weaker.

Posted September 16, 2014

Iraq, immigration, inversion. On all three of the issues referred to, President Obama finds himself forced by events to do something he dislikes -- and he's in trouble with much of his Democratic Party base for doing so.

Posted September 12, 2014

"Twentieth-century technology," writes economic historian Joel Mokyr in the Manhattan Institute's excellent City Journal, "was primarily about 'large' things."

Posted September 09, 2014

"If you watch the nightly news, it feels like the world is falling apart," President Obama told Democratic mega-contributors last month in one of the 400-plus fundraisers of his presidency. But not to worry. "The world has always been messy," he said. "In part, we're just noticing now because of social media and our capacity to see in intimate detail the hardships that people are going through." Like being beheaded by Islamist terrorists. Or having your country invaded by Russian soldiers.

Posted September 05, 2014

Liberals like to think and talk about themselves as if they were the wave of the future. Note, for example, how Barack Obama and John Kerry have denounced Islamist terrorists and Vladimir Putin for behaving as if they are still in the "19th century."

Posted September 03, 2014

Some time ago I contrasted the reaction a conservative would get if he were in the same room with the two most consequential politicians of the 1990s, Bill Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.

Posted August 29, 2014

"The tax system should be simplified and work for all Americans with lower individual and corporate tax rates and fewer brackets." That's from the Obama administration's 2009 proposals for tax reform, straight from whitehouse.gov.

Posted August 26, 2014

"About half the practice of a decent lawyer consists in telling would-be clients that they are damned fools and should stop." So supposedly said Elihu Root, New York lawyer and secretary of war and of state, and U.S. senator from 1909 to 1915.

Posted August 22, 2014

Continued violence in Ferguson, Missouri, brings back memories of the urban riots of the 1960s. Sadly, nearly 50 years later we're still facing rioting by blacks purportedly protesting police behavior. But there are some differences of varying significance between the riots of the 1960s and Ferguson today.

Posted August 19, 2014

Just about everyone noticed Hillary Clinton's scathing comments on President Obama's foreign policy in her interview with The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg. But almost no one has noticed where Clinton hasn't been seen. That's on the campaign trail or at fundraisers for Democrats running for the Senate.

Posted August 15, 2014

Politicians have ranges of positions of varying widths that they find acceptable. Hillary Clinton, like her husband, has a very wide range of stands she finds acceptable, depending on timing and circumstances. President Obama's range of acceptable positions has been far narrower.

Posted August 12, 2014

Three hundred years ago, on Aug. 1, 1714, by the Julian calendar (Aug. 12 by the Gregorian calendar we use now), Queen Anne died. She was just 49 years old, but was weakened by obesity, gout and the effects of 17 pregnancies, from which only one child lived beyond infancy -- William, Duke of Gloucester, who died of smallpox at age 11 in 1700.

Posted August 08, 2014

The standard thing to say about the various Republican primaries this year is that the tea party movement has lost one race after another. That's a defensible conclusion but also an oversimplification.

Posted August 05, 2014

Congress can't order states to adopt policies, but it can dangle money in front of them if they meet certain conditions. That's how we got the 21-year-old drinking age even though the 22nd Amendment recognizes states' powers to regulate alcohol.

Posted August 01, 2014

Bipartisanship is dead. That's the conventional wisdom, and there's a lot of evidence to support it.

Posted July 29, 2014

"Pare down the parasitic fringe" of government. "Favor a gospel of work" instead of aristocratic entitlement. "Rationalize finance" and "reverse the Parkinson's law of bureaucracy."

Posted July 25, 2014

Words mean what they say. That's the basis for the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Halbig v. Burwell invalidating the Internal Revenue Service regulation approving subsidies for Obamacare consumers in states with federal health insurance exchanges.

Posted July 22, 2014

"Why do you think President Obama's job rating is falling, even though the economy is recovering?" the interviewer asked. It's a fair question, even though the economy declined 2.9 percent in the first quarter, even though most jobs created in June were part-time, and even though labor force participation remains low.

Posted July 18, 2014

Liberals just aren't very liberal these days. The word "liberal" comes from the Latin word meaning freedom, and in the 19th century, liberals in this country and abroad stood for free speech, free exercise of religion, free markets, free trade -- for minimal state interference in people's lives.

Posted July 15, 2014

The flood of underage -- and non-underage -- illegal immigrants from Central America coming across the border in Texas is, to paraphrase a former Obama administration official, a "man-caused disaster." The man who caused it, more than anyone else, is Barack Obama.