Michael Barone

The Howling Mob theory explains a lot of otherwise puzzling things. It helps to explain why Janet Napolitano's Homeland Security Department, tasked with finding possible terrorists, set about tracking disgruntled military veterans and gun owners. Just the kind of people who turn into a Howling Mob!

It helps to explain journalists' desperate search for racist epithets at Tea Party gatherings -- and their lack of interest in the actual violence that has been common at rallies against the Arizona immigration law and antiwar marches. It helps to explain the Justice Department's decision to drop the case against the New Black Panthers who were violently intimidating voters in Philadelphia on Election Day.

It helps to explain why Solicitor General Elena Kagan was willing to work in the Clinton White House after Bill Clinton signed the law banning open gays in the military -- a law Kagan has said she detests. Hey, he was just trying to propitiate the Howling Mob.

It should go without saying that it's ridiculous to believe, as many liberals do, that just about everyone west of Manhattan and east of Hollywood likes to go around wearing white sheets. On a novel issue like gays in the military, many Americans have been moving away from Clinton's 1990s position and toward Kagan's, even while they move away from her views on other issues like abortion.

As it became obvious that the Democrats' health care bills and the Obama big government programs were opposed by most Americans, some liberals resorted to a variant of the Howling Mob theory: Americans were against these programs because they didn't like having a black president. This, despite the fact that Obama was elected by the largest percentage margin in the last 20 years.

When you see a smart man like Eric Holder saying stupid things, you know something else is going on. You're seeing a high official who regards most of us as cowards, who believes the truth could make us a Howling Mob. Does Barack Obama feel the same way?


Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM