From the Right



Sympathy for Victims Can Be Misdirected -- and Backfire

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Victims aren't always virtuous. That's a sad lesson that people learn from life. Human beings have a benign instinct to help those who are hurt through no cause of their own. But those they help don't always turn out to be very grateful.

And sometimes it's hard to be sure just who the victim is. The most heavily publicized and violence-...Read more

Today's Candidates Don't Measure Up to Roosevelt or Reagan

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Donald Trump has just made changes, again, in his campaign's top leadership, shoving aside the seasoned Paul Manafort and installing Breitbart News Chairman Steve Bannon and veteran pollster Kellyanne Conway. He's obviously acting in response to his falling poll numbers nationally, in target states and even in some states that have been safely ...Read more

Will Trump Take Down Congressional Republicans?

From the Right / Michael Barone /

On Friday, Republican National Committee and Trump campaign staffers held what one described as an "emergency meeting" at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando. The obvious subject: what to do about Donald Trump's flagging campaign and how Republican down-ballot candidates can avoid the possible (likely?) downdraft.

Current polling shows Trump losing to ...Read more

Nationalism Is Not Necessarily a Bad Thing

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Google "Donald Trump" and "nationalism" and you'll get 1,090,000 results, the large percentage of which are, to judge from the top hits, negative. "Nationalism" is deemed to be bad stuff, maybe even akin to Nazism.

But is nationalism always so bad? Not, it seems, for the millions of people around the world watching the Rio Olympics. They watch ...Read more

The End of History Not Turning Out as Hoped

From the Right / Michael Barone /

The scholar Francis Fukuyama has been widely ridiculed for the title of his 1992 book, "The End of History." Critics point out that we've had -- suffered -- a lot of history since then: the 9/11 attacks, prolonged wars in the Middle East, a worldwide financial crisis and deep recession.

But Fukuyama's point wasn't that all conflict would cease....Read more

Donald Trump's Opportunity Cost

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Opportunity cost. That's an economist's term for what you lose out on when you divert your investments and attention to something less profitable. It's also a good term for the losses Donald Trump has incurred in the last six days -- more than 6 percent of the 94 days between the close of the Democratic National Convention and the election in ...Read more

Does Either Party Have a Winning Strategy? Not Clear

From the Right / Michael Barone /

What is the campaign strategy for the two political parties? Clues can be had from the responses to a question I asked about a dozen dignitaries of each party at their conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia. What's your best guess, I asked, emphasizing guess, of your nominee's percentage of the popular vote in November 2016?

I understood the...Read more

The Democratic Convention: Mission Partly Accomplished

From the Right / Michael Barone /

It was a variant on a traditional convention for a party seeking a third straight term in the White House, attempting to overcome an apparent post-convention bounce for the opposition's candidate: shades of 1988 or 2000 or 2008. Usually it starts with a valedictory speech by the incumbent president, followed by celebration of the new nominee and...Read more

What's 'Making America One Again' About?

From the Right / Michael Barone /

"Make America One Again." That was the stated theme of the last night of the Republican National Convention. In the welter of analysis of Donald Trump's acceptance speech, few have commented on it, but it's worth taking it seriously.

Liberal commentators have dwelled repeatedly on Trump's "dark" and "dystopian" view of America. Apparently, you'...Read more

Is America Ready for a Disruptive President?

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Disruptive. That's a good word to describe Donald Trump's presidential candidacy, and to describe the sometimes-ramshackle Republican National Convention his campaign more or less superintended in Cleveland this past week.

Apple disrupted the music industry; Uber disrupted the taxi cartels; Amazon disrupted the mega-bookstores. Global ...Read more

Will Trump's 'Other People's Money' Campaign Prevail Over Clinton's Standard Tactics?

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Donald Trump postponed the announcement of his vice presidential candidate, Mike Pence, because of the terrorist attack in Nice, which was in line with the modus operandi of his campaign. He didn't want to preempt news media coverage of another radical Islamist terrorist attack.

Disarray and disorder work against the party in power, especially ...Read more

Events Roil the 2016 Campaign

From the Right / Michael Barone /

"Events, dear boy, events," the late British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan supposedly replied when asked what he most feared. And events can certainly make a difference, as was apparent this week: Prime Minister David Cameron moved out of No. 10 Downing Street and Theresa May moved in. This came after British voters, against Cameron's advice ...Read more

Will the National Conventions Change the Delegate Selection Rules -- Again?

From the Right / Michael Barone /

When the Republican and Democratic national conventions gather in successive weeks in Cleveland and Philadelphia, respectively, one item on their plates will be reconsideration of their parties' nominating rules. Just about everyone agrees that they are unsatisfactory in some way or another, and many itch to do something about it.

But what? ...Read more

Hillary Clinton's Non-Indictment May Not Help Her

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Unindicted co-conspirator: Technically, the term, made familiar in the Watergate scandals, does not apply to Hillary Clinton, since no one has been or apparently will be indicted in the emails case.

But if you read the bulk of FBI Director James Comey's statement, it's plain that Hillary Clinton and her top aides conspired to do things that ...Read more

Racial Discrimination on Campus Likely to Go on Forever

From the Right / Michael Barone /

"Affirmative action" will continue to be the routine course of business of college and university admissions for the foreseeable future. That's the bottom line from the Supreme Court's June decision in Fisher v. University of Texas.

By a 4-3 vote, the Court essentially approved the University of Texas' "holistic" admissions as not violating the...Read more

Brexit Due to Failure of Elites, Not Bigotry of Masses

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Bigotry! Nativism! Racism! That's what elites in Britain, Europe and here have been howling, explanations for why 52 percent of a higher-than-general-election turnout of British voters voted for their nation to leave the European Union.

But there is plenty of bigotry, condescension and snobbery in the accusations and the people making them. And...Read more

Brexit Earthquake Hits Britain

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Earthquakes seldom hit the British Isles. But one did late Thursday night and early Friday morning, as the constituency returns started pouring in on the referendum to decide whether the United Kingdom would remain in or leave the European Union.

Most polls had shown a small margin for remain, and betting markets made it an odds-on favorite. ...Read more

Trump Pivoting Away From Tabloid-Style Campaigning

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Donald Trump is the latest proof that the campaign always reflects the candidate and that the candidate is a product of his experience over the years. So, as Trump, after clinching the Republican nomination, reshuffles and rejiggers a campaign that has fallen behind Hillary Clinton, it's instructive to look at his political ground zero.

That ...Read more

Why We Have -- and Probably Will Keep Having -- Sluggish Job Growth

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Why has the American economy had such sluggish job creation and economic growth? That's a pretty fundamental question, and one for which most conventional economists have had unsatisfying answers.

Clues can be found, I think, in the new book by the unconventional economist and blogger Arnold Kling. "Specialization and Trade: A Re-Introduction ...Read more

Brexit Causes Elites Angst -- But Britain May Leave EU Anyway

From the Right / Michael Barone /

"Market Angst as U.K. Edges to Exit," proclaims the headline on The Wall Street Journal's lead story. The exit referred to is Britain's departure from the European Union, a move that will be mandated if a majority votes "leave" rather than "remain" in the national referendum next Thursday.

This outcome would be as astounding, to use the word ...Read more


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