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Another Impossible Thing May Happen: Change in Partisan Alignments

From the Right / Michael Barone /

In my last column, I looked at the possibility of two impossible things -- impossible things in the sense used by Alice and the Red Queen -- happening in the already turbulent 2016 presidential cycle. Here I'll look at another: the possibility that the partisan division lines that have endured with little change for two decades might suddenly ...Read more

Two Impossible Things That Could Happen in 2016

From the Right / Michael Barone /

"One can't believe impossible things," Alice objected.

"I daresay you haven't had much practice," the Red Queen replied. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

You may be reading this sometime after breakfast, and six is a pretty large ...Read more

Hillary Clinton and 'Black Lives Matter': An Unproductive Confrontation

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Reporters and voters have so far gotten few glimpses of Hillary Clinton speaking candidly. One of the few examples available is in the videotape and transcript of her meeting with Black Lives Matter protesters in New Hampshire last week.

Clinton handled herself adeptly, but her effort to propitiate the protesters spotlights a problem ...Read more

Donald Trump's Half-Serious, Half-Fantasy Immigration Plan

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Donald Trump's six-page platform on immigration may not be, as Ann Coulter wrote, "the greatest political document since the Magna Carta." But given the issue's role in elevating the candidate to leading Republican polls, it merits serious attention.

And at least some of the platform's planks are serious. Trump calls for nationwide use, ...Read more

The Strange Death of the Center-Left

From the Right / Michael Barone /

In 1935 George Dangerfield published "The Strange Death of Liberal England, 1910-1914," a vivid account of how Britain's center-left Liberal Party, dominant for a century, collapsed amid conflicts it could not resolve.

The Liberal Party had appeared impregnable. Its cabinet in 1910 included Herbert Asquith (in the midst of the longest ...Read more

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton: Incapable of Embarrassment

From the Right / Michael Barone /

August is traditionally a vacation month, and East Coast elites, following European tradition, are thick on the ground in the Hamptons, Martha's Vineyard (the Obamas' choice) and Nantucket.

But news -- in some cases, shattering news -- keeps breaking out all over, at home and abroad this August. Actually that's not unusual. Saddam Hussein ...Read more

A Tough Day for the President and His Party

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Thursday was the biggest night of the political year so far, for what happened on the stage at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena and for what happened offstage as well.

The stage was the scene of the first two Republican presidential debates, hosted by Fox News, which together lasted some 200 minutes between 5 and 11 p.m. EDT. What happened there...Read more

Too Many Candidates to Fit on a Stage: Democrats Then, Republicans Now

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Why did Fox News decide to schedule two Republican presidential debates rather than one? Simple arithmetic: 90 minutes divided by 17 candidates equals 5 minutes and 29 seconds apiece. That's scarcely enough time for the oral equivalent of a few tweets.

There won't be a similar problem for the Democratic debates, with only five declared ...Read more

Obama's Nuclear Deal Will Change Iran's Regime

From the Right / Michael Barone /

"Faute de mieux." That means "for want of something better" in Secretary of State John Kerry's second language. It's also the best case made by its journalistic defenders for approval of the nuclear weapons deal Kerry negotiated with Iran. Or to be more exact, for rallying 34 votes in the Senate or 146 votes in the House to uphold a presidential...Read more

Asymmetrical Politics: Republicans Act Like an Unruly Mob, Democrats Like a Regimented Army

From the Right / Michael Barone /

As the presidential campaign heats up, and we head into the first debate among the 16 declared Republican candidates, there is an asymmetry between the two political parties.

Republican voters have been seething with discontent toward their party's officeholders and have not become enchanted with any one of 15 more or less conventional ...Read more

Is America Entering a New Victorian Era?

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Forty-seven years ago, the musical "Hair" opened on Broadway. Elderly mavens -- the core theater audience then, unlike the throngs of tourists flocking to cheap movie adaptations today -- were instructed that America was entering an "Age of Aquarius." The old moral rules were extinct: we were entering a new era of freedom, experimentation and ...Read more

Divided Dems Causing Problems

From the Right / Michael Barone /

America's two major political parties have a difficult task: amassing a 51 percent coalition in a nation that has always been -- not just now, but from the beginning -- regionally, religiously, racially and ethnically diverse.

George W. Bush's Republicans in 2006 and 2008 were not able to hold together the 51 percent coalition that re-elected ...Read more

HUD's 'Disparate Impact' War on Suburban America

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Disparate impact. It's a legal doctrine that may be coming soon to your suburb (if you're part of the national majority living in suburbs).

Bringing it there will be the Obama Department of Housing and Urban Development's Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing program. It has been given a green light to impose the rule from Justice Anthony ...Read more

Hillary Clinton's Economics: Suddenly It's 1947

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Like it or not, Hillary Clinton is the single individual most likely to be elected the next president. So it's worthwhile looking closely at and behind her words when she deigns to speak on public policy, as she did in her July 14 speech on economics.

It contained quite a bit of chaff as well as some wheat. There were laments about the nation...Read more

Disruptive Politics: Trump as a Third Party Candidate

From the Right / Michael Barone /

"My sole focus is to run as a Republican," Donald Trump told my Washington Examiner colleague Byron York last week, "because of the fact that I believe that this is the best way we can defeat the Democrats." He went on, "Having a two-party race gives us a much better chance of beating Hillary and bringing our country back than having a third-...Read more

What (Little) You See of Hillary Clinton Is What You'll Get If She Wins

From the Right / Michael Barone /

It says something about Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign that it was big news that she submitted herself to an interview with a cable news journalist. It also says something that the journalist selected for this honor, Brianna Keilar of CNN, was recently a guest at the wedding of the director of grassroots engagement for the Clinton ...Read more

Redistricting Not Worth the Verbal Footwork

From the Right / Michael Barone /

"Words mean what they say," I wrote in my Washington Examiner column one week ago. But, as I added, not necessarily to a majority of justices of the Supreme Court. The targets of my column were the majority opinions in King v. Burwell and Texas Department of Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project.

In King v. Burwell, Chief ...Read more

Patriotism, Optimism and Good-Natured Debate

From the Right / Michael Barone /

The Fourth of July is a time to remember Americans who have contributed much to their country, and this Fourth weekend is a good time to remember two such Americans who died in recent weeks -- and whom I'd had the good fortune to know and joust with intellectually since the 1970s -- Allen Weinstein and Ben Wattenberg.

Both were sons of Jewish ...Read more

Supreme Court Lets Obama Administration Say Words Don't Mean What They Say

From the Right / Michael Barone /

For most people, words mean what they say. But not necessarily for a majority of Supreme Court justices in two important decisions handed down Thursday.

In the most prominent, King v. Burwell, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for a 6-3 majority, ruled that the words "established by the state" mean "established by the state or the federal ...Read more

Facing a Changing World Balance, Obama Makes Odd Choices

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Is the world back to where it was around the year 1800? One could come to that conclusion after reading British historian John Darwin's recent book "After Tamerlane," which assesses the rises and falls of empires after the death in 1405 of the famously bloodthirsty Muslim Mongol monarch.

From his Central Asian base, Tamerlane conquered Persia ...Read more

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