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Trump Has a Grating Style but Significant Substance

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Substance and style -- it's easy to get them confused or mistake one for the other. And they're never entirely unconnected, though exactly how much so is a matter of debate.

That's especially true when it comes to evaluating Donald Trump's performance -- a word particularly ambiguous in his case, as referring to either oratorical style or ...Read more

Partisan Lines Stay Fixed Amid Trump Turmoil

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Amid the turmoil of the first month of the Trump administration, with courts blocking his temporary travel ban and his national security adviser resigning after 24 days, the solid partisan divisions in the electorate -- modestly changed in 2016 from what they'd been over the previous two decades -- remain in place.

That's apparent in roll call ...Read more

Free Trade's Effect on 'Earned Success'

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Amid all the hurly-burly of President Donald Trump's first weeks in office, let's try to put the changes he's making and the feathers he's ruffling in a longer, 20-year perspective. Start off with his trademark issue -- one that clearly helped him win the 64 crucial electoral votes of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin: trade.

Twenty ...Read more

Trump's 2nd-Week Follow-Through

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Donald Trump's second week as president has been full of surprises and Sturm und Drang.

His Friday afternoon executive order barring for 90 days immigration from seven countries designated by the Obama administration as "countries of concern" was obviously ill-vetted and prompted nationwide and international protests. His Tuesday night ...Read more

'America First' Is Not a Threat but a Promise

From the Right / Michael Barone /

"From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first," Donald Trump proclaimed in his inaugural address. As has been his habit, he added to the prepared text the word "only" and employed the rhetorical device of repetition by repeating "America first."

The phrase sticks in some critics' craws. It was the name of a ...Read more

Trump's Inauguration Is Not Without Precedent

From the Right / Michael Barone /

The United States has just had three consecutive eight-year presidencies, and it's only the second time in history that that's happened. The only other such moment came on March 4, 1825, 192 years ago.

That's a bit surprising, given the strong example George Washington's two terms as president set and the rule established by the 22nd Amendment,...Read more

The Intelligence Community, Russia and Trump

From the Right / Michael Barone /

On Wednesday, in his first news conference as president-elect, Donald Trump came out swinging -- against some of the media (while praising others), against the policies and performance of the Obama administration, and against the intelligence community.

He had some legitimate reason. One was CNN's report that Trump had been briefed that Russian...Read more

Government by Faculty Lounge Subject to Repeal

From the Right / Michael Barone /

President Barack Obama went up to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to counsel congressional Democrats on how to save Obamacare. Or at least that's how his visit was billed.

But to judge from the responses of some of the Democrats, his advice was typical of the approach he's taken to legislation in his eight years as president -- which is to say ...Read more

Americans Are No Longer on the Move

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Americans see themselves as people on the move. When the going gets tough or when opportunity beckons, we get up and go. We move around a lot.

Actually, we don't -- or don't nearly so much as we used to. The percentage of Americans moving every year is less than half that of a half-century ago and down significantly since the early 1990s.

Some...Read more

Trump Nixes Pet Projects of Liberal and Conservative Elites

From the Right / Michael Barone /

It's been a tough year for political elites, here and around the world, what with the passage of Brexit in June in Britain, the repudiation of Colombia's Nobel Peace Prize recipient in the October FARC referendum and the defeat of America's Nobel Peace Prize recipient's preferred candidate in the November presidential election.

Not all the ...Read more

Some Christmastime Advice for Pundits and Partisans

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Now that the 538 electors have voted -- and, with only the most minor of exceptions, for the expected candidates -- we can marvel at how such a huge difference in public policies can be made by just a few votes, the 77,744 votes by which Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton for the 46 electoral votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Trump'...Read more

How the Political Rules Changed in 2016

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Over the 40-some years that I have been working or closely observing the political campaign business, the rules of the game haven't changed much. Technology has changed the business somewhat, but the people who ran campaigns in the 1970s could have (and in some cases actually have) run them four decades later.

But suddenly this year, the rules ...Read more

What's Trump Up to on Foreign Policy?

From the Right / Michael Barone /

What is President-elect Donald Trump up to on foreign policy? It's a question with no clear answer. Some will dismiss his appointments and tweets as expressing no more than the impulses of an ignorant and undisciplined temperament -- no more premeditated than the lunges of a rattlesnake.

Others may recall that similar things were said (by me, ...Read more

Some Free Advice for the Democratic Party

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Herewith some unsolicited free advice for the Democratic Party. Whether it's worth more than the price I leave up to Democrats to decide.

The first thing to remember is that the Democratic Party is the oldest political party in the world. It's had its ups and downs over many years. Under any fair reading of history, it has done many good things...Read more

The Collapse of the Political Left

From the Right / Michael Barone /

It's been a tough decade for the political left. Eight years ago, a Time magazine cover portrayed Barack Obama as Franklin Roosevelt, complete with a cigarette and holder and a cover line proclaiming, "The New New Deal." A Newsweek cover announced, "We Are All Socialists Now."

Now the cover story is different. Time has just announced -- ...Read more

Ditching Electoral College Would Allow California to Impose Imperial Rule on a Colonial America

From the Right / Michael Barone /

They're still counting the votes, going on four weeks after the election, in California. In Brazil, a nation with much more challenging geography, they manage to do it in five hours.

The seemingly endless dillydallying of California's (presumably union-represented) public employees has obscured two interesting things about this year's ...Read more

Donald Trump and the Outstate Midwest Redraw the Partisan Lines

From the Right / Michael Barone /

Would any Republican besides Donald Trump have beaten Hillary Clinton and been elected the 45th president? It's an interesting question, not susceptible to a definitive answer but with consequences for politics going forward.

Last fall, I shared the widespread view that Clinton was the only Democrat who could lose to Trump and Trump was the ...Read more

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