Michael Barone

Fox's Bill O'Reilly's bemoans the fall of "traditional America," and all those voters who dare to "want stuff."

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Odds are that if Barack Obama is reelected, there will be some pretty angry reactions on the right. Here are some forms it might take.

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Is asking voters to compare Romney’s vulture capitalism to Solyndra a good idea? The Romney campaign and its cohorts seem to think so. Within the past few days, American Crossroads, Karl Rove’s super PAC, released an ad that counters Obama’s attacks on Bain by highlighting Solyndra, a bankrupt solar panel company that had been given a government-backed loan guarantee, as well as the auto industry bailout. George Will made the Bain-Solyndra comparison on This Week; Paul Ryan did the same on Fox News Sunday; Michael Barone piled on in National Review Online.

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The Truman Show

A couple days ago, Norman Ornstein wrote a piece for TNR suggesting that Harry Truman's 1948 campaign offers a historic parallel for President Obama. Truman had seen Republicans sweep to power in the midterm elections two years before, and proceed to advocate a radical anti-government ideology that alienated large swaths of the electorate, allowing Truman to counterpose himself against them. Conservative pundit Michael Barone writes a column objecting to the parallel: There are in fact major differences between Truman’s standing in 1947–48 and Obama’s standing today.

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The new line on the right is that the economy is now swooning because President Obama criticized Paul Ryan. Here's Michael Barone: On April 13 Obama delivered a ballyhooed speech at George Washington University. ... The man depicted as pragmatic and free of ideological cant indulged in cheap political rhetoric, accusing Republicans, including House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan who was in the audience, of pushing old ladies in wheelchairs down the hill and starving autistic children. The signal was clear.

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Culture Shock

Many Beltway insiders seem to have convinced themselves that abortion doesn’t matter anymore. Just look at the press clippings from CPAC, where Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels wowed his D.C. cheerleaders with a speech doubling down on his earlier call for a “truce” over culture-war issues like abortion. Chris Christie came into town a few days later, and excited a lot of the same people with a speech focused almost exclusively on the idea that entitlement-spending cuts are the nation’s top priority.

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Dave Weigel wants to know which hack pundit will draw a parallel between Adrian Fenty's (predicted) loss in the Washington, D.C. mayoral primary and the political travails of President Obama: My question: Who'll be the first pundit to discuss Fenty's defeat as a sign of things to come for Barack Obama? Fenty endorsed Obama in 2008, and the two men have been outwardly friendly with one another, and among the reasons he's expected to lose are arrogance and some misplaced spending. Voila: Instant comparison! ... So where does the first "Fenty = Obama" post-mortem come from?

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During the whole epistemic closure debate there was some talk about the rewards conservatives get for ideological fidelity.

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One of my shameful hobbies is watching the almost sensual pleasure taken by former Karl Rove aide Peter Wehner at the coming of the November elections. Yesterday brought an especially entertaining spasm of schadenfreude. Here's Wehner at 4:32 PM: Yet More Bad Poll News For Obama More troubling poll data for President Obama. According to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press: Public perceptions of two of the federal government’s most sweeping efforts to right the economy could be contributing to the pessimism.

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Michael Barone thinks the Obama administration gave out stimulus money to state governments as a pay off to public employee unions: Why did districts with state capitals rake in so much money? Because one-third of the stimulus dollars went to state and local governments. The obvious purpose was to shield public employee union members from the economic distress and uncertainty faced by so many Americans in the private sector—to pay off the unions (most of whose members are public employees) which contributed something like $400 million to Democrats in the 2008 cycle.

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