Commentary Magazine


Barone’s Wisdom

At CPAC today, Michael Barone provided a dazzling display of electoral analysis, centering on the most alarming issue for Republicans: John McCain lost the youth vote by almost 2 to 1. That’s a death warrant for the GOP, he explained. But he then made a key observation: much of the Obama policy agenda is antithetical to the youth-oriented “millennial” generation’s mentality, which stresses freedom, grassroots organization, and personal choice. Those ideals don’t comport with a one-size fits all, top-down nationalized heathcare. And they certainly don’t mesh with the abolition of secret ballots in union elections (“card check”). That, Barone contends, is an opportunity for the Republicans to critique the anti-freedom, authoritarian type policies coming from the administration and to develop an appealing message of their own.

Barone also raised the Obama ploy to limit top earners’ charitable deductions, which is already creating something of a firestorm. That move, he says, will “de-Tocqueville-ize” America, devastating faith and non-faith based organizations which for hundreds of years have been a great source of strength in this country. Again, perhaps this is an opportunity for Republicans to exploit.