The Politics of Victimhood

Image credit: Squiddles

Image credit: Squiddles

by Bruce S. Thornton // Defining Ideas 

Gabby Giffords, the former Democratic Congressman from Arizona who was shot in the head at a campaign rally in 2010, has come under fire recently for exploiting her horrific experience for political gain. Using her celebrity as a famous victim of gun violence, Giffords has created a Super PAC, Americans for Responsible Solutions, focused on gun control legislation. Her group has produced political ads for Democratic candidates that feature other victims of gun violence, and that suggest the candidate’s opponent supports policies that contribute to such violence.

Even supporters of Giffords’ own party are uncomfortable with this electoral tactic. At Politico, Alex Isenstadt wrote recently that Giffords “has unleashed some of the nastiest ads of the campaign season, going after GOP candidates in Arizona and New Hampshire with attacks even some longtime supporters say go too far. And Republicans on the receiving end are largely helpless to hit back, knowing a fight with the much-admired survivor is not one they’re likely to win.”

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The Biggest Lie

The Left would rather forget its old slogan, “Bush lied, thousands died.”

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Republican Populism—or Republican Destruction

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media

download (13)Nothing much the Republicans have done explains why they are on the verge of taking back the Senate and making gains in the House.

Not since the summer of 1974 or October 1980 have we see a presidency in a total meltdown. Abroad, ISIS, Putin, and the bullying Chinese have revealed that the Obama administration is either clueless or has subordinated foreign policy decisions to rank politics — or both. At home we have Ebola. Meanwhile, the list of corrupt, incompetent or politically rogue federal agencies keeps growing — the VA, ICE, the NSA, the IRS, the Secret Service … even the Patent and Trademark Office. Each day we learn yet another story about how corrupt Eric Holder’s Justice Department is — the latest a vendetta against a California timber company.

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The President We Deserve?

Will Americans choose a difference course for the country this election season?

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

In 1920 H.L Mencken wrote prophetically, “As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.”

Like the long tradition of antidemocrats from Plato to Founding Father Fisher Ames, Mencken believed that a democratic leader would reflect the self-interested aims and passions of the necessarily mediocre mass of voters. The disaster of Barack Obama’s administration invites reflection on the truth of this proposition.

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What Defines ‘Hispanic’?

In a racially diverse America, we have no discernible rules for what determines one’s race.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Still Getting Jihadism Wrong

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

President Obama’s recent claim that Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam was nothing new. Since 9/11, we have heard from both ends of the political spectrum that jihadist terror has material causes and psychological conditions created by social, political, or economic dysfunctions. This argument is an old one, and was common in the aftermath of 9/11. Typical of such thinking was Bill Clinton’s claim that “these forces of reaction [al Qaeda] feed on disillusionment, poverty, and despair.” Left unexplained is the fact that billions of other people around the world even more impoverished and hopeless have not created a multi-continental network of groups dedicated to inflicting brutal violence and mayhem on those who do not share their faith or who block their visions of global domination.

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Ruins of the Middle East

Obama shuns our friends and courts our enemies.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

‘Small and Petty’ from Small and Petty

by Victor Davis Hanson // NRO- The Corner

Deconstruct former Obama flack Bill Burton’s hit on Leon Panetta:

On Secretary Panetta, he is a guy who has had a long and storied career in Washington and has really served his country well. And it is kind of sad that in its twilight he’s done such a dishonorable thing by — at a time — by going after the president that he served at a time of a lot of different instabilities around the world.

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From Comedy to Farce

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJMedia

obama_lies_big_12-4-13-2It was tragically comical that the commander in chief in just a few weeks could go from referring to ISIS as “jayvee” and a manageable problem to declaring it an existential threat, in the same manner he upgraded the Free Syrian Army from amateurs and a fantasy to our ground linchpin in the new air war. All that tragic comedy was a continuance of his previous untruths, such as the assurance that existing health plans and doctors would not change under the Affordable Care Act or that there was not a smidgeon of corruption at the IRS.

But lately the Obama confusion has descended into the territory not of tragedy or even tragic comedy, but rather of outright farce.

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Obama’s Ideal Revolution

America’s current revolutionary inspiration seems to derive more from Robespierre than Madison.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

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