Category Archives: Second Term Policies

The New Inquisition

by Victor Davis Hanson // Tribune Content Agency 

What if you believed that the planet might not have warmed up the last two decades, even though carbon emissions reached all-time highs?

Or, if the earth did heat up, you thought that it was not caused by human activity?

Or, if global warming were the fault of mankind, you trusted that the slight increases would not make all that much difference? Read more →

A New Obama Doctrine?

With his presidency in tailspin, Carter radically changed course. Will Obama do the same?

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

By the beginning of 1980, Jimmy Carter was in big trouble. Almost everything he had said or done in foreign policy over the prior three years had failed — and he was running for reelection.388px-JimmyCarterPortrait

Carter had come into office in 1977 promising a new American stance abroad predicated on human rights. He bragged of an end to our supposedly inordinate fear of Soviet-inspired Communism. He entertained the hope of not losing a single American soldier in combat during his tenure. And he rejected the realpolitik of the Nixon-Kissinger years.

The State Department would end the excessive influence of the bellicose National Security Council. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance would put a kinder, gentler face on American diplomacy. We championed Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe over more moderate black reformers. We broke with the Shah of Iran, who fled his country in January 1979. We for a while praised the Ayatollah Khomeini and sought ways to reach out to him. Carter’s U.N. ambassador, Andrew Young, called Khomeini “some kind of saint.” Young met secretly with PLO representatives in Kuwait. In an interview, he falsely alleged of his own country that “We still have hundreds of people that I would categorize as political prisoners in our prisons.” Read more →

Crashing and Burning in 2013

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

Recent polls suggest Barack Obama has become a turn-off. Why?

In part, all presidents wear on Americans. Their presence has become as ubiquitous in our lives as the busts of the emperor Augustus dotting the Mediterranean world. So who wouldn’t annoy after speaking and appearing on our screens 24/7 for five years? Read more →

America’s Wilderness Years

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

Most two-term presidents leave some sort of legacy. Ronald Reagan won the Cold War. George W. Bush prevented another 9/11, and constructed an anti-terrorism protocol that even his critical successor embraced and often expanded.

Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management via FlickrEven our one-term presidents have achieved something. JFK got Soviet missiles out of Cuba. LBJ oversaw passage of civil rights legislation. Jerry Ford restored integrity to the White House. Jimmy Carter finally issued the Carter Doctrine to stop Soviet expansionism at the Persian Gulf. George H.W. Bush won the first Persian Gulf War and got Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.

And even our impeached or abdicated presidents at least left some positive legacies. Richard Nixon went to China and enacted détente. Bill Clinton through compromise balanced the budget and incurred budget surpluses.

But Barack Obama?

Read more →

Obama Will Cut a Deal Sooner Rather than Later

by Victor Davis Hanson // NRO’s The Corner

Photo Credit: Marina Noordegraaf via Flickr.comAt first glance, the Republicans seemed to be losing the so-called shut-down impasse, inasmuch as Obamacare, as the president termed it, was “settled law” and the Republicans did not have the congressional clout to overturn it. No one likes, after all, to be turned away from Yosemite on a pleasant autumn day, because of Beltway gymnastics.

Yet the politics are likely to change the longer this drags on, and at some point Obama will see the writing on the wall.

First, the legions of federally employed constituents, the lesser Lois Lerners of the bureaucracy, have played the shutdown badly. Like supervisors at the IRS, many want to freelance their pettiness to showcase their Obama fides—and thereby screw up. No one wishes to see veterans turned away from open-air monuments, while illegal aliens are invited into public federal spaces to protest against their supposedly insensitive host whose laws they are daily breaking (at a time of a government shutdown, try protesting en masse in the Zócalo in Mexico City for your inherent rights as an illegal, foreign resident of Mexico). Read more →

Obama: Transforming America

From energy to foreign policy to the presidency itself, Obama’s agenda rolls along.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

“We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” — Barack

Photo Credit: Michael Shane via Flickr

Photo Credit: Michael Shane via Flickr

Obama, October 30, 2008

“We are going to have to change our conversation; we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history; we’re going to have to move into a different place as a nation.” — Michelle Obama, May 14, 2008

There certainly is no question that Barack Obama wants to change the United States. And there clearly is no doubt that such fundamental transformation is difficult, given our tripartite system of government — even though Obama entered office with large Democratic majorities in Read more →

Obama’s Box Canyon

Our Hamlet-in-cheif wanted simultaneously to act and not act.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The Syrian fiasco arose from two mutually contradictory desires. Barack Obama sincerely wanted Bashar Assad to stop killing his own people. Barack Obama also really was not willing to use force to ensure that Assad would stop killing his own people. At Harvard, those desires would not be antithetical. Elsewhere they are.

The desire to avoid the use of force was understandable. Obama ran for president as an anti-war candidate. He damned Bush’s “bad war” in Iraq, while critiquing the conduct of the “good war” in Afghanistan. He had no success with his own bombing in Libya. And he was embarrassed by even a rhetorical entry into the Egyptian quagmire. The president sensed rightly that the country was “tired” after Afghanistan and Iraq. Read more →

Obama Indicts Obama

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media

One of the problems that Barack Obama has in mounting an attack against the Assad regime is that the gambit violates every argument Barack Obama used against the Bush administration to establish his own anti-war candidacy. Read more →

Obama Bets Against Human Nature — and Usually Loses

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media

 

There are many ways to learn about the bleaker aspects of human nature. One would be to run a pizza shop, or regularly to have to clean a public restroom. Perhaps giving close attention to the text of Thucydides might give a more abstract lesson. Also, the Old and New Testaments offer plenty of examples of the fallen state of man. Read more →

The Death of Populism

Plenty of pleaders for rich and poor, but no politician speaks for the common man.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Occupy Wall Streeters claimed that they were populists. Their ideological opposites, the Tea Partiers, said they were, too. Both became polarizing. And so far populism, whether on the right or left, does not seem to have made inroads with the traditional Republican and Democrat

establishments.

Gas has gone up about $2 a gallon since Barack Obama took office. Given average yearly rates of national consumption, that increase alone translates into an extra $1 trillion that American drivers have collectively paid in higher fuel costs over the last 54 months.

Such a crushing burden on Read more →