Category Archives: Retrospective

Following the Trail Nixon Blazed

Obama shows the same Orwellian disregard for the Constitution.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

What would a president do if he were furious over criticism, or felt that his noble aims justified Nixon_while_in_US_Congressmost means of attaining them?

Answer that by comparing the behavior of Richard Nixon to that of an increasingly similar Barack Obama.

Nixon tried to use the Internal Revenue Service to go after his political enemies — although his IRS chiefs at least refused his orders to focus on liberals.

Nixon ignored settled law and picked and chose which statutes he would enforce — from denying funds for the Clean Water Act to ignoring congressional subpoenas.

Nixon attacked TV networks and got into personal arguments with journalists such as CBS’s Dan Rather.

Nixon wanted the Federal Communications Commission to hold up the licensing of some television stations on the basis of their political views.

Nixon went after “enemies.” He ordered surveillance to hound his suspected political opponents and was paranoid about leaks. Read more →

The Rural Way

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

Hard physical work is still a requisite for a sound outlook on an ever more crazy world. I ride a bike; but such exercise is not quite the same, given that the achievement of

Richard Croft

Richard Croft

doing 35 miles is therapeutic for the body and mind, but does not lead to a sense of accomplishment in the material sense — a 30-foot dead tree cut up, a shed rebuilt, a barn repainted. I never quite understood why all these joggers in Silicon Valley have immigrants from Latin America doing their landscaping. Would not seven hours a week spent raking and pruning be as healthy as jogging in spandex — aside from the idea of autonomy that one receives by taking care of one’s own spread?

On the topic of keeping attuned with the physical world: if it does not rain (and the “rainy” season is about half over with nothing yet to show for it), the Bay Area and Los Angeles will see some strange things that even Apple, Google, and the new Read more →

Obama’s Credibility Gap

The former hope-and-change president no longer gets a pass.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

By 1968, President Lyndon Baines Johnson was finally done in by his “credibility gap” — the growing abyss between what he said about, and what was actually happening inside, Vietnam.

800px-Barack_Obama_in_the_Oval_Office,_April_2010“Modified limited hangout” and “inoperative” were infamous euphemisms that Nixon-administration officials used to mask lies about the Watergate scandal. After a while, few believed any of the initial Reagan-administration disavowals that it was not trading “arms for hostages” in the Iran–Contra scandal.

George H. W. Bush thundered during his campaign that voters should “read my lips: no new taxes,” only to agree later to raise them. Bill Clinton’s infamous assertion that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman” was followed by proof that he did just that with Monica Lewinsky.

The George W. Bush administration warned the nation about stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and never quite recovered its credibility after the WMD were not found. No one believed Bush when he told incompetent FEMA deputy director Michael Brown that in the midst of the Katrina mess he was doing a “heck of a job.” Read more →

Obama Is Just Obama

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

Suddenly, half the country is upset with Obama for the recent flurry of scandals. Even some in the media are perplexed Read more →

Nixon Is a Fair Comparison

by Victor Davis Hanson

NRO’s The Corner

There have been lots of comparisons, most hotly dismissed by the president’s defenders, between Nixon and Obama, but in some ways the latest scandals have the potential to match or even trump those of 1973–4. Read more →

A Tainted Campaign?

by Victor Davis Hanson

NRO’s The Corner

If it is proven that the IRS thwarted some groups from obtaining tax-exempt status in fear that their traditional or conservative messages might hurt the 2012 Obama campaign (especially if it did so under pressure from White House-affiliated operatives), Read more →

Bush’s Warranted Rehabilitation Will Come

by Victor Davis Hanson

NRO’s The Corner

George W. Bush’s September 14, 2001, so-called “bullhorn” speech, that he gave with his arm around fireman Bob Beckwith at Ground Zero (“I can hear you! Read more →

Bush Reconsidered

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

George W. Bush left office in January 2009 with one of the lowest job-approval ratings for a president (34 percent) since Gallup started compiling them — as compared to Harry Truman’s low of 32 percent, Richard Nixon’s of 24 percent, and Jimmy Carter’s of 34 percent — and to the general derision of the media.
Read more →

2012: When Dreams Died

by Victor Davis Hanson

Tribune Media Services

The year 2012 saw the triumph of cold reality over pie-in-the-sky dreams.

Barack Obama in 2008 won an election on an upbeat message of change in the hope that the first black president would mark a redemptive moment in American history. Read more →

The Orientalism of Barack Obama

by Terry Scambray

New Oxford Review

Of course the documentary movie, 2016: Obama’s America, was timed by the conservative, Dinesh D’Souza, to discredit the president. Nonetheless, there can’t be much doubt that the president’s vision of America is driven by his attitude toward the perceived sins of European colonialism and his fear that America has now assumed that mantle. Read more →