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Are Obama’s Advisers Unhinged?

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Surely reports that President Obama is going down to Texas at the height of the Katrina-like border debacle to raise money at the home of the popular but often polarizing filmmaker and Quentin Tarantino–collaborator Robert Rodriguez are the stuff of right-wing mythology?

No one could be so politically dense as to head south in the direction of this catastrophe only to pull up short to huckster campaign funds — while under a lingering cloud that such special-interest money solicitation in the past typically has taken precedence over national security (cf. the need to retire early on the night of Benghazi in order to prep for an important fundraiser the next day in Las Vegas, where the selfish go to blow their kids’ tuition money).

That the Obama money-raiser is purportedly being hosted by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez also cannot be true. The latter is famous for ultra-violent exploitation films of just the sort that gun-control liberals have insisted glorify (true) assault-weapon violence for profit and influence the deranged to translate such violent fiction into murderous fact.

More disturbing at this volatile time of national tensions on the border is the fact that Rodriguez directed the Machete andMachete Kills movies, which offered cheap exploitation about the immigration debate, caricaturing any who disagreed with the present policy of non-enforcement as more or less evil, Neanderthal-like racists and demented militiamen worthy of death (cf. the pseudo/spoof racist trailer for one of the films that envisioned killing border-enforcement politicians).

What would the media have thought if George W. Bush went to Louisiana during Katrina only to avoid New Orleans and the devastation, instead raising campaign cash (at $32,000 a head) at the home of a right-wing filmmaker of violent films that tended to glorify gunplay and to reduce controversies over disaster relief into caricatures of culpable dependents?

In short, it would be impossible to dream up a worse mercenary presidential trip — in terms of morally indifferent omission and self-interested commission — at this critical time than what Obama supposedly now intends.

Surely, the junket will be canceled out of embarrassment or quietly recalibrated — or perhaps the entire story about the trip is simply an urban legend.

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About victorhanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture. He recently published an historical novel The End of Sparta (2012), a realistic retelling of Epaminondas invasion and liberation of Spartan-control Messenia. In The Father of Us All (2011), he collected earlier essays on warfare ancient and modern. His upcoming history The Savior Generals(2013) analyzes how five generals in the history of the West changed the course of battles against all odds. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 and the Bradley Prize in 2008. Hanson, who was the fifth successive generation to live in the same house on his family’s farm, was a full-time orchard and vineyard grower from 1980-1984, before joining the nearby CSU Fresno campus in 1984 to initiate a classical languages program. In 1991, he was awarded an American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award, which is given yearly to the country’s top undergraduate teachers of Greek and Latin. Hanson has been a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992-93), a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991-92), a recipient of the Eric Breindel Award for opinion journalism (2002), an Alexander Onassis Fellow (2001), and was named alumnus of the year of the University of California, Santa Cruz (2002). He was also the visiting Shifrin Professor of Military History at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (2002-3). He received the Manhattan Institute’s Wriston Lectureship in 2004, and the 2006 Nimitz Lectureship in Military History at UC Berkeley in 2006. Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, scholarly papers, and newspaper editorials on matters ranging from ancient Greek, agrarian and military history to foreign affairs, domestic politics, and contemporary culture. He has written or edited 17 books, including Warfare and Agriculture in Classical Greece (1983; paperback ed. University of California Press, 1998); The Western Way of War (Alfred Knopf, 1989; 2d paperback ed. University of California Press, 2000); Hoplites: The Ancient Greek Battle Experience (Routledge, 1991; paperback., 1992); The Other Greeks: The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization(Free Press, 1995; 2nd paperback ed., University of California Press, 2000);Fields without Dreams: Defending the Agrarian Idea (Free Press, 1996; paperback, Touchstone, 1997; The Bay Area Book reviewers Non-fiction winner for 1996); The Land Was Everything: Letters from an American Farmer (Free Press, 2000; a Los Angeles Times Notable book of the year); The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Cassell, 1999; paperback, 2001); The Soul of Battle (Free Press, 1999, paperback, Anchor/Vintage, 2000); Carnage and Culture (Doubleday, 2001; Anchor/Vintage, 2002; a New York Times bestseller); An Autumn of War (Anchor/Vintage, 2002); Mexifornia: A State of Becoming (Encounter, 2003),Ripples of Battle (Doubleday, 2003), and Between War and Peace (Random House, 2004). A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, was published by Random House in October 2005. It was named one of the New York Times Notable 100 Books of 2006. Hanson coauthored, with John Heath, Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (Free Press, 1998; paperback, Encounter Press, 2000); with Bruce Thornton and John Heath, Bonfire of the Humanities (ISI Books, 2001); and with Heather MacDonald, and Steven Malanga, The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan Than Today’s (Ivan Dee 2007). He edited a collection of essays on ancient warfare, Makers of Ancient Strategy (Princeton University Press, 2010). Hanson has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, New York Post, National Review, Washington Times, Commentary, The Washington Post, Claremont Review of Books, American Heritage, New Criterion, Policy Review, Wilson Quarterly, Weekly Standard, Daily Telegraph, and has been interviewed often on National Public Radio, PBS Newshour, Fox News, CNN, and C-Span’s Book TV and In-Depth. He serves on the editorial board of the Military History Quarterly, and City Journal. Since 2001, Hanson has written a weekly column for National Review Online, and in 2004, began his weekly syndicated column for Tribune Media Services. In 2006, he also began thrice-weekly blog for Pajamas Media, Works and Days. Hanson was educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz (BA, Classics, 1975, ‘highest honors’ Classics, ‘college honors’, Cowell College), the American School of Classical Studies, Athens (regular member, 1978-79) and received his Ph.D. in Classics from Stanford University in 1980. He divides his time between his forty-acre tree and vine farm near Selma, California, where he was born in 1953, and the Stanford campus.

14 Thoughts on “Are Obama’s Advisers Unhinged?

  1. Proudly Unaffiliated on July 9, 2014 at 5:23 am said:

    Obama’s actions are merely a reflection of his and his administration’s priorities and values.

  2. David Seward on July 9, 2014 at 5:27 am said:

    The political animal, Obama continues to lend credence to the saying “You can’t make this stuff up!”

  3. Carol on July 9, 2014 at 5:50 am said:

    This shows a president that has a total disregard for the American public, this country and is a total narcissist and the media will look away! Sad!

  4. Hoi Polloi Boy on July 9, 2014 at 7:10 am said:

    We all know Obama and his advisors are out of touch. This is just icing on the cake.

  5. No one in the media will even mention the details of the trip mentioned in this column so most people will never even know.

  6. It is obvious that all his advice comes from first the ideologues and second the inner political plotters. Any advisors with common sense or consideration for the national interest were purged long ago.

  7. Brazen is as brazen does. Sort of like when you go to a restaurant, and a standout person eats with their mouth open. Then they look around to see who it bothers. Then they take another bite, mouth open.

  8. Larry L. Peterson on July 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm said:

    The media is part of the corruption of American life. Another institution failing to live up to its responsibilities. The media and universities are corrupt and nothing more than wings of the Democratic party.

  9. greg on July 9, 2014 at 5:18 pm said:

    It also speaks to the mind numbing loyalty of the main stream media and political class. If Bush43, Reagan, Bush 41 etc. had committed 1% of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” of this administtration, the press would be screaming from the rooftops. But, because it is Obama commiting these dastardly acts, the press is much more concerned with gay marriage, and the traffic tie up on the George Washing ton bridge a year ago.

  10. Doctor Falco on July 11, 2014 at 10:27 am said:

    President obama is a) Totaly insane or more probably b) a cynical who doesn´t realy care.

    The two coming last year with Obama as president will be a rocky ride for the United State.

    Après nous, le déluge as la Pompadour once said.

    Get ready for worse…

  11. Rocco Pirro on July 13, 2014 at 1:13 pm said:

    It’s obvious that the wheels have come off the train for the Obama regime. I’m wondering how badly will the US be hurt and will we ever recover??

  12. Victor,

    The enemy has changed their tactics, but has Barack Obama acted? You can make a decision based on politics, but President Obama is still having a debate with himself. Both he and his advisers have become un Bush like for a reason. As I mentioned in my book Winston Churchill as Participant Historian: Lawrence of Arabia wrote in the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, “For it is their war their country and you time her is limited.” Obama and his advisors are fighting an irregular war within a disastrous conflict. The urban legend is as fighting as an Obama film. P.S. to blogger space between, Machette Kills movie…. Best,
    jwc

  13. Thucydides himself was an Athenian, the first person journalist and historian who didn’t need the skills of MCJ or a video came or smart phone. As a general writing a history he was ahead of his time. The Machette myth of a Rodriguez action film is one of conflict designed to meet the taste of immediate pop culture in cinema. Obama and his advisors failures are not for the entertainment of the American people. Conflict and bad politics is done to stir the nations pot of forces on both sides for ever for a reason.

    Athenian mistakes resemble Obama and his advisors, and their inactivity in the Middle East, as they blame G.W. and his Administration for doing all the harm. Athens was once a powerful city. Washington D.C. was once a powerful place of Government and military might. Persians naval superiority was lost. Hellas depended on her navy. British Navy was lost in 1941 and U.S. Naval forces have not had a substantial test since World War II. Fear of Persia was their chief motive in flexing Athenian muscle. Media then would have taken away the pride of the people as they were slaves of their own land. President Obama and his advisers have bolstered themselves up with the false hope that American media will be kind to them, more so than G.W. Bush.

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