Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Obama and Revolutionary Romance

His foreign-policy errors result not from incompetence but from a conscious agenda.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

 

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About Victor Davis Hanson

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.

22 Thoughts on “Obama and Revolutionary Romance

  1. Bob Krueger on April 14, 2015 at 8:58 am said:

    Great article. Aptly describes Mr. Obama and his attitudes..
    One question, though. I have never heard of the Falkland islands being called the Indian Ocean Maldives.
    I’ve heard them referred to as the Malvinas. (If these are the same Falkland Islands that the Iron Lady and the UK took back from Argentina in 1982.)
    At any rate, great article.

    • He’s quoting an Obama screw up in trying to be worldly and a global citizen, only he called them the Maldives, a 13,000 km error.
      I’m surprise VDH didn’t mention his narcissistic gift to the English Queen, only a troll could have devised such arrogance. If I was the Queen I would have given him a children’s book on how to reign an empire.

      • zygote314 on April 17, 2015 at 12:38 pm said:

        Obama’s wink to Cristina Kirchner that went pear shaped after he blew the attempt to sound sophisticated would be as laughable as his claim that there was a word in ‘Austrian’ for “wheeling and dealing.” Unfortunately, Britain fought a real war to take back the islands from the Argentinian junta who seized them that cost real lives. Although the Maldives gaffe showed Obama to be the pretentious ignoramus that most people already knew he was, it was still a poke in the eye to Britain.

        After the Obama’s patronizing gift of an iPod to the Queen coupled with Michelle Obama throwing her paws all over her in flagrant disregard of protocol, the Royal family wanted nothing more to do with these two embarrassing clowns from Chicago. This incident may have been why the Obamas were conspicuously uninvited to Will and Kate’s wedding. LOL!

  2. marc wilson on April 14, 2015 at 9:02 am said:

    Brilliant analysis. Finally, someone has the guts and the intellect to connect the dots, not only of Obama’s foreign policy but of his personal world-view as well. Obama is a revolutionary, perhaps the most clever and effective in history. Everything he has done during his Presidency has been motivated by his complete commitment to revolution – that is, changing the structure of everything. And he has been doing it right in front of us in the clear light of day. The most interesting part to me is the help he has gotten from so many other people – the press, the Democratic Party, young people, blacks, Latinos, and women in general. Are they all Revolutionaries too? Do they all want what he wants, or most of them simply the useful idiots that helped Stalin rise and hold power in the Soviet Union? Unless there are historians and political scientists like VDH around in 50 years, we may never know.

    • zoomie on April 19, 2015 at 5:03 pm said:

      in a word, yes. there was a guy awhile back who said America can survive two terms of bho. what he said he was not sure of was, can America survive an electorate that would do it ?

  3. Imagine if we are on a life boat, and a mad man pulls the drain plug! Then imagine press members on the boat saying, “Don’t strike that man down, neither put the plug back in the boat, or we will forever brand you the world’s scariest monster!”

    Shakespeare said before doing the right thing, first kill the lawyers… but really, haven’t our mainstream reporters become our lawyers? (I don’t condone violence.)

    Imagine if Solomon today said, Cut the baby in two! Would the mainstream media say that man is scary and warring against women?

    What surgery can re-install mental-testicular fortitude in our lie-loving and truth-despising J-school media?

    • zygote314 on April 14, 2015 at 12:07 pm said:

      Treachery and deceit have been human foibles since the dawn of time. History is full of examples.

      Unfortunately, the strongest defense our Republic has had to the “rule of man,” a vigorous free press, has been co-opted by our President. The Mainstream Media pretend to care about such glaring executive usurpations of power as the IRS’s targeting of political enemies to the administration, the de facto amnesty by executive fiat, and the coordinated cover-up of the Benghazi debacle which cost the lives of four brave Americans, but in reality would rather look the other way.

      Shakespeare understood how a lust for power and raw ambition could corrupt the soul.

      Lady MacBeth: “Who dares receive it other, as we shall make our griefs and clamor roar upon his death.”

      MacBeth: “I am settled, and bend up each corporal agent to this terrible feat. Away, and mock time with fairest show. False face must hide what the false heart doth know.”

  4. Art Hippler on April 14, 2015 at 10:22 am said:

    Prof. Hanson’s perspective, garnered from observations and analysis of half a dozen decades, and seasoned by his clear understanding of history’s lessons, is as good an analysis as is available from any scholar extant and far better than that of most. That I agree with what he says as a result of similar length of observation and activity involving the left, of course, colors my view. But quite seriously, I can find no other objective explanation for Obama’s behavior that can cover his apparent miscalculations. Clearly, they are not so much miscalculations as acts driven by an ideology so dangerous as to be suicidal. What is even more frightening is that there is a large constituency, emergent from the incredibly bad educational system we have created, which emotionally reverberates with every dimension of his beliefs.

  5. zygote314 on April 14, 2015 at 11:08 am said:

    Barak Obama is a creature of the anti-American Left which has ascended to executive power in America. This sad state of affairs has come about by a toxic witches’ brew of political correctness, victimization and race-identity politics, and changing demographics which has festered for decades and has allowed him and his wife to realize their own ambitions. Is it any wonder that US foreign policy has embraced our enemies and shat on our friends?

    “Fair is foul, and foul is fair
    hover through the fog and filthy air.”

  6. dupere on April 14, 2015 at 2:09 pm said:

    “” Our historic moment “”—-The 3rd coming of the Obama mind or It’s defeat, hinges on the game plan of the Republican Party. The National Review needs to get a message out to the GOP—- Do not cut our own throat’s in the National debates. And hopefully Obama’s full presidential stench still lingers into 2016. California is a microcosm of what will happen to the USA if the GOP fails. Viva the delta-smelt !! Viva the foreign-national criminal invader, roaming the streets with impunity !! Long-live the United States has a laughing-stock of all the hell-bound regimes and their plan’s for conquest. In other words, long-live Hillary Clinton. ( An actual special interest super-pac— Lesbians4Hillary. That narrow-minded selfishness perfectly represents those casting a vote for Bill Clinton’s second fiddle.)

  7. buybuydandavis on April 14, 2015 at 4:59 pm said:

    “he ankle-bites the very culture he grew up and thrived in”

    He grew up in Hawaii and Jakarta.

    I grew up in Hawaii in about the same period. The culture was heavily Asian influenced, or maybe it’s better to say that it was an Asian culture partially Western influenced. One thing I’ve always wanted to hear from Barack was how a white/black fared in Hawaii’s predominantly Asian multicultural society.

    You see, there was a widespread hostility to the minority whites from “local” (non-white) children. It was less pronounced in adults, but the prejudice was still there. Ethnic Chinese and Japanese came from self confident cultures. They had some belief in racial superiority, and they sure didn’t see Whitey on top. But blacks were few and far enough between that I couldn’t tell you if they were particular targets of abuse.

    But there is one thing I really wonder about. Hawaii was extremely ethnically mixed. There was no “one drop rule” going on. If you were half A and half B, you were half A and half B. You were seen as a mix of whatever your parents were. There was a particular term for this with whites – Hapa Haole, meaning part Haole.

    Was Barack held as a Hapa Haole? Black? Haole? I have no idea.

    Barack might have interesting things to say about being half Black and half White in a predominantly Asian culture, if he could get off of the “mainland” narrative of Blacks versus Whites.

    • zygote314 on April 17, 2015 at 12:51 pm said:

      “Was Barak held as a Hapa Haole? Black? Haole? I have no idea.”

      And probably neither did Barry Dunham considering what a chronic stoner he was in high school.

      BTW, Maui is my favorite place on earth.

  8. For me, the only relevant question as to who Mr. Obama is (which you barely touched upon): Is he or is he not an Islamist? And if so, is he or is he not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood!

    For me, the answer to Qu. #1 is Yes! And I believe the answer to Qu #2 is More yes than no.

    After all, he did declare that his intent is to “transform our nation,” without ever explaining into what.

  9. El Terryble' on April 15, 2015 at 4:50 pm said:

    The Obama regime is a case study on how Marxist-Leninist’s, Socialist Revolutionaries, and Third World Nationalists infiltrated the highest levels of the American political system, and waged “the Revolution” from within by implementing Bolshevik-Stalinist type political tactics to try and “fundamentally transform” America from a society based on the consent of the governed and the rule of law, into a socialist one-party dictatorship, without having to resort to violent force and police state oppression. Well, at least not yet.

    Obama wages war from within under the cover of the legitimacy offered by a free society and its institutions. However, Obama is as great a threat to America as Lenin was to Czarist Russia. Ultimately, he seeks the economic, cultural and societal collapse of the nation he leads so as to make it into something that can never exist- Utopia. Take the Cloward-Piven Method, which seeks to overthrow the American free-market economy by inundating it with regulation, backdoor nationalization of industry, welfare handouts, debt, and monetary expansion so as to implode the economy, cause domestic unrest, and implement “The People’s Revolution” non-violently, then he seeks to impose a dictatorship after the collapse. It is part and parcel of Obama’s economic strategy.

    We are facing war, an internal war by the Obama regime and the apparatus of government, against the American People through political-other-means. No different than totalitarian movements that emerged from supposedly democratic societies in Nazi Germany during the Weimar Republic, or the Bolsheviks in Czarist Russia.

    Obama want’s Iran to get the bomb for the same reason that he is reaching out to Cuba, and doing nothing as ISIS slaughters its way across the Middle East, or Vladimir Putin reorganizes the post-Cold War balance of power in Europe: Obama hates America and is trying to destroy it and with it the global status quo. There is no other rational explanation- Obama is a traitor.

  10. A definite “both” in my mind.

    It’s seemed obvious to me that President Obama is a True Believer in the particular brand of leftism taught and thought in the elite ivory towers of the University system.

    He is also incompetent. Obama is perhaps apt only for the job teaching leftist legal theory and practice at Harvard masquerading as Constitutional Law.

    His resume prior to the presidency is a litany of failure and/or mediocrity that would have nicely warned us against electing him had we listened. But at least he can give a nice speech if there’s a teleprompter handy…

  11. anglophile on April 15, 2015 at 11:44 pm said:

    Many have pondered the deepest question of Obama’s true mindset and worldview. “Is he purposeful in his actions or merely incompetent?”

    The issue has been batted around continuously, with those fascinated in probing this man’s inner sanctum to determine what the genuine point of fact is. VDH gets it correctly and proves my point in adding a key element. Obama, in his childish, romantic ways courts his love interests, that being colonialist / imperialist demigods for the sake of impugning America and its origins. He does this willfully and adamantly. The results of his actions however are another matter. As the scenario unfolds, chaos reigns supreme, with little left to do in its wake.

    So, to the answer on everyone’s minds as to whether the “Duce” is incompetent or supremely cunning, the answer has been and always will be — both. Obama in simplest terms is “deviously incompetent” an oxymoron of sorts that not only describes his modus operandi, but that of his entire peer group. Liberalism, progressive-ism, socialism or whatever socio-pathological schism related to it as such is flawed in its very nature to begin with. It is this gnarled root that will never alter, thus handicapping forever the harvesters that dare to pick its withered fruit.

    Obama’s foreign policy, as evidenced equally with Obamacare, the IRS offensive, Fast and Furious, amnesty, his economic non-economics, on and on, are all concocted in a deviously incompetent manner, much as the failed enactment of socialism has, goose-stepping through time. Obama and his legions are not surprising in their two-step tango. It is a pirouette ready for the ungraceful fall. First, one must dream, fantasize, wish and hope with an idea concocted usually in the lurid minds of faculty lounge elitists and others of aspiring ilk. If foreign policy is the itch to scratched, the rallying cry is, “Let’s help our revolutionary friends in the Middle East and at the same time make a name for ourselves.”

    This is the zenith of deviousness, a willful, controlling desire for government and its leaders, green with tyranny to force themselves upon the stage. It is then that incompetence metastasizes exponentially. Morsi is thrust into power, Libya is laid to ruins and Benghazi smolders with three mortally wounded Americans. Obama and his minions can only throw up their hands at the wreckage and either try their best to tangle the fishing line even further in retrieval, blame Bush or walk away to let others fix the fiasco in order to alleviate negative optics.

    This is not to say that the wizardry and hocus pocus of devious incompetence needs to be spooled out in this order. Incompetence can erupt firstly and does consistently as when the Commander in Chief blunders a hard “P” in “corpsman” and media flunkies deviously ignore the reportage. In short, the necessary skills to be deviously incompetent, whether be it Alinsky, Obama or Gloria Steinem, takes nothing more than throwing spaghetti against the wall to see whether it sticks. It is a willful decision, but takes little effort to ignore the responsibility of cleaning up the mess. Sadly, America is in a state of janitorial disrepair because of it.

  12. Carl Sesar on April 16, 2015 at 9:07 am said:

    Obama’s view is hardly “romantic.” Murderous is more like it. He’s out to kill, that’s all.

  13. David Park on April 16, 2015 at 9:58 am said:

    The re-election of Obama to the White House is an indication that a large portion of the U.S. voting public has the same calm attention to detail as a field rat in a haystack fire.

    • I disagree.

      Look who the Republicans put up against Obama for a second.

      An aged John McCain well beyond his best-buy date

      Empty-suit rich man Mitt Romney whose points of view blow with the office he is trying for.

      Both men ran awful campaigns.

      McCain lurched from misstep to tone-deaf misstep. And if it wasn’t him, it was Sarah Palin. Palin was an inspired choice. She had near-perfect liberal credentials, except for her political views. Which is why she was and still is so roundly vilified by the Left. But she also wasn’t ready for prime time and drug he McCain Campaign down with her.

      Romney had clear money advantage even without dipping into his own wallet and still lost because it was so easy for the Left to spin a class-warfare caricature of him. Only Romney’s debate performance kept him in the game. That kept the enthusiastic extreme left happily turning out in the unexpected 2008 voting pattern, something that should not have blindsided Romney if his people did their homework as they should have.

  14. Observation on April 16, 2015 at 6:17 pm said:

    “Isaiah 3:12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” A naïve and preachy president burdens the country with dreams from his father (I like Dr. Hansen’s ankle-biter visual) while an aging woman with ’60’s dreams of her own seeks his soon-to-be vacated office. The feeling is rather like watching the first of the burning Twin Towers while the next airliner heads directly at the second Tower.

  15. Carl Sesar on April 21, 2015 at 12:03 pm said:

    Obama is not incompetent. He has succeeded magnificently.

    The economy is ruined, national defense kaput, Constitution torn, race relations broken beyond repair.

    He is our King now.

    [Sing] “Obama Malkheinu . . .”

  16. awshubbar on April 21, 2015 at 8:38 pm said:

    Anybody want a bust of Churchil? If Britain is not America’s friend and ally, I don’t know who is.

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