Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Why the Effort to Demonize Attorney General Barr?

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

The current progressive effort to demonize attorney general William Barr is creepy, but then again not so strange. He came into the office with singular experience and an excellent reputation from past service. As attorney general, he has followed the law to the letter in handling the release, redactions, and dissemination of the Mueller report. His summaries of the report proved factual. They were not contested by Robert Mueller or his team. His decision not to pursue “obstruction” was not just his own, but logically followed from the Mueller report that did not find enough evidence to make such a positive recommendation. His congressional testimony that there was “spying” during the 2016 campaign is, of course, factually undeniable, and Barr added the qualifier of being interested in finding whether such surveillance was warranted or not.

As for the charge that Barr, a former Bush appointee, is Trump’s “hand-picked” choice –how odd, given that all attorney generals are presidents’ hand-picked selections. How could they not be?

It is not as if Barr has referenced himself, in Eric Holder’s partisan fashion, as Trump’s “wing-man.” Nor has he ordered surveillance on, for example, a Fox News reporter, or had the communication records of 20 Associated Press journalists seized, as happened during the Obama administration in efforts to stop leaks of unwelcome news stories. Nor has he been held in contempt of Congress for failure to turn over subpoenaed documents under the cover of a presidential order of executive privilege. There is no suggestion that Barr has abused the perquisites of the office, for example, by using a government jet to go to the horse races with his family. He has avoided controversial value judgements about the nature of the American people and polarizing rhetoric.

So, more likely, the effort to delegitimize the professional Barr is the opening, preemptory salvo in the second and quite different round of investigations.

Soon Mr. Barr will be tasked with collating and adjudicating criminal referrals and arguments for indictments coming variously from Inspector General Michael Horowitz, possibly special counsel John Huber, Devin Nunes the ranking Republican and former chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and perhaps later even from Lindsey Graham, Chair of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, along with any conclusions arising from federal attorneys within the Justice Department itself.

Read the full article here.

Things That Can’t Go on Forever Simply Don’t

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Economist Herbert Stein’s old adage—”If something cannot go on forever, it will stop”—still holds.

Take illegal immigration.

There are currently somewhere from 11 million to 15 million immigrants living in the United States without legal authorization. Last month, nearly 100,000 people were apprehended or turned away while trying to illegally cross the southern border. Some experts suggest that at least that number made it across without arrest. At that rate, the United States would be gaining a fairly large city of undocumented arrivals each month.

Most of the people who enter the United States illegally arrive without fluency in English, a high-school diploma, competitive job skills or money. The majority will require support subsidies, and collectively they will require increased legal and law-enforcement investments.

At some point, American social services will be so taxed that the system will be rendered dysfunctional—as is already occurring in areas of the American Southwest. Or, some regions of America will so resemble the countries undocumented immigrants abandoned that there will be little point in heading north.

Read the full article here.

The Progressive Revolution: From Democratic to Liberal to Progressive to Socialist

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Americans voted for Barack Obama in 2008 despite, not because of, his most partisan voting record in the Senate. They were once willing to look past his earlier dubious associations with abject anti-Semites such as the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, former terrorists like Bill Ayers, and unhinged characters such as Father Pfleger. They also averted their eyes from Obama’s often quite offensive commentary, in his autobiography and during the 2008 campaign (e.g., “typical white person” and “they cling to…” speech).

Instead, voters were tired of the Iraq War (which was over for all practical purposes by the time of the November 2008 election).

They were, of course, terrified by the September 2008 financial meltdown (which had been mostly stabilized four months later by the time of the inauguration) and irate at the kid-gloves treatment accorded often conniving banks and investors.

They were convinced that Obama might be healing and transformative as the first African-American president, supposedly only slightly to the left of a far steadier and more qualified Condoleezza Rice or Colin Powell. And half the Democrats were already becoming sick of Hillary Clinton once they became reacquainted with her on the 2008 primary-campaign trail.

As is typical of American politics, voters in 2008 also wanted to change the party in power after it had been in the lead for eight years, and the lame-duck president fell out of favor. Voters certainly were underwhelmed by an uninspiring, herky-jerky, mostly incompetent John McCain campaign, notable for his “that’s not who we are” comments and his willingness to “lose nobly.”

Such was the naïve dream.

Read the full article here.

Are There Any Limits to Illegal Immigration?

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

The U.S.-Mexican border is essentially wide open.

Why? Because there is a general expectation in Mexico and Latin America that American immigration law is unenforced. Or it is so bizarre that simple illegal entry almost always ensures temporary legal residence, pending an asylum hearing.

A scheduled asylum hearing, in turn, is seen by border crossers as a mere formality to be ignored. The popular perception on the border, then, is to stick one foot illegally onto U.S. soil, and, presto, win permanent residence for you and any family members who wish to follow.

In an age of 500 sanctuary city and county jurisdictions, few illegal aliens believe they will ever be deported permanently, even if they have been apprehended committing serious crimes. There is also a general perception among would-be illegal entrants that prominent Democrats and progressives welcome their massive influxes as useful and will do their best to ensure illegal immigration continues unabated.

Read the full article here.

REELTALK: Victor Davis Hanson

California Has Become America’s Cannibal State

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

For over six years, California has had a top marginal income tax rate of 13.3 percent, the highest in the nation. About 150,000 households in a state of 40 million people now pay nearly half of the total annual state income tax.

The state legislature sold that confiscatory tax rate on the idea that it was a temporary fix and would eventually be phased out. No one believed that. California voters, about 40 percent of whom pay no state income taxes, naturally approved the extension of the high rate by an overwhelming margin.

California recently raised gas taxes by 40 percent and now has the second-highest gas taxes in the United States.

California has the ninth-highest combined state and local sales taxes in the country, but its state sales tax of 7.3 percent is America’s highest. As of April 1, California is now applying that high state sales tax to goods that residents buy online from out-of-state sellers.

In late 2017, the federal government capped state and local tax deductions at $10,000. For high earners in California, the change effectively almost doubled their state and local taxes.

Such high taxes, often targeting a small percentage of the population, may have brought California a budget surplus of more than $20 million. Yet California is never satiated with high new tax rates that bring in additional revenue. It’s always hungry for more.

Read the full article here.

RobertRinger.com: Interview with Victor Davis Hanson

By Robert Ringer

Click here to listen to the information-packed interview I did yesterday with the great Victor Davis Hanson, professor emeritus of classics at California State University, Fresno, and a Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

The World Doesn’t Care About Groupthink

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Conventional wisdom may change in a flash (remember ‘peak oil’?), but elites remain elites, united by common interests.

“All things are in flux.” — Heraclitus

The adage “nothing last forever” is an understatement. Far more accurate is something like “nothing lasts until next week.”

Saint-to-Sinner Silicon Valley

A decade ago, even most Republicans admired the rugged entrepreneurialism of the high-tech Masters of the Universe who had built a multitrillion-dollar, world-dominating Internet, and the computer, mobile-phone, online-sales, and social-media industries, defined by marquee companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Yahoo.

In turn, Democrats gave up their suspicions of big money, as they canonized liberal Jeff Bezos, Sergey Brin, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg. Their wealth was okay, since the creators of it were progressives and dressed like Woodstock hipsters as they spread their billions freely among progressive think tanks, foundations, and political campaigns.

Not now.

In a near blink of an eye, Republicans finally caught on, and they now see the new billionaires as rank partisans who rig Internet searches, censor social media, manipulate data to help warp elections, push far-left causes, bully their own nonconformist employees, and demonize their conservative critics.

Read the full article here.

All the Progressive Plotters

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Right after the 2016 election, Green Party candidate Jill Stein—cheered on by Hillary Clinton dead-enders—sued in three states to recount votes and thereby overturn Donald Trump’s victory in the Electoral College. Before the quixotic effort imploded, Stein was praised as an iconic progressive social justice warrior who might stop the hated Trump from even entering the White House.

When that did not work, B-list Hollywood celebrities mobilized, with television and radio commercials, to shame electors in Trump-won states into not voting for the president-elect during the official Electoral College balloting in December 2016. Their idea was that select morally superior electors should reject their constitutional directives and throw the election into the House of Representatives where even more morally superior NeverTrump Republicans might join with even much more morally superior Democrats to find the perfect morally superior NeverTrump alternative.

When that did not work, more than 60 Democratic House members voted to bring up Trump’s impeachment for vote. Trump had only been in office a few weeks. Then San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer toured the country and lavished millions on advertisements demanding Trump’s removal by impeachment—and was sorely disappointed when he discovered that billion-dollar-fueled virtue-signaling proved utterly bankrupt virtue-signaling.

Read the full article here.

Angry Reader 04-04-2019

From An Angry Reader:

Sir:

I thought you were supposed to be an intellectual. Hoover Institution and all that. Then you go off on an illegal immigrant killing an American. That’s Rush Limbaugh turf. (the 2 semester and out fellow) I guess you’re just another partisan propagandist after all. Sorry.

Gary Christian

_______________________________________________________________________

Dear Angry Reader Gary Christian,

Your attitude explains precisely why Trump was elected—an unearned and unwarranted sense of intellectual superiority and presumed authority.

Try hosting a radio show for 3 hours, 5 days a week, and see how long you in your brilliance can hold the attention of audience—over 30 years. Your email reflects no such imagination or talent.

In your arrogance of dismissing a “2-semester and out fellow” I suppose you also wrote off the Truman presidency because Harry Truman only finished 1 semester (of business school).

In contrast, did the Yale education of Bill Clinton translate into moral authority? Did Barack Obama’s Harvard Law Review imprimatur ensure that he would not state “You can keep your doctor and insurance plan” during the Obamacare debate or lead to annualized 3 percent economic growth?

I live 20 miles from where, in December, a twice-deported illegal alien, with a long rap sheet, murdered three innocents and injured more—and at about the same time and about 100 miles from where another twice-deported felonious illegal alien murdered a law-enforcement officer, and yet again about 90 miles from where a homemaker was slaughtered by yet another illegal alien previously deported and with a criminal record.

I suppose tragedies like that are jest to your “Rush Limbaugh turf” bombast, but that is only likely because you never experience, as do millions, the real consequences of abstract progressive ideology.

To stifle debate you virtue signal “another partisan propagandist” to substitute for an argument. Such ad hominem smears only reflect your own absence of thinking and poverty of logic. Sorry.

Victor Hanson

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