Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

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As the EPA and IRS Have Shown, with Big Government Comes Little Accountability

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Fictions as Truth

For the Obama administration narrative to be accurate about the swap of five Taliban/al-Qaeda-related kingpins for Sgt. Bergdahl, we are asked to believe the following:

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media

Photo by eddriscoll.com via PJ Media

Photo by eddriscoll.com via PJ Media

For the Obama administration narrative to be accurate about the swap of five Taliban/al-Qaeda-related kingpins for Sgt. Bergdahl, we are asked to believe the following:

1. Sgt. Bergdahl was in ill health; thus the need for alacrity. Surely we will expect to see him in an enfeebled state on his return to the U.S.

2. Sgt. Bergdahl was in grave and sudden danger from his captors; thus the need for alacrity. We expect to see proof of that on his return to the U.S.

3. The five Taliban detainees will be under guard in Qatar for a year. We expect in June 2015 to know that they are still there in Qatar.

Read more →

When Failure Is Success

For Obama’s supporters, what matters is not what he does, but what he says and represents.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

Losing a job is freedom from job lock. A budget deficit larger than in any previous administration is austerity. A mean right-wing video caused the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi. Al-Qaeda was long ago washed up. The Muslim Brotherhood is secular. Jihad is a personal journey. Shooting people while

Preston Kemp via Flickr

Preston Kemp via Flickr

screaming Allahu akbar! is workplace violence. Unaffordable higher premiums and deductibles are the result of an Affordable Care Act. Losing your doctor and your health-insurance plan prove you will never lose your doctor and your health-insurance plan — period! Being a constitutional lawyer means you know how to turn the IRS and the FCC on your enemies. Failure is success; lies are truth.

President Obama’s polls are creeping back up again. They do that every time the latest in the series of scandals — the IRS, AP, NSA, Benghazi, and Obamacare messes — recedes into the media memory hole. The once-outrageous IRS scandal was rebranded as psychodramatic journalists being outraged. The monitoring of AP reporters and of James Rosen is mostly “Stuff happens.” The NSA octopus was Bush’s creation. You can keep your doctor and your health plan — period — begat liberation from “job lock” and the ability to write poetry because you don’t have to work.

There will be more momentary outrages on the horizon, as a president who would fundamentally transform America continues to circumvent the Constitution to do it. The latest are the failed efforts of acting FCC director Mignon Clyburn — daughter of a Democratic stalwart, Representative James Clyburn. She dreamed about monitoring news outlets to ensure that they prove themselves correct in matters of race/class/gender thinking. Read more →

Obama’s Newspeak

The meaning of works, and history itself, are malleable when it comes to our president and his record.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

The nightmare societies portrayed in the George Orwell novels 1984 and Animal Farm gave

AnimalFarm_1stEdus the word “Orwellian.” That adjective reflects a vast government’s efforts not just to deceive and control the people, but also to do so by reinventing the meaning of ordinary words while rewriting the past itself.

America, of all places, is becoming Orwellian. The president repeatedly reminds the American people that under his leadership, the U.S. has produced a record level of new oil and natural gas. But didn’t Obama radically curtail leases for just such new energy production on federal lands? Have the edicts on the barn wall ofAnimal Farm been changed again, with the production of new oil and gas suddenly going from bad to good?

Does anyone remember that the Affordable Care Act was sold on the premise that it would guarantee retention of existing health plans and doctors, create 4 million new jobs, and save families $2,500 a year in premiums, all while extending expanded coverage to more people at a lower cost?

Only in Orwell’s world of doublespeak could raising taxes, while the costs of millions of health plans soars, be called “affordable.” Is losing your existing plan and doctor a way of retaining them?  Read more →

The War on Human Nature

For nations as for individuals, pretending self-interest doesn’t exist is perilous.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

At some critical point, everyone makes choices based on incentives and his own perception of self-interest. Somehow the Obama administration has forgotten that natural law.

A therapeutic sense of self-sacrifice is fine in the abstract, but in the concrete such magnanimity causes far more harm to the innocent than does a realistic appraisal of self-interest and a tragic acceptance of the flawed nature of man. The theme of the present administration is that it possesses the wisdom and resources to know better what people should do than they do themselves. From that premise arose most of catastrophes that have befallen this administration. Read more →

Obama’s Noble Lies

Stop worrying whether the president’s statements conform to ossified standards if truth.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

What is the common denominator of the Obama administration’s serial scandals — the Justice Department’s spying on AP, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, the NSA surveillance, the lies about Benghazi and the ACA — and much of the White House damage-control rhetoric? In a word: the advancement of postmodern notions of justice at the expense of traditional truth.Photo Credit: Jason Borneman via Flickr

By the 1980s, in law schools, university social-science departments, and the humanities in general, the old relativist idea of Plato’s noble lies was given a new French facelift. Traditional morality and ethics were dismissed as arbitrary constructs, predicated on privileged notions of race, class, and gender. The new moral architecture did not rely on archaic abidance by the niceties of “truth,” which simply reinforced traditional oppressive hierarchies.

Instead, social justice by definition transcended the sham of traditional ideas of truth and falsity. The true became the advocacy of fairness, while the real lie was the reactionary adherence to a set of oppressive norms. All this was faculty-lounge fluff, but soon it filtered out into the larger culture.

In this regard, it was understandable that the New York Times characterized the president’s not telling the truth on over 20 occasions as cases of “misspeaking.” Read more →

Obama’s Fallout for the Left

He will not be harmed by his “misspeaking,” but his fellow liberals will.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

Conservatives keep blaring, “Obama lied!” over the president’s serial untruths about the Affordable Care Act. Even liberal pundits now talk of the president’s “misspeaking,” or even of his “misleading” statements and only so-so corrections.

But so what?Photo Credit: Bob B. Brown via Flickr

Obama is an iconic figure who will survive even the latest scandal of flatly misleading the American people, just as he was not harmed much by being less than honest about Benghazi, the AP monitoring, and the IRS and NSA scandals.

Obama has proved disingenuous, without suffering many consequences, for much of his tenure — raising taxes when he said he would not; vastly increasing the national debt when he said he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term; promising lower unemployment when in fact he has presided over a jobless rate of 7 percent or more for every month of his administration; bragging about new gas and oil production, which actually came on private land despite, not because of, his efforts; claiming credit for reducing a deficit that fell only because of the sequestration that he fought, and only because his previous deficits were so staggering that they were not sustainable.

Yet if public reactions to these past scandals are any benchmark, Obama will survive the Obamacare fiasco as well. In two or three months, he will no doubt return to a near-50-percent approval rating in the polls. Almost half of America is invested in his landmark personal profile, or welcomes the vast increase in federal redistributive payouts and equates it with the Obama ideology and presidency. The media saw Obama the icon as reaffirmation of their own guilt-free liberalism and therefore became deductive rather than empirical. Read more →

The Mother of All Scandals

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media

IRS?

A system of voluntary tax compliance cannot survive a dishonest IRS. Lois Lerner and company have virtually ruined the agency. For the foreseeable future, each time an American receives a tax query, he will wonder to what degree his politics ensures enhanced or reduced scrutiny — or whether his name as a donor, activist, or partisan has put him on a watch list. Read more →

Obama’s Watergates

Denial, evasion, “Let me be perfectly clear”–is this 2013 or 1973?

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The truth about Benghazi, the Associated Press/James Rosen monitoring, the IRS corruption, the NSA octopus, and Fast and Furious is still not exactly known. Almost a year after the attacks on our Benghazi facilities, we are only now learning details of CIA gun-running, military stand-down orders, aliases of those involved who are still hard to locate, massaged talking points, and the weird jailing of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. Read more →

Obama Who?

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media

Critics of the president are convinced that Barack Obama will do lasting damage to the U.S. I doubt it. Read more →

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