Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Tag Archives: Reagan

How Presidents Lie

It’s nothing new for a president to lie to us, but Obama’s style is unique.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

In the past there have been all sorts of presidential fibbing. Some chief executives make promises that they know they probably cannot or will not keep. Before his reelection for his third term in the midst 450px-Revolving_Doorof a world war, Franklin Roosevelt swore that he would never send American boys to fight in a foreign war. In just a little over a year, he did just that. Lyndon Johnson likewise before the 1964 election said he would not send troops to Vietnam. But once reelected, he sent nearly 200,000 troops to fight the North Vietnamese; by the time he left office, over a half-million Americans were deployed in Vietnam.

In 1988 presidential candidate George H. W. Bush pledged that he would not raise taxes and did so emphatically: “Read my lips — no new taxes!” But in 1990 he flipped and agreed to tax hikes.

Barack Obama has offered all sorts of similar empty pledges, like promising to close the federal detention center at Guantanamo Bay within a year of taking office. It is still open. Obama also promised to halve the deficit by the end of his first term. Instead he doubled it. Ditto Obama’s promises on the good things to follow Cash for Clunkers, on the shovel-ready jobs that would follow the stimulus, and on the summer of recovery to be spawned by massive borrowing. At your own job, if you promise the boss that you will do something and then don’t, you’re likely to get fired; when presidents do the same, it’s called politics. Read more →

Obama’s Bluster Pulpit

The president’s saber-rattling in the Middle East makes America look weak and puts the world in danger

by Victor Davis Hanson

Defining Ideas

At the turn of the century, Teddy Roosevelt famously advised statesmen to “speak softly and carry a big stick.” Read more →

Iraq a Convenient Scapegoat

by Victor Davis Hanson

Tribune Media Services

Bring up Iraq — and expect to end up in an argument. Conservatives are no different from liberals in rehashing the unpopular war, which has become a sort of whipping boy for all our subsequent problems. Read more →

Election Could Mirror 1980 Race

by Victor Davis Hanson

Tribune Media Services

There was only one presidential debate in 1980 between challenger Ronald Reagan and President Jimmy Carter. Just two days before the Oct. 28 debate, Carter was eight points ahead in the Gallup poll. A week after the debate, he lost to Reagan by nearly ten percentage points. Read more →

The President Who Never Was

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

A Teen-age President in Search of an Adult Identity

Barack Obama keeps looking for a presidential identity not his own [1]. In 2008, he wished to be JFK—whom he often referenced as a youthful and charismatic figure supposedly similar to himself. Read more →

Obama Unbound

by Victor Davis Hanson

Tribune Media Services

Richard Nixon went to Red China with political impunity. Had a Democrat tried that, he would have been branded a Commie appeaser. Read more →

Should We Intervene in Libya?

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

There are plenty of good arguments for imposing a no-fly zone in Libya. Without Libyan-government air strikes, the rebels might have a better chance of carving out permanent zones of resistance. Read more →

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