Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

What Is It about Hubris Politicians Don’t Get?

by Victor Davis Hanson // NRO’s The Corner 

Gage Skidmore  via Flickr

Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Have any of them taken two hours to read one Sophoclean play?

A reelected and proudly iconoclastic Christie in recent months relished in his swagger, braggadocio, media celebrity, and often picked fights, apparently assuming that his first-persona laced speeches and gestures were immune from the sort of nemesis that now has finally caught up with Barack Obama. His only out is the “Obama defense,” which so far has been used so successfully with the IRS and AP scandals: Outrage is voiced; promises to get to the bottom of the mess are made; aides are sent before congressional committees and occasionally sacrificed; shock is expressed at any who would dare to suggest a culture and example were set by the man at the top. And the supposedly clueless chief executive rides out the storm — until, if he continues down the path of hubris, the next attack of the goddess Nemesis strikes him. The only difference from the Obama know-nothing methodology is that the latter had access to far more government power to exempt him from scrutiny, and a far more toadish media that were invested in his mea culpas.

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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.

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