Tag Archives: Victor Davis Hanson

Why it’s Hard to Remain an Optimist


It can be very difficult when people like Victor Davis Hanson give good rational to the bad ju-ju I’ve been feeling ever since Obamacare held.

Some excerpts. First of five reasons for conservative’s need to be cautious this election season:

1. The so-called Obama crash. I believe that Obamism — 41 months over 8% plus unemployment, anemic GDP growth, serial $1 trillion deficits, unsustainable rates of new aggregate debt, the takeover of health care, record numbers on unemployment insurance and food stamps — is not only strangling the country, but in the long run will be seen as such by most Americans. Obama is incoherent — castigating the Supreme Court’s right to overturn a law, then himself suing to overturn state laws, while simply ignoring federal laws. Abroad, even his supporters cannot claim the Russian reset was a success. What was so hard about supporting the Iranian dissidents in the spring 2009 demonstrations, or expressing support for secular democratic movements in the Middle East rather than praising the Muslim Brotherhood? Why treat Israel or Canada worse than Turkey? And was it worth the administration chest thump to risk the security of the United States by leaking classified information about Predators, the cyber war against Iran, the Yemeni agent, and the bin Laden raid?

Sometimes when I watch Fox News, listen to talk radio, or read the blogs, I fear too many are in a strange bubble: the Obama embarrassments are tallied, his crashing defeat predicted — but no one seems to say, “But hey, he is still after all that ahead in the polls!” And to the extent someone might point to polling, he is met with “But the polls are biased!” Perhaps they are by 3-4 points.  But right now, given the power of incumbency, the changing nature of the U.S., and the no-holds-barred methods of Barack Obama, the advantage is still all Obama’s — and almost all the polls show that. And we should remember that fact rather than be told simply how bad Obama is.

And from the conclusion:

None of us know what November brings. We all imagine the race will be far closer than 2008. We worry that eight years of this administration will institutionalize what we saw during the first four years. That said, every person worried about the direction of the country will have to vote, donate time or money, or offer public or private commentary. We are going to see things in September and October that we have not quite seen before in an election, as our modern Borgia pulls out all the stops to do whatever is necessary to win.

We have a president who was not truthful about his prior associates and pastor, raising taxes, the Bush-Cheney protocols he once demonized, and promises to follow the law. The law now is followed largely to the degree that it is judged most progressive for most people. On a mundane level, a president is up for reelection who, by common assent, made up almost all the key details in his own memoir, claimed on his own bio that he was born in Kenya, jokes with his middle finger on his chin, laughs about Predator assassination drones protecting his daughters, offers a double-entendre about a sex act with his wife, and links “BFD” T-shirts to his website. From the fundamental to the ridiculous, Obama is sui generis. After all, we have a man of the people in the White House who has set presidential records for golf outings and fat-cat fundraisers, while running on them/us class warfare — to the delight of 50% of the country.

A hard lesson of being a news junkie and amateur political analyst is that the majority of one’s country is not as in-tune with events as one’s self. The internet has changed this decisively and has largely sidelined the TV ‘mainstream media’ – but it stands that news is apparently still boring to people until it affects them.

Maybe that’s why politics is so shallow and flashy these days. It’s effective towards those who don’t pay much attention or don’t really care.

I need some freaking coffee.

Cheers!

ALSO:

More negativity! It’s freaking disappointing having it hit home that politics happened in the supreme court, not constitutional judicial review.

Well, fine then. Politics has always been shallow but it’s still frustrating!

Update: Threw in some excerpts of the Victor Davis Hanson piece, since people aren’t clicking links. Tsk.

Update Update: In which another blogger reminds that opinion polls aren’t necessarily elections.