The Venerable Victor Davis Hanson on Obama and What He Is Doing to America.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON ADDRESSING THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION

Today, An Excellent Spirit read two articles by Victor Davis Hanson that must be read by every American who wants the trajectory of our nation reversed and the nation taken back. To God!

We start by apologizing to Professor Hanson for the “venerable” tag. We were not suggesting that he or his wisdom was old, rather that both have stood the tests to time and “progressive”, leftist opposition from academia, politics and polemics well. Thank you, Professor Hanson. Like your colleague Professor Thomas Sowell, America is in your eternal debt, whether Americans know your name or not. An Excellent Spirit, for our part, will continue to do what we can to bring your wisdom to the public.

STANFORD’S HOOVER INSTITUTE PROFESSOR VICTOR DAVIS HANSON

The first is a scathing article on President Barack Obama. Hanson begins by celebrating the obvious “strengths of Barack Hussein Obama, 38th President of the United States of America: “If only Barack Obama had something to say… After all, we have never had a president who descended the steps of Air Force One with such catlike agility, hands almost as paws lightly bouncing in synchronization with each elfish footstep. Never has a commander in chief so casually, so confidently approached the podium as if he were popping open his own laptop, his jaw almost in Mussolini style thrust out, with eyes fixed three feet above the heads of the audience — all with just the right mixture of self-assurance and canned humility. No wonder that after all that we expect a “four score and seven years ago” that will match the perfect choreography.”

That accomplished, Hanson gets to the meat of Obama: “In short, Obama is the most impressive sophist of his age. In classical rhetoric, when the speaker was about to equivocate, he added an emphatic adjective or parenthetical that he was never more candid and sincere. Sometimes he inserted “on the one hand / on the other hand” to show his awareness of every point of view other than his own. Rhetoricians often projected their own base motives onto others, using straw men like “some will say” or “there are those who…”, as if illiberal enemies were so ubiquitous that there was no mundane need to name them all.  Obama has mastered all that and more.”

THE SOPHIST BARACK OBAMA AND HIS SOPHISTRY

An Excellent Spirit needed to look up “Sophists” and sophistry, so we turned to a dictionary. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/sophistry They define sophist and sophistry as follows: Sophist: Philosophy) (often capital) one of the pre-Socratic philosophers who were itinerant professional teachers of oratory and argument and who were prepared to enter into debate on any matter however specious; a person who uses clever or quibbling arguments that are fundamentally unsound Plausible but fallacious argumentation. A plausible but misleading or fallacious argument. An instance of this; sophism”. Sophistry is no less to be applauded: a method of argument that is seemingly plausible though actually invalid and misleading; the art of using such arguments; subtle but unsound or fallacious reasoning; an instance of this; sophism. With that in mind, we return to Professor Hanson’s brilliant analysis of the sophistry of Barack Obama: “Sophists tip their hand in jest — and none better than Barack Obama. Beware when he jokes that he will send the IRS after you, or that Predators will guard his daughters. And be even more vigilant of the preemptory denial. Barack Obama can brag ad nauseam about killing Osama bin Laden, because he first swore that he would never “spike the ball” by referencing the hit.”

To get things done, first-person pronouns breed to show both concern and control where there is often neither: I just appointed my new team that reports to me about my concerns that I share with advisors of mine. In the world of rhetoric, the more “I,” “me,” “my,” and “mine” appear in the abstract, the more we suspect that the over-referenced speaker has been usually absent in the concrete. There is no “us” or “we” or “our” in Washington these days — although lots of “they” and “them,” the existential enemies of “I” and “me.”

Finally, Victor Davis Hanson points out that in Obama language, “Teachable moments are everywhere: yes, it is regrettable about tapping phone records, but the slip at least offers occasion to revisit the shield laws. Yes, the IRS has gone rogue, but just maybe some of these right-wing organizations are not really organizations at all. Yes, Benghazi was full of miscommunications, but that is what happens when David Petraeus’s CIA and Hillary Clinton’s State Department work at cross-purposes.”

The second article is this Jewish World Review piece by the same Victor Davis Hanson today, aptly entitled “The Old Order is Dying”. In it, Professor Hanson reviews the affects and consequences of time and changes in culture, especially when sophistry is factored into the equation: “Ideas of the 1960s have now grown reactionary in our world that is vastly different from a half-century ago. Take well-meaning subsidies for those over age 62. Why are there still senior discounts, vast expansions in Social Security and Medicare, and generous public pensions? Five decades ago all that made sense. There was no such thing as double-dipping. Seniors often were physically worn out from blue-collar jobs. They were usually poorer and frequently sicker than society in general. The aged usually died not long after they retired.”

Hanson opines that the cultural and legal affects of “progressive”, leftists in academia, government, media and religion have swayed our nation to a dangerous precipice: “Even if the 21st-century state could define who is a minority, on what moral grounds does the targeted beneficiary deserve special consideration? Is his disadvantage defined by being poorer, by lingering trauma from his grandparents’ long-ago ordeals, or by yesterday’s experience with routine racial prejudice?

If Latinos are underrepresented at the University of California, Berkeley, is it because of the stubborn institutional prejudices that also somehow have been trumped by Asian-Americans enrolling at three times their numbers in the state’s general population? Are women so oppressed by men that they graduate from college in higher numbers than their chauvinist male counterparts?”

Next Hanson takes on the terrible lot of today’s students, loaded with student loan debt and finding no jobs upon graduation. “Consider also the calcified assumptions about college education. The expanding 1960s campus was touted as the future gateway to a smarter, fairer, richer and more ethical America. Is that dream still valid? Today, the college-educated owe a collective $1 trillion in unpaid student loans. Millions of recent graduates cannot find jobs that offer much chance of paying off their crushing student debts. College itself has become a sort of five- to six-year lifestyle choice. Debt, joblessness or occasional part-time employment and coursework eat up a youth’s 20s — in a way that military service or vocational training does not.”

So we have covered the seniors and the young. What is left? Why, thank you for asking! It is the government and the “progressive” mind-set that permeates our national discourse, if you pay attention to the media (lamestream, as we call it) and those who testify before Congress or go to the White House to be wined, dined and influenced. “Scan the government grandees caught up in the current administration’s ballooning IRS, Associated Press and Benghazi scandals. In each case, a blue-chip Ivy League degree was no guarantee that our best and brightest technocrats would prove transparent or act honorably. What difference did it make that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder, President Barack Obama and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice had degrees from prestigious universities when they misled the American people or Congress? The now-aging idealists of the 1960s long ago promised us that a uniformly degreed citizenry — shepherded by Ivy League-branded technocrats — would make America better by sorting us out by differences in age, gender, education and race. It is now past time to end that ossified dream before it becomes our collective nightmare.”

There you have it, America. What we have wrought by our inattention to elections and by leaving our decisions to a few media creations and “progressive” sophists is now threatening nightmarish futures for our children and grandchildren, if we can survive terror and nuclear Iran and the Arab Spring. What is to be done?  If you listen to Victor Davis Hanson and Thomas Sowell and others of their “ilk”, the truth would be requisite. Unfortunately for America, the man in the White House and those he has appointed to his administration do not hold the truth in high esteem.

What is desperately needed is for all Americans to pay close attention. After that is prayer, hearing God Almighty speak to us and then, obeying God! It is time to become informed; to pray and hear; to obey: Stand up! Speak out! Get involved and stay involved! Teach our children by showing our children that our values, like our freedoms, come from our God! If we do not defend what is right, there will be no one righteous in God’s eyes and our nation will cease to exist. That is what the sophists want! That is what the people who hate America, God and the people want! That is what we, the people of the United States must defend. Every day for the rest of our lives! Stay tuned. There will be more. For now, we are indebted to Victor Davis Hanson, once again. Pray for America! Pray God bless America!

Welcome To Hard Times

An Excellent Spirit takes no joy in reporting the so-called resolution to the Fiscal Cliff by Congress and the President. There are no lack of columns and opinions that purport to explain to an exhausted American people the meaning of avoiding what they have never been told about said Fiscal Cliff. In the short term, most Americans have no doubt that, despite President Obama’s claim that the middle class will not pay more; they will pay more and more and more. Here one of our favorite financial columnists, Charles Payne of Townhall Finance put it this way, “Throughout history there have been sharp shifts in small powers and great powers ……….. There will be similar shifts in America as well and it could be predicated not on initial reactions to all of these deals but their ultimate outcomes. The nation needs pro-growth policies not massive spending hidden behind the facade of fairness and false redistribution. 

The poor stay poor although more comfortably so, the middle class watches as its earnings diminish in real life and adjusted for inflation, upper middle class gets hammered cobbled in with Warren Buffett which means fewer jobs, less investing and shattered dreams as rungs from the ladder of success are removed. The loyal opposition owes it to those folks that voted them into office to stand on principle while also making sure the nation doesn’t sink in a cauldron of angst, hate and frustration.” Read Payne’s column here. Thus, despite being told we are saved from the Fiscal Cliff by those we pay to do so, we Americans know that the next crises is on the way and we are it’s target. Can anyone say Spending Limit?

Townhall Finance’s Charles Payne

An Excellent Spirit has written many times of  Victor Davis Hanson Hanson takes a longer perspective than that of the immediate crises in his recent PJ Media piece, 2013: Welcome To Very, Very Scary Times. It is one of his best and we recommend that our readers copy and keep it handy as the days unfold. Hanson notes that while America should be entering a time of robust growth and unchallenged primacy, our own leaders seem to be taking us down another draconian, dreadful path to an uncertain future. Hanson writes, “These should not be foreboding years. The U.S. is in the midst of a veritable energy revolution. There is a godsend of new gas and oil discoveries that will help to curtail our fiscal and foreign policy vulnerabilities — an energy bonanza despite, not because of, the present administration. Demographically, our rivals — the EU, China, Russia, and Japan — are both shrinking and aging at rates far in excess of our own. In terms of farming, the United States is exporting more produce than ever before at record prices. Americans eat the safest and cheapest food on the planet. As far as high-tech gadgetry, the global companies that have most changed the world in recent years — Amazon’s online buying, Google search engines, Apple iPhones, iPads, and Mac laptops — are mostly American. There is a reason why Mexican nationals are not crossing their border into Guatemala — and it is not because they prefer English speakers to Spanish speakers. Militarily, the United States is light years ahead of its rivals. And so on…”

Hanson goes on to chronicle how America stands at the top of the list, seemingly untouchable. “We have redefined poverty itself through government entitlements, modes of mass production and consumerism, and technological breakthroughs. The poor man is not hungry; more likely he suffers from obesity, now endemic among the less affluent. He is not deprived of a big-screen TV, a Kia, warm water, or an air conditioner. (My dad got our first color television during my first year in college in 1972, a small 19 inch portable; I bought my first new car at 39, and quit changing my own oil at 44.) In classical terms, today’s poor man is poor not in relative global terms (e.g. compared to a Russian, Bolivian, or Yemeni), but in the sense that there are those in America who have more things and choices than does he: a BMW instead of a Hyundai, ribeye instead of ground beef, Pellegrino rather than regular Coke, Tuscany in the summer rather than Anaheim at Disneyland, and L.L. Bean tasteful footwear rather than Payless shoes. I was in Manhattan not long ago, and noticed that my cheap, discount-store sportcoat and Target tie did not raise eyebrows among the wealthy people I spoke to, suggesting that the veneer of aristocracy is now within all our reach. When I returned to Selma, I noted that those ahead of me at Super Wal-Mart were clothed no differently than was I. Their EBD cards bought about the same foods. Put all the above developments together, and an alignment of the planets is favoring America as never before — as long as we do not do something stupid to nullify what fate, our ancestors, and our own ingenuity have given us. But unfortunately that is precisely what is now happening.”

Why then are we entering the “worst of times”? Part of the explanation is found in the historic and never-ending battle of ideologies between “the left” and “the right”. In America, “we” are the battleground upon which the ideologies fight and we are, at the same time, the body, the carcass they fight to tear apart for their ends. Hanson sees it well. “These are the most foreboding times in my 59 years. The reelection of Barack Obama has released a surge of rare honesty among the Left about its intentions, coupled with a sense of triumphalism that the country is now on board for still greater redistributionist change. There is no historical appreciation among the new progressive technocracy that central state planning, whether the toxic communist brand or supposedly benevolent socialism, has only left millions of corpses in its wake, or abject poverty and misery. Add up the Soviet Union and Mao’s China and the sum is 80 million murdered or starved to death. Add up North Korea, Cuba, and the former Eastern Europe, and the tally is egalitarian poverty and hopelessness. The EU sacrificed democratic institutions for coerced utopianism and still failed, leaving its Mediterranean shore bankrupt and despondent. Nor is there much philosophical worry that giving people massive subsidies destroys individualism, the work ethic, and the personal sense of accomplishment. There is rarely worry expressed that a profligate nation that borrows from others abroad and those not born has no moral compass. There is scant political appreciation that the materialist Marxist argument — that justice is found only through making sure that everyone has the same slice of stuff from the zero-sum pie — was supposed to end up on the ash heap of history.”

Nor is it simply the re-election of the most Un American President in our history. Barack Obama can only do what we, the people permit him and his Administration and the Congress just elected to do. It is up to us, and we simply do not want to shoulder the load and do anything more. We feel that we did our part. We endured over 10 billion dollars of campaign negativity in our households nightly for over a year. We, especially those poor souls in the so-called “swing states”, made our choice and now we get to live our lives again. Or do we? Unfortunately “elections have consequences” and now come the consequences. Victor Davis Hanson is a thinker and observer of no mean skills. He goes on, “These are the most foreboding times in my 59 years. The reelection of Barack Obama has released a surge of rare honesty among the Left about its intentions, coupled with a sense of triumphalism that the country is now on board for still greater redistributionist change. There is no historical appreciation among the new progressive technocracy that central state planning, whether the toxic communist brand or supposedly benevolent socialism, has only left millions of corpses in its wake, or abject poverty and misery. Add up the Soviet Union and Mao’s China and the sum is 80 million murdered or starved to death. Add up North Korea, Cuba, and the former Eastern Europe, and the tally is egalitarian poverty and hopelessness. The EU sacrificed democratic institutions for coerced utopianism and still failed, leaving its Mediterranean shore bankrupt and despondent. Nor is there much philosophical worry that giving people massive subsidies destroys individualism, the work ethic, and the personal sense of accomplishment. There is rarely worry expressed that a profligate nation that borrows from others abroad and those not born has no moral compass. There is scant political appreciation that the materialist Marxist argument — that justice is found only through making sure that everyone has the same slice of stuff from the zero-sum pie — was supposed to end up on the ash heap of history. That is not conspiracy talk, but simply a distillation of what I read today.”

Then Professor Hanson quotes at length authorities of the Left from across the nation. First from the Des Moines Register. “A journalist, Donald Kaul, in the Des Moines Register offers us a three-step, presto! plan to stop school shootings: Repeal the Second Amendment, the part about guns anyway. It’s badly written, confusing and more trouble than it’s worth. … Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. Hey! We did it to the Communist Party, and the NRA has led to the deaths of more of us than American Commies ever did. …Then I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control. Note the new ease with which the liberal mind calls for trashing the Constitution, outlawing those whom they don’t like (reminiscent of “punish our enemies”?), and killing those politicians with whom they don’t agree (we are back to Bush Derangement Syndrome, when novels, movies, and op-eds dreamed of the president’s assassination.) What would be the Register’s reaction should a conservative opponent of abortion dare write, “Repeal the First Amendment; ban Planned Parenthood as a terrorist organization; and drag Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi from a truck”? If an idiot were to write that trash, I doubt the Washington Times or Wall Street Journal would print such sick calls for overturning the Constitution and committing violence against public officials.” Ah, consequences!

Stanford’s Victor Davis Hanson

The next target of the left is identified and locked on by The New Republic’s John Judis. Hanson tells us, “John Judis, in honest fashion, more or less puts all the progressive cards on the table in a column titled “Obama’s Tax Hikes Won’t Be Nearly Big Enough” — a candor about what the vast $5 trillion deficits of Obama’s first term were all about in the first place. Here is the summation quote: “But to fund these programs, governments will have to extract a share of income from those who are able to afford them and use the revenues to make the services available for everyone.” Note that Judas was not talking about the projected new taxes in the fiscal cliff talks, but something far greater to come. He understands well that the “gorge the beast” philosophy that resulted in these astronomical debts will require enormous new sources of revenue, funds “to extract” from “those who are able to afford them” in order to “make services available for everyone.” That is about as neat a definition of coerced socialism as one can find. Implicit in Judas’s formulation is that only a very well-educated (and well-compensated) technocratic class will possess the wisdom, the proper schooling, and the morality to adjudicate who are to be the extracted ones and who the new “everyone.” That says it all, except to know whether Hanson’s reference to Judis as “Judas” was intentional. The betting here says it was. Tired of those consequences? Hanson has one more and it is a doozy!

Target Zero is the Constitution of the United States of America, that document, over 225 years old that has been the protector of the freedoms of every American and every immigrant who has come to enjoy “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. The problem seems to be, as Hanson says, that “we” are no longer sure what all that means, except to say, “we voted! Now leave us alone!” Hanson continues, “The third item in my year-end reading was the most disturbing. A law professor (could it be otherwise?) named Louis Michael Seidman enlightens us with “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution” — yet another vision of what the now triumphant liberal mind envisions for us all: As the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions. Did Madison force Obama to borrow a half-billion dollars to fund Solyndra and its multimillionaire con artists? Note Seidman’s use of “evil,” which tips his hand that our great moralist is on an ethical crusade to change the lives of lesser folk, who had the misfortune of growing up in America — a place so much less prosperous, fair, and secure than, say, Russia, China, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Spain, Greece, Italy, or Japan and Germany (in the earlier 20th century history) . When I lived in Greece, traveled to Libya, and went into Mexico, I forgot to sigh, “My God, these utopias are possible for us too, if we just junked that evil Constitution.” The non-archaic, un-idiosyncratic, and anti-downright evil Professor Seidman presses his argument against his inferiors who wrote the “evil” document: “Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.” Ah yes, old white male Madison, who lacked the insight, character, and morality of our new liberal technocrats in our successful law schools, such as, well, Mr. Seidman himself: As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. Imagine that after careful study a government official —  say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress  –  reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination? I suppose human nature changes every decade or so, so why shouldn’t constitutions as well? I can see Seidman’s vision now: Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi decides that semi-automatic handguns, not cheap Hollywood violence or sick video games, empower the insane to kill, and, presto, their “considered judgment” and favored “particular course of action” trump the archaic and evil wisdom of “white propertied men.”  But if we wish to avoid the baleful influence of white guys, can Seidman point to indigenous Aztec texts for liberal guidance, or perhaps the contemporary constitution of liberated Zimbabwe, or the sagacity of the Chinese court system? Note the fox-in-the-henhouse notion that a constitutional law professor essentially hates the Constitution he is supposed to teach, sort of like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warning the Egyptians not to follow our own constitutional example, when South Africa has offered so much more to humanity than did Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson, and others: “I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the constitution of South Africa.”  Ginsburg obviously vacations in Johannesburg, goes to Cape Town for her medical treatment, and has a vacation home and bank account in the scenic South African countryside. Seidman looks fondly on Roosevelt’s war against the Constitution (especially the notion that law is essentially what an elected president who has proper “aspirations” says it is): In his Constitution Day speech in 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt professed devotion to the document, but as a statement of aspirations rather than obligations. This reading no doubt contributed to his willingness to extend federal power beyond anything the framers imagined, and to threaten the Supreme Court when it stood in the way of his New Deal legislation. No doubt.”

There it is: The Trifecta of the Left. Get rid of the guns so that only we say who can have them. Tax everyone into submission to the Government and get them to like it by giving them “stuff”(There are no jobs, anyway). Finally, since we do not tolerate any more interference from anyone, get rid of the Constitution. Without that document, in a very short time, Americans will be like everyone else: beholden to the powerful for their lives, having no rights guaranteed to them by an antiquated document and living in fear of those who have the guns that we allowed them to take away.

That is what Hanson dreads most. Reading his fellow academician, Seidman, he goes on, “In the age of Obama, the constitutional law lecturer who once lamented that the Supreme Court had not gone far enough by failing to take up questions of forced redistribution, Seidman writes: In the face of this long history of disobedience, it is hard to take seriously the claim by the Constitution’s defenders that we would be reduced to a Hobbesian state of nature if we asserted our freedom from this ancient text. Our sometimes flagrant disregard of the Constitution has not produced chaos or totalitarianism; on the contrary, it has helped us to grow and prosper. But I thought it was the Constitution, not the anti-Constitution or egalitarian good will, that separated us from Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Tojo’s Japan, Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s China, and most of the miserable places that one sees abroad today, from Cuba to North Korea, which all had and have one thing in common — the embrace of some sort of national, republican, or democratic “socialism” guiding their efforts and plastered about in their sick mottoes. The progressive mind, given that it is more enlightened and moral, alone can determine which parts of the “evil” Constitution should be summarily ignored (e.g., the Second Amendment) and which should not be: “This is not to say that we should disobey all constitutional commands. Freedom of speech and religion, equal protection of the laws and protections against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property are important, whether or not they are in the Constitution. We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation.” Emphasis ours.

Careful, America! As Victor Davis Hanson notes, we are entering the worst times of the Republic, to date. “I am sure that history offers all sorts of examples where people without evil documents like our Constitution protected free speech and religious worship — out of “respect.”  Ask Socrates, Jesus, six million Jews, 20 million Russians, or those with eyeglasses during the days of the Khmer Rouge. Apparently, what stops such carnage is not the rule of constitutional law, but good progressive minds who care for others and show respect. I’ll try that rhetoric on the next thief who for the fourth time will steal the copper wire conduit from my pump. So just dream with Professor Seidman: ”The deep-seated fear that such disobedience would unravel our social fabric is mere superstition. As we have seen, the country has successfully survived numerous examples of constitutional infidelity…What has preserved our political stability is not a poetic piece of parchment, but entrenched institutions and habits of thought and, most important, the sense that we are one nation and must work out our differences. No one can predict in detail what our system of government would look like if we freed ourselves from the shackles of constitutional obligation, and I harbor no illusions that any of this will happen soon. But even if we can’t kick our constitutional-law addiction, we can soften the habit… before abandoning our heritage of self-government, we ought to try extricating ourselves from constitutional bondage so that we can give real freedom a chance.”

Game, set, match! End of Republic. End of Constitution. End of nation of laws. Beginning of despair, pandemic poverty for those with no voice and the rule of the gun for everyone who does not have one. As Victor Davis Hanson writes, “I have seen their future and it is almost here right now. Scary times, indeed.”

It is a lot to digest, America, but either digest it and pray about it and ask God what to do or be consumed by the works that those who do not know or love God will most certainly perpetrate upon everyone that is under their guns. God bless America!

Fiscal Cliff Update – Victor Davis Hanson and Scott Rasmussen

An Excellent Spirit continues our coverage of the Fiscal Cliff with this Jewish World Review article by Victor Davis Hanson. Hanson begins by reviewing the past four years. “We are still borrowing more than $1 trillion a year. Barack Obama has added more than $5 trillion to the national debt in just his first term alone. Such massive borrowing is unsustainable. Someone somehow at some time has to pay it back.  Obama would agree. He once alleged that George W. Bush’s much smaller deficits were “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.” Obama himself vowed to cut the budget deficit in half by the end his first term. Instead, Obama’s annual deficits have never gone below $1 trillion.” Having said that, Hanson suggests that there are three ways to overcome the problem and avoid the cliff. “Three ways to establish a long-term trajectory toward a balanced budget were under discussion. One was to adopt the proposals of the nonpartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission appointed by Obama. The commission offered a balanced mix of tax reform and greater revenues, along with cuts in federal spending. But the president was not interested. The commission’s findings now seem stale just two years after they were issued. Another way would have been to adopt the Bill Clinton-Newt Gingrich compromise formula of the 1990s that balanced the budget through a series of across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts. But while the administration talked grandly of a return to higher “Clinton-era tax rates,” it never mentioned the necessary second half of the old equation — “Clinton-era spending cuts.” That balanced solution is dead, too. Finally, we might have just enacted the income-tax rates of the Clinton era now and work on the spending cuts later. But the administration did not wish to take that third approach either. Instead, it prefers returning to Clinton-era rates only for those who make more than $250,000 a year, while leaving the lower Bush-era income-tax rates — once soundly ridiculed — on all other Americans.”

Stanford University Professor Victor Davis Hanson

Those were the possibilities before Barack Obama was re-elected. Sadly, as weak and ill suited to solving the massive problems with our economy as the three choices are and were, they are no longer on the table and the Fiscal Cliff is a mere three and a half weeks away. Thus far, the only proposed solution is to “tax the rich”. Obama and his billions of dollars in negative campaign advertising have had their effect. The American people firmly believe that the way out of our fiscal problems is to start by taxing the rich. Those same people, however, do not believe that this will produce enough to even make a dent in the overall problem. As Hanson points out, “The problem is that such a soak-the-rich move would only give the treasury about $80 billion a year in new revenue — about 7 percent to 8 percent of the money needed to make up for the massive annual borrowing. Even with proposed accompanying tax hikes on capital gains and larger estates, we still would fall hundreds of billions of dollars short. There simply are not enough affluent sheep who make more than $250,000 to shear.”

Rasmussen Reports confirms these figures. This Gopusa story by Scott Rasmussen tells us more. “President Obama is winning the messaging wars in the “fiscal cliff” debate largely because Republicans aren’t even in the game. The GOP leadership in Washington keeps talking as if the issue is deficit reduction, while the president is talking about fairness. Consider the numbers. Sixty-one percent of voters want to see a deal reached to avoid the big Jan. 1 tax hikes and across-the-board spending cuts, and 68 percent want the deal to include a combination of both tax hikes and spending cuts. By a 2-to-1 margin, voters would like to see more spending cuts than tax hikes. Instead, the president’s proposal includes $4 of tax hikes for every dollar of spending cuts, and the spending cuts are nothing more than a promise to work something out next year. If the issue was really deficit reduction, the president’s proposal would leave the GOP in fine shape. But the president has the upper hand politically, and voters see him as more willing to negotiate in good faith.”

Hanson agrees. “Spending is the real problem but goes largely unaddressed. Obama’s first-term borrowing of $5 trillion was, in part, designed to stimulate the dormant economy while expanding entitlements to those suffering from the recession. But despite the addition of millions of Americans to those who already were receiving unemployment insurance, disability insurance or food stamps, and despite massive loans to green industries, the unemployment rate and GDP growth are about where they were four years and $5 trillion ago. Now the president wants another $50 billion in new borrowing. But why would borrowing another $50 billion jump-start the sluggish economy when 100 times that figure in deficit spending so far has not? “Pay your fair share” was a winning Obama campaign theme — given that nearly half of all Americans do not pay any federal income tax and receive some sort of federal or state entitlement. Yet if the targeted 5 percent of American taxpayers already pays almost 60 percent of all federal income tax revenues, what would the president consider their proper “fair share” — 70 percent, 80 percent, 90 percent or 100 percent?”

Forget about the fact that many of the uber-rich (Obama supporters all) have already begun to park their wealth outside the US tax reach. Here. Forget about the fact that those that have not or cannot will find other ways (tax accountants, lawyers and other fiscal manipulators) to protect themselves that “we” do not have the wherewithal to employ. Rasmussen continues, “To understand why, start with the fact that 57 percent of voters favor raising taxes on people who earn more than $250,000 a year. Republicans complain that this isn’t enough to make a dent in the deficit. Voters understand that already: Just 19 percent of voters think it is possible to balance the federal budget primarily by raising taxes on upper-income Americans. Add to that the fact that voters don’t expect much substance to emerge from the fiscal cliff debate. If no deal is reached, taxes will go up on just about everyone, and there will be modest reductions in proposed spending growth. If a deal is reached, six out of 10 expect the deal to lead to higher middle-class taxes, and only one out of three think spending will go down. In other words, most people expect pretty much the same result whether or not a deal is reached. In this environment, the president has proposed a policy that addresses a perceived level of unfairness in the nation’s economic arrangements. Whether it’s the best approach doesn’t even matter because Republicans in Washington haven’t even tried to address the fairness issue. They keep arguing about economic theories. As a result, 52 percent of voters now prefer a candidate who promises to raise taxes on the wealthy, while just 34 percent favor a candidate who opposes all tax hikes. This highlights a larger problem faced by the Republican establishment. While most voters see Democrats as the party of big government, Republicans spend more time talking about government. They complain that it’s too big, imposes too many regulations and has unsustainable deficits. Under Obama, Democrats talk less about government and more about how their policies will affect life in America. It’s the end result that a pragmatic nation cares about, not the policies. For Republicans to succeed, they need to recognize that most voters don’t care about limited government. But voters care deeply about the type of society a limited government makes possible. Applying that logic to the current debate over the fiscal cliff, Republicans in Washington need to recognize that few voters believe this is a serious debate about deficit reduction. The president has made it instead a debate about fairness, and they need to respond on that level.

The President has many allies in his camp, the most effective of which are the lamestream media. “We”, the people never hear what anything but the President is saying. Even when they do portray the President’s opposition, the lamestream media do so with gross and unified mendacity (lying in plainer English). Thus, as Rasmussen’s analysis of the numbers support, “we” do not believe anyone about anything, except that “we” will pay for it all.

As Hanson writes, “We are now entering a rare, revolutionary period in American history. The present administration is not just re-examining the traditional physics of taxing and spending, but the very basis by which Americans are compensated in the workplace. For Obama, it is inherently unfair that a few — a surgeon, a small-business woman, an investor or a lotto winner — should make so much. Thus it is the government’s obligation, along with state and local governments, to take much of it away from the suspect few and redistribute it to far more deserving others. All the old criteria that decide in a free-market economy how much we are able to make — education levels, hard work, personal responsibility, particular tastes and values, skill sets, self-discipline, or even sheer luck, accidents, relative health or inheritance — now matter far less. Instead, Obama’s all-knowing, all-powerful federal government, through higher taxes, more spending and greater deficits, will set right what the unfair marketplace has so skewed. At last, we learn what Obama really meant when, in unguarded moments, he sermonized about “redistributive change,” the need to “spread the wealth,” knowing the proper time not to profit, and at some point making too much money. Do we need any longer to heed the ancient advice — scrimp to leave something behind for your kids; try to get a promotion; make sure your savings account is larger than what you owe — if some inequality results? There is now only one commandment in the new Kingdom of Fairness: Make less than $250,000, and the government will ensure that you, the deserving, get your fair share. Make more than that, and the government will demand that you, the undeserving, will pay your fair share. That is all ye need to know. All Emphasis ours.

It seems that it has come to this America. Until and unless, “we” get tired of listening to the same old narratives, by both sides, the prevaricating President who must only “sell” his policies to a people that have just re-elected him and the losing Republicans who have just lost all of the major arguments in the minds of the people that voted, as Rasmussen clearly demonstrates, we cannot hope for anything different and things will never get better. Only worse and worse. Stay tuned. An Excellent Spirit will continue to report the truth to all who desire truth instead of mendacity and talking points. God bless America!

Middle East Round Up – Victor Davis Hanson

In light of the UN vote on Palestinian status today, this article in Jewish World Review by Victor Davis Hanson is interesting. Hanson posits that Hamas went to war against Israel by reigning bombs from Gaza upon Israeli citizens because they thought that America and its Israeli allies could do little to help them. “Classical explanations of conventional wars run something like this: An aggressor state seeks political advantage through military force. It has a hunch that the threatened target will likely either make concessions to avoid losing a war, or, if war breaks out, the resulting political gains will be worth the military costs to achieve victory. Wars then are prevented only by a balance of power and military deterrence: aggressors have to be warned that it would be stupid to start a war they will likely lose. If there are miscalculations or if emotions run high and logic is ignored, then the resulting conflicts only end when one side loses and has no choice but to accept the imposed terms of the winner. That being said, the modern therapeutic West has either forgotten such rules or ignored them. In today’s globally televised wars, a novel doctrine of proportionality reigns. It is sort of like T-ball in which scoring and winning don’t matter. Instead both the stronger and weaker sides end up the same. Little attention is paid to who started the conflict, how it was conducted or how it should be ended.”

Stanford University Professor Victor Davis Hanson

While likening the conflict to a T-ball game may not work for you, Hanson quickly returns to the real world, “Hamas went to war against Israel by shooting hundreds of rockets into the Jewish state. It thought such aggression made sense. The attack was timed just after the U.S. election. Hamas guessed that the Obama administration would be largely neutral without re-election worries over pro-Israel voters in swing states. Hamas also hoped that it would have more success against Israel than during its last war in 2008. After all, it had plenty of new, longer-range Iranian rockets that could reach most cities in Israel. Iran also egged Hamas on. It believed that its client’s rocket barrages would give Israel a very public taste of what it should expect if it ever dared to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities – while Hamas’s new rockets would outshine those of its rival, the Palestine Authority on the West Bank. More importantly, Hamas figured it had two new friends nearby in Recep Erdogan’s Islamist government in Turkey and the newly ascendant Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt under Mohamed Morsi. By going to war, Hamas reminded the world that American allies like Turkey and Egypt are now firmly in the new Iranian-backed Islamist and anti-Israel orbit. Like Hamas, both regimes came to power through elections, and then almost immediately tried to silence the opposition to ensure their permanent authoritarian rule. In Morsi’s case, the new Gaza war gave him cover for almost immediately trying to suspend the constitution.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood’s Strongman Mursi

Now that the United Nations has rewarded Hamas’ violence with statehood status, what will Israel do when the new state does what the old unstate has done since 1948, when the unstated Palestinians became an ignored pawn in the politics of the Arab, Muslim world? For an answer, Hanson returns to his T-ball game: “But just as the fantasies of T-ball give way when kids grow up and start keeping score in the real world of baseball, so too will the T-ball war in the Middle East come to an end. To avoid unending rocket barrages and serial on-and-off wars, Israel will have to convince Hamas and its allies that, collectively, they all have a lot to lose by starting more T-ball wars — ones that in the future no longer will end with a no-score truce.” Victor Davis Hanson is smarter than An Excellent Spirit so it would not surprise us if he was right as rain. Stay tuned.

 

Thoughts from Great Thinkers

 Thomas Sowell

An Excellent Spirit has posted on Stanford Professor Thomas Sowell many times. In the aftermath of the recent Election, this Townhall column appeared today. The piece is about a recently published book by Stephen Moore entitled “ Who’s the Fairest of Them All?” The Truth about Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America”, Encounter Books (October 9, 2012). Professor Sowell does more than just tout this work. At just 136 pages, the book is said by Sowell to too late to make a difference in the past Election. “If everyone in America had read Stephen Moore’s new book, “Who’s The Fairest of Them All?”, Barack Obama would have lost the election in a landslide. The point here is not to say, “Where was Stephen Moore when we needed him?” A more apt question might be, “Where was the whole economics profession when we needed them?” Where were the media? For that matter, where were the Republicans?”

Sowell then reviews the recent history of both Democrats and Republicans on the subject of taxing the rich. As this is about to hit America with a jolt in 2013, both the book and Sowell’s piece are timely and, as usual, say what needs to be said, even if no one is listening. As he did with his book, The Housing Boom and Bust, Thomas Sowell spells out with clarity the economic realities America faces and the consequences of following failed policies. Read the whole thing and get a copy of this book and read it. Perhaps, then, Americans will be prepared to act once we are over the Fiscal Cliff, hurtling into the Abyss. God bless America. “We” Americans will need all the blessing “we” can get. Hard times are coming, if Thomas Sowell is right. Stay tuned.

Frank Gaffney

In this Townhall column, Frank Gaffney, another source preferred by An Excellent Spirit, writes on the Arab Spring, the Muslim Brotherhood and the failed, desperate policies of the Obama Administration in the Middle East. “During the so-called “Arab Spring,” the Obama administration insisted that the United States risked being on the “wrong side of history” if it remained aligned with secular despots like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. Recent events have made clear that there is a wrong side for freedom in the Mideast all right and, thanks to Team Obama’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, we’re on it.” Read the whole thing here.

After reviewing the whole sordid mess that President Obama and his re-election inattentiveness have created in the Middle East (to say nothing of the Fiscal Cliff and other issues), Gaffney asks a question that An Excellent Spirit has asked some time ago. “The question occurs – and must be insistently asked in congressional hearings into the Benghazigate scandal and the larger failed practice of embracing Islamists of which it is a symptom: To what extent are individuals with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood who are working in or serving as advisors to the Obama administration contributing to these clearly counterproductive national security policies? Five Members of Congress – Republican Representatives Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Trent Franks, Lynn Westmoreland and Tom Rooney – presciently raised this concern last June, and were roundly criticized for doing so (including by some in their own party). They appear to have been vindicated in their warnings that such influence operations are putting us on the wrong side of history. We cannot afford to remain there, to the benefit of our enemies and their jihadist agenda.” Here is a round up of our past articles on the subject.  We especially draw our readers attention to two of the earliest articles on “America’s Iron Lady”.

 Victor Davis Hanson

 An Excellent Spirit has many articles on Stanford’s other “twin tower” of wisdom. Here Today, this column in PJ Media, gives our readers Hanson’s take on the Election and what it means to America in the near future. Hanson’s analysis covers ten topics including the lamestream media (The Mainstream Media Still Rules), the populist appeal of Obama, attack ads that destroyed Mitt Romney, the “cocoon” of Fox News and right wing talk radio and much more. Be sure to read the whole thing. His conclusion is, as usual, to the point. “A final take on the election: Mitt Romney was a glittering Sir Galahad who, given his impressive horse, armor, and lance, along with his decency and piety, assumed that he could win a joust in a fair charge against the other team’s knight. Instead he waded into a sudden fray where he was swarmed, mobbed, cut off, pulled off his magnificent steed, had his matchless armor yanked away by a mob of foot soldiers, and then, once stripped clean, was clubbed and maced beyond recognition.”

An Excellent Spirit will have much more on the factors that played out in the Election. We have already posted on it. Here and here  We will revisit the subject once full data on the Election are available and broken down. Stay tuned.

Two Views of The Same Result On November 6th

 An Excellent Spirit knows that if President Obama loses the Election, many African Americans will be devastated. As a veteran civil rights worker, attorney and election strategist, we can understand the passion and even the anger they will feel. It will be nothing like 1968, when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Georgia. It will never compare with going into a church with RFK that night in Ohio. Put in that perspective, it helps to see these two views of what will happen if the unthinkable happens.

First is this Jewish World Review article by Larry ElderMr. Elder asks a question that will have to be answered by millions of African American parents, “What do I tell my black child if Obama loses?” He recalls the scene in thousands of schools on the morning after President Obama’s win in 2008. “What do I tell my black child if Barack Obama, America’s first black president, loses his bid for re-election? This is a question many parents are asking themselves — especially those who would blame the loss on racism. Jubilant black parents on the front pages of newspapers, the day after Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, said things like, “for the first time” they could “sincerely” say to their children that a black person could realistically aspire to become president of the United States. The New York Times wrote: “That a new day had dawned was immediately apparent at breakfast on Wednesday at Eagle Academy, a young public school in the spot where the often hard-edged Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brownsville and Ocean Hill intersect: The sixth-grade boys sat in silence over their eggs, biscuits and apple juice. “They were too busy poring over the transcripts of President-elect Barack Obama’s speech that teachers had handed them as they walked in. Too tired, perhaps, from having been awoken at midnight to hear the news from their tearful mothers. …” Read the whole thing.

Larry Elder is an acutely accurate thinker and commentator and not only on things racial. He has been a critical observer of the plight of Americans under this President and lets nothing stand in the way of truth and honest reporting. He persuasively concludes, “If Obama loses, how many parents will tell their children that his race did him in? Already, The Associated Press published a poll supposedly showing that the negative “racial attitudes” people hold against blacks could likely cost Obama 2 points in the election. Really? Not only does Obama benefit from a near-unanimous black vote, but also from the many whites who voted for Obama because of his race. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, explained in 2008: “This is (their) chance to demonstrate that we have been able to get this boogeyman called race behind us. And so they are going to vote for him, whether he has credentials or not, whether he has any experience.” Hall of Famer Frank Robinson became the first black manager in the modern major leagues. There have been many since. Robinson’s hiring made a statement about the irrelevance of race. Years later, when his team underperformed, Robinson was fired. Obama can be fired, as well. Emphasis ours.

Next, An Excellent Spirit turns to Victor Davis Hanson. Like Larry Elder, Hanson is a straight thinking and writing commentator. In this Jewish World Review piece today, Hanson tackles the prospect of an Obama defeat next Tuesday from another perspective. In “The Uncool President”, he writes, “In 2008, Barack “No Drama” Obama was the coolest presidential candidate America had ever seen — young, hip, Ivy League, mellifluous and black, with a melodic and exotic name. Rock stars vied to perform at his massive rallies, where Obama often began his hope-and-change sermons by reminding the teary-eyed audience what to do in case of mass fainting. Money, like manna from heaven, seemed to drop spontaneously into his $1 billion campaign coffers. Ecstatic Hollywood stars were rendered near speechless at the thought of Obama’s promised Big Rock Candy Mountain to come — peace, harmony, prosperity and “5 million new jobs” in renewable energy alone.”

President-elect Barack Obama walks on stage at his victory celebration in Chicago with his wife, Michelle, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha.

That was then. Today it is somewhat different as Professor Hanson relates. “Four years of governance later, the huge crowds have mostly melted away. Those still left do not faint. The columns are in storage. The Latinate “Vero Possumus” is not even voiced in English. Instead of “no red states or blue states” healing rhetoric, Obama has sown all sorts of needless divisions in hopes of cobbling together a thin us-versus-them coalition, as independents flee. The 99 percent claim oppression by the 1 percent. Young single female professionals are supposedly at war with Republican Neanderthals. Beleaguered gays apparently must fight the bigotry of the homophobic right wing. Greens should go on the offensive against conservative polluters who are OK with dirty air and water. Latinos must “punish our enemies” at the polls, and Attorney General Eric Holder’s “my people” are to be set against “a nation of cowards.” With all the advantages of incumbency and an obsequious media, why is Barack Obama reduced to stooping to save his campaign?” Read the whole thing.

What are “we” to make of all this? What if the unthinkable happens? Both columns get to the same place. “The greatest problem facing Obama, however, is not just his mediocre record of governance, but the growing public perception that he is as uncool in 2012 as he was cool in 2008. Voters no longer feel they’re square for voting against Obama. Instead, it’s becoming the “in” thing to shrug that enough is enough.” Hanson puts it this way, “In other words, it is not just the economy, foreign policy, poor debating skills or a so-so campaign that now plagues Obama, but the growing public perception that voters were had in 2008, and that it now is OK — even cool — to no longer believe in him.”

Dem turned Republican Rep. Artur Davis

Americans like Artur Davis, Herman Cain, Lloyd Marcus and Mia Love and millions of other African Americans have already reached that conclusion and spoken loudly of their rejection of this President and his policies. If and when our national referendum on Election Day should do the same, we all would do well to recall the words, “What goes up, must come down.”

We should also be put in remembrance of God’s Word: Isaiah 55:8-9 says: “My ways are not your ways, and my thoughts are not your thoughts; but just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” “(T)he biblical doctrine of election is that it is unconditional, irresistible, and irrevocable. All this to the glory of God–without in any way diminishing the dignity or responsibility of man.” An Excellent Spirit has said that God is no respecter of persons or candidates. (Deuteronomy 10:17, 2 Chronicles 19:7 and Acts 10:34) We are all directed to pray for those in authority. 1 Timothy 2:1-4) “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” And, we are told that those who serve in the public arena are as “deacons” to God. Romans 13:1-7 tells us, “ “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor” Emphasis ours.

We are a nation of laws; a nation Under God and a nation of an overwhelming majority of believers of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His Son, Jesus Christ. All would do well to remember this when we vote and after that vote is counted. No matter who wins. God bless America!

One Nation Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice For All.

 

Update: “Obama’s Breaking Point” by Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson has this on President Obama’s sinking fortunes. “For the last two years, millions of Americans have grown, ever so insidiously, tired of Barack Obama and his administration. The Tea Party brought such frustrations to the fore. And now the debates — and the ability of Romney to show millions that he is a decent, competent alternative to Obama rather than the caricatured greedy white man of Obama’s sleazy ads — are closing the deal.” An Excellent Spirit has brought our readers columns by Professor Hanson.  Now, Hanson says that Americans are beginning to realize not only is it imperative that we replace the failed Presidency, but that it is all right to do so on November 6th. “The election is not over, but it is starting to resemble October 29 or November 1 in 1980, when, after just one debate, the nation at last decided that it really did not like Jimmy Carter very much or what he had done, and discovered that Ronald Reagan was not the mad Dr. Strangelove/Jefferson Davis of the Carter summer television ads. Like Carter, Obama both has no wish to defend his record (who would?) and is just as petulant. In the next three weeks, he has only three hours left to save his presidency.” 

Hanson concludes: “Add all this up, and millions of voters — quietly, on their own, without much communication — are becoming wearied by Obama, in a way that is quite miraculous. They are coming to the conclusion not just that it is now OK to vote against Obama, but that even if it is not politically correct, they don’t much care anymore.” Read the whole thing before you vote! And remember to VOTE on November 6th!

Obama Debate Debacle Does Not Explain the Post Debate Collapse.

 An Excellent Spirit has watched the post debate collapse of the Obama campaign and its inability to right the sinking ship. While it is unexpected, we see the seeds of this long in the distant events leading up to the first debate. First, President Obama is President, not merely candidate. In 2008, Obama beat a formidable, though largely unpopular Hillary Clinton. Hillary, entering the race, had the largest unfavorable polling numbers imaginable. Nevertheless she was favored over the largely untested new guy in Obama. This story shows that her intemperate bashing of Move On. Org did not help her and began her slide. In late March, then Sen. Clinton got this bad report. Hillary Clinton’s negatives, always high, continued to plague her. Wikipedia has this about that.

Meanwhile Obama quickly became both the underdog, taking down the big bad banshee (wolves) and the new darling of the media, something Hillary and Bill had never been on their best days. The Clintons had kept the media on their side by careful manipulation and an expert knowledge of their “don’t bite the hand that feeds you” strategy. It worked against George H.W. Bush with his read my lips disaster, Ross Perot’s revenge of the Bush haters and then against the hapless Bob Dole, a primer course on why senators have a hard time becoming President, especially against a governor. When Obama came along, with no record whatsoever of his own, able to make it up as he went along, the inexperienced Illinois Senator began to woo the already compliant media to his cause, Hillary (and Bill) were toast. And so were “we”. 

Fast-forward almost four years to early 2012. President Obama had spent the last months of 2011 alternatively celebrating the mess that the lamestream media told Americans that Republican challengers were making of the race for their nomination. The reports were reminiscent of Sherman’s march to the sea, as the lamestream media, line blocking for their quarterback President cheered as Obama marched to his Georgia, One Billion Dollars in campaign contributions. It looked like 2008 all over again, only worse. The narrative for Obama’s re-election swung into highly financed gear.

But then something happened on the way to a socialist, wealth re-distribution, European America. What no one thought about were the American people, “us”. An Excellent Spirit has written about how the media panders to and treats “us” as if we are not entitled to know the truth. We have said that “they” think if they repeat something, even something that is patently false, over and over, “we” will believe it. We have written that God made us that way.”As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 That is the way “they” treat “us”. The thing is, “we” know it! And “we” don’t like it! Pew published facts supporting that thesis. “The problems of newspapers also became more acute in 2011. Even as online audiences grew, print circulation continued to decline. Even more critically, so did ad revenues. In 2011, losses in print advertising dollars outpaced gains in digital revenue by a factor of roughly 10 to 1, a ratio even worse than in 2010. When circulation and advertising revenue are combined, the newspaper industry has shrunk 43% since 2000.” Read it all and look at their infographic here

 Americans trust of the media was at an all time low. Cindy Jacobus, writing in Jewish World Review said, “2008, the media largely put their fingers in their ears, closed their eyes and covered their mouths, choosing to ignore warning signs that perhaps the untested, unknown, inexperienced senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, was not quite ready for prime time, and not quite right for America — at least, not as the occupant of the White House. They played deaf, dumb and blind, but some might now have a regret or two, opting to put a toe in the water and experience what objective journalism feels like. A September Gallup poll showed that 60 percent of Americans perceive a media bias, with 47 percent saying the media are too liberal and 13 percent saying they are too conservative, findings similar to the year before.” Read the whole thing. What none of “them” considered is that “we” are not the sheep “they” think that “we” are. This American Thinker article is illustrative. “Psychiatrists talk about pathogenic beliefs causing severe mental disorders.  The liberal media never stop repeating false and self-destructive slogans about this country.  That’s why your children’s heads are filled with endless tape loops of national self-loathing.  Just ask ’em. Until the bubble pops.  Empty mortgages popped four years ago.  The phony Eurozone is quietly collapsing today.  Those moments of truth are constantly covered up by a screaming liberal media.  Human beings cannot stand too much reality, as T.S. Eliot said, but reality still has a way of popping our bubbles. I don’t know how and when the liberal media will collapse, though the drooping balance sheets of TIME, Newsweek, and the New York Times suggest that the end is near.  Power classes take a lot of time to die, even after they become public jokes.  The talking heads of today’s pop culture lost any rationale for existing a long time ago.  They are now repackaging their empty souls, and tossing that smoking potato from CNN to CNBC to Facebook and Twitter.  They have been tried and found wanting, and the handwriting is on the wall. It’s just a matter of when. Back to President Obama and the debate. When the President “mailed it in” in the first debate, the President became smaller to “us”. Barack Obama became part of the media that has deified him for so long. Americans clearly sensed that he just didn’t care. About “us”, at least not enough to have any explanation that spoke to our concerns. The Debt, Spending, the Fiscal Cliff, his relations with Congress and Republicans, Obamacare, Medicare cuts and a whole host of issues were “spun” by the man, as he repeated his talking points, over and over. “We” saw it with our own eyes; “we” watched it and heard it. And “we” are sick of being treated as if we are sheep and nothing more; by the lamestream media and by politicians. Ergo, the number of Americans who watched was the highest (67.5 million) since the last time “we” were so offput by our President (Carter). And those who watched, including liberals, knew that the President lost the debate and, perhaps, the Election. (70+%) 

The post debate stories are not the usual process stories. They are not even “spin”, in the main. When The Washington Post writes, “The liberal columnist Dana Milbank, who writes for The Washington Postblamed President Barack Obama for Obama’s poor debate performance against Mitt Romney. Milbank cited the lack of solo press conferences Obama has held along with the “yes men” that surrounding the President. But he forgot to mention that his cohorts in the mainstream press have also been “yes men” and “lapdogs” throughout Obama’s first term in office and deserve an equal amount of blame as Obama.  Milbank wrote “Obama received a valuable reminder in his drubbing at Wednesday night’s debate: He is a president, not a king.” An Excellent Spirit has “news” for “them”: “we” will not be ruled. “We” know who “we” are and “we” have just about seen all “we” need to see. Our friend, Victor Davis Hanson penned this article with more. “Yet Obama was not that out of character in the debate — at least not in comparison to his past performances. Obama’s professorial detachment, his condescension, his long meandering answers, his avoidance of direct questions, his occasional petulance and his frequent verbal tics, stalls and stutters were all pretty normal for him. Why, then, the hysteria over a typical Obama performance? Again, roll the tape of any prior debate, press conference or question-and-answer session, and what you see is about the same as we saw the other night.” Hanson concluded ” In previous debates, Obama sounded not much different than he did last week against Romney. Obama customarily looked down, gave disjointed off-topic sermons, and stuttered uncertainly. That did not matter all that much, given that his youth and professorial air contrasted well with the inept Bobby Rush and Alan Keyes, and he appeared on camera as a fresh face in contrast to old, familiar, retread politicos like Clinton and McCain. Obama’s handlers know all this. No wonder what worries them is not that Obama was off his game against Romney, but that the game itself — not Obama — has suddenly changed. Who are we to argue with one of the finest minds in America?    Stay tuned.

America’s Future by Victor Davis Hanson

An Excellent Spirit has written about Stanford University’s Hoover Institute and their “twin towers” Victor Davis Hanson and Thomas Sowell. Hanson has two recent articles in Jewish World Review that we cannot help but mention to our readers. The first is about America’s crumbling infrastructure and our “eating our seed corn” “The same shortsighted selfishness characterizes debates over entitlements and the deficit. Republicans accuse Obama of transferring more than $700 billion out of Medicare to help fund his new federal takeover of health care. Obama counters that Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plans would either privatize or end Medicare as we know it. But either way, without revolutionary changes, Medicare’s costs will almost double in the next 10 years and bankrupt the system.”  

There is more and Hanson concludes, “Examine the annual rates of budget increases in Medicare, Social Security, unemployment and disability insurance, food stamps and public pensions. The common denominator is redistribution and consumption right now for us — investment and maintenance later for others. “Eating seed corn” is a metaphor for being forced into the no-win situation of imperiling the future to survive the present. So the allusion does not quite work with contemporary America. 

Unlike the proverbial farmer who loses his crop to drought or pests, and thereby is forced to live on next year’s planting seed, Americans are under no such coercion. We were not forced into our dilemmas by nature, but simply by choice — and our own greed and foolishness.” Read the whole thing.

Next, Hanson writes on our changing world and what America cannot expect from our government without a great change. We recommend our readers read it all here.  “We are witnessing a seismic shift in global affairs. The shake-up is a perfect storm of political, demographic and technological change that will soon make the world as we have known it for the last 30 years almost unrecognizable. Since the mid-1980s there have been a number of accepted global constants. The European Union was assumed to have evolved beyond the nation-state as it ended the cycle of militarism and renounced free-market capitalism. With its strong euro, soft power and nonaligned foreign policy, the EU was praised as a utopian sort of foil to the overarmed U.S. with its ailing dollar.” Hanson says, “Even more surreal, tiny oil-poor Israel, thanks to vast new offshore finds, has been reinvented as a potential energy giant in the Middle East. Such petrodollars will change Israel as they did the Persian Gulf countries, but with one major difference. Unlike Dubai or Kuwait, Israel is democratic, economically diverse, socially stable and technologically sophisticated, suggesting the sudden windfall will not warp Israel in the manner it has traditional Arab autocracies, but instead become a force multiplier of an already dynamic society.” Then, he asks a few pertinent questions:  Will Europe still snub Israel when it has as much oil, gas and money as an OPEC member in the Persian Gulf? Who would have thought that a few fracking innovators in Texas would change the world’s carbon footprint far more than did Nobel laureate Al Gore — while offering a way for the U.S. to be energy-independent?

Or that Angela Merkel, not the European Union, would run Europe. Or that Arabs would be overthrowing Arabs, as oil-rich Israel idly watched?”  Stay tuned. Hanson or Sowell is sure to provide some really interesting answers and An Excellent Spirit will bring them to our readers when they do.

The Fantasy World of Barack Obama

 Victor Davis Hanson, the other “twin tower” of Stanford University (Thomas Sowell is the other), has this in PJ Media

True, Hanson calls it Obama’s fantasy house, but we take license to include all of Obama’s domain (in the left’s dream-world). “Rather I refer to the fantasies that Obama employs to deal with a very real world he inhabits. The president just told Univision that you “cannot change Washington from the inside.” In other words, the president just shattered his own four-year fantasy that he, like Lincoln, would take the train from Illinois to D.C., not just to remake America, but also to change the very way things are done there. Now Obama accepts that the second coming of an Illinois savior has failed, not because he tried to change the ethics of Washington (he never did), but because upon arrival he almost immediately did in Washington what he was used to doing in Chicago. And so lobbying, insider politics to help campaign bundlers, private deals to pass health care, the revolving door, and nonstop campaigning all replaced hope and change.”

After dealing with the “successes” of Obama’s Executive Orders, Recess Appointments, Solyndra and the GM bailout that put GM on the taxpayer’s faucet forever, Hanson gets down to the real questions, “The deficit? What deficit and debt? The president insists to David Letterman that he doesn’t know what the aggregate debt is — only that whatever it actually is, George Bush caused it! He barnstorms on the idea that ending the war in Afghanistan (where was the supposed “peace dividend” from Iraq that was supposed to cut the deficit?) will help pay down the $1 trillion-plus he borrows each year. Yet taking 39.5% from top incomes and hiking capital gains taxes will not even give us a 20% reduction in the annual deficit. So after the next tax hike, then what? We go to 50%, 55%, 60% — to pay our fair share for millions of more green jobs?” Emphasis ours. Apparently, someone is responsible for the Fiscal Cliff, but Obama does not know who it is. It must be “us”. “We” are paying for it, it must be!  

When Hanson turns to foreign policy, it gets scary. “In foreign policy, the fantasies proved even scarier. A young, JFKish, Nobel Peace laureate, biracial, hip, cool, and beloved president — with a Muslim patrimony no less —  would charm the Middle East the way he had mesmerized American with “hope and change,” “yes, we can,” and, less grandly, “make no mistake about it.” Hanson minces no words, “Obama assumed that all real problems began with Bush, and would end with Bush gone — given that he would apologize, bow, and contextualize to the world about the sins of the pre-Obama America, the unexceptional country that did nasty things when “I was three months old.” Once the cooled and now drier continents grasped that American was “on their side,” and not entangled with the Brits, the Israelis, the Czechs, the Poles, and all the old staid “allies,” new possibilities would become endless.  “Radical Islam” would give way to all sorts of euphemisms; terrorists were to be the merely accused and tried in civil courts in New York. Guantanamo would release all its political prisoners. Renditions, tribunals and preventative detention would end. The al Arabiya interview, the Cairo speech, and the notorious “apology tour’ would win oppressed peoples over, if not to our side, at least over to Obama’s — given that “they hate us” not because of who we are (as in vacations to Martha’s Vineyard, golf, prep schools, jet-fueled junkets, and rap and hip-hop music), but because of what we used to do before 2009. Apparently, European socialist models would spring up in the Middle East — the region a sort of hybridized half-socialist Greece, half-Islamist Turkey.”

Hanson rightly concludes, “Obama’s fantasy “cruelly ended with the horrific death of an American ambassador in Libya, the graphic details of which the administration will not disclose, given that the truth would confirm that we were not prepared when we should have been, amid policies towards Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Iran that are imploding. What are we left with? The Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt, Mr. Morsi, just summed it up when he outlined the conditions under which his country would be willing to accept aid and remain friendly. The State Department is funding apology ads on Islamic television, and we are still using all the rhetorical power of the White House to hound one crude filmmaker, a modern Ares who supposedly had the power to set the Muslim world afire against Barack Obama.” Read the whole thing. We have quoted quite a bit, but Hanson is a much better writer and scholar than An Excellent Spirit, though he certainly has one.

We used to say, “Enough said”. As the brilliant Professor Hanson has shown us, however, not nearly enough has been or can be said to report the disaster that President Obama’s Fantasy World has wrought. The only thing left is to show him the door and he can take his empty seat with him. Maybe, Barack can become a permanent host of The View. 

A Blueprint for the Middle East

 This Townhall piece by Victor Davis Hanson is the best take we have seen on what the US should do in response to the Middle East violence. As usual, Hanson, one of the two “twin towers” of Stanford University’s Hoover Institute (Thomas Sowell is the other) sees and writes with more clarity than our US State Department, our President or anyone running against him. “Last week, Muslim mobs took to the streets to murder the American ambassador in Libya and three of his staffers. American embassies were attacked from Egypt to Yemen. Embarrassed White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice insisted that these assaults were just reactions to an insensitive video circulating on the Internet that disparaged Islam. As embassies burned, we were assured that there was no animosity directed at America in general, or at this administration and its foreign policy in particular. That is hogwash. The weeks-old video was a mere pretext, in the manner of the Danish cartoons that Islamists use to stir up mobs in their war against the West. The street rioting was long ago synchronized across the Middle East to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Apparently, the administration was left stunned and without a clue about the latest Middle East madness.” That is for sure. Even though the lamestream media has done and is doing everything within its power to keep America from understanding the vast failure of the Obama foreign policy, a lot of truth is coming through.

The most important result of the abject collapse of the Obama doctrines of apology and appeasement is the way it looks to the world and to our enemies. “America looks even weaker when this administration sends confusing signals about U.S. power. It too often spikes the ball — whether Joe Biden bragging about killing Osama bin Laden, the president joking about Predator assassination missions, Hillary Clinton high-fiving over the death of Gadhafi, or unnamed top officials disclosing classified secrets about the cyber-war against Iran. Yet at other times, amid promised defense cuts, the Obama administration loudly announces a strategic pivot away from the Middle East toward Asia, or derides the very antiterrorism protocols — Guantanamo Bay, renditions, tribunals and preventative detention — that it later embraced. Nothing is more dangerous in regard to the contemporary Middle East than misunderstanding the source of Islamist rage. Speaking loudly while carrying a small stick only makes that confusion worse.”

Hanson, unlike our politicians and the lamestream media, has some solutions. “What can we do? Start developing vast new oil and gas finds on public lands here at home. Get our financial house in order. Quietly cut back aid to hostile Middle East governments. Put travel off-limits. Restrict visas and call home ambassadors — at least until Arab governments control their own street mobs. Develop a consistent policy on the so-called Arab Spring that applies the same criticism of illiberal dictators to the theocrats who depose them. Keep quiet and keep our military strong. Don’t apologize for a few Americans who have a right to be crude. Instead, condemn those premodern zealots who would murder anyone of whom they don’t approve.”

An Excellent Spirit says, “Works for “us”!  Read the whole thing.