Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

The Miraculous Image Rehabilitation of Former Republican Presidents

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

It’s an evergreen media strategy for disparaging the sitting GOP executive.

When Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, many in the media considered him a dangerous extremist.

Some reporters warned that Reagan courted nuclear war and would tank the economy. He certainly was not like the gentleman Republican and moderate ex-president Gerald Ford.

But by 1989, the media was fond of a new adjective: “Reaganesque.” Reagan in retirement and without power was seen as a senior statesman.

Not so for his once-centrist and better-liked vice president, George H.W. Bush, who suddenly was reinvented as a fool and a ninny in comparison.

Read the full article here.

The Nature of Progressive Insensitivity

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Why do so many famous social-justice crusaders turn out to be racist and sexist?  

Former vice president Joe Biden is back in the news yet again. For a second time, he seems surprised that poor residents of the inner city are capable of doing sophisticated jobs:

We don’t think ordinary people can do things like program, code. It’s not rocket science, guys. So, we went and we hired some folks to go into the neighborhoods and pick 58 women, as it turns out, from the hood, for a 17-week program, if my memory serves me correctly, to learn how to code.

In 2014 Biden had said about the same thing about women from the “hood”:

Read the full article here.

Why Trump Is A President Like No Other

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Conrad Black’s erudite biography of Donald J. Trump is different from the usual in mediis rebus accounts of first-year presidents. He avoids the Bob Woodward fly-on-the-wall unattributed anecdote, and “they say” gossip mongering. Nor is the book a rush-to-publish product from former insiders of the Trump campaign or administration. Instead, Black, a prolific and insightful historian, adopts the annalistic method in carefully tracing Trump’s earliest years in business through his various commercial misadventures, financial recoveries, and sometimes wild antics. Black’s aim is to illustrate how much of what Trump has done since announcing his presidential candidacy in summer 2015 is hardly mysterious. Instead, Trump’s methods are fully explicable by what he has always done in the past—in the sometimes troubling, but more often reassuring, sense.

Read the full article here.

5-09-18 Angry Reader

From An Angry Reader:

Wow. You are a moron. How is it, that Comey’s memos, which were his that he wrote, as an FBI agent, which were still his, once he was fired from his FBI job, by an obstructing president, “leaking of classified material”?? How can the man’s own memos, that he wrote, which were never deemed classified by anyone, certainly NOT the DOJ, be classified that way? Especially when he gave them to the friend as a private citizen passing along his memos to another private citizen. You are just a partisan hack, with no respect for the law. It’s a shame what people like you are doing to our country, over an inept, incompetent, traitor like trump, JUST because he is claiming to be a Republican these last couple years or so. You and others like you, are traitors by your complicit behavior. You should be deported to Siberia, moron.

M. Trajan


Dear Angry Reader Neo Anderson,

I award you a solid 6 on the Angry Reader Derangement scale. Had you just added obscenity to your other checklists (capital letters, grammatical and syntactical errors, ad hominem smears, lack of facts or an argument, etc.), you would have earned an 8.

Mr. Anderson/Trajan please concentrate on facts and not merely bark at the moon:

1) Comey at the time that he typed his confidential notes, was the Director of the FBI;

2) he typed them on FBI time, on an FBI electronic device, and addressed at least some of them in standard FBI letterhead fashion to fellow FBI officials;

3) he shared the contents of the memos with a private citizen, even though the DOJ later felt that enough of the contents of the memos were classified or confidential enough to warrant redaction before being released to the public; Comey himself characterized them as “secret.” Obviously a top-ranking federal employee should not have a confidential conversation with the President, take notes, leak them to the press, and do so by preplanned intent;

4) at least some of the memos were subsequently felt to be “classified” or “confidential” by the DOJ; if they felt so, surely Comey must have known that as well;

5) Comey was either guilty of violating federal law or FBI administrative codes of behavior; either way had another employee done the same he would likely have been terminated;

6) Comey leaked the memos by his own admission so they would appear in the press without his own fingerprints on such leaking and for the expressed purpose of appointing a special prosecutor, which ironically or by design turned out to be his long-term friend and predecessor at the FBI, Robert Mueller;

7) Comey admitted that he rarely memorialized such private and confidential conversations with other federal officials or President Obama;

8) Comey admitted that he went into the conversation with Trump, knowing that he would memorialize it, and that Trump would not know that he would do so, which suggests an asymmetry in his favor;

9) Comey testified to Congress that he did not leak to the press and objected to such a practice;

10) Comey’s entire credibility is questionable given that he has admitted under oath that he had not written a summary of the email scandal before he interviewed Hillary Clinton, when he, in fact, had; when he again testified he had not leaked to the press; when he misled a FISA court by not informing it that his submitted evidence for a warrant deliberately did not disclose that the Steele dossier was paid for by Hillary Clinton, that its contents were not verified by the FBI, that its author was fired as an informant by the FBI, and that independent news accounts presented to the court were, in fact, simply sourced from the dossier.

Mr. Anderson: calling me a moron or a traitor in lieu of an argument does not change the above facts; it only reflects on your own emotional state and limited knowledge of what you write about.

V. Hanson

America The Weird

Victor Davis Hanson // Hoover Institution

On first glance, America does not seem that exceptional. Like China and Russia, it is a superpower. And, also like those countries, it is huge territorially. It shares many affinities with Europe. And, like China, Japan and Germany, the United States is an economic powerhouse. And yet, it is a nation unlike any in the world.

In general, outside the West, few of the seven billion people alive today enjoy human rights and the protection of property. The rule of law and freedom of expression are taken for granted in Europe and the United States, and residents there enjoy both economic prosperity and physical security. These exceptions to the global norms of repression, autocracy, tribalism, sectarian violence, and fundamentalism are found only either in the West proper, or in a few Westernized nations in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

Read the full article here.

The Trump Land Mine

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

After the 2016 election, the so-called deep state was confident that it had the power easily to either stop, remove, or delegitimize the outlier Donald Trump and his presidency.

Give it credit, the Washington apparat quite imaginatively pulled out all the stops: implanting Obama holdover appointees all over the Trump executive branch; filing lawsuits and judge shopping; organizing the Resistance; pursuing impeachment writs; warping the FISA courts; weaponizing the DOJ and FBI; attempting to disrupt the Electoral College; angling for enactment of the 25th Amendment or the emoluments clause; and unleashing Hollywood celebrities, Silicon Valley, and many in Wall Street to suffocate the Trump presidency in its infancy.

Read the full article here.

05-02-18 Angry Reader

From An Angry Reader:



Dear Angry Reader Louise Roam,

I will give you a “9” on the angry reader OUTRAGE scale. You hit almost all the right buttons:

All capital letters? Check.

Obscenity? Check.

Strings of ad hominem slurs instead of an argument? Check.

Misspelled words and incoherent grammar and syntax? Check.

How exactly are the President’s businesses profiting from Louise Roam’s hard-earned but “meager” income? All presidents are egotists and narcissists; do you remember Obama’s various boasts that he would cool the planet and lower the seas, or that he was more adroit in his various fields of political expertise than were each of his various advisors and aides? Do you remember the faux-Greek columns, or the first-person pronoun monotony?

“Muller” (sic) is federal special counsel. If he cannot appoint disinterested attorneys to his team, or follow the mandate for which he was appointed, or stop deliberate leaks from his staff, or control the amorous passions and wild communications of his various subordinates, then he is not deserving of respect due simply to his appointment.

It is hard to calibrate whether Trump’s crudity is unusual for a president or amplified by the biases of the media and our current 24/7 social media culture. Certainly, he has not jailed video makers, surveilled Associated Press reporters, weaponized the IRS to hound his political appointments, or warped the FISA courts to monitor U.S. citizens and unmask their names for the purposes of harming a political opponent. I am waiting for proof of Trump-Putin collusion; but in the meantime, I do not think there is any doubt that the Hillary Clinton campaign hired a foreign national (Christopher Steele) to find dirt on her opponent. Steele in turn likely purchased gossip and dirt from operatives of the Russian government, and then he used contacts in the DOJ, FBI, CIA, and State Department to ensure such unsubstantiated smears were leaked to the media before the November 2016 election, in hopes of either altering it or at least providing “insurance” for the Clinton campaign.

When you write an angry letter, please try to be logical and rational. If any of the above seems unsubstantiated to you, please explain where and how. Meanwhile, ranting with capital letters and foaming about are no substitutes for an argument.

Victor Hanson

If Only Hillary Had Won . . .

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Leakers and lawbreakers rewarded with Clinton-administration jobs — and the American public none the wiser about deep-state corruption

There are lots of possible counterfactuals to think about had Hillary Clinton won the presidency as all the experts had predicted.

The U.S. embassy would have stayed in Tel Aviv. “Strategic patience” would likely still govern the North Korea dilemma. Fracking would be curtailed. The — rather than “our” — miners really would be put out of work. Coal certainly would not have been “beautiful.” The economy probably would be slogging along at below 2 percent GDP growth.

Read the full article here.

The Double Standards of the Mueller Investigation

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

The more Mueller searches for hypothetical lawbreaking, the more he ignores the actual lawbreakers.

The country is about to witness an investigatory train wreck.

In one direction, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation train is looking for any conceivable thing that President Donald Trump’s campaign team might have done wrong in 2016.

Read the full article here.

Strategika Issue 50: Pakistan’s Partnership with the United States

The United States and Pakistan: Frenemies on the Brink

Please read a new essay by my colleague from the Military History Working Group, Peter R. Mansoor in Strategika.

For much of its short seventy-year history, Pakistan has managed to thoroughly mismanage its strategic relationships with great power patrons, regional competitors, and non-state clients. It has waged and lost four wars with a larger and more powerful India, supported terrorist organizations that have destabilized Afghanistan and conducted deadly attacks in neighboring India, and alienated its long-time American ally.

Read the full article here.


Pakistan: Murderous Ally, Patient Enemy

Please read a new essay by my colleague from the Military History Working Group, Ralph Peters in Strategika.

Pakistan’s military and intelligence leadership—the country’s decisive elements—view the United States as a danger to be managed and a resource to be exploited. Its approach to bilateral relations is predicated on three things: The (correct) belief that U.S. interlocutors do not understand the region; the conviction that, eventually, the U.S. will leave Afghanistan; and Pakistan’s need for hegemony over Afghanistan—not only to check India’s strategic moves but, more importantly, to guarantee Pakistan’s internal cohesion.

Read the full article here.


Pakistan: Neither Ally, Nor Enemy

Please read a new essay by my colleague from the Military History Working Group, Bing West in Strategika.

Last April, Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill, a distinguished diplomat, summarized American policy toward Pakistan. “Every time a new administration in Washington comes to office,” he said, “they get worried about Pakistan, which has a stockpile of nuclear weapons. The US Secretary of State then visits Pakistan and meets the top leadership. He is systematically lied to by Pakistan’s leadership, and this goes on for about two years. In the third year, he tells his colleagues at the (US) State Department that Pakistan’s leaders have been lying to him.

Read the full article here.


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