VDH and Bul****

 

I have a great deal of respect for Victor Davis Hanson. I’ve read and listened to him extensively, and he has always impressed me with his thoughtfulness, decency, humility, breadth of knowledge, and quiet sanity.

The Bulwark, this new anti-Trump publication staffed by Charlie Sykes, Bill Kristol, and other people whose narrow-minded smug superiority I find impossible to stomach, has placed Hanson on its list of sell-outs, dupes, and traitors to the conservative cause, and set its sights on discrediting him and others who hold his, to me, quite sensible views.

It has long been true that I would like Trump a lot less if I liked his enemies more. Folks like those at the Bulwark are much of the reason I refrain from criticizing the President more than I do. I’m not much of a joiner, but I’d rather have Hanson on my team than any number of these others.


[Update: I wrote this post not knowing that Victor Davis Hanson has a new book coming out. The Case for Trump will be released this week.]

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  1. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Can you please provide me with a burrito?

    • #1
  2. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Moderator Note:

    Let's try to keeps the insults from wandering into Louis Farrakhan territory.

    [redacted] I wonder whether any of these squishy bath toys have ever worked, for their living so it matters, at any vocation that requires objectively measurable (vs. subjectively measured “I like his writing” feelings) results. I bet it’s “no” in all cases.

    I’d check on this myself, but I’m not yet to the point where I can look at the Bullwhat site. Maybe this evening after I switch from covfefe to beer.

    • #2
  3. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Spin (View Comment):

    Can you please provide me with a burrito?

    Yes, here’s a burrito.

    (I’m guessing this is a variant of the old “give me a cookie” hack.)

    • #3
  4. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Spin (View Comment):

    Can you please provide me with a burrito?

    Racist.

    • #4
  5. DonG Coolidge
    DonG
    @DonG

    I think I’ve figured it out.  The Bulwark and Weekly Standard and Neocon crowd really want to defend Bushism.  They don’t like that Trump speaks badly of their Bush policies:

    • war in Iraq
    • Chinese mercantilism
    • funding Planned Parenthood
    • boosting illegal immigration

    Rather than directly defending those policies, they attack Trump as Redneck and attack anyone, like VDH, that supports Trump over their policies.

    • #5
  6. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    I have a great deal of respect for Victor Davis Hanson. I’ve read and listened to him extensively, and he has always impressed me with his thoughtfulness, decency, humility, breadth of knowledge, and quiet sanity.

    I agree 100%. No one who has  boarded the Trump train has troubled me more than VDH. But what term would you use other than selling out. I think VDH’s commitment to Trump parallels the Democrat commitment to abortion. Where it used to be something you were troubled by and looked at your shoes while defending [safe, legal and rare] now its being celebrated as a positive good.  Mr. Hanson used to say he backed into supporting Trump as a 51/49 percent proposition, he held his nose and made a binary choice as the lesser of two evils compared to Hillary. Now he celebrates Trump as the new Shane, the reformed outlaw come to town to do what the commonfolk can’t.

    Trump is a demagogue, a crook and a pathological liar that has so corroded our ability to see how he’s coarsened our perception,. The news today is that all Trump’s former  statements of not intervening in Jared’s security clearance are inoperative – nothing to see here, move along now. If Hanson wants to compare Trump to a 1950’s film icon, he should compare him to Dathan from The 10 Commandments, a man who’s life ambition is to lead us to a bad place where he can be in charge.

    https://theiapolis.com/movie-20AU/the-ten-commandments/gallery/edward-g-robinson-as-dathan-in-the-ten-commandments-1082008.html

    • #6
  7. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    It has long been true that I would like Trump a lot less if I liked his enemies more.

    That’s what I’ve been trying to say.  

    • #7
  8. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):

    I have a great deal of respect for Victor Davis Hanson. I’ve read and listened to him extensively, and he has always impressed me with his thoughtfulness, decency, humility, breadth of knowledge, and quiet sanity.

    I agree 100%. No one who has boarded the Trump train has troubled me more than VDH. But what term would you use other than selling out. I think VDH’s commitment to Trump parallels the Democrat commitment to abortion. Where it used to be something you were troubled by and looked at your shoes while defending [safe, legal and rare] now its being celebrated as a positive good. Mr. Hanson used to say he backed into supporting Trump as a 51/49 percent proposition, he held his nose and made a binary choice as the lesser of two evils compared to Hillary. Now he celebrates Trump as the new Shane, the reformed outlaw come to town to do what the commonfolk can’t.

    Trump is a demagogue, a crook and a pathological liar that has so corroded our ability to see how he’s coarsened our perception,. The news today is that all Trump’s former statements of not intervening in Jared’s security clearance are inoperative – nothing to see here, move along now. If Hanson wants to compare Trump to a 1950’s film icon, he should compare him to Dathan from The 10 Commandments, a man who’s life ambition is to lead us to a bad place where he can be in charge.

    https://theiapolis.com/movie-20AU/the-ten-commandments/gallery/edward-g-robinson-as-dathan-in-the-ten-commandments-1082008.html

    Nah. VDH’s ‘commitment’ is to truth and objective reality, as he sees it. It is not about Trump. He, unlike his “think” (sic) tank peers, can analyze beyond the man and focus on policies, results and vision. It is the rest of the political consultants who have lost touch with reality because of their hate for a man.

    • #8
  9. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    Columbo (View Comment):
    Nah. VDH’s ‘commitment’ is to truth and objective reality, as he sees it. It is not about Trump. He, unlike his “think” (sic) tank peers, can analyze beyond the man and focus on policies, results and vision. It is the rest of the political consultants who have lost touch with reality because of their hate for a man.

    The man is our President, not the policy or vision. We have a great bench that could pursue the policies and vision without the corruption of our values.

    • #9
  10. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    @henryracette, I agree with your post completely. As a long-time follower of VDH’s writings, I have not seen him deviate from his principals. He endorses policy, not the man.

    • #10
  11. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):
    Nah. VDH’s ‘commitment’ is to truth and objective reality, as he sees it. It is not about Trump. He, unlike his “think” (sic) tank peers, can analyze beyond the man and focus on policies, results and vision. It is the rest of the political consultants who have lost touch with reality because of their hate for a man.

    The man is our President, not the policy or vision. We have a great bench that could pursue the policies and vision without the corruption of our values.

    My values haven’t been corrupted. I try to recognize the President for who he is and accept what he provides to “the cause” without being blinded by irrational hatred.  Who is the “our”?

    It’s rather telling that, in the era of today’s Democratic Party, you worry about Trump exacting a corruption of values.

    • #11
  12. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):

    I have a great deal of respect for Victor Davis Hanson. I’ve read and listened to him extensively, and he has always impressed me with his thoughtfulness, decency, humility, breadth of knowledge, and quiet sanity.

    I agree 100%. No one who has boarded the Trump train has troubled me more than VDH. But what term would you use other than selling out. I think VDH’s commitment to Trump parallels the Democrat commitment to abortion. Where it used to be something you were troubled by and looked at your shoes while defending [safe, legal and rare] now its being celebrated as a positive good. Mr. Hanson used to say he backed into supporting Trump as a 51/49 percent proposition, he held his nose and made a binary choice as the lesser of two evils compared to Hillary. Now he celebrates Trump as the new Shane, the reformed outlaw come to town to do what the commonfolk can’t.

    Trump is a demagogue, a crook and a pathological liar that has so corroded our ability to see how he’s coarsened our perception,. The news today is that all Trump’s former statements of not intervening in Jared’s security clearance are inoperative – nothing to see here, move along now. If Hanson wants to compare Trump to a 1950’s film icon, he should compare him to Dathan from The 10 Commandments, a man who’s life ambition is to lead us to a bad place where he can be in charge.

    https://theiapolis.com/movie-20AU/the-ten-commandments/gallery/edward-g-robinson-as-dathan-in-the-ten-commandments-1082008.html

    Nah. VDH’s ‘commitment’ is to truth and objective reality, as he sees it. It is not about Trump. He, unlike his “think” (sic) tank peers, can analyze beyond the man and focus on policies, results and vision. It is the rest of the political consultants who have lost touch with reality because of their hate for a man.

    Victor Davis Hanson … Take A Bow

    All Sense Of Balance And Perspective Have Vanished

    VDH … Joins The Rabble Alliance

    This was no Trump sycophant. This was a rational, thoughtful historian who read the tea leaves accurately and advocated for an unconventional solution to an unconventional problem and made the case for Trump, which did usher in the most conservative Presidential administration (edit: Congress and Supreme Court) in our lifetime.

    • #12
  13. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Some people can be blessed by their friends (think Roosevelt and Churchill) and others can be blessed by their enemies (think Joseph Stalin) as common enemies can be create unlikely coalitions.

    Trump is polarizing. He has a coalition of voters that he did not consciously seek to create. Instead he is a thresher that has had the remnants of post-Cold War America poured into him and he has spun and scattered the seeds to the wind. And in this manner he has created all manners of unusual alliances and destroyed other long standing ones. The question is: Which ones will hold and which will crumble?

    What will probably not happen is a re-emergence of the pre-Trump GOP. That, I am afraid, has been consigned to the ash heap. The GOP has experienced a bitter, bitter divorce and those hard feelings are going to be hard to overcome.

    • #13
  14. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):
    Nah. VDH’s ‘commitment’ is to truth and objective reality, as he sees it. It is not about Trump. He, unlike his “think” (sic) tank peers, can analyze beyond the man and focus on policies, results and vision. It is the rest of the political consultants who have lost touch with reality because of their hate for a man.

    The man is our President, not the policy or vision. We have a great bench that could pursue the policies and vision without the corruption of our values.

    You’re right that the man is our President. However, the impact he has as our President is based on two things: his character, and his actions.

    His character is unfortunate in several respects. Most of us know that — Victor Davis Hanson certainly does, and has acknowledged it as well.

    His actions have been better than many of us expected. I am broadly pleased with what he has accomplished as President, and would much rather another term of that than of anything the Democrats will offer.

    People who can not see beyond his character and acknowledge some simple truths — that he has governed as a conservative, and that he is providing a voice for a frustrated subset of America (a point VDH makes often and well) — strike me as shallow and usually self-righteous in an unproductive way. That goes for most of the elite never-Trump right, who either fail to acknowledge the positives of the Trump presidency, or who do so but can’t seem to grasp that, for people with a slightly different perspective from their own, those positives are sufficient to offset the manifest negatives about which the elite obsess.

    People who ignore Trump’s character problems also disappoint me: the problems are real, and we should be careful to express our disapproval and our desire not to see them become common and acceptable.

    But it isn’t selling out to acknowledge those defects but to argue that they are a price worth paying in order to achieve the positives that are being achieved.

    In my opinion, the only sensible people in this whole debate are those who acknowledge that Trump is a very imperfect man doing a pretty good job of governing; that both aspects have to be considered when evaluating this President; and that reasonable people may choose to weigh the relative pros and cons and reach different conclusions about the net value of this President.

    Finally, that “bench” you mention is only useful if it can be brought into the game. If, as I believe, there is no plausible way that Republicans can win in 2020 if Trump is pushed out of office, then Trump is who we have, the Democratic challenger will be the alternative, and we should all think carefully about undermining the Republican chances next year.

    • #14
  15. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Some people can be blessed by their friends (think Roosevelt and Churchill) and others can be blessed by their enemies (think Joseph Stalin) as common enemies can be create unlikely coalitions.

    Trump is polarizing. He has a coalition of voters that he did not consciously seek to create. Instead he is a thresher that has had the remnants of post-Cold War America poured into him and he has spun and scattered the seeds to the wind. And in this manner he has created all manners of unusual alliances and destroyed other long standing ones. The question is: Which ones will hold and which will crumble?

    What will probably not happen is a re-emergence of the pre-Trump GOP. That, I am afraid, has been consigned to the ash heap. The GOP has experienced a bitter, bitter divorce and those hard feelings are going to hard to overcome.

     

    I agree with this statement. A Tom Cotton administration would not be another Bush term. Trump was a receptacle, not the creator of the forces unleashed in 2016. If Chris Christie had not imploded, even if Rubio could have grown in office, these changes would have made themselves felt without the unbalanced rants and lying and the dictator worship. It’s a tragedy that this cult of personality has distorted our movement for the next 40 years.  

    • #15
  16. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    I’m counting the asterisks in the title. What I first thought it meant, doesn’t have enough asterisks, right?

    So it must mean Bulwark then? Same meaning. All is good.

    • #16
  17. Jdetente Member
    Jdetente
    @

    Hear, hear. When I listen to VDH, I usually end up nodding along in agreement. He is not a sycophant and he criticizes when required. He also shows restraint when necessary because sometimes piling on ends up giving comfort and aid to those who are looking to take the country in the wrong direction. That’s prudent and doesn’t make one a sellout. There are a thousand things that Trump has done that I personally don’t like but many of those things either don’t matter or shouldn’t be the focus. The Bulwark and their ilk bring nothing of value to the table. I wish nothing but failure to their efforts. I also hope and pray that I am wrong and that the new venture from Hayes/Goldberg doesn’t become Bulwark Lite. Time will tell.

    • #17
  18. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Some people can be blessed by their friends (think Roosevelt and Churchill) and others can be blessed by their enemies (think Joseph Stalin) as common enemies can be create unlikely coalitions.

    Trump is polarizing. He has a coalition of voters that he did not consciously seek to create. Instead he is a thresher that has had the remnants of post-Cold War America poured into him and he has spun and scattered the seeds to the wind. And in this manner he has created all manners of unusual alliances and destroyed other long standing ones. The question is: Which ones will hold and which will crumble?

    What will probably not happen is a re-emergence of the pre-Trump GOP. That, I am afraid, has been consigned to the ash heap. The GOP has experienced a bitter, bitter divorce and those hard feelings are going to hard to overcome.

     

    I agree with this statement. A Tom Cotton administration would not be another Bush term. Trump was a receptacle, not the creator of the forces unleashed in 2016. If Chris Christie had not imploded, even if Rubio could have grown in office, these changes would have made themselves felt without the unbalanced rants and lying and the dictator worship. It’s a tragedy that this cult of personality has distorted our movement for the next 40 years.

    Oh, please. The movement, if it is worth anything, is greater than one man. But, whoever that man is, they have to win. Hillary would have beaten little Marco or BIG Christie if they had ever gotten a coalition to win the primary. No matter how much the Trump haters want to believe that anyone would have beaten Hillary, it just isn’t true.

    • #18
  19. rgbact Inactive
    rgbact
    @romanblichar

    I’ll agree. To this date, VDH is probably the only Trumper I’ve ever listened to that I thought had an intelligent argument to make 

    I do like Bulwark setting their sights on all the Trump grifters in the GOP looking to cash in. Should be fun reading. Scott Adams would be a good target for them. FOX and CPAC are full of these profiteers.

    • #19
  20. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    rgbact (View Comment):

    I’ll agree. To this date, VDH is probably the only Trumper I’ve ever listened to that I thought had an intelligent argument to make

    I do like Bulwark setting their sights on all the Trump grifters in the GOP looking to cash in. Should be fun reading. Scott Adams would be a good target for them. FOX and CPAC are full of these profiteers.

    I understand. But I have no use for yet another group that can see only one side — either side. I don’t think they add anything at all.

    • #20
  21. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    People who ignore Trump’s character problems also disappoint me: the problems are real, and we should be careful to express our disapproval and our desire not to see them become common and acceptable.

    A perfect example is the recent negotiations with the North Korean dictator. I fully agree with the attempt, and with cutting off the attempt when it wasn’t working. But then his comments about Otto Warmbier were just incomprehensible.

    • #21
  22. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    The fact is, the Republican Party hasn’t been very conservative for at least the last 30 years. We can’t finish a war. Trump does some things pretty well. I am very skeptical of Bulwark guy’s view of how to fix things or how things are supposed to work.

    • #22
  23. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    rgbact (View Comment):
    I do like Bulwark setting their sights on all the Trump grifters in the GOP looking to cash in.

    Who are your favorite targets?

    • #23
  24. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Some people can be blessed by their friends (think Roosevelt and Churchill) and others can be blessed by their enemies (think Joseph Stalin) as common enemies can be create unlikely coalitions.

    Trump is polarizing. He has a coalition of voters that he did not consciously seek to create. Instead he is a thresher that has had the remnants of post-Cold War America poured into him and he has spun and scattered the seeds to the wind. And in this manner he has created all manners of unusual alliances and destroyed other long standing ones. The question is: Which ones will hold and which will crumble?

    What will probably not happen is a re-emergence of the pre-Trump GOP. That, I am afraid, has been consigned to the ash heap. The GOP has experienced a bitter, bitter divorce and those hard feelings are going to hard to overcome.

     

    I agree with this statement. A Tom Cotton administration would not be another Bush term. Trump was a receptacle, not the creator of the forces unleashed in 2016. If Chris Christie had not imploded, even if Rubio could have grown in office, these changes would have made themselves felt without the unbalanced rants and lying and the dictator worship. It’s a tragedy that this cult of personality has distorted our movement for the next 40 years.

    Oh, please. The movement, if it is worth anything, is greater than one man. But, whoever that man is, they have to win. Hillary would have beaten little Marco or BIG Christie if they had ever gotten a coalition to win the primary. No matter how much the Trump haters want to believe that anyone would have beaten Hillary, it just isn’t true.

    No one did more damage to Mitt Romney (except Milt himself) in 2012 than this phony blowhard …

    • #24
  25. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    In my opinion, the only sensible people in this whole debate are those who acknowledge that Trump is a very imperfect man doing a pretty good job of governing; that both aspects have to be considered when evaluating this President; and that reasonable people may choose to weigh the relative pros and cons and reach different conclusions about the net value of this President.

    Finally, that “bench” you mention is only useful if it can be brought into the game. If, as I believe, there is no plausible way that Republicans can win in 2020 if Trump is pushed out of office, then Trump is who we have, the Democratic challenger will be the alternative, and we should all think carefully about undermining the Republican chances next year.

    I wish this hadn’t posted while I was typing the response to the prior one, a  consolidated answer would have been better, but here goes.

    I would dispute that he’s doing a good job of governing. He is presiding over a solid Republican team that is benefiting from recovery after eight years of regulatory asphyxiation under Obama. If the economy turns south, if he gets petulant and fires/drives off the adults in the room, we will see what kind of a governing job he can do. That is what will happen if we give him a second term anyway, when he can let his freak flag fly without his usual studious deliberation.

    I understand the argument that the Trumpkins will be so petulant that they would rather let Bernie or Kamala or another nut take over, but I just don’t agree with it, If we stood up for what we believe in we might lose, but I think a lot can change, we might win. Even a loss at this point would not be as catastrophic as a loss last time [we have 5 votes on the Court] and I think another win with Trump would hurt us more in the long term. 

     

    • #25
  26. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):
    he can let his freak flag fly without his usual studious deliberation.

    Now there’s the line of the day.

    • #26
  27. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    It never ceases to mystify me how vociferous both Trump’s detractors and his supporters are. Ironically, the cult of personality surrounding him seems fueled by the obstinant refusal of his opponents to acknowledge any upside. 

    At this point, I would not be surprised if a similar scenario plays out with all future presidents. The king is dead. Long live the king.

    • #27
  28. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):
    He is presiding over a solid Republican team that is benefiting from recovery after eight years of regulatory asphyxiation under Obama.

    Uh…

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):
    . If the economy turns south, if he gets petulant and fires/drives off the adults in the room, we will see what kind of a governing job he can do.

    This is why Valerie Jarrett wouldn’t let Yellen raise rates. Trump is doing the same thing with Powell. Be sure to vote. You’re vote matters.

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):
    we will see what kind of a governing job he can do.

    So far, so good. 

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):
    If we stood up for what we believe in

    Everything moves left all of the time. No one is conservative. No one with any power, anyway.

    You are just like Gary. Very assured about your political analysis going forward. Not that much criticism of Trump policy.

    • #28
  29. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):
    he can let his freak flag fly without his usual studious deliberation.

    Now there’s the line of the day.

    That is my view.

    • #29
  30. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    In my opinion, the only sensible people in this whole debate are those who acknowledge that Trump is a very imperfect man doing a pretty good job of governing; that both aspects have to be considered when evaluating this President; and that reasonable people may choose to weigh the relative pros and cons and reach different conclusions about the net value of this President.

    Finally, that “bench” you mention is only useful if it can be brought into the game. If, as I believe, there is no plausible way that Republicans can win in 2020 if Trump is pushed out of office, then Trump is who we have, the Democratic challenger will be the alternative, and we should all think carefully about undermining the Republican chances next year.

    I wish this hadn’t posted while I was typing the response to the prior one, a consolidated answer would have been better, but here goes.

    I would dispute that he’s doing a good job of governing. He is presiding over a solid Republican team that is benefiting from recovery after eight years of regulatory asphyxiation under Obama. If the economy turns south, if he gets petulant and fires/drives off the adults in the room, we will see what kind of a governing job he can do. That is what will happen if we give him a second term anyway, when he can let his freak flag fly without his usual studious deliberation.

    I understand the argument that the Trumpkins will be so petulant that they would rather let Bernie or Kamala or another nut take over, but I just don’t agree with it, If we stood up for what we believe in we might lose, but I think a lot can change, we might win. Even a loss at this point would not be as catastrophic as a loss last time [we have 5 votes on the Court] and I think another win with Trump would hurt us more in the long term.

     

    Let’s dispense with “Trumpkins” and such.

    There are a lot, probably tens of millions,  of staunch Trump supporters who will feel betrayed — and rightly so — if the man they supported and elected is turned out by other Republicans. While I would rather Cruz or another more traditional conservative in the Oval Office, I would understand and sympathize with those betrayed Trump supporters. And no, I don’t think “petulant” is the right word for their refusal to vote for another Republican, any more than “petulant” is the right word for someone who say he simply can’t bring himself to vote for Trump.

    I agree that a loss in 2020 would not be as catastrophic as a lost in 2016. But I think it would still be very bad. And I have no reason to believe that a second Trump term will be substantially less good than the first, particularly given how much better that first was than I expected.

    I have more confidence in first-order predictions than second-order predictions. A Republican win would likely be better than a Democratic win, and I think that means trying to re-elect Trump.

    • #30

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