Republican Propagandist: Is Victor Davis Hanson a Hack or Merely an Incompetent Pundit

The National Review continues its attempt to qualify for some kind of world record in mindless pabulum. Victor Davis Hanson is billed as an “intellectual” and “historian” by the Right. He writes in a post titled A Curious Insularity

In the world of Barack Obama, inflating tires and “tuning up” modern car engines precludes off-shore drilling. Four-dollar-a-gallon gas prices can be ameliorated by having the average consumer trade in his 8-mpg clunker.

While punditry sometimes involves painting in broad strokes those two sentences are the kind of Stalinist propaganda that has comes to dominate right-wing punditry. Whether it is good policy or not may be debatable, but President Obama has called for more offshore drilling and increasing the number of nuclear power plants. Studies have shown that increasing oil drilling will not decrese gas prices more than a cuople pennies and that would be a few years down the road. That may seem couner intuitive, but such is the nature of the world petroleum market. Hanson could not be bothered with the facts. It would ruin his hack job. As for indivuals and their car buying decisions let’s try a counter factual. Those in the market for a car will save more money by buying a car that gets poor mpg ( 8mpg) than a car that avergares 30mpg? maybe that one is just too simple for an intellectual to handle.

Nine percent unemployment is due in part to automation like ATMs, which apparently first came on the scene during the Obama administration to eliminate jobs.

Congradulations on the cheap shot that takes a simple statement out of context. President Obama said,

“The other thing that happened though, this goes to the point you were just making, is there are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers,” President Obama said about unemployment in an interview with NBC’s Ann Curry.

Obama claims ATMs and kiosks at airports have eliminated some jobs.

“If you see it when you go to a bank you use the ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller. Or you go to the airport and you use a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate,” he said.

His point was obvious to non-historians who do not have a job at the Hoover Institute, a wing-nut welfare program masquerading as a “think tank”. Corporations are indeed making record profits with fewer workers and he was using an example of automation that the average person can relate to. I have not dealt with a teller more than a couple of times in the last three years. Expert economists, who one assumes are not as knowledgeable as right-wing intellectuals with a tendency to blow things directly from their ass to their keyboards, agree with President Obama- But Economists Agree With Obama’s Suggestion That Technology Advancements Have Displaced Workers

Is everyone impressed if not overwhelmed by the astute observations of the wing-nut intellectual class. There is more,

Two themes predominate: a cluelessness about how things work outside the Ivy League–Chicago–D.C. political nexus, and a sense that nothing is ever Barack Obama’s fault. In that regard, he has two legitimate mea culpas: One, Obama has never run a business, spent any considerable time off the public payroll or outside of politics, or spent any time with those who were once characterized as “clingers,” and thus cannot be expected to know much about how cars work, doctors are paid, illegal immigrants cross the border, or the basics of economics.

President Obama has made some mistakes. Most of which are a result of trying to reach bipartisan agreement and compromise with conservatives who are more interested in destroying his presidency than doing what is best for the average American. Clueless? So our clueless president has a more successful legislative record than Bill Clinton and Bush 43 combined, Obama’s Unbelievable Winning Streak – Truth is, Obama has exceeded in 18 months what Clinton and Carter achieved in a combined 12 years. I’ll take Obama’s ‘cluelessness’ over Bush’s destruction of the economy any day. Obama has never run a business? Neither has Hanson. Hanson voted for Bush, who has an MBA, twice. Not exactly a stellar record of judgement by either of these smart guys. Bush set a remarkable record – a millionaire kid who started two oil companies in Texas and went broke twice. Hanson is a poster child for cognitive dissonance. He sees no faults with those he likes and sees faults, even if he has to make them up or exaggerate them in those he hates. “spent any time off the  public payroll”? Maybe Hanson’s problem is the lack of oxygen getting into the bubble. How many Republicans have been in politics the vast majority of their adult lives: Orrin Hatch, Newt Gingrich, George H. W. Bush, Mitch McConnell. What a childish argument. Hanson has extolled the virtues of Sarah Palin’s very limited resume. Some how the always virtuous Palin worked her way up from oblivion, but a biracial guy born to a working class mother, than made his way through college and law school ( graduating magna cum laude) and becoming a community organizer, achieved election to the Illinois state senate, than elected to the U.S. Senate and president are not a series of achievements, not a series of successes that deserve recognition. Hanson practices his own strange brew of identity politics. The sick twists and turns of what passes for logic and fair judgment have become the signature of the self justifying rabid Right.

Second, at no point in his past soaring cursus honorum (Occidental, Columbia, Harvard Law Review, Chicago Law School, Chicago politics and organizing, the U.S. Senate) did anyone hold him to account, as in saying, “First, let us see exactly what you achieved that might justify yet another honor or promotion” — as in a stellar GPA, high LSAT score, brilliant law-review essay, a seminal tenure-winning book on the law, an award-winning law course, a landmark new community-organizing program, or a hallmark piece of senatorial legislation.

Hanson says all these academic and political achievements mean nothing and, but has said that Palin is just a damn better human being than Obama precisely because she has none of these high brow credentials. Yet if Obama had achieved none of these things that would logically, by Hansons’ standards’ make Obama more qualified. Hanson sets the rules of the game where all of a Democrat’s achievements are of the elite, meaningless or wink-wink unearned variety. Yet if they did not have those achievements in their history that would also make them unqualified to do anything. We’re talking about politics here with an allowance of partisan bias , but Hanson and similar wing-nut writers possess a mental pathology in which no Democrat can win. Palin went to six schools to get one undergard degree. She ‘achieved’ mayor of a small town that she left with the bill for an unpaid for sports arena( the arena was not a bad idea, but as is typically modern conservatism, she did not pay for it during her tenure). On that thin gruel she became Governor of Alaska ( whose population is less than the district Obama represented when he was a state senator). Hanson mentions Obama and Jeremiah Wright in several columns – ah ha proof that Obama associates with the haters of identity politics. He never mentions McCain and his association with racist and anti-Catholic Pastor John Hagee. Or Palins association with a church and pastor who said he  you vote Democrat he worries for your salvation.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Obama (a) continues to say some rather strange things that seem naive and out of touch with the lives of average Americans to the point of absurdity,

The military should contact Hanson and ask him what brand of tin-foil he wears:

“I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.” —Greater Nashua, N.H., Jan. 27, 2000. G.W. Bush

“You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that.” —to a divorced mother of three, Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005. G.W. Bush

“We’re in the midst of a serious financial crisis, and the federal government is responding with decisive action.” September 24, 2008 G.W. Bush

“But obviously, we’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies.” –Sarah Palin, after being asked how she would handle the current hostilities between the two Koreas, interview on Glenn Beck’s radio show, Nov. 24, 2010

“We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada. And I think now, isn’t that ironic?” –Sarah Palin, admitting that her family used to get treatment in Canada’s single-payer health care system, despite having demonized such government-run programs as socialized medicine that will lead to death-panel-like rationing, March 6, 2010

On Feb. 20, 2003, a month before the invasion, Jim Lehrer asked Rumsfeld on PBS’ “NewsHour” program whether he thought the invasion would “be welcomed by the majority of the civilian population of Iraq.”

“There is no question but that they would be welcomed,” Rumsfeld said, referring to American forces in Iraq.

The President’s tax policy [has] put money back into the pockets of the people who earn it. We think that’s been vital to avoiding an even deeper recession. We think it’s been crucial, as well, to getting the recovery underway. We’ve been able to cut rates. We’ve been able to reform the double-taxation of dividends and improve the treatment of capital gains, significant expensing for small businesses. That’s where all the jobs get created. Those reforms are key to long-term economic growth. – Dick Cheney. Malvern PA Oct 3, 2003. The Bush tax cuts have been the single largest contributor to the deficit. The Bush administration had the worse job creation record since Hoover. Most of the tax cuts went to the richest 10% of the population, not to the people who earn their money via actual work.

The Republican Economic Plan

One day of Bush tax cuts to millionaires would pay for food assistance GOP is slashing

There’s even more to be infuriated over regarding the House Republicans’ efforts to decimate food aid in order to give defense contractors even more money. As Think Progress’s Pat Garofalo writes, the cuts to food aid for hundreds of thousands of amount to one day of Bush tax cuts for millionaires.

The CSFP provides food assistance to 600,000 low-income families every month, 96 percent of whom are seniors, while the TEFAP [Emergency Food Assistance Program] “provides our nation’s emergency food bank network with food commodities and storage and distribution support.” We previously noted that the cuts to WIC [Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children] are roughly equivalent to the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires alone for just one week.

    As it turns out, the cuts to CSIP and TEFAB, according to Half in Ten’s Melissa Boteach, are equivalent to the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires alone for just one day.

These aren’t the “hard choices” of “shared sacrifice” the deficit peacocks love to harp on about. It’s about people, maybe as many as 1.1 million people, going hungry so the millionaires can keep their tax breaks.

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