Hanson’s Hubris

Hanson’s Hubris by • February 5, 2009 • Printer-friendly

Over at NRO, Victor Davis Hanson is denouncing “messianic delusions of grandeur, hubris, and a strange naivete.” NRO was so pleased with Hanson’s denunciation that it prominently displayed it on the cover page of the website. You might think that Hanson finally got around to reading Bush’s Second Inaugural, in which the Decider declared that the United States would eliminate “tyranny” from the face of the earth, or the neocon propaganda that preceded the invasion of Iraq, in which we were assured that the invasion of Iraq would be a “cakewalk,” that our soldiers would be welcomed as “liberators,” and that the invasion of Iraq would cause the Mideast to be transformed from a snakepit of conflict to a garden of democracy.

But you would be wrong.  Hanson never saw anything wrong with Bush, and Bush in turn looked to Hanson for intellectual guidance, inviting him to the White House and praising Hanson’s work.  Hanson’s target is Barack Obama, who was able to turn the many blunders, missteps, and follies of Bush into a decisive Democratic victory. According to Hanson, “We are quite literally after two weeks teetering on an Obama implosion.”  What’s more, “Obama is becoming laughable and laying the groundwork for the greatest conservative populist reaction since the Reagan Revolution.”

Obama may well fail politically, but the evidence that we are “teetering on an Obama implosion” and that Obama “is becoming laughable” is quite thin.  Before confidently predicting that the electorate will return to the GOP, Hanson might want to consider why the Republicans were so decisively rejected at the polls in 2006 and 2008.  And before predicting another Reagan Revolution, Hanson might want to ponder more deeply the demographic changes that have put Reagan’s California out of reach for Republicans since the elder Bush carried the state in 1988, and that are putting more and more parts of the country safely in the Democratic column.  Underestimating your opponents and assuming that victory will be yours is the very definition of hubris, as Hanson and the other Bush apologists should have learned by now.

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