Monday, June 23, 2008

Bashing Victor David Hanson

VDH is a conservative who certainly knows a lot of western history.  He has a syndicated column and a website.

His most recent article is entitled "Obama Promises Change -- But What Kind?"  He highlights the types of changes he expects Obama to make in a number of areas, and then comments on them.
Foreign Policy "[T]he conservative French, German and Italian governments -- unlike the days of rage in 2003 -- now embrace pretty much the same policies that we do. Britain and the European Union just called for imposing tougher sanctions on Iran, while both France and Britain promise to send more troops to Afghanistan." Does VDH really believe support for our failing efforts in Afghanistan (the Taliban have steadily been increasing their areas of control for the last couple years, and when America advances in a military struggle for years, we are "winning") is the same thing as the policies of the Bush administration?  How long did it take Rudd-AU and Brown-UK to withdraw from Iraq?  Those were the biggest two military contributors, now they are basically gone.  The Europeans support some sanctions on Iran, but none of them have come close to singing "Bomb, Bomb Iran" to the tune of Barbara Ann like some Presidential candidates I might name, who has Senators of his party call him a violent-tempered hothead. 
Energy VDH criticizes Obama for his energy program: wind, solar, mass transit and conservation; because "right now it won't fill our tanks."  He says the good plan is "more drilling; more nuclear power plants; or fuel extraction from tar sands, shale or coal." Who does he think he's fooling?  None of his proposals would "fill our tanks" right now, either. 
Taxes VDH says don't "soak" the rich, and don't have more social programs. "Soak the poor?"  The only OECD country with lower tax rates is Mexico.  The rich haven't had as much of a share of total income since the Salad Days right before the Great Depression.  Monkeys have a sense of justice, and Americans have faced stagnant wages for thirty years while the rich have seen repeated doublings of their own fortunes.
Per usual, VDH is under thin ice when he tries to dive into the modern political debate.  He should study Demosthenes some more, who clearly stated in "On Organization" that rich people always want lower taxes and poor people always want more dole.  If it has been this way for over 2300 years, it will probably be this way tomorrow, and instead of pleasingly massaging the egos of the power elite, maybe one should step back and compare taxes, dole and debt and see which one is out of whack.  If your view is that the problem is taxes on the rich, you have absolutely no perspective on the richest people who ever walked the Earth.

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