Phaethon with the Reins?

by Victor Davis Hanson

It is hard to appreciate the craziness of the last two weeks. Almost every element of our national security has been affected by publication of our most intimate secrets — the cyber war against Iran, the drone war against Islamic terrorists, the counter-terrorism efforts against suicide bombers, the efforts against Pakistani-based terrorists, and the nature of our special-operation missions — and not from a Bradley Manning or WikiLeaks adversaries of U.S. policy, but from sympathetic “exclusive” accounts of New York Times and Washington Post reporters, relying on administration sources seeking to let us know of the “surprising” efforts of the president at war. The attorney general and Congress are heading toward a constitutional show-down. And if David Maraniss, a supposedly sympathetic biographer, is to be believed, four years after the campaign of 2008 we suddenly discover that almost everything Barack Obama has written or circulated about his past was fabricated in part, or simply made up entirely — the nature of his racial experiences, his circle of friends, his girlfriends, his parents, his grandfather, even his sports career. The common theme of such deception, according to his biographer, was Obama’s effort “to see everything from a racial lens.”

Events bring no relief: We are now a big version of Greece, lecturing Europe in vain to borrow more money, as Mr. Putin decides to cash in his reset chips and publicly humiliate a U.S. president. All while we enter the 41st month of over 8 percent unemployment while borrowing $3 billion a day. This president, who once declared the surge was failing at a critical time when thousands of U.S. lives were at stake even as it was succeeding, warned his Republican rival not to let his domestic advisers comment on U.S. economic policy abroad: “I think traditionally the notion has been that America’s political differences end at the water’s edge.” We are to assume that President Obama most certainly does not wish opponents to adopt the tenor and methods of a once-senator Obama.

The answer we get to these maladies is either “Bush did it” or “Romney would be worse,” which won’t put people back to work, restore our fiscal health, or reassure the public that what the president says is factually accurate.

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