The Corner

Not So Good News . . .

I’ve read all the arguments, some ingenious, for why the Roberts majority opinion is actually “good” in the long run. I don’t buy that at all, and worry that rationalizing defeats is no way to learn from them. From now on, the precedent has been established that U.S. citizens can be forced to buy a product that government deems necessary — period. Who cares what a particular president on occasion deems to call it — tax, mandate, whatever — at any given expedient time, or what a justice does to finesse that definition to protect implementation of the law?

The same is true with the Arizona decision. I don’t see how that decision is such great news either: We now live in a country where a state that tries to follow and enforce federal law is seen as a usurping power, while those government entities, such as the sanctuary cities, which deliberately seek to undermine federal immigration law are, for all practical purposes, exempt. Add that Arizona is now supposedly acting unconstitutionally in trying to close its borders, and the president is apparently acting constitutionally as he sidesteps Congress and implements de facto amnesty by fiat, doing far more damage to the notion of federal law than any conceivable action by Arizona. That is surreal.

As for the culture of the Court, we must accept that when four liberal judges vote in typically liberal fashion they are open-minded, and when conservative judges do the same they are partisan and small-minded, putting enormous pressure, apparently, on the latter to now and then vote in liberal fashion, and none at all on the former to do anything but remain orthodox. There is no conservative majority, but rather a 4/3/2 court, with absolutely predictably liberal justices and those inclined often to join them becoming a reliable majority.

As for the Holder contempt charge, nothing much will come of it. Holder will not release the required documents any time soon; the matter will be manufactured into an illiberal assault on an African-American attorney general who has already shamelessly used the race card in his defense; and there will be, as planned, stalling and stasis until after the election and little knowledge about or justice given to a slain American officer.

Meanwhile, after a “disastrous” May and June, Obama is edging up again in the polls. For all the reports of his fundraising problems or his existential election crises, he seems to have many millions in key swing states to run class-warfare hits against Romney. The serial “Swiss bank accounts” and “shipping jobs overseas” don’t seem to be countered, and so are having some effect. If Obama is where he is after a disastrous 60 days, where will he be after a so-so next two months? Conservatives should not listen to themselves and their ingenious rationalization about how things are “really” swinging their way, and instead accept that the presidency, the courts, and much of Congress are doing all they can, as quickly as they can, with enormous powers at their disposal, to change the fundamental nature of the United States — and so far are mostly winning. All of the above should mobilize conservatives in 2012 as never before and open their eyes to the resources and zealotry pledged against them: November is really a sort of last-ditch effort in a way prior elections were not.

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More