The Corner

What Is It about Hubris Politicians Don’t Get?

Have any of them taken two hours to read one Sophoclean play?

A reelected and proudly iconoclastic Christie in recent months relished in his swagger, braggadocio, media celebrity, and often picked fights, apparently assuming that his first-persona laced speeches and gestures were immune from the sort of nemesis that now has finally caught up with Barack Obama. His only out is the “Obama defense,” which so far has been used so successfully with the IRS and AP scandals: Outrage is voiced; promises to get to the bottom of the mess are made; aides are sent before congressional committees and occasionally sacrificed; shock is expressed at any who would dare to suggest a culture and example were set by the man at the top. And the supposedly clueless chief executive rides out the storm — until, if he continues down the path of hubris, the next attack of the goddess Nemesis strikes him. The only difference from the Obama know-nothing methodology is that the latter had access to far more government power to exempt him from scrutiny, and a far more toadish media that were invested in his mea culpas.

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.

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