The Corner

All Fall Down

Consider our dog days of August: An American journalist savagely beheaded on tape, with more promised to come. The Islamic State rampage. The Gaza war and Hamas’s serial truce violations — and the new neutral U.S. stance with implied disruptions in military support for Israel. The implosion of Iraq, the bloodletting in Syria. Iran full speed ahead on enrichment as the world’s attention turns elsewhere. Putin and Ukraine on the edge of war. Libya bombed again. Egypt in turmoil. Christians being wiped away in the Middle East. Ebola spreading in Africa. China squaring off with Japan. Germany angry at being tapped while tapping others. What exactly happened to Private Bergdahl or the five terrorists who were freed for his freedom?

At least there is calm at home?

Hardly: food, gas, and electricity prices are at near all-time highs; a stagnant economy in “recovery” that for most people outside of Wall Street remains recessionary; government soon to be run by executive orders; the end of any idea of national sovereignty or a southern border; the Ferguson riots and racial explosions revealing an America more divided than at any time since the 1970s; the buffoonish Missouri governor Nixon playing the Katrina role of a now imprisoned Ray Nagin. The alphabet soup of unresolved IRS, VA, NSA, and AP scandals; revolutionary, extra-legal justice meted out to Rick Perry; Benghazi coming back into the news; the little reported on drip-by-drip practical dissolution of Obamacare.

1979–80 seem calm in comparison.

The chaos arises from a variety of causes, but one common denominator is that President Obama has not a clue how to deal with these crises.

So wisely he stays among the 1 percent at Martha’s Vineyard and golfs, given that he has recognized that the more that he is out of the public eye, the less he is emptily sermonizing with “make no mistake about it” and “let me be perfectly clear.” And thus the less the public is bothered by his abstract presidency, given the less it must experience it in the concrete. Polls reveal that the less the public sees or hears their iconic president, the less they are bothered by him. 

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Case for Trump.

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