When Victor Davis Hanson began expanding his already impressive portfolio that included, among other things, the nature of war and the war on terror, including the war in Iraq, into the area of commentary on the current presidential contest, I thought that maybe it was overreach. It is true that he did successfully apply a rare dose of rationality to the problem of illegal immigration with his book “Mexifornia,” but that drew on his life as a family farmer in California and years of interaction with Mexican immigrants. But I guess it is unwise to underestimate a Classics scholar who reads ancient Greek and Latin and who had already made an impressive segue into the field of military history.
And now, who better to tackle the messianic populism, much less the public mask, of Barack Obama. Hanson looks into the manipulation of language in the recent flap over Obama’s “bitter Pennsylvanians” remarks:
Here is what Sen. Obama said:
“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Hanson follows with some close work that reveals how Obama, now typically, talks his way out of his own business.