How the Obama Precedent Empowered Trump

Donald Trump was elected president by sizing up the Electoral College, and the voting public, and then campaigning accordingly. A number of the things that explain Trump’s election also point to unique opportunities to overturn the Obama legacy. This, in turn, explains why the Left is understandably upset about the unprecedented scope of the presidential landscape they bequeathed to and therewith empowered Trump.  

Weaponizing the Presidency

After complaining for years that he was constitutionally unable to grant executive-order amnesties, Obama lost all such scruples after his 2012 election. His legacy was not so much the number of executive orders that he issued, but rather the unapologetic overreach of them—whether granting blanket amnesties, ordering convenient pen-and-phone non-enforcement of federal immigration laws, green-lighting sanctuary cities, changing the idea of due process on college campuses, recalibrating the order of Chrysler bankruptcy creditors, or delaying the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act for reelection advantage.

The Left is understandably apprehensive of Trump because Obama set the modern precedent that a contemporary president can do almost anything he pleases by executive orders (and in Nixonian fashion can weaponize federal agencies, from the NSA to the IRS, in order to monitor and hound political rivals and perceived enemies). Sen. Harry Reid’s near suicidal destruction of the Senate filibuster captured the unreality of the times, as if Obama progressivism most certainly would be America’s new orthodoxy for generations to come.

The Media Implosion

A supposedly disinterested media’s ecstasy over Obama’s election ensured that its subsequent revulsion at Trump could be taken no more seriously. Once a journalist declares a president a god or capable of sending shocks down one’s leg, then he would be no more credible if he were to pronounce another president the anti-Christ or capable of causing boils on one’s appendages. And once a political novice is declared a worthy Nobel laureate on the basis of professed intentions, then why would anyone worry about any other president’s political inexperience?

When Obama joked (to general media laughter and applause) at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner about sending Predator assassination drones to take out potential suitors of his daughter, one can then hardly sympathize with media hurt feelings when Trump skips the embarrassing charade altogether. The Obama administration occasionally expressed contempt for media toadies who proved so useful to him, whether defined by Obama’s frequent jibes that the media slavishly was in his corner, or by Attorney General Eric Holder’s monitoring of Associated Press journalists, or by Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes’s haughty disdain for obsequious reporters (the “echo chamber” that “knows nothing”).

align=”left” In sum, Trump is the beneficiary of a dysfunctional opposition whose reaction to the close loss of 2016 is reminiscent of the unhinged Democratic response to the narrow defeat of 1968, when it doubled-down, went harder left, gave up on middle-class concerns—and was demolished in 1972.

If a prejudicial media’s smarminess nonetheless earned derision from its icon Obama, why should not its hostility earn the same from Trump? If a marquee partisan reporter confesses (in the Podesta Wikileaks trove) of his Clinton partisanship that he is a “hack,” why should Trump argue with such self-described assessments?

A critical media is not a mere reset button that one turns on and off at one’s convenience. Instead, once it was short-circuited after 2008, its burned-out switch cannot be flipped back on in 2017. In sum, there is no longer a believable media that can offer credible critiques of the Trump presidency.

The New Democratic Party

The Democratic Party metamorphosed in 2008. Obama convinced it that identity politics and new demographic realities meant that record minority turnouts and bloc-voting—coupled with the disengagement of the vanishing “clinger” white working class—ushered in a new hard left Democratic generation of power.

Progressives sipped this tainted moonshine and the result over eight years was the disastrous losses of the majority of state governorships, legislatures, the House, the Senate, the presidency and, likely for a generation, the Supreme Court. In truth, the polarizing “hands up, don’t shoot” /”you didn’t build that”/”punish our enemies” assorted rhetoric deemed necessary to galvanize Obama’s progressive base also both polarized and riled the “deplorables” and “irredeemables.” Or to put it another way: historic minority participation and identity politics zealotry were not commensurately transferrable to a 69-year-old, multimillionaire white woman; but the working-class estrangement that accompanied such an effort most certainly was. Clinton inherited all the downsides of the Obama paradigm without, at least in her case, any of its upsides.

After the emergence of an even harder left Democratic National Committee leadership, and President emeritus Obama’s own vows to lead a sort of shadow progressive resistance movement, there is little chance that a stung Democratic Party will jettison polarizing identity politics issues and its neglect of the middle classes, and learn from the 2016 defeat. The problem is not just that the Democratic establishment leadership—Jerry Brown, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi—ranges in age from their late sixties to eighties, but also that the younger, and more robust next generation—Keith Ellison, Kamala Harris, Tom Perez—has embraced an even more polarizing politics. Are orthodox and old preferable to radical and young?

In sum, Trump is the beneficiary of a dysfunctional opposition whose reaction to the close loss of 2016 is reminiscent of the unhinged Democratic response to the narrow defeat of 1968, when it doubled-down, went harder left, gave up on middle-class concerns—and was demolished in 1972.

There is as yet no credible response to Trump and certainly no opposing coherent agenda. Instead, the “Resistance” is being waged by cherry-picking liberal federal judges in hopes of delaying and slowing down executive orders in the courts, along with states-rights nullifications, organized advertising boycotts of conservative media figures, media collusion, jamming town hall meetings of conservative representatives, campus antics, and waging war on social media.

At least for now, all these slow-downs are not substitutes for legislative action, but more evidence of political impotence.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, The Case for Trump and the newly released The Dying Citizen.

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162 responses to “How the Obama Precedent Empowered Trump”

  1. What the author leaves out is that if Trumpism fails (highly likely given that circumstances are now beyond government control) the Lib-Leftist reaction will once again thrust a Carter, or Clinton, or Obama upon us (probably Chelsea).

    • No. It will be Elizabeth Warren or Keith Ellison. I doubt Chelsea Clinton could get elected to a House seat, let alone the Presidency.

      • 2008 made sense – the collapsing economy panicked everyone to vote against the incumbent party. Seen it many times. It was 2012 that has me confused. I know he weaponized the federal bureaucracy, and IF we get to the bottom of it, I suspect 2012 was stolen.

      • You’re in denial. The American electorate is too stupid and ignorant to be trusted.

      • At no point did electing someone as unqualified as Barack Obama to the presidency make any sense!

      • Agree.
        2012 more disturbs me than confuses me.
        Also agree that the election probably was stolen. Benghazi lies, IRS keeping Conservative fund raising down, etc.

      • Obama??? You don’t understand Lib-think. They’re grooming Chelsea just like they did Obie. Chelsea WILL be elected to public office and her phony CV embellished in many ways.

    • The “prize” has always been the Supreme Court. If your premise is correct about Trumpism failing, the left has lost that key element “for a generation.”

      • They haven’t “lost” anything yet. Gorsuch for Scalia was at best status quo. I’m betting the next appointment – where the retiree is a Lib – will not be so easy and the Lib huckster Trump will once again renege on his grandiose promise. He’ll appoint a more “centrist” judge who will turn out to be a Lefty. Trump is a self-serving betrayer.

      • With the filibuster relegated to the dustbin of history, if a party controls the presidency and 50 votes in the Senate, a SCOTUS appointment is unstoppable by the party out of power. Trump kept his word about his selection criteria with his first appointment, I see no reason to assume he’ll abandon it on his next.

      • Elevate the discussion every time or is this an exception to the rule?

    • No there is no Trumpism, just the TEA party. WE are the movement, Trump is the vehicle. The 150 million people who disdain Democrat policies will not revert to them under any conditions. You see, Reality, the ONLY grssroots movement in the country put Trump in the WH.

      • It’s amazing how far off of reality you Trumpsuckers are.

      • Reality? Trump is President right now and that is making you butt hurt. That’s reality.

    • Biggest problem with Trumpism is Donald Trump failing to follow through on anything: Obamacare repeal fail, border wall fail, reversing his position on NAFTA…. Trump needs to heed the immortal words of Yoda: “Do. Or not do. There is no try.”

      • Trump is doing well using executive orders and working with the congress to roll back many of Obama’s EO excesses. Given the procedural barriers used by Senate Democrats to slow his appointments, he’s still getting his administration in place. I think I’ll wait more than 100 days to accuse him of “failing to follow through on anything”. Hyperbole much?

      • Most of his consequential executive orders are being declared unconstitutional. I wish he’d go around some of these liberal judges, but he doesn’t have the courage to do so. He’s failed to follow through on the two biggest issues: Obamacare repeal and the border wall. Being smacked down by Chuck Schumer over border wall funding was embarrassing to watch. Trump reminds me of an ADD kid who moves from one project to the next, leaving each project half finished.

      • The homocrats and their lackeys in the MSM gave Obama 8 years of slack rope with which they hung themselves per omnia saecula saecularum.

      • Following the attack on Pearl Harbor against a lazy and inexperienced navy, The U.S. were getting our butts kicked in the Pacific for the next year or so. 4 years later the Japanese were on the USS Missouri unconditionally surrendering to a powerful and battle-hardened navy. Have faith. True Americans never give up.

    • The next democratic candidate for President will be Oprah. Trump opened the door, folks hate politicians, we are now very likely embarking upon a series of “Celebrity” Presidents that will end in Idiocracy…

      • The Hominid is telling you today – it’s gunna be Chelsea. When does this FIRST FEMALE president turn 40? By then she’ll hold elected office; she’ll be renowned for her philanthropy & global good works; a champion of women, children, and minorities; and she’ll be able to wax hillbilly drawl or ebonics at will.

      • She was born in 1980, will be 40 in 2020? She could run against Trump 2020 i suppose! That would be Hillaryous . I just hope we have turned the page on all things Clinton and Bush.

      • There ya go!! Her handlers will aim for 2024. Remember, America gets loonier every cycle! Lotsa loons out there who are desperate for a woman president – it’s “historical” and furthers the cause of “women’s equality.” The nostalgia will be strong for a Clinton by then. Plus, we will have continued our downward spiral under the Rs & Trump leading to the predictable reaction from the unthinking electorate.

      • Yep. I could see Oprah being the next President. She is Donald Trump with broader appeal. Although I would add that Obama opened the door to celebrity presidents, not Trump.

  2. Most people don’t realize that is the democrat had won and another Wise Supreme Court Justice had been appointed in the Scalia seat, the 5-4 majority would have eliminated the constitution as we know it and executive decrees would be the law of the land

    • You can’t rule out Divine Intervention. Imagine if Jeb was the nominee.

      • Imagine if Ted CRUZ were president – someone who is Americanist, smart, competent, and has integrity. Maybe the electorate will correct their stupid mistake in the next election — not likely.

      • Oh sure, teddy’s smart, competent, and has integrity.
        (a seantor with integrity?)
        Yet he still couldn’t beat the Trumpster!
        It wasn’t even close.
        You should get a brain scan.
        There is something wrong going on in your small skull.

      • I liked Cruz a lot until he went batshit crazy and decided to roll around in the mud with Trump…. and reneging on the oath he took.

      • I always wondered about that though. Both Rubio and Cruz got punished by starting to campaign as dirty as Trump did (although the Cruz campaign was actually much more civil, issue orientated, and honest than Rubio, and especially compared to Trump, except perhaps when he got desperate in the last month). But somehow it was never a problem for Trump, who originated the dirty sleazy mud slinging Alinski tactics in the repub primary in first place. Its almost as if Trump got viewed the same way the dems are, we expect them to campaign dirty and dishonestly, with personal insults substituting for issues, and thus are not shocked when they do.

      • Trump IS a Dem!!!

        Trumpsuckers do not hold Trump responsible for his bombast, lies, mistakes, or ineffective behavior because they lack the basic reasoning skills and political engagement required to know the difference between facts and misconceptions or truth and lies. Trumpsuckers choose grudges, resentment, and smack-talking over effective government.

      • So your smack-talking and resentment is totally effective, right?
        Trump is actually President. Ted Cruz isn’t. Trump supposedly isn’t a conservative, but he’s already repealed most of Obama’s executive orders and drastically reduced illegal immigration. He’s reducing the size of the government and rolled back a lot of regulations. So he’s already accomplished a lot things “conservative” politicians have promised but not delivered for decades.
        You are the person who needs to learn basic reasoning skills.

      • Legislation, dummy – where’s the game-changing, America-restoring legislation? You Trumpsuckers are the stupidest people on the planet.

      • I was an early Cruz supporter, but happy it went as it did. Ted was not able to weather Trump’s attacks, he would have been destroyed by the media.
        We would be dealing with Hillary now, I have no doubt.

      • Sen. Cruz’s proposal to use the drug cartel money to fund the border wall, should it succeed, will more than likely certainly enhance his political credentials among conservatives in the future as a likely presidential candidate, governor, or continued success as a senator. He might even be considered for a Supreme Court slot.

      • He will never be considered for the court – he’s an elected PARTISAN with a strong PARTISAN record.

      • Cruz doesn’t have the personality to be a successful presidential candidate. Supreme Court justice, yes.

      • I have to agree. I supported Ted Cruz in the Michigan primary, but did vote for Trump in the general because I will never vote for a Democrat after they foisted ObamaCare on America.

      • I too supported Cruz in the Michigan primary…but once it became clear that the choice was Crooked Hillary or the Gallant, delightful, honest, truthful, great Donald Trump…the choice was easy.

      • Thanx for that display of childishly superficial information, Mr Obvious.

      • Its particularly easy to troll when you’re hiding who you are and don’t have to accept responsibility for what you say. That being said, Being a master of the obvious is a difficult job, but someone has to do it. Bless yer heart…

      • Your ignorance is showing.

        Reagan was a Centrist Democrat a long, long time ago when Democrats were pro-Constitution and he was NEVER a Lib. He also switch to the R party long before becoming president.

        PT Trump has been a NYC Lib Dem his entire life – endorsing Lib-Leftist policies and supporting Lib-Leftist politicians like his “good friends” Bill & Hill & Chuck & Nancy. He was a Dem until a couple years before running for president.

        Ya gettin’ it yet, Trumpsucker.

      • Actions speak. Trump’s actions are more patriotic, pro-American and middle class oriented than any Democrat or even so-called “conservative” a la Bushs, Kristols, Corkers, Issas, Chavez, Lees, etc.

        Keep your words. I’ll take action.

      • I am not sure about that. Cruz was a pretty good campaigner, and Hillary and the dems were far weaker than anticipated. Trump also had negatives that Cruz did not. I think the bigger problem for Cruz though would have been that many of the trumpies were so insanely cultist they would only vote for Trump, no other repub nominee, even a conservative one like Cruz who backed most of Trumps issue positions even more solidly than Trump did. Plus Trump would have played the sore loser rigged election bit to the hilt, and never accepted another nominee but him.

      • Trump’s a fighter. Even if you win against him, he’s gonna make you pay.

      • Cruz would have crumpled under the withering attacks. Look at how he teamed up with Beck to support illegals, enabled TPP by writing the fast-track legislation and wanted an increase in H1B visas.

        Trump has been amazing. He’s keeping his campaign promises and reshaping the Republican party to represent the people and not special interests.

      • I think he would have done even better. But Trump was the one who actually won, and so far at least most of the time he is doing about what Cruz would have done. I definitely want to make sure that Cruz stays in the senate and stays prominent, just to make sure we have a real conservative waiting in the wings if Trump goes too far toward the rhino/dem end. I dont think Cruz will run against Trump in 2020, unless Trump royally screws up and his popularity falls drastically.

      • Trump is doing pretty much what Hillary would – the only difference is stylistic. Trump is being played for a fool by the Chinese – they are the real threat, not NK. Trump is doing nothing but talking smack to Iran. Trump endorses Obamacare’s principles and totally bungled the promised repeal & replace by supporting a sell-out House bill. Trump has reneged on “The Wall” & having Mex pay for it. He’s reneged on repeal of DACA the legalization of illegals who’ve gotten away with living off Americans for a few years. The Syrian missile & MOAB were a waste of ammo that had no tactical or strategic value. His NK policy is no different than Obama’s – he thinks he can get China to pressure them into ending their nuke ambitions – bwahahahaha!!! And, China is taking him to the cleaners – he’s their bitch! Wait for the next SCOTUS appointment when it really counts for your next disappointment.

        We need a president who will deal effectively with the US economy by taking on entitlement reform – THAT is the most devastating issue we face because it’s bankrupting us.

        We need a president who will take meaningful actions – including military & defense policies – against our real enemies.

      • Dude, get off the talking points propaganda sheet. Trump is doing NOTHING like Hillary would have.

      • Ted Cruz said nearly everything we want to hear; and he proved a fighter in the Senate. Yet as recently as September 2013 he welcomed the idea of more Hispanics in Texas – and where were they to come from? – Abroad.

        Perhaps no politician is available who will actually fight tooth and nail for four years for an end to borderless mass immigration. But at least Candidate Trump stuck to that theme throughout the long gruelling election campaign and accordingly gave every kind of hostage to fortune.

        He knows (and his advisers know and the polls will keep telling him) that his presidency, his personal standing in the nation, his popularity, credibility, all hang on whether or not he builds a wall, evicts illegal aliens and restricts immigration to people who actually bring benefits to the USA.

        Perhaps he won’t do it. Perhaps the Republican Party is both corrupt and stupid enough not to let him do it. But if they don’t do it, President Trump will be (henceforth and permanently, in American history) a figure of contempt; and most Republicans will lose their seats in both Houses of the Congress. For ever. They will not get them back. Donald Trump and his campaign themes were no blip on the screen of politics-as-usual. They were the last chance for the Republican Party to survive.

      • Well, that’s a scathing, fact-filled come-back! LOL. Got a fact or two, pal?

      • Ted Cruz – Soccer balls and teddy bears. Soccer balls and teddy bears.

    • As it turned out, the Democrat did not win and as of today the law of the land IS made up entirely of Executive decrees, 25+ and counting. Who knew governing would be so complicated?

      • 24 of them were to undo unconstitutional decrees from Barry.

      • If you don’t count executive orders that are there merely to nullify Obama’s executive orders, then the count would be close to zero.

      • So what? That was the entire point of his election. Even if he achieves nothing else, I will be happy because Obama and the Progressives are at Year Zero again and have to start over and still have a hostile SCOTUS to deal with for the next few decades.

        I don’t want the government DOING anything! I want them to leave you and me and us alone and stop messing with the economy, stop messing with the health insurance market, stop messing with environmental regulations and just let us alone.

        Except for repealing Obama’s legacy, I want the Federal Government to essentially cease to exist in my personal life, like it did before Obama was President.

      • Yes of course let the government leave us alone to be controlled by our corporate masters. Who cares if the corporate world poisons our air and water, rapes our lands, and enslave us to their wages!!

      • Yes, I trust my boss before I trust my Congressman. You are darn straight! My boss is my FRIEND, and HIS boss too. My ‘corporate overlords’ are my F’ing friends.

      • Yes. People in corporations are evil. So allowing them to have unlimited power is bad. People in government are somehow honest, wise and virtuous. So allowing them to have unlimited power is good.

      • So set up responsible ethical corporations – show us how it can and should be done ! Have the auto worker unions set up an ethical sustainable automobile manufacturing company that pays a living wage … with all that they have in pension funds, they should be able to do so *very* easily … such a company could ensure that women and men are paid the same wage for the same job …

        What could possibly go wrong ?

      • From your sarcasm, all I can conclude that you care not how a company behaves as long as government stays away! i guess that is typical attitude. If you only knew how members of my family have been treated by corporations! My cousin is about to loose the family farm that has been around since 1878 because of pollution caused by a corporation and the conservative state government refuses to help him! That’s okay, once the government is neutered, our only recourse will be the courts. Lawyers stand to make so much more money without government regulations!!!

      • @disqus_zkgHXVS3D2:disqus – (cue Princess Bride meme) … actually, that was irony, not sarcasm … and I am sincere that, while I am sceptical, I would like to see if *anyone* can actually make it work …

        I am curious if you might be willing to give some more details – of the type of farm, the type of pollution, and why that pollution is causing the loss of the farm ?

      • The farm raises cattle and has since its inception, used a stream that runs across it for the water supply. A factory was built upstream from the farm and now the cattle have been poisoned by a chemical that is found in their muscle, which means my cousin can not sell the cattle at market. Chemical testing has shown that upstream of the factory, no trace of chemical, downstream of factory, high levels. He has tried to reason with the owners and provided the data, etc. They refuse to even admit they emit the chemical and will not discuss with him the issue! The conservative state government has essentially said that since the factory provides jobs and he does not, then they will side with the factory! He even offered to go half on a well. The well, because of the debt of the ground water, would cost around 8K.

      • @disqus_zkgHXVS3D2:disqus – from what you describe, with the documentation that you describe, either the ACLU or the ACLJ (or both), would seem quite likely to help your cousin, possibly even pro-bono … the ACLU would probably do it to stick one on the eye to the “conservative state government”… the ACLJ would probably take it to correct the injustice …

        Has your cousin tried either path ?

    • Agree 100%. I was screaming from the rooftops since January 2016 that it was all about the SCOTUS. God is still smiling on the U.S. of A.

      • Oh aren’t you just such a clever little leftie prick. All of you think you are sooo brilliant. You sound like a pre-schooler.

      • You have the gall to accuse me of childish behavior after calling me a “prick.” You are beyond scorn, aci.

    • Indeed. The Republic dodged a bullet from the Marxist Democrats. A Divine Blessing?

  3. The once great party of Harry S. Truman reduced to a rag-tag conglomeration of disparate greivance groups lamenting the outrage du jour with a propensity for mob violence and holdover deep state apparatchiks scorching the earth when possible.

    The legacy of Barack Hussein Alinsky.

    • Its also a dangerous situation, because this nation needs a credible opposition party that can be trusted to govern again, and now the dems are nowhere close. Someday the repub party will have a temporary collapse for some reason, like happened in 2006-2008, and when they do, there is no opposition party I could trust to come in that would not totally ruin the nation.
      Bill Clinton was not great, but at least he was not a walking Marxist identity politics disaster like Obama was. Right now, the dem party opposition is so incredibly bad, we will be stuck with Trump almost no matter what he does, so I hope he continues to do fairly well.
      Todays dem party reminds me of the old Labour party in Britain, before Blair brought them back from total Marxism, to at least some degree of sanity with New Labour.

  4. Isn’t there anything positive that Democrats can say about Americans? Is there not one positive message they can utter that shows the support and, alas, the understanding of what it takes to be an American? Surely creating the best fed, best dressed, best educated, most united country in the history of mankind is cause to celebrate the white anglo-saxons that created our nation.

    • The Lib-Leftists praise antiAmericanist ideology and insist that their marxist policies represent “true American values” and “mainstream America.”

    • There is nothing in the goals of the communist party that includes praise for our legacy and our form of government. If you compare the long term track of the US Democrat Party with the US Communist Party, you will see that they are aimed at the same goals and that there is already a majority overlap between the achievement of those goals. Scary.

    • Hilary tried at the dem convention, I remember they did their share of flag waving and even praised the founders. But when you see the dems at any other time than that convention, it rings obviously false.

  5. America has always been a center-right country. Democrat’s response to losing nearly everything has been to go further left. Does not seem like a winning strategy.

    • Last year SCOTUS deadlocked 4-4 on whether you can make union membership and dues mandatory for government workers. With Gorsuch on board and another case wending its way through the courts, likely by 2018 union membership will be optional. That will spell the end of SEIU, AFSCME and the teachers’ unions. This is an existential threat to the Democrats finances and yet they seem clueless.

    • The only exception was in 1992, when Bill took them at least somewhere close to center left. But after Obama those days are gone, the dem party today is nothing but identity politics Marxists, with no appeal at all to middle american in the heartland.

      • Bill only veered towards the center when Hillarycare was stomped on and that combined with a backlash against Dems attempt at gun control lost the Congress to Republicans. Bill then did show political savvy doing so.

  6. To paraphrase only slightly from an old H. L. Mencken line about the “common man:”

    Democracy is based on the principle that the “Democratic Party” knows what it wants and that it usually gets it…good & hard.

    And it could not be happening right now to a more deserving bunch of folks.

    • Your paraphrasal of Mencken is false and it changes the pithy meaning of his actual quip.

      “Democracy is the theory that the COMMON PEOPLE know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

      He was indicting the entire electorate – and, it would seem to be most apt regarding the last presidential election.

  7. What a complete partisan joke this article is. Look up the history of numbers on executive orders yourself, if you don’t believe me. President Obama executed 277. Reagan, 381; Nixon 346; “W” Bush 291. And this author talks ridiculously about the “weaponization” of executive orders caused by Democrats or President Obama. The point? It helps to know the facts. The true statistical facts, folks. What this country is experiencing is a clash of “populist tradition” versus ongoing progressive educated civilization. And this author? Panders to less educated part of our country. Just like the GOP has done – with the help of the wealthiest – for the past two decades. It;s impossible for a country to stay the same – or go backwards – without devastating, debilitating effects, folks. You need to wake up!

    • It’s not the number of executive orders it’s what the executive orders … order.

      • And some of them just happened to be opposite your antiquated, traditional, in the past belief system. Didn’t they? You don’t think I understand that this country is in the grip of less educated, in the past ‘populism’?

      • @disqus_ZHc8Q9iYwk:disqus – you are correct – I don’t think you understand … at least, your words show that you do not understand …

      • I have no idea who you are or why you even got involved in this conversation. Are you the author? Bunky? But I do understand the type of mentality in control of this country right now…and no, I am not happy with it or do not agree with that type of thinking – if you can even call it that.

      • @disqus_ZHc8Q9iYwk:disqus – you should have stopped typing after those first four very honest words, dear …

      • Yeah sure,
        Now those obammy EO’s don’t exist anymore.
        You see how that worked out?

    • Does “CNDFOX” stand for low reading comprehension level? Dr. Hanson address this issue very specifically in the article.

    • I”m willing to suffer what ever disastrous social effects are necessary to see Obama’s legacy of Progressivism destroyed in America.

      I have guns to protect my home from looters and robbers and the poor. It’s time for vigilante justice now. Social Justice lost.

      • Seriously? You want to be in a position of “defending” your home in firefights? I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts you’ve never been in combat?

      • I’m not afraid of women, gays, transgender and a few inner city blacks.

      • Tim Mcveigh didn’t need a gun or to engage in combat to drain the swamp.

      • Yeah I see a bunch of socialist college brats taking over America and nobody doing a damn thing to stop it physically. Just acting like ti’s the 60’s and it’ll all just blow over. Whatever, those little bastards are going to be the bosses of my kids if not me in 10 years. i want them stopped and democracy isn’t cutting it. Democracy isn’t forcing these hateful socialist mobs back indoors where they belolng.

  8. I believe that the Democratic party is due to split. The Bernie movement has a message that the Progressive Dems do not. They at least fake that they are for the common man, the middle class. The Dem uber left does not have a message that resonates with anyone but the factions they embrace. The majority of America is left out of their program. If you look at the cities and states that they govern, the result is not helpful. They are all going under like Venezuela. There is no vision. There are no successful applications of their ideology. A Kennedy democrat from my youth would not recognize the current Democratic party….

    • You assume erroneously that the electorate is rational and informed.

    • Conservative or moderately conservative Democrats have already left the Democrat Party. They are now a party full of 100% liberals.

      • That’s right. The D party is now committed marxists. The more centrist Dems call themselves “indies,” but they are definitely still Left leaning and not to be trusted.

  9. Something in the DNA of the left is patently subjective and hypocritical.
    -They castigate Trump for a few offhand comments, but forgive Clinton for sexual assault.
    -They meticulously compare crowd sizes after ignoring the same metric throughout the campaign when Trump got monster crowds and Clinton and Kaine had to rent cheers.
    -They’re outraged at provocateur staged scuffles at Trump rallies but hide the story of the left’s violent suppression of the first amendment at Berkeley.
    -They blame Trump for the fundamentally flawed Obamacare train wreck simply for not throwing money at it.
    -They muckrake up a couple laughably thin connections from Trump to Russia but ignore Obama’s National Security Advisor’s personal weaponization of irrelevant TS material for domestic political warfare.
    -But most of all they mock, ignore, and dismiss the millions of red state Americans who can think for themselves, and therein lies hope.

    • “They muckrake up a couple laughably thin connections from Trump to Russia but ignore”, even more, the things Obama actually did to benefit Russia. Politico had an 8000 word article last week on the Iran deal, which Putin wanted. Obama gave Russia a foothold in the Middle East by pretending (laughably) that Putin would actually take Assad’s chemical weapons. Obama did nothing to help Crimea and the Ukraine. He abandoned Poland early on, signally his fecklessness to Putin, which set the stage for Crimea. Not to mention the reset fiasco–which was applauded by the same people who now condemn any friendly overtures to Russia.

      In ever measurable respect Obama actually assisted Russia’s resurgence as a world power, but, you know, Trump complimented Putin and Hillary lost, so there’s that.

  10. The Left were convinced that they were going to be in Power for many Moons….Hillary dropped the Golden Egg…..None of the Nefarious dealings were supposed to Ever hit the airwaves….Thank God for Trump, He is O’s Legacy.

    • After BO’s election in 2008, James “Cueball” Carville smugly predicted forty years of unchallenged Democrat rule. Poof.

  11. That notbelievable media is still ‘resisting’ “normalizing” TeamTrump, especially the Trump family, especially brutal is their War Against Stilettoes…seriously, even FootwearNews has now fallen in line with this deplorable venom, in true HIVE mentality. Boycott CondeNast!

  12. Remember the Seinfeld episode where George did everything the opposite of what he’d typically do and everything worked out better? Trump just needs to do everything the opposite of Obama and America will be in better shape!

  13. Kudos to Dr. Hanson for his insights. Election 2016 was “The Revolt of the Bitter Clingers” —- an ambush of the arrogant Democrat ruling clique. Touché

  14. The Democrat Party has lost it’s collective marbles and average American’s have taken notice.
    The 25% or so Progressive-Left in urban centers and Liberal enclaves might be loud, but too few in numbers.
    They only manage to make Democrats seem unhinged and unreasonable.
    Obama created the need for Trump.

    • You’re clueless. The Ds won the popular vote. And, the EC vote was decided by some really close calls. If The Donald doesn’t turn the econ around and produce decent jobs (he won’t) – the reaction (swing back to Ds) will be pronounced.

      • Swing back to whom exactly?
        The Ds that matter are ancient relics and the younger ones no one’s ever heard of are countering with yet more social/economic justice and climate change hysteria platforms.
        “We don’t have another Obama.” – H. Reid

      • Did you not see how those youngsters embraced the marxist Sanders? Chelsea will be groomed to be the first woman president in 2024.

  15. Good article. The dem party’s dominance by a racist fringe of minority-grievance freaks that tout their ‘values’ over those of America as founded means that dems will be in the political wilderness for many years to come or at least until the freaks die off.

  16. Strangely enough, for all of their supposed “radical leftism”, the Democratic party failed to nominate a candidate who consistently polled better than Secretary Clinton against then-candidate Trump. There is a good chance Senator Sanders would have won states like Michigan and carried the election. Ergo, I do not agree that the error of the Democratic party was that it went too far to the left. Then again, the left-right analytic framework for politics is deeply flawed. Senator Bernie Sanders was the only major US candidate to speak at the Vatican on Catholic political philosophy – hardly a stereotypical leftist. Democrats can repair the party by abolishing the super delegate system (for a start).

    I support President Trump, but not the Republican majority in Congress which continues to do what it has done before: kick the can.

  17. Will the collapse of the left offset the looming failure of the GOPe congress to pass any of Trump’s agenda?

  18. So let me see if I have this right. Trump complained forcefully about Obama’s use of executive orders (““I want to not use too many executive orders, folks. Executive orders sort of came about more recently. Nobody ever heard of an executive order. Then all of a sudden Obama, because he couldn’t get anybody to agree with him, he starts signing them like they’re butter. So I want to do away with executive orders for the most part.” March 2016) and now Trump uses executive orders more frequently than Obama did. AND Obama is to be blamed for Trump’s hypocritical behavior!!??? Clever!

    • To consider an executive order that in effect reverses a prior executive order as the one and the same strikes me as the height of disingenuousness.

      • Correct. To use an executive order after criticizing those who use executive orders is the height of hypocrisy. I’m glad you understand that.

  19. Great read, as usual, Mr. VDH! It’s clear to me that the left happily embraced a presidential dictatorship as long as it was the soft tyranny of the leftist-progressive ideology.

    Swing it around to populist/moderate to conservative and apolitical and they squeal like stuck pigs.

  20. Kamala Harris ??? Kamala Harris ???
    Next thing will b e the touting of Senator Cory Booker….

  21. Most Republicans in the Congress (corrupt and extremely stupid) suppose that Donald Trump hijacked their party with a hostile takeover bid 2015-16. And they think to fight a rearguard action to prevent his obtaining any significant policy victories in office.

    In this matter, as in nearly all, they are radically mistaken; and are behaving like the old monarchies (the French, the Russian) which had a choice of ‘Change or Die’ and through sheer habit, inertia, dumbness, lack of information and curiosity about the world they lived in, selected the Death Option.

    Trump’s victory last November was NOT ONLY a hostile takeover bid but also the last chance for the Republican Party to survive.

    If it fails to back most vigorously the current President’s chief policy aims in re Immigration, Illegal Aliens, and Jobs – the reasons why he was elected – it, the Republican Party, will disappear.

    Democrats won’t vote for it, the Republican Base won’t vote for it; and the swing voters who gave the President his win last November will also sit on their hands (in the Republicans’ case) perpetually.

  22. There IS an organized resistance to Trump’s pro-America, pro-middle class, patriot initiatives – the Uniparty led by Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

    They all bat for the same team. They just wear different jerseys.

  23. It is true that the Dims never think about the consequences of their actions because they are controlled by their motto of “the end justifies the means” so it’s all about the short-term gain. The problem in the political world is that whatever they do will eventually cut both ways. We seen that with the nuclear option and before Trump is done, we will see it with executive orders. What is so hilarious about the Dims is they had no issues with Obama’s overreach with his executive order pen even though everything under the pen is built on a foundation of sand, which is exactly how it should be since this is a constitutional and democratic republic and not a one-man show even though nobody bothered to tell the Dims that! If Trump continues down the executive action road, eventually the same will happen to him if a liberal cut from the libfacist cloth ever gets back into the WH! You can pretty much take that to the bank!

  24. The demoncrats are an endangered species of liars and scumbags. Soon to be extinct from the political power it is so addicted to.

  25. I make it a point to read anything Victor Davis Hanson produces. He did Not disappoint in this great article. I hope that Obamacare goes down in flames

  26. The first sentence i wrong. Donald Trump won because of leaks from hacked sources. If it is established that Trump’s team had a connection to this activity and these people, Trump will be gone. Crediting his ca,pain with strategically working the electoral college is almost funny.