Swampland’s Ten Commandments

The Trump family is no doubt canny about the dog-eat-dog landscapes of the Manhattan real estate lagoon. But when the Trumps arrived in Washington, as political novices they entered an entirely new swampland, with which so far they remain unfamiliar. Their transition down the coastal corridor is sort of like leaving a Florida bog of alligators and water moccasins and thereby assuming one is de facto prepared to enter the far deadlier Amazon jungle of caimans, piranhas, and Bushmasters.

Here, then, are some Beltway Swamp rules:

1) Improper Meetings. Always meet in his/hers jets, “accidentally” nose to nose on the airport tarmac. Style mitigates unethical behavior. When caught, claim the discussions centered around “grandchildren.” In contrast, never go to any meeting with a Russian anything. If one must meet a foreign official for dubious reasons, then a revolutionary Cuban, Iranian, or Palestinian is always preferable.

2) Emails. Delete at least 30,000 before the subpoenas come, claiming they are mostly about yoga and wedding planning. Political fallout from a leaked email trove is more likely to arise from politically incorrect messaging than from clear evidence of legal wrongdoing.

3) Opposition Research. The more outlandish and impossible the charge, the more it will be believed or at least aired on CNN. Rumored sex without substantial deviancy is not necessarily compelling (e.g., urination is a force multiplier of fornication). As a general rule, ex-intelligence officers-turned-private investigators and campaign hit men are both the most lurid and least credible.

4) Leaking. Assume that those who collect intelligence also are the most likely to leak it, the FBI director not exempted. The more the deep state recalls the excesses of J. Edgar Hoover, the more it exceeds them. Expect every conversation, email, and text to show up on the desk of one’s worst enemy—at least for a few seconds before being leaked to the press. The more a journalist brags on airing a supposedly smoking-gun leak, the less the public cares. In sum, leaks are more likely to be fabrications than improperly transmitted truths.

5) Reporters. Expect that the sins that journalists cite in politicians are only exceeded by their own, from plagiarism to lying. Reference to “high administration officials” or “unnamed White House sources” often is good proof that the story is unsourced and made up. Journalists fired for breaches of ethics usually turn up working somewhere else within days. The shallowness and ignorance of media icons can often be calibrated by the hours and capital invested in facial alterations and wardrobes.

6) The Deep State. Signing legislation into law or issuing executive orders does not equate to changes in government policy. Assume that almost any new law or reform can be nullified by cherry picking a liberal judge, serial leaking, or through bureaucratic slowdowns by careerist and partisan bureaucrats. The deep state works with those who rapidly grow the government; it seeks to destroy those who grow it slowly. The most powerful man in Washington is a federal attorney. With a D.C. jury and an unlimited budget and staff, he can bankrupt most anyone with dubious charges, on the assurance that when they are dropped or refuted, the successful defendant is ruined and broke while his failed government accuser is promoted. The more conservative the target, the more likely his lawyer should be liberal.

7) Obstruction of Justice. Explicit obstruction of justice—an Attorney General ordering, for example, a FBI Director to alter the nomenclature or course of an ongoing investigation—is often not pursued; implicitly suggesting to a subordinate a desirable outcome is. The subtler the obstruction, the more likely authorities are to resent the subterfuge; the more crass and heavy-handed, the more auditors are impressed at its audacity—and therefore the more likely to exempt the violation in admiration (see Thucydides’s stasis at Corcyra discussion on the advantage of the “blunter wits”).

8) Collusion. Crass payouts such as outlandishly high honoraria, or mega-donations to one’s foundation in quid pro quo efforts to subvert the law are so overt that they are usually not prosecuted. Big talk and braggadocio that do not include payoffs are felt to be the more sinister—and prosecutable. If one plans to collude, it is always wiser to do it boldly: Announcing to the world that a president’s foreign policy behavior will change after the electionif in exchange the head of a hostile power promises to behave during the campaign and make a president look good is seen as bold not collusion.

An ex-president can never be guilty of anything.

9) Sexism. Calling a state official “the best-looking attorney general in the country,” or warning a reporter to “hold on, sweetie,” or flirting and taking selfies with a hot blond Danish prime minister amid the solemnity of a state funeral is not necessarily sexist (in the fashion “that woman, Miss Lewinsky” was not either). But crassly telling the wife of a French president that she is in good shape or crudely commenting on one’s past facial surgery certainly is. In general, derogatory sexism is more often ignored if the perpetrator is a self-declared feminist with a large vocabulary.

10) Projection. Rival politicians will smear those with charges most often applicable to themselves. For example, those who invent ethnic identities out of whole-cloth for careerist purposes are prone to level charges of racism. Those who profit enormously from government offices are the most likely to accuse others of financial impropriety. Those who leak classified documents deplore leaking. Most ethics watchdogs and czars are unethical. Those with law degrees are usually the most hostile to and ignorant of the law.

N.B.: All of the above commandments are subsidiaries of an overriding tenet: when conservatives in Washington sin, it is valuable window into their dark souls; when liberals do the same, it is a minor and regrettable lapse, attributable to the toll taken on them for heroically advancing the morally superior cause.

Accordingly, most drones of the deep state, elected officials, and the judiciary make the necessary political adjustments in order to obtain indemnities. An obdurate Beltway conservative is like one who fights in Fallujah without Kevlar; a progressive wars from an Abrams tank. That is why there are few of the former, and lots of the latter.

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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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180 responses to “Swampland’s Ten Commandments”

  1. Well said (as always from Prof. Hanson); but yet… a tide is turning.
    [1] The USA for once has a president who fights back against the media – perhaps the Swamp’s most significant and powerful ally.
    [2] The terrible shock for the Swamp and the Media throughout the election campaign was that, whenever they threw dirt galore at Candidate Trump, and used every trick in their playbook to discredit him, a large part of the electorate (effectually) shrugged ‘So what? We don’t care. Our top priority now is to sack politics-as-usual. Every other consideration comes an extremely poor second in our new list of priorities.’
    This is one of the reasons why the hysteria of the President’s opponents has been so rabid, frenetic, unceasing. Think of it: they got away with everything for decades and suddenly all their bamboozlement routines don’t work any more.

    • I was one of those who “held my nose” while voting for the obnoxious DJ Trump. I have also been waiting for 40 years for a Republican who would not cower before the media. Kinder and gentler Bush’s. Smiley, phony McCain, Milquetoast Mitt, etc. Every time he punches back I have grown to dislike DJT a little less. That has morphed into a hearty admiration. Love his stamina, cabinet choices, overall agenda, and most of all, no more socialist supreme court justices. Viva Trump. Keep kicking ass.

      • Your post helps to verify to me that what I think is happening IS happening…that people are warming up to president Trump, and it gives me heart that president Trump will win in 2020 with ~350 electoral votes.

        I have thought for years now that Leftism, and all it’s inanity, and it’s rabid anti-American Narrative would self destruct, that their very Narrative would become a prime reason as to why the American People will reject Leftism…..still, it seems a big task to reverse EVERY governmental agency/institution, such as ripping the education system out of the hands of the Leftists, and stopping them from using the education system as a propaganda tool to indoctrinate the children with Leftist insanity.

      • Yeah, and don’t forget to enlist our enemies in your war against the LEFT (they must be a pretty fearsome bunch if you have to capitalize their name).

      • Donsker, are you a member of the LEFT? You know, one of those dolts who compares a duly-elected president in our constitutional republic to some Italian fascist thug?

      • The left are fake Americans and anti-Americans. They consider 1930’s totalitarian ideas to be an all you can eat buffet.

      • People will likely be more willing to forgive Trump, I think, because many already see that he’s not the “Hitler” figure that the left constantly pushes. They were Chicken Little, and the sky has not fallen. Where is their credibility, now?

        Trump is sort of like an uncle who mildly misbehaves but you know he’s looking out for the family’s (in this case, America) best interests.

        I thought the culture wars were over and Obama and friends had won them. Perhaps those wars have just begun…

      • How come you right wing zealots always look at your Der Leader as an “uncle.” No, Trump looks like Mussolini. In so many ways.

      • Could you share the intellectual basis for nevertrumpism? What is your basis for rejecting your parties (I assume nevertrumpers are Republicans) nominee?

      • My nevertrumper family member’s “intellectual basis” is that they’re the “true” conservatives, not people who voted for Trump. Every time I see him I tell him, “you’re welcome for Justice Gorsuch, and oh, by the way, I’m happy to take your stock market earnings off your hands.”

      • Tell your family member to share the wealth of the market with all Trump supporters! We’ll take it, because it might be “dirty money” to anti-Trump folks since Trump helped allow the market to rise. ;)

      • “Mussolini”? We have checks and balances in our government, you moron.

        One stupid leftist judge in Hawaii can partially SUBVERT President Trump’s CONSTITUTIONAL ability to stop certain non-citizens from getting into the country even AFTER the Supreme Court sided with Trump himself.

        So, WTF are you talking about? (That’s sort of rhetorical, as you obviously have no idea…)

      • And, with owning all those slaves…. geez. And leaving those guys at a foreign consulate to die, and blaming it all on a YouTube video and tossing the videographer in jail!

        He actually said “Poosy”. Bill Clinton would have never done that.

      • Der Leader? Uncle? Whatever. As for what really matters- i.e. who occupies the White House- I’d choose Trump, Mussolini’s corpse, Hillary and Obama, in that order. Reasonable people can argue over the last two spots.

      • Good thing Trump does not have a little mustache. Otherwise you’d be calling him Hitler. Or if he was black perhaps Mugabe – wait scratch that as a policy I know you won’t insult blacks. I know, I know they have suffered too much already.

        Jokes aside you should really reflect on how pathetic your little comment really is. Not something a mature thinking adult would make. Where does that leave you I wonder?

      • Since your clearly an expert on Italian Fascism, perhaps you’ll enlighten us on all the policies that Mr. Trump shares with Mussolini.

      • I wish you were right, but I think Trump was always pretty much a social Lefty.

      • Well, you’re right to a degree. As to gay marriage, he’s sort of neutral.

        Trump supports the pro-life position, for sure. He stopped the Mexico City policy in its tracks. And, he certainly is pro-Christian. Gorsuch on the Supreme Court tells me he’s for a strict constructionist view of the Constitution.

        To me, Trump looks at all these conservative positions as AMERICAN, TRADITIONALIST positions. While he’s not a perfect Christian or necessarily the most conservative person, he’s an ally to folks who are.

        In the age we live in–with the leftist enemies we face–that’s good enough for me.

        When another spot opens up on the Supreme Court, he’ll put in another conservative. Believe me!

      • I had a gay FB friend who got so freaked out when Trump won the election that he called me a slime ball for voting for Trump because Trump wants all gay people to die. BTW, I never said who I voted for. Anyway, I told him I never heard Trump say one thing anti-gay, and then told him to stop drinking so much and then unfriended him.

      • Trump’s been the first GOP president who is at LEAST neutral on the issue. He hasn’t talked about it all that much. Trump strikes me as the most unracist, unsexist, unbigoted person around. Not politically correct, for sure, but also just judges people individually. To the left, he was never bigoted until he ran for president.

        Furthermore, he is MORE likely to protect against those (e.g. radical Islam) who would harm gays. I can’t think of a more pro-gay position than to say, “We’re not going to allow radical ideology that wants to harm homosexuals.”

      • That is the exact reason my gay child voted for him.

      • A lot of young folks aren’t buying into the SJW narrative. I hope that bodes well for the future.

        You know the best way to “group” people? “Group” people as a 1-member group of an INDIVIDUAL. We all have unique identities, strengths, and weaknesses. Collectivism is crap.

      • A counter-counter culture seems to be forming. Many young people are watching Professor Jordan Peterson’s courses on Youtube and being “red pilled.” Others are watching the Prager University series, listening to Dave Rubin’s interviews. There is a shift happening.

      • Show him the Dave Rubin video interviews on Youtube. He is a gay man who does long form interviews, lots of them, David Horowitz, Larry Edler, Dr. Joran Peterson, far better than television.

      • His appointment of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court was enough, in itself, to justify my vote for him.
        Additional conservative appointees would be icing on the cake.
        The effect of those appointments will outlast almost anything else Trump does.

      • I was for Trump from the beginning, but I understand the reticence to vote for him. He’s unique, for sure. But, to me, the good VASTLY outweighs the bad. Just to stop Hillary. Good grief. Like you said, that plus Gorsuch…I’m happy.

        The appointments will outlast even an 8-year Trump administration. It sounds grandiose, but having a conservative (meaning hewing to the LAW) judiciary helps save our country. It makes me happy that we’re not going down the path of Europe…at least for now.

        I love America. We’re the greatest place on God’s green earth. I love our culture, I love our people, I love our history. We should work to better our country but be very PROUD for all the good we do and have done for our citizenry and the world. What a country to be proud of!

    • The fantastic part about this is now the Democrats are turning on each other.
      Since no one on the right cares anymore when they attack and call us names the left has to find people who will care.

  2. “1) Improper Meetings. Always meet in his/hers jets, “accidentally” nose to nose on the airport tarmac.”

    And then concede it was a mistake, recuse oneself from the investigation rather than defend it as “business as usual.

    “Political fallout from a leaked email trove is more likely to arise from politically incorrect messaging than from clear evidence of legal wrongdoing.”

    Whereas publicizing your emails agreeing to meet with somebody as part of Russia’s attempt to undermine your opponent will be explained as “everybody does it” rather than clear evidence of dishonorable intent.

    “The more outlandish and impossible the charge, the more it will be believed or at least aired on CNN. ”

    But it wasn’t. Buzzfeed aired the dirty details. CNN didn’t.

    “In sum, leaks are more likely to be fabrications than improperly transmitted truths.”

    That doesn’t, however, apply to a president well-known for multi-decade history of acting as an anonymous source.

    “Reference to “high administration officials” or “unnamed White House sources” often is good proof that the story is unsourced and made up. ”


    “Assume that almost any new law or reform can be nullified by cherry picking a liberal judge, serial leaking, or through bureaucratic slowdowns by careerist and partisan bureaucrats.”

    Benghazi, anyone?

    “Announcing to the world that a president’s foreign policy behavior will change after the election—if in exchange the head of a hostile power promises to behave during the campaign and make a president look good is seen as bold not collusion.”

    It’s almost as it explaining one’s negotiating position is the same thing as getting foreign help to undermine one’s political opponent.

    “Calling a state official “the best-looking attorney general in the country,” or warning a reporter to “hold on, sweetie,” or flirting and taking selfies with a hot blond Danish prime minister amid the solemnity of a state funeral is not necessarily sexist”

    The first is. Obama apologized. The second is. Obama was criticized by Daily Kos. And the third? A breach of decorum, certainly, but …. that’s not sexist.

    “But crassly telling the wife of a French president that she is in good shape or crudely commenting on one’s past facial surgery certainly is”

    Especially if one has been caught on tape describing the joy of what, in legal terms, would be considered sexual assault. Context matters.

    “In general, derogatory sexism is more often ignored if the perpetrator is a self-declared feminist with a large vocabulary.”

    You know what? Often true. It’s a problem.

    “Rival politicians will smear those with charges most often applicable to themselves.”

    That’s certainly seems to be the case with this president! Remember when he criticized Obama for golfing?


    • Dad always said that you could tell you guys by the shapes of your heads.

      Judging from your avatar, Dad got it right again.

      • Oh, yeah, I’m an ugly son of a gun.

        I’m also right about the stuff I posted above.

      • Nothing you posted was “right” nor correct. Your comments show how brainwashed and ignorant you truly are. Obama was the laziest man to ever occupy the WH. His policies are all failures, his worldview is corrupt and un-American. Trump is a great man who defeated a wicked, corrupt, and disgusting person. Hilary Clinton should be in jail, and Obama should never been elected president. It takes stupid and corrupt fools like you to enable the worst of the worst in office. Progressives are a cancer that must be destroyed – you have a target on your bald and ugly head.

      • Notably, nobody who has insulted me here has pointed out where, specifically, I am incorrect. Much yelling and insulting tho.

      • When you use words like “bullshit” to describe the opinion of others you shouldn’t be surprised when everyone else thinks the same of you, personally.

      • “The media makes stuff up” isn’t opinion. It’s a statement of fact. In this case, it’s an incorrect statement of fact. Made to obscure the problems in the Trump WH. That makes it BS.

    • Your analysis of history is perverted and dishonest. Every point you tried to make were way off target, your arguments weren’t convincing because your analysis of what transpired is fatally flawed and proves you, and your disgusting liberal/progressive movement, is toxic and must be destroyed like a plague.

    • Talk much? Try to make a cogent point in 1-2 sentences genius.

    • Context matters lol. What a tool, did Trump not say if they let you. Yes context matters.

    • You lost me at number 1. The only “mistake” was them getting caught. There was nothing “accidental” about it. Hopefully you know that and are just attempting to “spin”; if not your critical thinking skills need work.

    • I want to address one more point, and after that I’m going to try to content myself to be an AmGreatness lurker instead of a participant.

      VDH writes: “”Reference to “high administration officials” or “unnamed White House sources” often is good proof that the story is unsourced and made up.” I responded with an expletive.

      Here’s the thing: For all their many faults, Washington Post and NYT don’t make stuff up. On the occasion when they’ve found made-up work in their publications — “Jimmy’s World,” Jayson Blair — they’ve loudly disclosed it, fired the perpetrators, and undergone periods of great self-flagellation.

      Yes, “unnamed sources” have their own agendas to pursue; they may not be the same as the president’s, or else they’d be named. But I feel great assurance that anonymous sources in both papers are real. Denying that reality is a way to avoid confronting whatever problems the Trump White House may actually have. But I rely on the honesty of those papers much more than I’d ever rely on the honesty of Donald Trump.

      There you go. It’s all yours, folks!

      • @joel_mathis:disqus – well, bless your heart !

        You actually seem to believe that the NYTimes treated Walter Duranty that way … please show us when the NYTimes “loudly disclosed it”, and then fired Walter Duranty …

        The WaPo/NYT/LAT regularly use propaganda techniques that kindergarteners in the United Kingdom would be too embarrassed to use … in the past few years, they appear to have taken Teh Grauniad as their gold standard …

  3. The Progressive’s Ten Commandments

    1. The government is your awesome god. You were made to serve it.

    2. Do not presume that anything you make is yours. You didn’t build that.

    3. Do not question your government.

    4. Keep holy the day of April 15.

    5. You may, and should, blame your parents for whatever shortcomings you have. Especially if they are bitter clingers.

    6. You may murder unborn children if they would be an inconvenience to your life-style

    7. Sleep around. Monogamy is boring. Extra points for being a homosexual or a transgender freak

    8. Steal what you can get away with. Maybe create a Foundation

    9. Lying for the cause is admirable – and necessary.

    10.Your neighbor has stuff you don’t. You deserve some, or all, of it.

    • #1 is what Midwest TRump voters were hoping for. lol

    • I think its your side’s ignorance that is so striking. “Extra points for being a homosexual…freak.” Get help.

      • Ramming one’s wedding tackle up another sweaty fellow’s exit route is quite enlightened. It opens up so many new possibilities and worlds.

        Sodomy. It defines who so many are. Let’s have a parade, shall we?

      • I think I’ve reached a new level of astral projection after your post, Venus. Nirvana!

    • If that wasn’t your attitude eight years ago, when we elected a man who isn’t an American in any meaningful way, and who acted for two solid terms against the interests of the American people, and who was of the same party as the Kennedys and Clintons, then I don’t want to hear it. You can just go to heIl.

  4. “When conservatives in Washington sin, it is valuable window into their dark souls; when liberals do the same, it is a minor and regrettable lapse, attributable to the toll taken on them for heroically advancing the morally superior cause”.

    • Certainly Bill Clinton who so heroically advanced the liberal cause can be forgiven a couple of intern blow jobs.

      • And rape and ripping off billions of dollars from poverty stricken Haitians.

  5. Dude literally described Trump, his campaign and his family.

    • He was referring almost entirely to Rodham and Barokeydoke….bull$h!t much?

    • We NeoCohens are going to attack Trump til Kingdom Come!

  6. and a tip of the hat to Karen Russells’s “Swamplandia”.

  7. The Ten Commandments of Swampland… I love it. If I could add an 11th it would be: Never give a conservative President credit for a job well done!

    • When a ‘conservative’ president does a job well we will give him credit. Unfortunately there is not a ‘conservative’ president in the WH at present. And the current occupant of the WH can’t claim credit for getting almost anything done at all, let alone doing it well. The only thing jr’s dad is doing well is building a nice tall pyramid with blocks of incompetence, day after excrutiating day, one on top of each other, till it reaches the sky.

      • I don’t give a crap if he isn’t a “conservative”. I do care about his agenda who is getting more done than you give him credit for despite the above described swamp’s best efforts to delay it.

      • what has he done? none of the big stuff he promised is happening. the economy is still growing at the same pace. jobs still leaving the country. no wall. more wars.

      • My God, you just succinctly and eloquently summarized a LOT of Trump’s appeal.

        I would add a little to that: NO Hillary and YES Neil Gorsuch. All the rest is icing on the cake. I’m on cloud 9.

      • What the Left and most don’t realize is that the President is doing something HRC, O, and the DNC couldn’t do….that is …bring people from the right more towards the center. So everything he said in the election run up isn’t being done right away…how can it? Once you get into office there are all kinds of things to do priority wise. But it doesn’t mean things that he said aren’t being done. Okay so no wall yet but illegal immigration has fallen so who cares the object of it is being handled on at least one level. We have a new Supreme Court justice that restores some balance. That’s good. And as far as Russia goes isn’t it better to have better relations with them than be in a war stance. It doesn’t appear as if the neo-cons have quite the hold they would had if the HRC had been elected. Give the President a fair shot and he might surprise everyone.

      • Gee, you’re not very specific with your complaints, are you?

      • Thanks for proving my point. Rather than split hairs over the intent of my use of the word conservative, Let us just say a President who appoints textualist judges like Gorsuch as opposed to activist traitors like Ginsberg.

        Now in terms of positive actions, Let us say a President who breaks Russia’s energy monopoly over central and eastern Europe by shipping American Liquified Natural Gas to Poland thereby negating the reason for a civil war in Syria, which began over a pipeline from Qatar to central Europe; and with the monoply now broken, we get a cease fire in Syria.

        Yes indeed, President Trump ends the bloodshed in Syria and you say he is building pyramids. Thanks again for proving my point!

  8. No better example of elitist Swamplandia than ILLinois.

  9. The Haitian guy set to testify about the Clinton earthquake scam has committed “suicide”. Where have we heard that before. Is there another commandment VDH missed?

    • Maybe that “Hatian guy” Seth Rich, Ron Brown & Vince Foster have circumstances in common. You brought it up. YOU go figure. Knock yourself out.

      • Correct one circumstance they have in common is they all were involved with Clinton’s in some capacity..

    • You’re right. Jr’s dad tries to make stuff up every day but he just can’t seem to even get that done.

      • By using “reality check” for your username, you mean “delusional unreality,” right?

  10. Donald Trump and his family, like many other newcomers to politics assume (incorrectly) that they would be dealing honorable people.
    Really, all one has to do is look at the record of each one of the Swamp Creatures to see how long they have been in political office or seeking political office. The longer the history, the more dishonorable the creature. John McCain anyone?
    Of course, some are born that way.
    Bill Clinton anyone?

    • Jr’s dad has been dealing with dishonorable people all his business life and worked in concert them such people as Roy Cohn, noted mafia lawyer, his drug dealer friend who he admittedy laundered money for thru his AC casinos and was fined $800,000 by the NJ Gambling Commission, his scamming the investors out of their investments in his AC casinos, his defaulting on loans from the US banks and finally his involvement in more than 2500 law suits, many of them frivilous in an attempt to intimidate many of those ‘suckers’ who entered into what they believed were honest deals, but turned out to be scams by little don john. And most important, his dishonorable behavior towards his 3 wives when he vowed fidelity to each of them and yet cheated on every one of them. Can anyone be more dishonorable than that? your move.

      • Aw shucks Way to ruin the party. Here i thought we were watching the whitehouse hillbillies.

      • Isn’t it frustrating that given all this history the people chose Trump, and nstead of Hillary? That seems to be the cause of the Democrats’ inability to escape denial.

        Why didn’t the people chose your crook?

      • Apparently not. But hey whatever consoles you in your grief.

      • If I kick a football over home plate, do I score a goal?

        How’s that “rules” thing working for you?

      • You must read the tabloids a lot. How about the way the Clinton “Foundation” screwed Haitians for fun and profit?

  11. If Republicans could show some spine in responding aggressively to the Deep State-Democrat-Media attempt to subvert a presidential election, they might be forgiven their humiliating incompetence at passing the legislation they’ve been calling for in Congress for nearly a decade.

    • The rest of us in the Dem-media are way past trying to subvert the election. We all accept the results. It’s you guys & jr’s dad that can’t seem to accept the fact that you WON! You WON! Now move on into the real world which is a lot harder to defend & explain away with this nonsense.

      • Exactly. Its the Republicans that continue to have hilary derangement. Every other word out of their mouths is hilary. I have yet to hear a positive message from the right.and they are winning everyday. They dont sound like winners. They sound like sore losers.

      • So you are the spokesperson “for the rest of us”?

  12. My only editorial suggestion would be adding the phrasing of “Thou shall” and “Thou shall not” ex. “Thou shall delete thy emails” and “Thou shall not doubt the media” for effect.

  13. Americans will have to eventually choose between government control and liberty. There is no “middle ground.” The “mixed economy” is a myth, and an unstable isotope decaying to total authoritarianism. Some people are actually starting to realize this fact.

    • Totally wrong. Not happening. A figment of your imagination.
      But hey keep Clinging

      • No. Its a big topic. What do you mean mixed economy wont work. Whats your vision. I dont think what your implying is possible.

      • MY vision is reading a troll’s comments without having to reach for the Chicago Manual of Style.

      • I don’t recall advancing a position concerning mixed economies.

      • Totally right. Already happening. You’re full of it, as usual.
        But hey, keep trolling.

      • I can cling to God longer than you can cling to your fictional Utopia.

    • Revelation in the mind of the American voter is slow, but unstoppable. We eventually catch on to their shenanigans, and with 3 million+ firearms in private hands, the government cannot beat us down. They are forced by the consent of the people. It cannot beat liberty out of us, as was done to the Jews of Egypt…. and Europe, and Russia, and Palestine, and Iran and South American.


    • I fear they’ll vote for control. I don’t think Americans have the gumption to go out on their own. That took tough people. Apparently, they’re all dead.

    • No, Americans don’t have to choose between your idiotic and loony choices. An unstable isotope decaying to total authoritarianism. Sounds like another goofy tin foil hat dude. And do you know what PINO stands for? Patriots In Name Only — that’s what a Trump supporter is. They’ll stand for Russia before they’ll stand for America.

      • I’m proud to be an American. Obama seemed embarrassed to be one.

      • Everyone should feel sorry for donsker, he is a victim of leftist agitprop. There is no cure.

      • You want agitprop, look no further than these comments. Venus Flytrap’s immediately above is a case in point.

      • Not as long as Americans are armed.

        The Left LOVED the Commie Soviets for 75 years of Gulags and mass murder. Hell, Hillary was willing to sell 20% of our uranium to them for millions in kickbacks…Now that they’ve abandoned Bolshevism, I can see that it is quite the trauma for you all.

    • I hate using a Churchill quote I resent, but Americans will always do the right thing, given enough time. Hopefully, Trump will give enough spines in Congress to reverse this train.


    • Let nominate him for the Journalist Hall of Fame.

  14. One asterisk to VDH’s piece: Indictments, evidence of infidelity to law, one’s spouse or Constitution by a democrat IS automatically deemed a resume enhancement.

    • You either forgot or chose to overlook, Watergate, Iran Contra, Scooter Libby & jr’s Dad( fidelity to THREE wives) which is prominent on all GOP resumes re indictments & fidelity to the law. You really walked head first into that one.

      • What nonsense. Not everyone in the GOP is Nixon just as not all Democrats are Barney Frank.

      • Scooter Libby’s indictment by Comey’s pal Patrick Fitzgerald was an abomination.

      • Scooter Libby was the designated scapegoat.
        Also don’t forget we locked up that menace to society Martha Stewart

      • To be fair, Nixon did take down communist Alger Hiss so, I can understand why you’re bummed. Clinton had that sex harassment settlement payout & admit to a judge that he lied. All those Whitewater convictions & those convictions from the ’96 illegal DNC contributions. To name a few things.

      • Clinton didn’t just admit he lied. He was DISBARRED by the United States Supreme Court.
        There’s no greater dishonor or disgrace in the legal profession (please, no jokes about lawyers here).
        Amazes me how everyone forgets that part of his resume.

      • There you go piling on with more salient facts the MSM tried to keep buried in the memory hole! For a democrat, disbarment is just another resume enhancement.

    • Let’s just check the record, shall we? Since Nixon took office in ’69 the GOP have racked up 120 indictments through 28 years in office for about 4.28 per year. Since Carter took office in ’77, the Democrats have seen three indictments across 20 years in office, or 0.15 per year. In other words, GOP administrations experience almost 20 times as many indictments per year as Democratic administrations. Do you think maybe you want to revisit your comment?

      • Interesting.

        The GOP has to get tougher on the Democrats.

      • That’s the ticket. Who cares if they actually did anything wrong, amirite? Small problem, though – in our system, political parties don’t actually bring indictments. I’m sure our Dear Tweeter has a plan to fix that, though.

    • So true! The Obama years constituted nothing short of 8 years of media collusion that culminated with the Hillary campaign. Now, in their fury at having lost the election, they are projecting…

  15. The problem is lack of ruthlessness. When you have a dozen people who could possibly leak you get them all in the room and say time to fess up, identify the leaker or you are all fired.
    Rinse and repeat as necessary. Same with insubordination. Don’t do your job you’re fired.
    Reagan fired all of the air traffic controllers and guess what? No more illegal strikes and the planes flew.

    • “Swampland’s Creature Hunters One Commandment”

      “Make sure you drive the stake all the way through the heart AND you cut its head off.”

      Displaying the head on a pike is optional!

  16. There are times when Dr. Hanson’s trenchant observations are so appalling that I can bately stand to read them completely, much less to read them again. This is one of those articles. D.C. is populated with the worst people imaginable.

  17. Well put, Dr. Hanson. It looks like it will take some time to drain the swamp. But it will be drained for the simple reason that it will eventually destroy the country if it isn’t. May the recent leader of the Swamp yet get what’s left of his reputation drowned in it.

  18. Love your work Victor.
    Of all the columnists at National Review, you are the only one for which I retain admiration – after the Never-Trump idiocy that rag created and encouraged.

    In the context of the truths you recite in this article, the Never-Trump madness was more damaging that any other political eventuality of 2017. I hope the NRO home office burns to the ground.

  19. Is this conservative humor? It kind of reminds me of Letterman’s top ten lists. Unfortunately for the author, in addition to his warped view of reality, it’s not very clever.

  20. What a load of whine.
    This is supposed to be the party of “taking personal responsibility.”


  21. This could be the world record for whataboutism. Trump went from promising to drain the swamp to cynically claiming “politics as usual.” Sounds more like re-stocking the swamp with fresh reptiles.

  22. While I have always admired Mr. Hanson’s commentary especially about military history. He is now dipping into the error of whataboutism. Instead of chastising President Trump, et al… for their mistakes, it is simple and easy to point out that yeah the commies do the same thing. President Trump must start reigning in his family, advisors and leakers (we know who they are) that are hurting his administration.

    It sort of reminds me of a sports team who is really good and has a big lead who let’s up on the opposition. Right now the commies are reeling and it would be so easy to put the foot on their throat and give the killing blow. Yeah, they might do it to themselves but I would prefer if the ones on the right would give the blow. History says when one side is down and the other side goes easy on them, they find a way back. Come on Mr. Trump and to some extent those who we all respect giving commentary, cut their heads off (politically not violently) now. Get your house in order and let’s move forward with the right agenda.

    BTW, you need to watch what your State Dept. is doing siding with Qatar and certifying Iran. Keep your eyes on the details.

    • Can’t disagree with you all that much.

      It’s also important to point out double standards to the leftist hypocrites constantly grousing about Trump.

    • VDH is one of my favorites. Usually brilliant stuff.

  23. Addendum:
    When you’re in a basket with a bunch of other snakes, you better not bite anybody, because it could be your own tail you’re biting.

  24. The ‘Deep State’ is just another Arm of the Leftist Movement, along with the Democrat Party and the Media, among other institutions……..and the Left uses ANY MEANS necessary to gain and retain power………they NEVER will willingly give up power, or allow any other group to emerge as a power center…….

    What Does the Worldwide Leftist Movement have in common with Islamic Terrorism?

    One Picture Equals 1000 Words……


    To enlarge the picture, click the double arrow > ……in the lower right hand corner to share on Facebook, Twitter, …….or just email this link to this Meme to a friend.

  25. DC is way more corrupt than we ever imagined. Its a writhing pit of venomous snakes with a self ascribed entitlement to rule. Yikes!

      • President Trump’s easiest accomplishment to-date, the one with your name on it:

        Democrats and Entitlement Monkeys – in utter disarray and covfefe’ing themselves daily.

  26. Goofy is as goofy does. Trump and his family businesses are the swamp.

    • No response to the article, huh? You may be correct, and that doesn’t make the article any less true.

  27. As a neverTrumper myself, every word VDH says is 100% true. If anything, he understates the case. Even since the numerous Clinton scandals when the Democrats informed us in no uncertain terms that they will not allow themselves to have a Watergate, it’s been clear that Liddy et. al. were simply political prisoners.

    • Sincerely, why be a NeverTrumper? Don’t let your vote and your support be tied into your soul or something to that effect.

      I’ve always thought support of a candidate is issue-based. Or, in other words, the lesser of two evils. I happen to like Trump, but even if I did not like him, he was still the better choice than Hillary. I appreciate deeply held moral positions, but we’re all sinful so I never think a vote should be some sort of moral imprimatur.

      I guess what I’m saying is ignore all his posturing and loudmouth behavior and look at what he’s done: VP pick, cabinet picks, Supreme Court, Mexico City, EPA, executive orders, Warsaw speech, etc. It’s all pretty conservative, even if you detest his personality.

  28. “Swampland’s Creature Hunters One Commandment”

    “Make sure you drive the stake all the way through the heart AND you cut its head off.”

    Displaying the head on a pike is optional.

  29. What Dr. Hanson’s excellent piece boils down to is that liberals can get away with stuff because they have brainwashed the public into believing they have good intentions. A young liberal said to me recently, “Democrats want to make things better, Republicans (just) want to win.” Until and unless we can change that view (and our President, bless him, is trying hard) it’s an uphill battle all the way.

    • Here’s the thing: I think some Democrats DO want to make things better and some DO have good intentions. Some ARE sincere.

      A few things come to mind:
      1) We all have heard about the road to hell and what it’s paved with…
      2) The great Milton Friedman said, “Sincerity is an overrated virtue…”
      3) Intention and practical result are two vastly different things.
      4) Thomas Sowell said, of an idea, you have to consider multiple things: (a): compared to what?, (b) at what cost?, and (c) what hard evidence?
      5) In order to effectuate an agenda, you DO have to win. Having great ideas but the inability to win is almost meaningless.

      So, essentially, I don’t care if the Democrats/leftists have good intentions. Their ideas on balance are, practically speaking, crappy.

      Three cheers for President Trump. Here’s hoping he can be effective despite the tumult (including crazy leftist Russian conspiracies) of our political climate.

  30. When you fail at governing, then the best choice in my opinion is to identify the failures and see about a path going forward. Good reporting might dig into some of the history of other presidents and point to directions for success for the current administration. Or you can waist time focusing on the past faults of others going all the way back to Washington. But then again, if you in the business of producing rhetoric for your readers so you can gain a nice check, then continue as you are in supporting your family, Country be damned.

  31. And Obama said unto them,
    “Thou shalt love the State with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind (what there is of it). This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself (as long as thy neighbor is a Progressive). On these two commandments hang all else.”

  32. The media are going to huff and they are going to puff and they are going to blow our house down!

  33. Please forgive me for being picky, Mr. Hanson, but not everyone who reads this article will get all the references you provide. Would it not be helpful for those of us who don’t follow US politics as closely as you do or are aware of all the Washington machinations as you are to provide HTML links?
    E.G. “Always meet in his/hers jets, “accidentally” nose to nose on the airport tarmac.”

  34. Russia or the USA. Pick the country you want to support you dimwits. And if you pick Russia, please move there.

  35. LMAO, cry more, Hanson. How the hell did you ever get a university job?

  36. The most important thing this administration might do is bring honesty to the voting booth. I have a strong suspicion the 50/50 division in the nation is largely fake and will be more like 65/35 conservative-independent/liberal.