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About Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 and the Bradley Prize in 2008.
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How Hard Will We Be On the Post-Obama President?
Victor Davis Hanson
March 6, 2014
Imagine if a hard-right-wing president were to follow Barack Obama and embrace the new precedents that Obama himself has established for the presidency. Would he then be seen as an unusually polarizing figure, who abused the power of his office? Let's call him Bucky Brewster, the new Republican President from Montana.

Settled Law?
President Bucky Brewster announces that he finds most of the Affordable Care Act patently unconstitutional. So he suspends all its timetables of implementation, stops the employer and individual mandates, and gives exemptions to big corporations, Tea Party groups, and the NRA. Brewster goes on to throw out Obama's recently passed "comprehensive immigration reform" act, deporting at once four million illegal aliens and cancelling the Dream Act, remarking: "It contradicts prior law. The federal immigration law is the law."

Brewster worries about the EPA a lot. So he decides that the Endangered Species Act is unconstitutional and a threat to property rights. He suspends enforcement of it indefinitely. Brewster also orders a regulatory raid on liberal Solaris, alleging that its solar panels will cause too much glare for private aviation pilots and are made of rare imported silica, and so shuts the company down. Brewster also advises Boeing that, if it were smart, it should leave Washington and go to a right-to-work state like Mississippi. Brewster also reminds that the Defense of Marriage Act has never been repealed and thus he outlaws all gay marriages "in accordance with settled law."

What will MSNBC say? The abuse of power? Unconstitutional? Impeachment?

President Bucky Brewster wants to fundamentally transform America and so his appointments must reflect his conservative ideology. So he taps as green jobs czar an ad man for the oil companies who, we learn, is a "birther." His new NASA director gives an interview pledging that the chief aim of the space agency is now to reach out to Christians abroad.

One of his communications directors praises the efficiency of Mussolini, who, she says, has always been her role model. His EPA director, who is a big Keystone pipeline booster, opens a fake email account to take the pulse of the pipeline debate -- and has the EPA give an award to her alias! He appoints as Treasury secretary Donald Trump, who confesses that he wrote off his kids' camp fees as tax deductions and pocketed his FICA allotments. His new energy secretary, Billy Bob Fella, who drives a Hummer, announces: "We want gas prices to get down to around 70 cents a gallon, right down there to those Saudi or Kuwaiti levels. What a great way to save the planet by returning a little cash to the poor driver's pocket."

President Brewster also appoints an insider CEO as OMB director, lectures on the revolving door, and then ushers him back out to Halliburton. The attorney general, the returning John Ashcroft, is cited with contempt for overseeing a failed gunrunning sting in Mexico. Ashcroft also inadvertently refers to some white activists as "my people," after calling the country "cowards" for not wanting to end affirmative action. For some reason, he drops the near-certain prosecution of a bunch of Wyoming Minutemen who appeared at Cody voting polls with lassos and wearing spurs. Finally, Brewster appoints as the head of the Civil Rights Division a pro bono lawyer, Karl von Hoffman, famous among anti-abortion zealots, who in the past defended the killer of an abortionist.

The reaction from the New York Times?

Bucky Brewster also, we learn, has a problem with the IRS. You see, many of the top IRS appointees either resigned, retired, or took the Fifth Amendment when it was disclosed that the IRS had targeted non-profit groups with names like "progress," "equality," and "fairness" in their titles, especially those connected with Hollywood actors, the People for the American Way, and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Oddly, prominent leftist activists from filmmaker Michael Moore to Oprah and Beyoncé suddenly have their taxes audited, after sharp political speeches chiding Brewster. Brewster's FCC appointees -- the director is the daughter of Jim DeMint -- also dream up an idea to monitor the news to ensure that ideas like patriotism, Western culture, the Founding Fathers, traditional values, marriage between a man and a woman, and pro-development policies are given a fair hearing by federally licensed radio and TV stations. "MSNBC," Brewster reminds the nation, "has done a lot to scare people unduly about my agenda." In that regard, he has called out by name Rachel Maddow five times since assuming office.

What would NPR intone?

Blaming Obama?
President Brewster cannot seem to let go of Barack Obama. Chided for his chronic 7% unemployment rate and a "jobless recovery," he fires back with: "At least it is better than that of the previous administration!" About his serial $400 billion annual deficits, he reminds, "Obama's were $1 billion for his entire first term, so there!"

On the increasing tensions in the world, Brewster exclaims: "Do you have any idea of what I inherited from my predecessor -- slashed defense forces, a broke treasury, allies estranged, enemies emboldened, chaos in Iraq, Syria, and Libya, appeasement with a now nuclear Iran, and Putin playing Stalin?"

On America's stature abroad, Brewster gives a strident speech to Christians in Jordan: "Recently, the US has had a pretty bad record, coddling murderers like Castro and Chavez, calling jihad a personal journey, declaring the Muslim Brotherhood secular, forsaking the Green Revolution in Iran, selling out our democratic friends in Israel. It's about time we come to grips with some of the damage that the Obama administration has caused others. I think an apology from the US is in order." "Obama did it" has become the Brewster anthem.

As for the ongoing health care mess, Brewster fires back: "Do you have any idea of the ruin that the previous administration caused our medical profession? It will take me years to undo the damage. So we have some more things to apologize for."

Will Politico object?

The Bully Pulpit?
President Brewster proved unafraid to wade in on contemporary controversies. "I see OJ is back in the news; and I thought, wow, had I a second daughter, she would have looked just like Nicole." The gun-owning Brewster even weighed in on the verdict of the Trayvon Martin case: "Zimmerman could have been me 35 years ago." And as far the hype and hysteria, Brewster speculated that had the shooter been a black male teen, the media might not have noticed that "both the outcome and aftermath might have been different."

When a close friend was stopped by campus security, Brewster again sounded off on law enforcement: "They act stupidly. They stereotype. What I think we know -- separate and apart from this incident -- is that there is a recent history in this country of white males being bothered disproportionately on campus and wrongly charged, from Duke to Dartmouth, and that's just a fact." The provocative Brewster went down to the Arizona border and reminded ranchers worried about illegal immigration that at the next election they had to "punish" their shared "enemies." Many were bothered that Ted Nugent was a frequent White House guest, and that Brewster thought Tammy Wynette was a good role model for his daughter.

Brewster seemed perpetually angry at those on food stamps, and state and federal welfare programs: "We have fat cats, but you guys are skinny cats." And: "At some point, I think you better decide to start making some money." And: "It is past time for you guys to profit." And: "Why do these Medicaid scams always seem to involve lopped limbs and yanked-out tonsils?" And: "You didn't build anything for that retirement check, you had help." And: "We need more trickle down to spread the wealth." And: "The public sector is doing just fine."

Bucky Brewster had a hard time communicating sometimes. He called the Marines "zombie-men," and seemed to think there were 57 states. "I just got back from Canada and spoke Canadian really well." Fortunately, ex-Rodeo man, Rocky Granite, serves as Brewster's body man, keeping him going day-to-day: "We played 15 hands of canasta all during that Bashar Assad raid; Bucky is a cool boss."

Critics also complained that President Brewster had gone to 160 NASCAR races, and seemed to vacation only in tony places like Jackson Hole. His wife, Bunny Brewster, was chastised for flying to Nashville with a two-jet entourage of over 100 helpers. "It's a downright nice country, and I've never been more proud of it," Bunny laughed.

What would PBS say?

President Brewster also got himself into a lot of jams. His NSA was caught spying on foreign leaders like French President Hollande, as well as gathering data on everyday Americans. His administration even monitored the phone records of reporters like Chris Matthews -- and his parents, no less!

Why did UN Ambassador John Bolton insist five times on national television shows that the recently planned al-Qaeda attack on the American embassy in Tunis was due to a far-left video that made fun of Arab gay-bashing? Why was the leftwing filmmaker jailed for a year? And why was Bolton then made national security advisor? Then it was learned that Republican crony insiders of a new start-up company, Coalyndra, promising to use new technology to reduce oil imports, have defaulted on a $500 million Department of Energy loan designed to promote coal liquefaction.

Will Time magazine say: "Enough with this bunch already"?

President Brewster promised to cut the deficits in half, but suddenly they exploded and are back over $1 trillion a year. He pleads with the media: "We didn't expect a tsunami in Japan. There was an earthquake, remember, in Washington. Do you have any idea of the effect ATM machines are having on the economy? Who knew oil prices would spike due to world tensions? The Democrat House has repeatedly shot down every deficit reduction plan I've offered. It is not as if I inherited a balanced budget. Have you forgotten that Barack Obama ran up more red ink than all previous administrations combined?"

What would the New Republic write?

2017 should be interesting.

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