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One way of envisioning Democratic obsessions with Donald Trump is as an addiction. We have seen the initial impeachment efforts; the attempt to get him under the emoluments clause, the Logan Act and the 25th Amendment; the Russian collusion hoax; the Mueller investigation; the demand for his tax returns; and the psychodramas involving Michael Avenatti, Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels. Relentless progressives have needed a new Get Trump fix about every two months.

More practically, their fixation also substitutes for a collective poverty of ideas. The Democratic Party has no plan to secure the borders other than to be against whatever Trump is for. They would not build a wall, deport illegal entrants, end sanctuary cities, fine employers or do much of anything but allow almost anyone to enter the U.S.

The homeless crisis is reaching epidemic proportions in our cities, almost all of them run by progressive mayors and city councils. None have any workable plan to clean sidewalks of needles and human excrement. None know what to do with the hundreds of thousands who have camped out in public spaces, endangering their health and the health of everyone around them due to drug addiction and inadequate sanitation and waste removal.

On abortion, the new Democratic position seems to be that the unborn can be aborted at any time the mother chooses, up to and including the moment of birth.

The Green New Deal has been endorsed by most of the current Democratic primary candidates, even though they privately know its utopian fantasies would shut down the U.S. economy and destroy the present prosperity fueled by record energy production, deregulation, and tax reform and reduction.

Abroad, were Democrats for or against abrogating the Iran nuclear deal, moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and prodding China to follow reciprocal trade rules? How do they propose to deal with North Korean nuclear-tipped missiles that seemed to suddenly appear as Barack Obama left office?

Have Democrats proposed canceling the new pipeline construction that Trump has fast-tracked? Would they scale way back on the natural gas and oil production that has made America energy-independent and on the cusp of becoming the world's greatest energy exporter?

Democrats have occasionally talked of implementing reparations for slavery, a wealth tax and free college tuition, and of eliminating college debt, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Electoral College. Yet they have never spelled out exactly how they would enact such radical proposals that likely do not appeal to a majority of the population.

Would they reverse Trump tax cuts, stop hectoring NATO members to pay their promised defense contributions, restore NAFTA, or revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement?

For now, no one has much of an idea what Democratic candidates would do, much less how they would do it.

Instead, the fallback position is always that (1) Trump stole the 2016 election (2) the Mueller report did not really exonerate Trump of collusion and obstruction, and (3) Trump must be impeached or somehow stopped from finishing his first term.

When the Mueller report found no collusion and no indictable grounds for obstruction of the non-crime of collusion, for a moment progressives suffered an identity crisis. The temporary paralysis was prompted by the terror that without a crusade to remove Trump, they might have to offer an alternative vision and agenda that would better appeal to 2020 voters.

The Democratic establishment has become something like novelist Herman Melville's phobic Captain Ahab, who became fatally absorbed with chasing his nemesis, the albino whale Moby Dick. The great white whale once ate part of Ahab's leg, and he demands revenge--even if such a never-ending neurosis leads to the destruction of his ship and crew.

Democrats can never forgive Trump for unexpectedly defeating supposed sure winner Hillary Clinton in 2016 and then systematically--and loudly--undoing the eight-year agenda of Obama.

So far, Trump seems to have escaped all of their efforts to spear and remove him before the 2020 election. Trump, like Moby Dick, seems a weird force of nature whose wounds from constant attacks only seem to make him more indestructible and his attackers even more obsessed with their prey.

Even if the quest to destroy Trump eclipses every other consideration and entails the destruction of the modern Democratic Party, it seems not to matter to these modern Ahabs.

Getting Trump is all they live for--and all they have left.


Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Editorial on 05/30/2019

Print Headline: Dems' big fish


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  • Morebeer
    May 30, 2019 at 8:52 a.m.

    Ouch. I’ll bet Hanson wishes this column hadn’t run the same day as that Mueller page one story. Kinda makes Hanson either a liar or deluded. When Hanson says Democrats would not deport illegals, it’s a another lie or ignorant statement. Obama, for example deported more illegals than his GOP predecessor, and he expanded the ranks of border officers. When leftists sneer that some on the right live in post-truth bubbles, this Hanson guy makes their case.

  • Packman
    May 30, 2019 at 10:47 a.m.

    Hanson nailed it. President Trump is at his best when counter-punching and his 60 million strong voter base never more energized than when he's being attacked. The Captain Ahab/Moby Dick analogy is spot on. MAGA, baby, MAGA.

  • Morebeer
    May 30, 2019 at 11:54 a.m.

    I’m surprised that the D-G would run this obviously untruthful column, given Mueller’s Wed. statement that aimed to clear the smoke sent up by Barr. When Hanson says Mueller found no collusion or indictable obstruction, it’s patently false. Mueller’s report clearly states that while it found multiple Trump associates playing footsie with Russians, it was not a coordinated conspiracy. The report - and Mueller on Wed. - didn’t clear Trump of obstructing justice. Trump’s not “indictable” because he’s so innocent, it’s because of DOJ policy that says presidents can be charged with a federal crime while in office. The response to crimes by a president is impeachment.

  • wowy
    May 30, 2019 at 12:42 p.m.

    Great Observation, and wowy has thought of this comparison as well. Also, look how the old jackass muler has aged compared to TRUMP. TRUMP in Japan looked younger than when he came down the escalator!!
    Muler looked like ole Ahab himself after a few spins in the briney deep.
    Wowy sees this like the vampire demons the dimwitted communists are and TRUMP is the sunlight. They must watch fake news because hearing TRUMP speak directly, his words burn holes in them. They must hear canned spins of his words first.
    Great Read .....
    ! ! ! T R U M P ! ! !
    ! ! ! 2 0 2 0 ! ! !
    ! ! ! M A G A ! ! !

  • WhododueDiligence
    May 30, 2019 at 2:47 p.m.

    HANSON: Donald Trump has become the Democrats' great white whale
    Some dunce has become Donald Trump's big orange cheerleader: HANSON

  • Morebeer
    May 31, 2019 at 10:32 a.m.

    I see Hanson’s column about SanFran’s homeless problem was parroted by The Manatee last night. Part of the right-wing media’s incestuous network. He had no solution of course, just sneering criticism. Perhaps the urban homeless should be distributed by bus to small town, red state America. It needs the residents. I suspect that after panhandling in front of empty storefronts for a week, they’ll all be back in Frisco working the crowds on the wharf.