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What use is Victor Davis Hanson?
When , in the 1960s, the networks began to feel heat for their systematic exclusion of conservative viewpoints, they responded by inventing a new species: the ostensibly well-credentialed individual who, representing the conservative case, would make sometimes elaborate but ultimately ineffectual arguments, and, in the end, always cave in on matters of substance.
Victor Davis Hanson seems to have been awarded this role in that section of the Republican-Lackey MSM that pretends to be "Conservative". A good example is his recent essay "Guest worker wilderness," The Washington Times, August 13 2005.
This piece is a long moan about the immigration debacle, which however rejects the "guest worker" or 'bracero" solution. It makes vague reasonable noises:
we are back to the one solution of measured and legal immigration that we all know will work but apparently dread:
Control our borders and enforce existing laws. Fine employers who hire illegal immigrants. Provide a mechanism of foolproof identification. Return to policies of English-language immersion and cultural assimilation. Pay more now in higher labor costs -- but save far more later by avoiding entitlement, law-enforcement and social chaos
but in fact sells the pass:
And, most controversially, work out a one-time-only citizenship plan for those who have resided for substantial time in the United States.
In other words--amnesty! (Yessir, Mr President!) No mention at all of the crucial issue of anchor babies, which as a resident of California cannot have escaped his attention.
Mexifornia's reception by establishment conservativism has been surprisingly favorable...It is painfully apparent that this is because of the accident of military historian Hanson's cheerleading for the Iraq War in National Review and elsewhere...another reason for Mexifornia's mild reception (is that) it just didn't frighten immigration enthusiasts enough.
My deference to Victor Davis Hanson as an historian evaporated after reading F. Roger Devlin's devastating critique of his opportunism as a scholar. [The Case of Victor Davis Hanson: Farmer, Scholar, WarMonger, The Occidental Quarterly Winter 2004]
More recently in Victor Hanson: Portrait of an American Traitor, Gary Brecher, The Exile, July 28 2005 , the vulgar and profane genius writing as the War Nerd gives, I think, an unaswerable assessment of Hanson's current comments on Iraq. The unusually explicit last paragraph deserves careful attention.