Victor Davis Hanson has written one of his best columns ever, in large part because he lucidly sets out Obama’s flip-flops. Actually, “flip-flop” isn’t the right word, because it lacks the energy of the violent volte faces that Obama routinely makes. There’s no nuance to his changes. John Kerry, even though he inarticulately said “I was before that before I was against it,” actually used that phrase in the context of a convoluted speech explaining how Senatorial procedure loaded a bill in a way that made him feel he had to change his mind on the vote. I’m not saying it was a good explanation, but it was nuanced.
Obama doesn’t bother explaining his shifts, whether on Guantanamo, Executive Privilege, Executive Orders, or any other thing that sees him taking a stand diametrically opposed to the rigid position he formerly advanced. The only time for Obama is the here and now. Part of that is because he’s a narcissist. Narcissists’ truth is always driven by the need of the moment. The past doesn’t exist insofar as it inconveniences the present. The other part, which I’m beginning to learn from reading Jonah Goldberg’s The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas is that the whole Progressive movement is constantly making it up as they go along. The past is dangerous territory, because it comes complete with age-old lessons and the wisdom of myriad individuals. It’s much better simply to let scientists (social and otherwise) with the correct understanding of socialist outcomes make it up as they go along.