Victor Davis Hanson
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If most Americans are willing to consider allowing paths to citizenship for law-obeying illegal aliens, then they should be equally adamant in using such discretion to deport those who are have broken the law or who become wards of the state. But does anyone believe such balance will really be the basis for compromise?

The dread of Obamacare has already helped to spike insurance premiums. No one yet quite knows how the massive wave of new regulations will affect patients, doctors and hospitals. Nearly three years after the bill's passage, the public is still not happy with even the idea of it.

Abroad, most believe that Iran will either become a nuclear power or have to be stopped during Obama's second term. Obama's choices are bad versus worse: a nuclear-armed Iran bullying the Middle East with a sword of Damocles permanently suspended over Israel's head, or a preemptory war to defang the theocracy, leading to an almost certain Middle East wave of terrorism and a flaming Persian Gulf.

There soon must be truth-telling over the September terrorist killing of our ambassador and three Americans in Libya. A mostly pro-Obama media postponed questioning the preposterous administration narrative of a spontaneous demonstration gone awry over an obscure video -- in fear of endangering the president's re-election bid.

But the facts of the worst terrorist attack on Americans since 9/11 remain stubborn things and won't go away. Al-Qaeda is not dismantled, but still killing Americans. Libya is not a model of a democratic Arab Spring, but mired in tribal chaos.

Key administration officials -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, especially--will have to explain why prior warnings from Libya were ignored with fatal consequences. Others, like Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, Vice President Joe Biden and perhaps the president himself, must tell us why for so long they claimed that the violence was spontaneous, when they knew, or should have known, it was preplanned terrorism.

Yet not everything ahead is bleak. Vast new gas and oil finds could soon make America energy-independent. The American economy is cyclical and may finally rebound on its own -- if Obama just leaves it alone and stops regulating and borrowing.

Popular lore attests that insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Let's hope that the same Democratic president, the same polarized Congress and the same divided country do something differently from the last lost four years.
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Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal.