Victor Davis Hanson
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The second-term curse goes like this: A president (e.g., Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, etc.) wins re-election, but then his presidency implodes over the next four years -- mired in scandals or disasters such as Watergate, Iran-Contra, Monica Lewinsky, the Iraqi insurgency and Hurricane Katrina.

Apparently, like tragic Greek heroes, administrations grow arrogant after their re-election wins. They believe that they are invincible and that heir public approval is permanent rather than fickle.

The result is that Nemesis zeroes in on their fatal conceit and with a boom corrects their hubris. Or is the problem in some instances simply that embarrassments and scandals, hushed up in fear that they might cost an administration an election, explode with a fury in the second term?

Coincidentally, right after the election we heard that Iran had attacked a U.S. drone in international waters.

Coincidentally, we just learned that new food stamp numbers were "delayed" and that millions more became new recipients in the months before the election.

Coincidentally, we now gather that the federal relief effort following Hurricane Sandy was not so smooth, even as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Barack Obama high-fived it. Instead, in Katrina-like fashion, tens of thousands are still without power or shelter two weeks after the storm.

Coincidentally, we now learn that Obama's plan of letting tax rates increase for the "fat cat" 2 percent who make over $250,000 a year would not even add enough new revenue to cover 10 percent of the annual deficit. How he would get the other 90 percent in cuts, we are never told.

Coincidentally, we now learn that the vaunted Dream Act would at most cover only about 10 percent to 20 percent of illegal immigrants. As part of the bargain, does Obama have a post-election Un-Dream Act to deport the other 80 percent who do not qualify since either they just recently arrived in America, are not working, are not in school or the military, are on public assistance, or have a criminal record?

Coincidentally, now that the election is over, the scandal over the killings of Americans in Libya seems warranted due to the abject failure to heed pleas for more security before the attack and assistance during it. And the scandal is about more than just the cover-up of fabricating an absurd myth of protestors mad over a 2-month-old video -- just happening to show up on the anniversary of 9/11 with machine guns and rockets.
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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.