Victor Davis Hanson

Likewise, instead of hiking death taxes on small businesspeople, why not close loopholes for billion-dollar estates by taxing their gargantuan bequests to pet foundations that avoid estate taxes. Why should a Warren Buffett or Bill Gates act as if he built his own business and can solely determine how his fat-cat fortune is spent for the next century -- meanwhile robbing the government of billions of dollars in lost estate taxes along with any federal say in how such fortunes are put to public use?

The president flipped in an election year on the Dream Act. Suddenly, in 2012, Obama decided that he indeed did have the executive power to order amnesty without congressional approval for those who came illegally as children, stayed in school or joined the military, avoided arrest and thus deserved citizenship. In response, Republicans supposedly lost Latino support by insisting that federal immigration law be enforced across the board, regardless of race, class, gender or national origin.

But why not make the president's Dream Act part of the envisioned grand bargain on immigration? Once it is agreed upon that we have the ability to distinguish those foreign nationals deserving of amnesty, then surely we also have the ability to determine who does not meet that agreed-upon criteria.

Why, then, cannot conservatives allow a pathway to citizenship for the play-by-the-rules millions who qualify, while regrettably enforcing an un-Dream Act for others who just recently arrived illegally; enrolled in, and have remain on, public assistance; or have been convicted of a crime? Who could object to that fair compromise?

Finally, Obamacare will be imposed on all Americans by 2014. But so far the Obama administration has granted more than 1,200 exemptions to favored corporations and unions, covering about 4 million Americans. Shouldn't Republicans seek to end all exemptions rather than tackle the improbable task of overturning Obamacare itself? Their motto should be: "Equality for all; special treatment for no one!"

One of the brilliant themes of the 2012 Obama campaign was forcing Republicans, on principle, to systematically oppose most of the things that the administration wanted them to oppose -- thereby shielding itself from the unwelcome consequences of its own ideology while winning political points. Now, in defeat, Republicans should agree to let the chips lie where they fall: Tax only the truly rich; reward only the truly deserving illegal immigrants; and exempt no one from Obamacare.

Nothing could be fairer or more equal than that.


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.