Trump has be­come the Democrats’ great white whale

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Opinion - BY VIC­TOR DAVIS HAN­SON Vic­tor Davis Han­son is a clas­si­cist and his­to­rian at the Hoover In­sti­tu­tion, Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity, and the au­thor of the soon-to-be re­leased “The Sec­ond World Wars: How the First Global Con­flict Was Fought and Won,” to ap­pear in Octo

One way of en­vi­sion­ing the Demo­cratic ob­ses­sions with Don­ald Trump is as an ad­dic­tion. We have seen the ini­tial im­peach­ment ef­forts; the at­tempt to get him un­der the emol­u­ments clause, the Lo­gan Act and the 25th Amend­ment; the Rus­sian col­lu­sion hoax; the Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion; the de­mand for his tax re­turns; and the psy­chodra­mas in­volv­ing Michael Ave­natti, Michael Co­hen and Stormy Daniels.

Re­lent­less pro­gres­sives have needed a new Get Trump fix about ev­ery two months.

More prac­ti­cally, their fix­a­tion also sub­sti­tutes for a col­lec­tive poverty of ideas. The Demo­cratic

Party has no plan to se­cure the bor­ders other than to be against what­ever Trump is for. They would not build a wall, de­port il­le­gal en­trants, end sanc­tu­ary cities, fine em­ploy­ers or do much of any­thing but al­low al­most any­one to en­ter the U.S.

The home­less cri­sis is reach­ing epi­demic pro­por­tions in our cities, al­most all of them run by pro­gres­sive may­ors and city coun­cils. None have any work­able plan to clean the side­walks of nee­dles and hu­man ex­cre­ment. None know what do with the hun­dreds of thou­sands who have camped out in pub­lic spa­ces, en­dan­ger­ing their own health and ev­ery­one around them due to drug ad­dic­tion and in­ad­e­quate san­i­ta­tion and waste re­moval.

On abor­tion, the new Demo­cratic po­si­tion seems to be that the un­born can be aborted at any time the mother chooses, up to and in­clud­ing the mo­ment of birth.

The Green New Deal has been en­dorsed by most of the cur­rent Demo­cratic pri­mary can­di­dates, even though they pri­vately know its utopian fan­tasies would shut down the U.S. econ­omy and de­stroy the present pros­per­ity fu­eled by record en­ergy pro­duc­tion, dereg­u­la­tion, and tax re­form and re­duc­tion.

Abroad, were Democrats for or against ab­ro­gat­ing the Iran nu­clear deal, mov­ing the U.S. Em­bassy in Is­rael from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and prod­ding China to fol­low re­cip­ro­cal trade rules? How do they pro­pose to deal with North Korean nu­clear-tipped mis­siles that seemed to sud­denly ap­pear as Barack Obama left of­fice?

Have Democrats pro­posed can­cel­ing the new pipe­line con­struc­tion that Trump has fast-tracked? Would they scale way back on the nat­u­ral gas and oil pro­duc­tion that has made Amer­ica en­er­gyin­de­pen­dent and on the cusp of be­com­ing the world’s great­est en­ergy ex­porter?

Democrats have oc­ca­sion­ally talked of im­ple­ment­ing repa­ra­tions for slav­ery, a wealth tax and free col­lege tu­ition, and of elim­i­nat­ing col­lege debt, Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment, and the Elec­toral Col­lege.

Yet they have never spelled out ex­actly how they would en­act such rad­i­cal pro­pos­als that likely do not ap­peal to a ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion.

Would they re­verse Trump tax cuts, stop hec­tor­ing NATO mem­bers to pay their promised de­fense con­tri­bu­tions, re­store NAFTA or re­vive the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship trade agree­ment?

For now, no one has much of an idea what Demo­cratic can­di­dates would ac­tu­ally do, much less how they would do it.

In­stead, the fall­back po­si­tion is al­ways that “Trump stole the 2016 elec­tion,” “the Mueller re­port did not re­ally ex­on­er­ate Trump of col­lu­sion and ob­struc­tion,” and “Trump must be im­peached or some­how stopped from fin­ish­ing his first term.”

When the Mueller re­port found no col­lu­sion and no in­dictable grounds for ob­struc­tion of the non-crime of col­lu­sion, for a mo­ment pro­gres­sives suf­fered an iden­tity cri­sis.

The tem­po­rary paral­y­sis was prompted by the ter­ror that with­out a cru­sade to re­move Trump, they might have to offer an al­ter­na­tive vi­sion and agenda that would bet­ter ap­peal to 2020 vot­ers.

The Demo­cratic es­tab­lish­ment has be­come some­thing like nov­el­ist Her­man Melville’s pho­bic Cap­tain Ahab, who be­came fa­tally ab­sorbed with chas­ing his neme­sis, the al­bino whale Moby Dick. The great white whale once ate part of Ahab’s leg, and he de­mands re­venge – even if such a never-end­ing neu­ro­sis leads to the de­struc­tion of his ship and crew.

Democrats can never for­give Trump for un­ex­pect­edly de­feat­ing sup­posed sure win­ner Hil­lary Clin­ton in 2016 and then sys­tem­at­i­cally – and loudly – un­do­ing the eight-year agenda of Obama.

So far, Trump seems to have es­caped all of their ef­forts to spear and re­move him be­fore the 2020 elec­tion. Trump, like Moby Dick, seems a weird force of na­ture whose wounds from con­stant at­tacks only seem to make him more in­de­struc­tible and his at­tack­ers even more ob­sessed with their prey.

Even if the quest to de­stroy Trump eclipses ev­ery other con­sid­er­a­tion and en­tails the de­struc­tion of the mod­ern Demo­cratic Party, it seems not to mat­ter to these mod­ern Ahabs.

Get­ting Trump is all they live for – and all they have left.

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