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Who are our Hannans?

I first became aware of Daniel Hannan, a British Conservative Member of the European Parliament (MEP), in the spring of 2009 after the video of his speech attacking Gordon Brown went viral.  Over the past few years, he has continued to garner attention here, “across the pond,” for other speeches, and he has been a repeat guest on conservative talk radio and Fox News.

This past weekend, Anne Sorock at Legal Insurrection linked to his recent take down of the Occupy Movement from an appearance at the Oxford Union.

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It is an impressive performance.  Hannan not only delivers a ringing endorsement of capitalism and an indictment of the bailouts, but he also explains the links between what the Occupy crowd says it wants and today’s economic woes, and he does so with a force and a clarity that is thrilling to witness.

Watching it, I was struck by how much Hannan reminded me of some of the clips I’ve seen of Margaret Thatcher’s appearances before the House of Commons during her time as Prime Minister, particularly this one from her last appearance.  I had to wonder if Hannan’s career might in time resemble Thatcher’s and if some day he will be the Prime Minister of Great Britain.

At the same time, though, I have to wonder: who are the Hannans here in the U.S.?   When Romney selected Paul Ryan as his running mate, I had hopes that he would provide such clear-spoken explanations of conservative economics on the campaign trail.  While it’s quite possible he did and the press did its best to muzzle them, I suspect that, in actuality, they were few and far between, as the Romney campaign seems to have been reluctant to hit the Obama administration too hard.  In the past few weeks, many conservatives have been talking about recent statements made by Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Rand Paul, and even the newly-minted Senator Ted Cruz from Texas.  So are any of these men likely to be our Hannans?  If not, then who might be?



  1. Begging in the question: Does the GOP really need to abandon its principles, or does it just need better candidates and a savvier media strategy?

    Comment by V the K — January 23, 2013 @ 5:49 am - January 23, 2013

  2. Brilliant speaker. Really makes you wonder where his American counterpart is.

    Comment by David — January 23, 2013 @ 7:27 am - January 23, 2013

  3. I would posit that Chris Christie is, in a certain way, Hannan’s dumbed-down American counterpart. Yes, I think Christie is a jackass and a sellout RINO, but he is an effective speaker. Whereas Hannan is effective because he is articulate and possessed of a razor-sharp intellect; Christie is effective because of sheer ballsiness. He is not nearly as intelligent as Hannan

    Comment by V the K — January 23, 2013 @ 7:34 am - January 23, 2013

  4. I am watching Rand Paul. So far, I have not seen enough of him to actually gauge him. He is inexperienced enough to be taken down by a concerted media gang-bang, so I am giving him time to develop.

    The fact is that we do not seem to have the people who can stand up to the Soledad type news yentas who have no shame. Our people seem to go into those news porn sites with the game plan to come out semi-liked.

    Chris Christie is a good example of someone who can crush these people, but he is certainly not a principled champion with a strong belief system.

    And I have come to believe that our women are too easily painted as numb-skulled shrews. (Not that Hillary, Maxine, Moochelle, etc. are anything but numb-skulled shrews.)

    Daniel Hannan has mastered the art of debate in the hot seat center of learning the art of debate. We do not have such a breeding ground in our system of government.

    Reagan honed his delivery traveling the country for GE and building his own self confidence through continued interaction with diverse groups of people. In that respect, he was truly unique.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 23, 2013 @ 10:33 am - January 23, 2013

  5. I <3 Rand Paul.

    Comment by V the K — January 23, 2013 @ 11:03 am - January 23, 2013

  6. And I have come to believe that our women are too easily painted as numb-skulled shrews[…]

    It’s also why someone of Daniel Hannan’s stature will not be elected as President in the US anytime soon. If Mitt Romney is a cheating, animal-abusing, murdering, inhumane, oligarch who was often referred to by his uncommon name (which just happens to be the title of a book & movie featuring a rat), then someone on the right side of the political spectrum who is intelligent and articulate will be sloughed off as an effete snob and derided as “William F. Buckley, Jr”. (And that, of course, would not be intended as complimentary.)

    No, in order to be seen as intelligent and elected to high office in the current era, you have to be down with Jay-Z instead of Descartes and be a clever speaker far more than an (actually) intelligent one.

    Comment by RSG — January 23, 2013 @ 11:43 am - January 23, 2013

  7. Regarding Chris Christie, why is it that Republican politicians who are good at being combative in fighting the premises of the press corps and other kinds of interlocutors can also be among the least principled when it comes to things they say and do once in office? Newt Gingrich comes to mind as another example of that phenomenon. During the primaries, many folks were so impressed with his pushing back against the bias of the questions in some of the debates that they seemed to forget many of the more questionable (and opportunistic) statements and actions over the years.

    Comment by Kurt — January 23, 2013 @ 12:00 pm - January 23, 2013

  8. With respect to Rand Paul, he did a fine job with some of his comments to Hillary Clinton during this morning’s testimony.

    Comment by Kurt — January 23, 2013 @ 12:40 pm - January 23, 2013

  9. Kurt,

    Thanks for the Link to Rand Paul and three cheers for him!!!

    As to: why is it that Republican politicians who are good at being combative in fighting the premises of the press corps and other kinds of interlocutors can also be among the least principled when it comes to things they say and do once in office?

    Being glib and clever and even correct is not a substitute for having and holding a principled belief system. It is possible to compromise your firmness to achieve measured progress without compromising your principled belief system. However, pure quid pro quo compromising shoots a hole in the bottom of your principled belief system boat. Just because the “gentleman” from East Whatever will trade his integrity does not mean that you have to do the same. Vote trading works only among the whores who are in the game.

    The leadership in either house are engaged in all manner of chicanery and duplicity with the other leadership and even within their own parties.

    A Presidential candidate needs to understand power politics, authoritarianism, patronage and the varying shades of corruption, but he does not need to be a practitioner.

    Newt is his own worst enemy. He gets to hitting the bullseye over and over and then shoots himself in the foot as he holsters his gun. You can count on it. And, if you didn’t see it happen, you can count on the media playing the clip over and over every time he catches their attention.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 23, 2013 @ 1:25 pm - January 23, 2013

  10. Definity Rand Paul in the Senate. Unfortunately, a great conservative voice in the House was redricted by the RINOS and irefer to Lt. Col. Allen West. the vicious campaign that the Democrats and Pat Murphy launched against him was below the belt. I believe Bill Maher used racists images against him and the black liberals gave him a pass. Black Conservatives are heroes to me, for subjecting themselves to the buse heaped on them by the left from both races. Mayor Mia Love from Utah was another subject to the same treatment. While not having been in the politics before, Herman Cain got submarines by Axelrod. I´ll bet if Sean Hannity had broken the news instead of the National Enquirer about John Edwards and his love child, the left would have called it a harsh and hearless conservative conspiracy.

    Comment by Roberto — January 23, 2013 @ 1:29 pm - January 23, 2013

  11. sorry for the typos, I guess it´s either astigmatism or cataracts have started.

    Comment by Roberto — January 23, 2013 @ 1:32 pm - January 23, 2013

  12. What conservatives need is someone who talks like Rand Paul but sounds like Morgan Freeman.

    Comment by V the K — January 23, 2013 @ 2:33 pm - January 23, 2013

  13. Also not to be missed is Nigel Farage, of the UK Independence Party.

    I’m not sure of the relationship of the Conservative and Independence parties, but the latter appear to be Conservative breakways, as the former waters itself down too much.

    Libertarian-conservatives succeed when they have spokespeople like Thatcher and Reagan, who can both articulate the principles and stick to them (not selling out). The American Left has grasped that; hence, their all-out wars of personal destruction upon any conservative who might develop into such a leader, such as Herman Cain or Sarah Palin.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 23, 2013 @ 3:43 pm - January 23, 2013

  14. Utah Sen Mike Lee might someday rise up on the radar.
    So, too, another Utah rep, Congressman Jason Chaffetz.
    But Hannan has a real way with words.

    Comment by Nan G — January 23, 2013 @ 6:46 pm - January 23, 2013

  15. Senator Marco Rubio has turned out to be a massive disappointment.

    Comment by V the K — January 23, 2013 @ 7:14 pm - January 23, 2013

  16. ILC you nailed it. Liberals viciously attack any conservative who might become a great communicator because they know their policies are failures built on lies meant to ultimately enrich themselves.

    Comment by David — January 24, 2013 @ 7:13 am - January 24, 2013

  17. David, you are so right, liberal policies are failures, built on the lie of social justice, meant only to take money from those who earn it, and give it to those who don’t, creating a welfare state, and thus ensuring power for themselves. I have hopes for Ted Cruz. I also have hope for Ken Cuccinelli, although admittedly I don’t know that much about him, other than he took on the EPA and won.

    Comment by cashless — January 24, 2013 @ 7:37 am - January 24, 2013

  18. BRAVO…I love this guy!! “The failure of a business and its replacement by a rival is…a sign that the capitalist system IS working”

    Comment by Eddie Swaim — January 24, 2013 @ 12:46 pm - January 24, 2013

  19. Here they go again…

    I don’t think Rand Paul will rollover though.

    Comment by David — January 25, 2013 @ 7:15 am - January 25, 2013

  20. I’m hoping Rand Paul will withhold unaimous consent. They want to call us obstructionist? Let’s show them how the Senate was designed for obstruction.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 25, 2013 @ 7:40 am - January 25, 2013

  21. Rand Paul is likely to know where and how his father crossed the line into Looney Tunes Land. That is to say, Rand Paul probably uses a rifle agenda rather than a shotgun/blunderbuss agenda.

    He is also enough of a “young Turk” to be more dedicated to reform than to playing lap dog to the Senate “good old boy” establishment. When he said he would have fired Hillary, I am certain Senators on both sides gave themselves a wedgie.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 25, 2013 @ 9:06 am - January 25, 2013

  22. Rand Paul is smartly countering the charges that his father was an anti-semite, too.

    Comment by V the K — January 25, 2013 @ 10:11 am - January 25, 2013

  23. Watching Hannan’s speech again, and it is brilliant. I may have to do a post or two on the substance of it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 28, 2013 @ 2:02 pm - January 28, 2013

  24. […] angle was, Who are our Hannans? But I would like to get into the substance of what Hannan […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Occupy Washington! — January 28, 2013 @ 9:11 pm - January 28, 2013

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