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Articles filed under Krauthammer, Charles

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  • What really happened in Jerusalem Apr 2, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: When an American president so sympathetic to the Palestinian cause tells Mahmoud Abbas to stop obstructing peace with that phony settlement excuse, something important has happened. Abbas, unmasked and unhappy, knows this better than anyone.

     
  • Hail Armageddon Mar 1, 2013 10:44 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: “The worst-case scenario for us,” a leading anti-budget-cuts lobbyist told The Washington Post, “is the sequester hits and nothing bad really happens.” Think about that. Worst case? That a government drowning in debt should cut back by 2.2 percent — and the country survives.

     
  • The lesser of two evils on immigration Feb 25, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: In the end, the only remaining vessel for enforcement is Marco Rubio's proposal. It is deeply flawed and highly imperfect. But given that the Obama alternative effectively signs away America's right to decide who enters the country, the choice between the two proposals on the table today is straightforward.

     
  • In defense of Obama’s drone war Feb 18, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: The nation’s vexation over the morality and legality of President Obama’s drone war has produced a salutary but hopelessly confused debate. Three categories of questions are being asked. They must be separated to be clearly understood.

     
  • Immigration: Getting it right Feb 5, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: Enforcement followed by legalization is not just the political thing to do. It is the right thing to do — an act both of national generosity and national interest.

     
  • Obama unbound Jan 28, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: President Obama's mission is to redeem and resurrect the 50-year pre-Reagan liberal ascendancy. Accordingly, his second inaugural address, ideologically unapologetic and aggressive, is his historical marker, his self-proclamation as the Reagan of the left. If he succeeds in these next four years, he will have earned the title.

     
  • A new strategy for the GOP Jan 18, 2013 8:36 AM
    It has become conventional wisdom that Republicans are suffering an internal split that President Obama is successfully exploiting to neuter the Republican House. It is not true, however, that the Republican split is philosophical and fundamental. And that a hopelessly divided GOP is therefore headed for decline, perhaps irrelevance. In fact, the split is tactical, not philosophical; short-term, not fundamental. And therefore quite solvable. How do we know? Simple thought experiment: Imagine that we had a Republican president. Would the party be deeply divided over policy, at war with itself in Congress? Not at all. It would be rallying around something like the Paul Ryan budget that twice passed the House with near 100 percent GOP unanimity. In reality, Republicans have a broad consensus on program and policy. But they don’t have the power. What divides Republicans today is a straightforward tactical question: Can you govern from one house of Congress? Should you even try? Can you shrink government, restrain spending, bring a modicum of fiscal sanity to the country when the president and a blocking Senate have no intention of doing so? One faction feels committed to try. It wishes to carry out its small-government electoral promises and will cast no vote inconsistent with that philosophy. These are the House Republicans who voted no on the “fiscal cliff” deal because it raised taxes without touching spending. Indeed, it increased spending with its crazy-quilt crony-capitalist tax “credits” -- for wind power and other indulgences. They were willing to risk the fiscal cliff. Today they are willing to risk a breach of the debt ceiling and even a government shutdown rather than collaborate with Obama’s tax-and-spend second-term agenda. The other view is that you cannot govern from the House. The reason Ryan and John Boehner finally voted yes on the lousy fiscal-cliff deal is that by then there was nowhere else to go. Republicans could not afford to bear the blame (however unfair) for a $4.5 trillion across-the-board tax hike and a Pentagon hollowed out by sequester. The party establishment is coming around to the view that if you try to govern from one house — e.g., force spending cuts with cliffhanging brinkmanship — you lose. You not only don’t get the cuts, you get the blame for rattled markets and economic uncertainty. You get humiliated by having to cave in the end. And you get opinion polls ranking you below head lice and colonoscopies in popularity. There is history here. The Gingrich Revolution ran aground when it tried to govern from Congress, losing badly to President Clinton over government shutdowns. Nor did the modern insurgents do any better in the 2011 debt-ceiling and 2012 fiscal-cliff showdowns with Obama. Obama’s postelection arrogance and intransigence can put you in a fighting mood. I sympathize. But I’m tending toward the realist view: Don’t force the issue when you don’t have the power. The debt-ceiling deadline is coming up. You can demand commensurate spending cuts, the usual, reasonable Republican offer. But you won’t get them. Obama will hold out. And, at the eleventh hour, you will have to give in as you get universally blamed for market gyrations and threatened credit downgrades. The more prudent course would be to find some offer that cannot be refused, a short-term trade-off utterly unassailable and straightforward. For example, offer to extend the debt ceiling through, say, May 1, in exchange for the Senate delivering a budget by that date — after four years of lawlessly refusing to produce one. Not much. But it would (a) highlight the Democrats’ fiscal recklessness, (b) force Senate Democrats to make public their fiscal choices and (c) keep the debt ceiling alive as an ongoing pressure point for future incremental demands. Go small and simple. Forget about forcing tax reform or entitlement cuts or anything major. If Obama wants to recklessly expand government, well, as he says, he won the election. Republicans should simply block what they can. Further tax hikes, for example. The general rule is: From a single house of Congress you can resist but you cannot impose. Aren’t you failing the country, say the insurgents? Answer: The country chose Obama. He gets four years. Want to save the Republic? Win the next election. Don’t immolate yourself trying to save liberalism from itself. If your conservative philosophy is indeed right, winning will come. As Margaret Thatcher said serenely of the Labor Party socialists she later overthrew: “They always run out of other people’s money.” Charles Krauthammer’s email address is letters@charleskrauthammer.com. © 2013, The Washington Post Writers Group

     
  • The meaning of Hagel Jan 15, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: Under the guise of centrist bipartisanship, it allows the president to leave the constrained first-term Obama behind and follow his natural Hagel-like foreign policy inclinations.

     
  • Return of the real Obama Jan 9, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: The old Obama is back. He must not be underestimated. He has deftly leveraged his class-war-themed election victory (a) to secure a source of funding (albeit still small) for the bloated welfare state, (b) to carry out an admirably candid bit of income redistribution and (c) to fracture the one remaining institutional obstacle to the rest of his ideological agenda.

     
  • The tension between public safety, liberty Dec 20, 2012 2:41 PM
    Every mass shooting has three elements: the killer, the weapon and the cultural climate. As soon as the shooting stops, partisans immediately pick their preferred root cause with corresponding pet panacea. Names are hurled, scapegoats paraded, prejudices vented. The argument goes nowhere. Let’s be serious: 1. The Weapon Within hours of last week’s Newtown, Conn., shooting, the focus was the weapon and the demand was for new gun laws. Several prominent pro-gun Democrats remorsefully professed new openness to gun control. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is introducing a new assault weapons ban. And the president emphasized guns and ammo above all else in announcing the creation of a new task force. I have no problem in principle with gun control. Congress enacted (and I supported) an assault weapons ban in 1994. The problem was: It didn’t work. (So concluded a University of Pennsylvania study commissioned by the Justice Department.) The reason is simple. Unless you are prepared to confiscate all existing firearms, disarm the citizenry and repeal the Second Amendment, it’s almost impossible to craft a law that will be effective. Feinstein’s law, for example, would exempt 900 weapons. And that’s the least of the loopholes. Even the guns that are banned can be made legal with simple, minor modifications. Most fatal, however, is the grandfathering of existing weapons and magazines. That’s one of the reasons the ’94 law failed. At the time, there were 1.5 million assault weapons in circulation and 25 million large-capacity (i.e., more than 10 bullets) magazines. A reservoir that immense can take 100 years to draw down. 2. The Killer Monsters will always be with us, but in earlier days they did not roam free. As a psychiatrist in Massachusetts in the 1970s, I committed people — often right out of the emergency room — as a danger to themselves or to others. I never did so lightly, but I labored under none of the crushing bureaucratic and legal constraints that make involuntary commitment infinitely more difficult today. Why do you think we have so many homeless? Destitution? Poverty has declined since the 1950s. The majority of those sleeping on grates are mentally ill. In the name of civil liberties, we let them die with their rights on. A tiny percentage of the mentally ill become mass killers. Just about everyone around Tucson shooter Jared Loughner sensed he was mentally ill and dangerous. But in effect, he had to kill before he could be put away — and (forcibly) treated. Random mass killings were three times more common in the 2000s than in the 1980s, when gun laws were actually weaker. Yet a 2011 University of California at Berkeley study found that states with strong civil commitment laws have about a one-third lower homicide rate. 3. The Culture We live in an entertainment culture soaked in graphic, often sadistic, violence. Older folks find themselves stunned by what a desensitized youth finds routine, often amusing. It’s not just movies. Young men sit for hours pulling video-game triggers, mowing down human beings en masse without pain or consequence. And we profess shock when a small cadre of unstable, deeply deranged, dangerously isolated young men go out and enact the overlearned narrative. If we’re serious about curtailing future Columbines and Newtowns, everything — guns, commitment, culture — must be on the table. It’s not hard for President Obama to call out the NRA. But will he call out the ACLU? And will he call out his Hollywood friends? The irony is that over the last 30 years, the U.S. homicide rate has declined by 50 percent. Gun murders as well. We’re living not through an epidemic of gun violence but through a historic decline. Except for these unfathomable mass murders. But these are infinitely more difficult to prevent. While law deters the rational, it has far less effect on the psychotic. The best we can do is to try to detain them, disarm them and discourage “entertainment” that can intensify already murderous impulses. But there’s a cost. Gun control impinges upon the Second Amendment; involuntary commitment impinges upon the liberty clause of the Fifth Amendment; curbing “entertainment” violence impinges upon First Amendment free speech. That’s a lot of impingement, a lot of amendments. But there’s no free lunch. Increasing public safety almost always means restricting liberties. We made that trade after 9/11. We make it every time the TSA invades your body at an airport. How much are we prepared to trade away after Newtown? Charles Krauthammer’s email address is letters@charleskrauthammer.com. © 2012, The Washington Post Writers Group

     
  • The right-to-work dilemma Dec 17, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: Right-to-work laws do weaken unions. And de-unionization can lead to lower wages. But there is another factor at play: having a job in the first place. In right-to-work states, the average wage is about 10 percent lower. But in right-to-work states, unemployment also is about 10 percent lower.

     
  • It’s nothing but a power play Dec 10, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: What should Republicans do? If Obama remains intransigent, let him be the one to take us over the cliff. And then let the new House, which is sworn in weeks before the president, immediately introduce and pass a full across-the-board restoration of the Bush tax cuts.

     
  • Cliff jumping with Obama Dec 3, 2012 3:42 PM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: Why are Republicans playing the Democrats' game that the "fiscal cliff" is all about taxation?

     
  • Why was there war in Gaza? Nov 25, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: Israel has once again succeeded in defending itself. But, yet again, only until the next round, which, as the night follows the day, will come. Hamas will see to that.

     
  • The way forward Nov 11, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: Republicans: No whimpering. No whining. No reinvention when none is needed. Do conservatism, but do it better. There's a whole generation of leaders ready to do just that.

     
  • The great, ideological choice Nov 4, 2012 6:00 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: Every four years we are told that the coming election is the most important of one's life. This time it might actually be true. At stake is the relation between citizen and state, the very nature of the American social contract.

     
  • Obama stoops, doesn’t conquer Oct 28, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: Romney chose to do a Reagan: Don't quarrel. Speak softly. Meet the threshold. We'll soon know whether steady-as-she-goes was the right choice.

     
  • The great gaffe Oct 21, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: The rub for President Obama comes, ironically enough, out of Mitt Romney's biggest flub in the debate, the Libya question. That flub kept Romney from winning the evening outright. But Obama's answer has left him a hostage to fortune. Missed by Romney, missed by the audience, missed by most of the commentariat, it was the biggest gaffe of the entire debate cycle:

     
  • The Big Bird counterattack Oct 15, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: Democrats are shellshocked and left searching for excuses. Start with scapegoats: the hapless John Kerry, Obama’s sparring partner in the practice debates, for going too soft on the boss; then the debate moderator for not exerting enough control.

     
  • Go large, Mitt Sep 30, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: Make the case. Go large. About a foreign policy in ruins. About an archaic, 20th-century welfare state model that guarantees 21st-century insolvency. And about an alternate vision of an unapologetically assertive America abroad unafraid of fundamental structural change at home.

     
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