Krauthammer’s Take

by NRO Staff

From Monday’s Special Report All-Star Panel Appearance

On the Supreme Court’s Agreement to Hear a Challenge to 2010 Health Care overhaul:

And they are doing it with five-and-a-half hours of hearing, which is a modern record. They are dividing it in four parts, one on the constitutionality of the mandate, a second on whether it is separable from the rest of the bill, the third whether any of the plaintiffs have standing until the first penalty kicks in at 2015. And the last is on the issue of the Medicare expansion: Is it constitutional?

By doing that, I think the Court allows itself to come out with a split decision. That’s something the lower courts have done. One of the lower courts, for example, upheld the expansion of the Medicare but struck down the constitutionality of the mandate.

And that, of course, is the key issue. . . the most important probably since Roe over. . . the limits of what Congress can do. Because. . . if it’s not struck down, there is no limit to the power of Congress doing anything it wants under the commerce clause.

On the suggestion that President Obama’s running against the Supreme Court (if the individual mandate is struck down) would bolster his support among the liberal base:

You don’t win the general election on the liberal base. Gallup shows 20 percent of Americans are liberal. He  can’t win on 20 percent.

I think if the president decides after running against congress, running against the Republicans, now he is going to run against the Supreme Court, which is one of the few institutions actually  held in high esteem, he is going to look like a whiner and a loser.

I think if the mandate is struck down, it helps him perhaps because the issue of Obamacare will be moot, and we know how unpopular it is. There was an election on Tuesday, a vote on Tuesday in Ohio where the mandate was on the ballot and it was opposed by a margin of 31 points.

But I think in the perverse way it would really hurt him, and the reason is he is running against a do-nothing Congress. The Republicans would then run against a do-nothing administration: a year-and-a-half spent on a bill that was in the end unconstitutional, $1 trillion on the stimulus which   increased unemployment (of 2 million) and an economy stagnant, and lastly a financial reform leaving us in a position where our financial institutions today are hanging by a thread.

Are these his accomplishments? The argument would be. . . : Four years in office, and he has accomplished absolutely nothing.

On President’s Obama’s recent remark that the United States has been “a little lazy” in attracting foreign investment:

No one is asking him to go out there and be a jingoistic cheerleader. But when you call your own country lazy when you are abroad and call it unambitious and soft when you are home, I think what you are showing is not tough love but ill-concealed contempt. Obama is ready to blame everybody except himself for the lousy economy and the lack of investment.

Why are people reluctant to invest? We have the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. Obama has spoken about it. It’s the one issue on which the Republicans would have agreed on lowering that rate, eliminating the loopholes. In three years in office he has done nothing.

He has an NLRB trying to shut down a billion dollar plant that Boeing is constructing, as a favor to Obama union allies. People look abroad and say this isn’t a place where I want to do business. It’s his issues, his overregulation, his over-taxation and all the red tape he has added. And now he blames Americans’ laziness. I think it’s unseemly.

On the president’s handling of Iran:

I think what you have here is mistaking ends and means. Obama imagines that you’ve succeeded in the policy against Iran  if you have a strong, united Western front.

But that’s only a means to actually achieve a curtailment of the program. He can have as strong a front as he wants, but Iran is closer to a bomb today than he was when he entered office. What we are going to have under his policy is a very strong united West — and an Iran with nukes.

The objective is to stop, slow down the program.

And to boast about Iran’s isolation when actually the Chinese and the Russians stand with Iran and said we won’t allow any new sanctions I think is to entirely misunderstand how much the policy has failed.

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