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Krauthammer’s Take


From the Special Report with Bret Baier All-Star Panel Dec. 22, 2011

On House Republicans’ agreement late Thursday to pass a two-month extension of the payroll-tax cut because it felt like the Alamo:

Actually, the Alamo held out a lot longer. And the stakes were a little higher. That was Texas independence.

What did the Speaker [John Bœhner] get in return for the five days of incoming the Republican have taken [for holding up the tax-holiday extension]?

A tweak in the payroll-reporting requirement in the bill, which is about as far in the weeds as you can go.

The other thing he touted was that . . . the Senate Democrats agree to send negotiators to work out a deal long-term deal. But that was going to happen anyway.

This is a rout of the first order.

There was a part in the press conference where Boehner said he fought “the good fight.” Whenever you hear the word “good fight” you can see the flapping of white flags. It was a complete debacle.

#more#On Ron Paul’s reaction to new media focus on incendiary, unsigned columns published in his political newsletters in the early 1990s:

He is experiencing heat in the kitchen, and he is not reacting well.

And the reason he hadn’t in the past is because he always was considered a fringe candidate. He would get his 10 to 15 percent, which he could rely on. He never was a threat to either win a big state, an important state, or win the nomination. I think his chances to win the nomination are extremely small. But nonetheless he is now leading in Iowa in the poll we just saw.

So now that he is up there, I think he’ll get the scrutiny that had never been sent his way either by the media or opponents.

Why waste ammunition on somebody you think can’t win when you can spend it on Gingrich who might actually have a chance? . . .

Now that he is somebody who could win Iowa, he will get this scrutiny. He has a lot of stuff in his past he has never had to explain. He is going to have to explain it.

On the Baghdad bomb attacks that killed at least 60 Thursday:

This is the reason that our generals on the ground who know the scene, who know the politicians, who know the factions, have been urging we keep residual American force. Not that we would be involved in the fighting. Remember, combat operations had stopped almost a year-and-a-half ago. . . .

The presence of Americans was able to assuage the friction between the Kurds and the Arabs in the north and also kept a damper on the ambitions of the Shiites, as expressed by Maliki, to seize power and to totally crush the Sunnis.

In essence, our presence was protecting and keeping the balance of power. The evacuation of all Americans which ended a few days ago was the precipitating event for this assault on the coalition government by Maliki — and the power grab. To arrest the leading Sunni politician is a big deal. He is now hiding in the Kurdish areas.

And what we are getting now also is these Al Qaeda- like attacks by Sunnis in either retaliation or trying to provoke a civil war. This could be catastrophic. . . .

Obama had probably expected a decent amount of time would pass until all of this happened. It’s happening right now.