The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Thursday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On John Boehner’s comment to Bret Baier that even if Obamacare can’t be repealed, “There’s a lot of tricks up our sleeve in terms of how we can dent this, kick it, slow it down to make sure it never happens. And trust me, I’m going to make sure this health-care bill never, ever, ever is implemented”:

I think the idea here is right, although I wouldn’t have used the phrase ‘tricks up his sleeve.’ It’s not exactly the way you want to start off.  You probably should say: I want to work within all the rules and the Constitution and get this changed or stopped. But I think the idea is right.

Obamacare was clearly the overriding issue in the campaign because it stood for, it was the epitome of what Obama had tried to do, of the liberal agenda. It was not, as Obama pretended yesterday, a response to a crisis. It was an idea that Democrats have had for 50 years, it represents a principle of theirs, and it was soundly rejected — with Democrats all across America either losing over it or running away from it.

And remember, in ‘09 and this year, the Democrats have tried to get it [health-care legislation] done quickly and behind them. Remember there was a deadline in the summer of ’09. Well, that didn’t hold. And [then] November of ‘09. They wanted it behind them because they understood it was unpopular.

What they’ve discovered is that it remains unpopular and increasingly so. As purely a tactical issue — although Republicans oppose it on principle as well — if you keep it out there for another year and a half, it’s going to hurt Democrats enormously, and you set it up as the major issue in ‘12 — because in ’12 is the only chance you‘re going to have of repeal, is if you elect a Republican president.

If you set it up as the major issue the way it was in ‘10, you win.

On John Boehner’s plans to put an end to detainee transfers from Guantanamo:

If you have the power of the purse, you can curtail what the president will do. You can’t actively do stuff if the president isn’t inclined, but you can stop it. And if he wants the closing of Guantanamo and bringing the prisoners into America — because there’s nobody else who’s going to take them — the House will stop him, and the country will be grateful.

On the lame-duck Congress, and whether it will attempt to enact a list of “nefarious things” such as card check that Democrats had been talking about:

When you suffer a defeat of this magnitude, all nefarious stuff is off the table.


NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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