The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Tuesday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On President Clinton’s reaction to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and what President Obama should say in Tucson:

At the memorial service in Oklahoma City, Clinton spoke eloquently and in a way that was non-partisan.

But in Milwaukee the next day, he gave a speech in which he denounced the people spreading “hatred and division.” He said “they leave the impression … that violence is acceptable.” And then he clearly said that he was speaking about some of the things that are “regularly said over the airwaves.” That was understood everywhere to mean Rush Limbaugh and by extension Newt Gingrich and the Republicans who had just trounced him in the elections half a year earlier.

So that was very much a partisan exploitation of that tragedy, and it happened to be the beginning of his comeback. Now Obama is in a different circumstance. As Steve [Hayes] indicated, the attempt of people on the left to get ahead of this story and to do what Clinton had done with Oklahoma City [blame conservative opponents] already, I think, is almost over, because it is so cynical, hypocritical, and obviously without any evidence.

So we’re at the end of that cycle, and I think Obama is too smart. I think he’s going to act as head of state, rather than head of a party or head of government, and I think he understands both because he sincerely feels it and because it’s his political interest. If he speaks as a president without even any hint of this blame on one side or the other, it will help him a lot politically as well as speak well for the nation.

On Secretary of State Clinton saying that the U.S. wants to send Guantanamo detainees to Yemen for rehabilitation:

It looks as if it’s a response, an in-your-face to Congress, saying, OK, if I can’t stick them [Gitmo detainees] in Michigan, I’ll put them in Yemen. The problem is, despite the assurances of the secretary of state … the Saudi program is not exactly a success. The number two man in al-Qaeda in Yemen is a graduate of the Saudi twelve-step program. I hear he made the dean’s list.

There are a lot of other top officials in al-Qaeda in Yemen who are graduates of that program. It is not a success.

I think it’s completely irresponsible to put [them] in the hands of a Yemeni government, which in the past has let out some of these miscreants — let them out of jail, rearrested them and let them out of jail again — to put any of the people in the custody of a government whose cooperation in the war on terror is extremely problematic.



From Tuesday night’s The O’Reilly Factor.

On the inability of society to incarcerate the dangerous mentally ill until they act:

For 30 years I’ve been concerned about how we treat the homeless. A large number of the homeless are clearly homeless not because of poverty or bad luck but because they are mentally ill, talking to themselves, etc. …

It started in the Kennedy era with the deinstitutionalization, which was supposedly humane. But today what we are doing with this insistence on individual autonomy and the reluctance to want to put anybody into [involuntary psychiatric] commitment is that the homeless are dying on the street, freezing on the streets — with their rights on …

And what we’re doing with the dangerous mentally ill, like this Loughner guy, is leaving him loose in society, like the Virginia Tech killer. Remember him? There were all kinds of signs of derangement in him.

But with our laws, it is so hard to commit somebody against his will … There were five incidents in the college that Loughner was in — five encounters with the police, the campus police. One of his professors said: Can’t you do anything? And they answered: We can’t do anything until he does something.

Well, now he’s done it, and it’s too late.

On the neuroses of those, such as Paul Krugman of the New York Times, who have turned this tragedy into a political weapon against conservatives:

Well, I’m not going to analyze Krugman. He can’t afford my rates. I do only people [psychotically] “out there” like Loughner.

I don’t want to talk about the psychology of writers who obviously are not psychotic. I think psychiatry has a lot to say about serious mental illness and psychosis. I don’t think it has a lot to say about neurosis, which is a term that’s not even used [in psychiatry anymore].

Let me just approach them as people writing, public figures. What they have done is to cynically seize upon a terrible tragedy and to willfully ignore the evidence and use it as a political club.

I think actually it’s not working. There’s a poll now that 57 percent of Americans disagree with this idea that somehow there’s a climate out there which impelled Loughner to act. I think it’s very healthy that a majority of Americans see that. And therefore, I think, they would see how cynical are the attempts on the left to turn this into a political event. …

Cynicism, willful ignorance, and in some cases — malice.

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

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