The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Tuesday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On President Obama’s silence on Libya:

I think the reticence of this administration is simply astonishing. This is a president who arrogantly went around the world in the first year in office saying how he was raising the moral standard of the United States in the world … [Yet] here he is — he has said nothing on what’s happening in Libya, which is a case of brutality and near-genocide — to use the word of one of Qaddafi’s own diplomats — the shooting of demonstrators from helicopter gunships, the strafing of demonstrators from bombers. … Here was a president, our president, who went out there on television again and again on Egypt, which in comparison [to] what’s happening in Libya was Boy Scout treatment of those demonstrations. But … a year and a half ago in Iran, where there was also a higher order of ruthlessness and brutality, shooting at the demonstrators in the streets, the mass trials and the rapes and the hangings and all that … he said almost nothing.

Why can’t the president find a voice, (a) for reasons of morality, simply upholding our traditions, and (b) strategic interests?

On the situation in Wisconsin:

The outcome is really in the balance now in Wisconsin. And I think the governor is going to make a big mistake if he goes to layoffs next week. He will have gratuitously created victims, hostages, scapegoats …

What he can do and ought to do is to take out of the bill [mandating concessions from the government workers unions] the parts that don’t have to do with fiscal matters. The real heart of the issue is to take away the [government workers unions’] bargaining rights. That he can pass in the Senate. He doesn’t need a quorum of 20. He doesn’t need Democrats. He can do that.

And then if he passes that, he’s won, because all that’s left [in the bill] is the [financial] givebacks, which the unions have already agreed they’re going to do. … And there’ll be no reason for a Wisconsin Democrat [senator] to stay in Chicago and hide.

So he [Governor Walker] has at hand a winning tactic and he’s not exercising it. I don’t know why. Because in the absence of that stalemate continues, and then if he goes to selective layoffs, he’s going to lose the public relations battle, which he’s winning now. And it’s all going to be decided on public opinion.

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

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