The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Wednesday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On President Obama’s statement on Libya:

There were a couple of oddities in the statement — first of all the idea of sending the U.S. secretary of state to Geneva to the U.N. Human Rights Council, one of the most illegitimate and absurd bodies on the planet. And example of its absurdity is that Libya sits on it! …

Secondly, all of this, again, started in Tunisia over a month ago. Why isn’t there at least a carrier in the Mediterranean? We have a lot of them in different parts of the world. It isn’t as if it [these Arab revolutions] started overnight.

If we did [have a carrier group there], when the president says “the full range of options,” at least there’d be a plausible something behind it. Right now there’s a plausible nothing.

Lastly … Libya will probably end up as a failed state, a split state. When it was under the Italian colonial rule, it was three autonomous provinces. It’s all tribal. Qaddafi insisted on keeping it tribal, unlike, for example, Egypt, which has a national army.

So it could end up like Somalia with one difference – it’s got a lot of oil. And that means it‘s going to be  hugely unstable and a source of continuing instability into the future regardless of what the immediate outcome is of the current struggle.

On the administration’s announcement that it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as it considers it unconstitutional:

Look, I can understand the president struggling — it’s the word he used — with the wisdom of gay marriage, with the propriety, with its social effects. But to struggle over the constitutionality of it? This is after two years of defending the constitutionality! All of a sudden he wakes up on a Wednesday and decides that all of his arguments are now invalid?

Color me a little skeptical on this one.

I think what’s going on here is you’ve got a president who’s got a listless base on the left. He’s running for reelection. This is a nice way to throw a bone, to shore up part of that constituency.

And second, here’s a president who is — all of a sudden out of nowhere — bringing up what the mainstream media likes to call a wedge issue, a divisive issue, out of nowhere, at a time when he’s being attacked for his lack of action, his passivity on the debt issue; for his passivity/lack of action on a Middle East on fire; for his lack of leadership on the deficit — all of a sudden he comes up with a social issue on which the Clinton administration had found something of a federal compromise.

It allows each state to be a laboratory of democracy, work it out on its own. The key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act is that states are not required to recognize the gay marriage of other states — so it doesn’t federalize it [the question]. And that’s a good compromise in a large country that is not united on this issue. It allows each state to go its own way.

And all of a sudden he’s saying I woke up this morning and I can’t defend it [the law] even though his government is required to actually to continue to enforce it. It makes no sense at all. …

And that’s where [at the state level] it ought to be decided. That’s why I think we have had up until now what you could call a stable resolution, allowing it to happen in those states where it’s supported. This all of a sudden is the administration saying we’re going to nationalize this in a way that I think is unwarranted and really quite unwelcome.

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

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