The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Special Report with Bret Baier | Thursday, May 17, 2012

On Mitt Romney’s repudiation yesterday of a GOP Super PAC’s plans to renew criticism of President Obama for his ties to Jeremiah Wright:

I think it [reviving the attack] would be completely legitimate but I think Romney is wise not to do it.

Look, I think there’s an appalling double standard here. It’s ok for the Washington Post to run a 5,000-word front-page story on a prank that Romney at the age of 15 committed, and yet it’s somehow illegitimate, the low road or whatever, for people to bring up the fact that the adult Obama had a 20-year relationship with a racist, anti-American preacher whom he considered, spoke about and wrote about as his mentor and spiritual advisor. That is a double standard unlike any I’ve ever seen.

John McCain accepted it [this double-standard] in his campaign. I think it was mistake. I think it was legitimate [to bring up Jeremiah Wright] in a case of a man who was as unknown as Obama. There was no history, no legislative achievements or signature intellectual achievements. He wrote two books — that were both about himself, incidentally, which might have been a clue. Other than that, we didn’t know him. And it’s illegitimate to ask about his associates? How else would you know him?…

Today, I would say tactically it’s a mistake because we know who Obama is. He isn’t the unknown of 2008. He’s got a record, and you don’t have to bring it [Jeremiah Wright] up.

But in principle, if you want to do it, it would be completely legitimate. And I think the double standard ought to be denounced rather than accepted as everybody, including Romney, does.

On whether both campaigns will rely on smear tactics:

Oh, of course. It’s going to be one of the filthiest campaigns in American history. If you’re Obama, what are you going to run on? He doesn’t even mention Obamacare or the stimulus in any of his speeches. Is he going to run on the state of the economy?

On a Census report yesterday showing that whites now account for under half of births in U.S. and that the country will soon be majority minority:

I think it’s less dramatic than people are imagining. Yes, there will be an increase in the number of minorities, immigrants, other ethnicities. It’s not going to be dramatically different. Mathematically, it will be. But we already are the most multi-ethnic, [multi-] racial society on the face of the earth, and we’ve been successful.

The problem is not the composition of the population — how many races or how many ethnicities or nationalities…. Because that’s a great strength. It gives us a strength no other country on earth has.

The weakness is what we are not doing in acculturation, Americanization. A century ago, everybody became American through the public schools, the civic institutions. You learn the language. You learn the history. You learn civics. You learn about America. It’s not that you abandon your ethnicity, but you are instilled with American- ness.

And now with the multicultural vogue, you get bilingual education, separatism, multiculturalism, which essentially says that being separate and having a hyphenated Americanism is the essence of who we ought to be.

I think it’s a mistake and we will suffer. I grew up in Quebec where we had a bilingual society. It’s really difficult and creates all kinds of problems. And Quebec had it [biculturalism] at birth. We are imposing it upon ourselves.

I think there’s an assumption here in all this discussion [of how shifting demographics will change the political landscape] that people are somehow completely defined by their ethnicity or race … or previous nationality. I think that’s wrong. I think whites are no more American or Republican or conservative than others are. I think as the generations become acclimatized and acculturated — [although] it takes longer than it did 100 years ago — they’ll act in different ways.

The assumption that Hispanics will act one way, Asian-Americans in another way I think is completely mistaken. 

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

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