The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Special Report with Bret Baier | Tuesday, July 18, 2012

On why Mitt Romney should not release more tax returns:

Because once you do it, it never stops. And you concede the premise to the opposition that he is hiding something. Give them three years — they want six. If you give them six — they want 10. I believe in the honor of John McCain. He looked at them, he says they were OK. That’s enough for me. Two years is enough.

And this is playing into the Obama strategy. I disagree that Romney talking about what Obama said in Virginia — about private enterprise being ultimately rooted in government — is somehow a distraction, a way to change the subject. Tax returns and Bain are a distraction. The real issue of the campaign is precisely what Obama said. That’s precisely at the center of the division between left and  right, between Republican and Democratic. How do you see free enterprise capitalism in American society? Obama said clearly that it’s rooted in — its success is the result of government, [government-created] infrastructure.

And the worst part about it he says: It’s because we’re all in this together. It’s society that ultimately supports you. Yes, society. But Obama always identifies society or collective action with government. In fact, society is civil society. It’s the family. It’s the church. It’s the little platoons that were talked about in Tocqueville about how Americans organize themselves in organizations that are voluntary. That’s society,  that’s what sustains us, not government.

And this emphasis on government — that it’s at the root of all good in America — is what is wrong with the Obama vision. And that is what Romney ought to attack. That is what the campaign ought to be about.

On the US naval buildup in the Persian Gulf:

Well, it’s only July, but [Defense department spokesman] George Little can retire the charming-lie-of-the-year award. The idea that somehow this [multinational minesweeping exercise in the Persian Gulf] is not aimed at Iran –of course it’s aimed at Iran.

It isn’t a coincidence. It isn’t that all of a sudden we decided to test our cooperation with other countries. Iran speaks about — threatens to close the Strait of Hormuz. We’re showing them we not only can do it unilaterally, which we can, [but also that] we have a lot of countries with us.

[George] Little, I think, deserves — if you notice, he couldn’t help smile twice as he said that because everybody understands it’s a lie.

On new Abu Dhabi pipelines diverting oil away from the Strait of Hormuz:

You add this to what the Saudis and UAE already constructed and you get 6.5 million-barrels a day that can now… be brought around the Strait of Hormuz so it doesn’t have to go on water. That means that the amount of oil passing through the Strait decreases from 17 million barrels a day to 10 a day, which makes it [an Iranian closing of the Strait] much less of a threat to the world economy than it was just on Sunday.

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

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