The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From last night’s Fox News All-Stars.

 

On the effect of the 2009 elections on moderate and conservative Democrats:

It scares the hell out of them, because if you are a conservative Democrat and you see the great swing between ‘08 and ‘09, you know that this idea that you can ride the coattails of Obama — [that] there was a great realignment last year — is false, and they are now extremely exposed.

For example, in Virginia, the second most important issue that was reported in the exit polls was health care. Now, you didn’t have a debate about state health care. It was about national health care, because Virginia is in the D.C. media market, so all this debate spills over.

About a quarter of the [Virginia] electorate had [health care] as the most important issue. So it clearly affected this election. It was, in many ways, a national election.

In the end, I think what happened yesterday is that it completely demolished the myth about the meaning of the ‘08 election. It had been read endlessly by the mainstream media and by Democrats as a great realignment…The Republicans were going to become a rump party of the Deep South — of angry white men.

And now we see that the youth vote was cut in half this time as compared to ‘08 in Virginia, [with] a decline in the African-American vote by about a fifth.

And again, as we heard, independents — a huge swing. Obama had gotten a slight edge of Virginia in independents. Yesterday, it was about a 30-point swing in favor of Republicans.

So all these elements of the great new constituency and the great new FDR-like coalition disappeared, which means that ‘08 was an anomalous election. It was not a trend. It was not a new era.

It was a one-shot, one-off election where all the stars were aligned in the Democratic favor, and you had a charismatic candidate and the first African-American who [could] ascend to the presidency.

So ‘08 was anomaly, ‘09 is the norm.

On the latest developments with Iran:

It looks like our smart diplomacy of engagement with Iran continues working. They cracked down on dissidents. Their supreme leader particularly insulted us in a speech yesterday. They dither with us and insult us by rejecting our offers of uranium enrichment in our negotiations.

And now we discover this unbelievably large shipments of weapons intended for Hezbollah. Everybody understands what Hezbollah and Hamas are about. They are intent — self-declared — on destroying Israel and never accepting a settlement of any kind.

So this is about war, war-making [by] the proxies of Iran. Ultimately, these weapons are intended to attack Israeli cities and kill as much as possible.

And the Israelis have demonstrated this in the capture, hoping the world will do something. But of course, it will do nothing. Tomorrow at the United Nations, the Goldstone report condemning Israel’s defensive action in Gaza earlier this year is going to essentially outlaw Israel’s self-defense against terror attack.

That’s how the world responds, and America now is engaged in useless negotiations over settlement freezes which are entirely irrelevant to this issue of Iran, Hezbollah or Hamas.

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