The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From last night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On Tom Harkin’s apparent willingness to concede the public option for the sake of passage:

The success of this reform — meaning: success in its being passed — always hinged on the rationality of the Left, and the Left isn’t always rational.  But it’s rational now.

And Harkin is speaking for the Democratic Left when he says they’re willing to abandon the public option and the [Medicare] buy-in because if it stays in, they lose and everything will collapse.

 They understand — I think, the wisdom of the Left on this is to understand it doesn’t really matter if you get the public option in this particular iteration of health-care reform. You have got to get something. And once you get the rest of the bill, the other 1,900 pages, you have federal control of health care, one-sixth of the economy.

It will be the biggest achievement of the left in terms of expanding the reach and the scope of government possibly in 50 years: heavy regulation of the insurers … an individual mandate, 118 commissions. Essentially [health care will] be government-run through the insurers — a proxy system.

So why would you not have it pass leaving out a public option? I think they [the left] have become rational. And the pressure from the White House is obvious because it’s Obama’s signature [issue]. If he were to fail on this it would ruin his presidency.

On the claim that the public generally approves of health-care reform but is just uneasy about the specifics:

Unfortunately, life is an accumulation of specifics.

On President Obama’s scolding bank executives for insufficient lending:

But why would a bank not want to lend to a good risk? Obviously it would. It makes business sense.

What is going on is pressure from the feds to lend to people who are on the cusp [of solvency]. Now, that is what got us into this problem in the first place. And I think it will be imprudent.

Look, banking isn’t social work. The government — the feds and the state governments are into social work, and they ought to do it, help out those who are ailing.

But if we want to really undo the recovery of the banking system (on which the entire economy hinges), we would increase the pressure to engage again in improvident loans. This is not a time to do it.

The recession that we’re suffering through right now is the process of drying up the previous set of improvident loans. You don’t want to add to the list.

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

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