The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From last night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On the responses of Obama administration spokesmen to the Iranian missile test:

Those remarks are pathetic. “Undermines Iran’s claims of peaceful intentions,” as if anyone has any doubt.

The president said two months ago at the U.N. that the Qom facility, the one they discovered on satellite, a huge facility that’s under construction, is not compatible with peaceful intent, which means it is military, which means we all know what’s going on.

How many ostentatious gestures does it take on the part of Iran for this administration to understand it is being treated contemptuously? You have the missile launch. You have got the reports (which even the State Department says is good journalism) of Iranian scientists working on a nuclear trigger. You have … on a lesser issue, the putting on trial of the three American hikers who obviously aren’t spies. It’s a form of hostage-taking.

At what point is the administration so humiliated it actually speaks and does something active? Some conservatives have taken heart from the Oslo speech. There was nothing in the Oslo speech. The only change in the Oslo speech was that Obama called Iran “Iran” instead of his usual obsequious “The Islamic Republic of Iran.” So the headline is: “Obama drops an adjective, Tehran trembles.” This really is appalling. . . .

The Bush administration applied pressure, but it was obviously insufficient, and they knew it in the end. And this administration hasn’t even applied pressure. It started all over.

And as Steve indicates, the one chance of stopping this Armageddon is change of regime. Sanctions are not going to work. It is either going to be an Israeli attack or change in regime.

And this historic opportunity has presented itself in the demonstrations in the streets, and there is graffiti on the walls of Tehran which says “Obama, are you with us or with them?” meaning their oppressors.

And this outreach, this delusion that the Obama administration has that it can reach an agreement where Iran will actually undo its nuclear efforts, is nothing but a delusion. Our only chance is supporting vigorously the revolution in the streets, as Reagan, for example, supported the dissidents in Eastern Europe.

But it’s not on the table. Obama is still wedded to a losing strategy of negotiations, which are going nowhere.

On the possibility that dissatisfied House Democratic liberals will derail a compromise on health care:

I think it is a bluff and in the end it will be called and they will seize the opportunity to change the whole architecture of American medicine — and they’ll amend it [the health-care reform bill] later.

But what’s interesting, I think, in the Senate … for example, a lot of senators from conservative states are positioning themselves, Democrats. James Webb of Virginia. Conservative state. He saw what happened in the elections in November. There is a massive shift of independents against the Democrats.

He published an op-ed in one of his local papers in which he said he’s troubled by aspects of the bill. He hasn’t decided which way he will go. And he mentioned … the cuts in Medicare, which are enormous, and also the cutting out of Medicare Advantage, which is a program that a lot of seniors are using and they like.

But again, I can’t imagine in the end, despite objections, that any of them are going to kill it, because it would be just a calamity politically.

I think for Webb and a few others, you register objections. You vote against certain amendments, and you might even oppose the bill at the end, because Reid can spare ten Democrats. All he needs is 51 at the end. But you approve of the cutting off of the debate.

So you could have a Webb on cloture — he votes for ending debate — but in the end he opposes it [the bill itself], and perhaps gets away with that on Election Day.

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

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