The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

On President Obama’s travel to sell Obamacare:

I think that by the end of the year the debate will be about where it is right now, and the pros and the cons, the people in favor and people against, will be roughly the same.

And the reason is that the major effects — meaning the higher taxes, the mandates, and then the subsidies (on the plus side) — really don’t kick in for a couple of years, surely not until at least 2011. …

The main argument against this Obamacare is it’s going to destroy our economy. All the numbers in it are phony. It’s going to create a huge amount of debt.

But all of that — which is true, really — is going to have a visible effect in mid-decade. It’s not going to have an effect today. …

And on the other side, the Obama administration is going to be able to argue the Republicans have said that the sky is going to fall if this is enacted. Well, it’s still intact. …

I think the argument is going to be ideological and theoretical — as it has been up to now — between now and November. And I think the results will be roughly the same because we’re not going to see a lot of change on the ground, at least between now and Election Day.

On the Obama administration’s backing away from tough sanctions on Iran in order to get Chinese and Russian support:

This is the great shrinking sanctions threat. As you said: Starts with “crippling,” that’s a year ago in the summer. Then last week, as we heard from the secretary of state, sanctions that “bite.” And now today the State Department spokesman spoke of sanctions that have “significant pressure.” And tomorrow it will be sanctions that pinch. …

Look, to tell you how collapsed our policy is: The administration a couple of days ago was rejoicing over the fact that the Chinese had deigned to pick up the phone and to join a conference call on discussions of these weak sanctions — which implied that up to a week ago they weren’t even talking about it.

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

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