The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From last night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On Eric Holder’s unwillingness to associate Islam with Faisal Shahzad’s actions when questioned by Rep. Lamar Smith:

It would be as absurd as conducting a 50-year Cold War against the Soviet Union and never talking about it being a struggle between democracy and communism, between freedom and un-freedom, and pretending it’s about some crazy Russians who occasionally had an itch to take over Germany or Korea or what have you.

If you’re in a war and there are [our] people out there who are dying in the name of the war, be honest about what the cause is.

And the administration has to admit every once in a while – it says: Well, these are people who hate our way of life. Well, is that because they’re grumpy? Is it because they lost their house? No. It’s because they all have this adherence to a radical ideology which we can speak about the same way we spoke about Nazism and communism and which we ought to speak about [so] … people understand what the fight is about.

On Holder’s position on Miranda:

I think Holder understands that he’s been lucky on Miranda. He’s been lucky that Shahzad didn’t shut up. If he had, we wouldn’t be getting any of the information we’re getting now. We probably wouldn’t have had the raids that we had today.

He [Holder] knows that in the case of Abdulmutallab, the underwear guy, that we read him his rights. He shut up for over a month. That’s actionable, perishable intelligence that might have hurt us. And in the future, a guy could easily shut up and we lose intelligence.

So I think wisely he wants to expand the public safety exception. I think the right answer is to — when you grab a guy in the act of terror — you declare him an enemy combatant. Then you don’t have a Miranda issue.

But these guys are in power. They believe in keeping them [terror suspects] in the ordinary civilian system. If that is the case, and it will be for three years or seven, at least expand Miranda.

On President Obama’s defense of the stimulus in light of current unemployment:

Look, I don’t blame the president for not lowering unemployment. A president doesn’t have the power to do that.

But I do blame him for spending $1 trillion and giving the appearance of doing it [lowering unemployment] and pretending it’s had any effect. It hasn’t. All it has done is saddle us with $1 trillion worth of extra debt, which will be a drag on the economy in the future.

Presidents could possibly make an effect on unemployment by one thing. If you want to use shock and awe and throw in $1 trillion, what he might have done is do a radical lowering of the payroll tax, because if you want to encourage something, you either subsidize it or lower the tax on it, and the payroll tax is a tax on employment and a tax on work. It might have helped.

Nonetheless, it’s always an exaggeration. If the Clinton administration says we created eight million jobs, that’s rubbish. It was Steve Jobs who did that, it was Bill Gates, it was the Internet, a lot of other stuff. A president presides over the economy; he doesn’t drive it.

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

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