The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Wednesday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On President Obama’s criticism of Republicans for opposing his financial reform legislation:

The president is showing in his response his style of demonizing and de-legitimizing opponents’ arguments. He pretends that he‘s a professor who deals in a Socratic way, recognizes arguments and deals honestly with them.

This is extremely dishonest. The Republicans, he charged in that speech, are opposing his reform on finance entirely on political grounds. There are obvious arguments that all the claims that the president has made — that it will ensure that we’re not going to have a bailout in the future and all the others — are not true. There are a lot of independent economists who say it’s going to increase the chance of a bailout.

But he doesn’t engage on the issues. He accuses the opponent of ill motives, always as a matter of politics. He’s acting in the national interest and the others are acting for base political motives. He did that in the seven hours of his encounter with Republicans on health care. Someone would raise an issue and he would dismiss it as a talking point. Instead of being honestly engaged in argument, which he doesn’t like to do.

On the administration’s mixed messaging on whether it knew how severe the economic crisis was when it took office:

What we see here is conditional truthiness. When the administration needs to say, oh, we knew how bad it was, it says it, and when it needs to say we had no idea how bad it was, it says it. It depends when it needs it; it’ll invent a new truth.

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

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