The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Monday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On President Obama’s claim that Republicans are opposed to extending unemployment benefits for reasons of election year politics:

On the actual underlying politics of this, I think it is very interesting. I think a year ago, the politics of the debt was considered an issue of the fringe, you know, of the kooks, of the Tea Party, which was considered way out there when it started last March and April.

By midwinter of this year, there was only one Republican senator who stood up against extension of unemployment, and he was so pressured by other Republicans who were afraid of this issue that he caved in. And now we see the whole Republican party standing up, on the issue …

The Republicans think that the debt issue is so strong that it overrides that even if it’s misrepresented as opposition to the unfortunate unemployed [rather than just demanding that the extension be paid for elsewhere in the budget].

On Vice President Biden’s weekend interview regarding Iraq’s central government:

I think Iraq is still in play. It’s not a slam dunk. We’ve gone a long way. I’m very disturbed by the deadlock that’s happened now almost half a year. Al-Sadr showed up in Damascus yesterday, he’s the anti-American cleric, who was in alliance with Maliki. He showed up with the guy we like, Allawi, who leads a Sunni-Shiite secular coalition, and so there might be a nefarious deal in the works that we don’t know.

But what‘s happening in Iraq today is because Obama is so hands-off, and because he’s so rigid on his withdrawal — Syria is a player. Iran is a player, Turkey’s a player, in the forming of the new government, and we are not a player. And that is not the way it ought to be. It’s not in our national interest.

On Biden’s saying that the July 2011 deadline in Afghanistan might see the drawdown of as a few as a couple thousand troops:

A peasant in Kandahar is not watching the Sunday news shows. He doesn’t understand all these nuances. The president set a deadline. He has to undo it — in public — otherwise it’s going to hurt us endlessly in Afghanistan.

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