The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Tuesday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On President Obama’s Tuesday White House meeting with congressional leaders on the Bush tax cuts:

I think the most interesting part to come out of the meeting was the appointment of these negotiators. Think of the issue about the extension of the tax rates. It’s not exactly a complicated issue. It’s not as if you’re trying to reconcile two huge health-care reforms, in which case you’d want to appoint a committee on one side, [and a] committee on the other, who would negotiate a deal – something with a compromise in the middle.

On the tax rates, the only issue is: Are all people going to be treated in the same way? And how long is the extension going to be? Two questions.

So I would interpret what the president has done — by allowing others to do the negotiating on a decision that ultimately he makes and he makes in a minute and a half — as a way to distance himself. I think it’s a way to set up a compromise in which he accepts the fact that all the rates are extended and it’s probably for a couple of years. And he has the cover of saying his negotiators worked on this and they hammered out a compromise.

On the Democrats’ long list of agenda items for the lame-duck Congress:

[Obama] spends a year and a half on health care and then he says, all of a sudden, the DREAM Act is an emergency. It’s not. And a Congress that was tossed out on its ear ought not make a judgment on it.

On WikiLeaks cables revealing bartering over third countries taking in Guantanamo detainees:

I think it reveals how utterly absurd this entire venture is …of ending Guantanamo. We are in a war. We capture prisoners of war. In other wars you keep them until the war is over. And you don’t apologize. Who apologized for the prisoners we held in the Second World War or the Civil War?

The counterargument is the war is never going to end. Who declared the war in the first place –the jihad against us? And who is keeping it alive? If you pledge your allegiance to Osama bin Laden and you are a soldier of his and we capture you, you stay in our custody until the war is declared over. We don’t have to apologize for it.

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

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