The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Tuesday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On the looming state pension crisis:

They’re totally out of control. It’s a reason that FDR never allowed government workers to actually unionize. Because he understood that any negotiation between a government worker and a boss is not like a private sector negotiation where the boss’s livelihood is at stake if he negotiates badly.

So you’ve got in the state you mention, of course in Illinois and other especially liberal states, these huge promises to government workers, completely un-payable, undeliverable. And what‘s going to happen is they’re going to go to the feds.

I think what Republicans ought to do right now, looking into the near future, is to say: We are not going to do a bailout for any state over this. It’s not fair. For instance, if you’re from Texas or other places which have been frugal, you’ve watched how you spend your money, you shouldn’t have to bear the burden of the states that have wasted all this money.

And secondly, the minute you bail out a single state, you essentially assume the debt of every state in the union, and you have just exploded what is already an uncontrollable federal debt. I think it’s a place for Republicans to stand up and advance and say yes: We had to do the banks. We are not going to do the states.

On the future of Guantanamo in light of new recidivism numbers from the Director of National Intelligence:

That is why there is not a single logical argument remaining. That the only answer here is to conclude that the Democrats used Gitmo as a weapon against the Bush administration to discredit it and say it was acting against American values. And they come to power and realize it’s the only answer.

(A), the recidivism problem you talked about — you can’t release these people. Other countries are not going to take them.

Secondly, Steve indicated that the president said it’s the number one recruiting tool, which is absurd. On the list of other [situations explicitly mentioned by al-Qaeda leaders over the last two years], Chechnya got 15. [Guantanamo got seven.] Is Chechnya twice as strong as a recruiting tool? Absurd.

But lastly, al-Qaeda will always find a new recruiting tool. When the declaration of war was issued by al-Qaeda in 1998, the war against  the Crusaders and the Jews, the number one reason [cited by al-Qaeda] was the occupation of the holy places in Saudi Arabia by the Americans, meaning the 50,000 American troops stationed there after the first Iraq war to protect Saudi Arabia against Saddam. Saddam is deposed in the second Iraq war and our troops leave, and al-Qaeda comes up with  a different excuse. They will come up with a different excuse every day.

Obama says Guantánamo is against our ideals. But he is in charge of Gitmo and says the prisoners are well-treated. No indication of torture. There is no implication that there is anything that the Obama administration would do other than what the Bush administration did — because Obama wants indefinite detention [for hard-core detainees] in Gitmo or elsewhere. It doesn’t matter. If it [indefinite detention] is against our ideals, it would be against our ideals in Gitmo or Illinois.

So there is nothing left of this. It’s time that Obama admitted it. All he had to do is say: It [closing Gitmo] is mistake, it’s not achievable, and stop the nonsense.

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


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