The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Tuesday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s focus on Iran in his address to a joint session of Congress:

He did because the president had shifted the focus, talking about the `67 lines in a speech about the Arab Spring — [a phenomenon] remarkably detached from the Israeli-Palestinian issue — and almost ignoring entirely the Iranian threat which hangs over the whole Middle East.

I thought the speech that Netanyahu gave to Congress was remarkable, especially in the [audience] response. After all, Congress is where every district and every state in the union is represented. The 30 standing ovations, the cheers, the applause gave you a sense of something we know is true: Of all the countries in the world, public opinion in America over four decades remained unwavering in its overwhelming support for Israel.

And the Netanyahu speech struck that nerve by talking about the commonality in the values. It was a speech that was not only explaining the Israeli position on negotiations. It was a speech that was in honor — in praise — of freedom, the West, and America. It was [an] endorsement of the West, almost Churchillian in that sense, which I think was extremely important because it is the basis for American support of Israel.

And you saw it in the reaction of the Congress and the remarks made yesterday by the majority leader of the Senate, Harry Reid, a Democrat who rebuked the president saying nobody should be imposing on Israel settlement terms.

On the IAEA reporting on the expansion of Iran’s nuclear efforts and confirming that Syria was building a nuclear reactor before the Israelis took it out:

The president’s statements on Iran and on Syria, where in each state there was the chance of a revolution, in Iran in 2009 and Syria now, have been remarkably, astonishing and shockingly weak, especially 2009 in Iran. Our only hope of stopping Iran from becoming a nuclear enemy would have been revolution in Iran, and the president had no interest in that in 2009. Today he shows no interest at all in Syria, grudgingly saying a word or two, and still saying last week that President Assad has the chance to lead a democratic transition in Syria. He must be living on the moon if he would imagine that actually is possible.

On the centrality of Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan to the special election in New York’s 26th congressional district:

Well, if Ryan is explaining it, it sinks in. The problem is that [Jane] Corwin hasn’t explained it that well. She was extremely defensive running away from this. And unless you’re adept at explaining the plan and being behind it, and not saying, ‘Oh, well, maybe it’s not as bad as you think,’ you’re going to lose on this issue.

I’m not optimistic on this. Even if Corwin, the Republican, pulls it out it’s clear that “Mediscare” has had an effect here.

On the ad in which a Paul Ryan look-alike pushes an old woman off a cliff:

I admire its subtlety. …

In the polls in this district, you ask people what are the three most important issues: debt, jobs, and Medicare. If you’d had that poll a year ago in November in the Republican sweep, you wouldn’t have had Medicare in there. So clearly it is an issue up there equal with all the others. It is a result of the Ryan plan.

And the moral is: Demagoguery works, especially on entitlements. If you want to be a Republican in this race — and the Republicans are hitched to the Ryan plan — you [had] better be able to defend it.

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

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