The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Thursday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On Anthony Weiner’s resignation:

It was a three-week comedy that at 2 o’clock today became a human tragedy. This is a career destroyed, a life in ruins, which is no reason for anyone, no matter how partisan, to celebrate.

But in the end he had to resign, and the reason is that the Democrats were going to strip him of all his committee assignments in the House today. Now, if you’re already in the minority in the House, you have no real power. All you have is committee assignments. If you don’t have that, you have nothing.

Now, he might have yet toughed it out if it weren’t for a quirk in the calendar. This is a year after the decade changes. And that means that even if he had toughed it out [and had] an expectation that he had a chance at reelection – polls have shown that a majority of his constituents would have reelected him — there is redistricting. New York State is going to lose two seats. The Democrats would have clearly made his district disappear — so he couldn’t have run [in 2012] and been reelected. He didn’t have a future.

On how a worldwide financial collapse might occur as a result of the Greek debt crisis:

I think this kind of thing happens overnight. It’s a tip-over effect.

Everybody has seen this coming. The Greeks have been insolvent for years. They have had their Harry Reids saying for years that it’s not going to be a problem until 2036 or something.

But when it happens… it’s like Lehman Brothers where it’s relatively small but it sets off a panic. That is what happens in the history of financial panics — to which I’m happy to contribute here. …

The problem is that it’s the French and German banks that hold the Greek debt, and if it goes under — that is why the French and German governments are grudgingly trying to keep the Greeks afloat. Our banks would also be involved in the domino effect.

On whether Greek-style social unrest could happen here:

I think there is a basic difference in the psychology of Europeans and Americans. If you’re young and in Greece, you have been raised in a coddled entitlement state from the day you were born. When all of a sudden Greece has to get realistic — has to levy taxes and actually has to restrain the incredible give-away state — then all of a sudden it’s a shock.

Americans historically are more individualistic, expect less out of the government, and thus it would take years before the psychology here became passive — relatively welcoming of the paternalism psychology that you have in Europe. …

That is what makes it astonishing that at a time when we can see in the streets of Athens the social-democratic experiment imploding, we have a president… who wants to make America more like Europe — in the face of the empirical evidence of how it does not work.

On the debate between President Obama and Congress over Libya and the War Powers Resolution:

Look, I understand why Congress wants to retain its prerogatives, as does the president.

I’m not surprised that [Illinois Senator Richard] Durbin would act this way.

I am surprised that so many Republicans are jumping on the War Powers Resolution. They will regret it, because if you have a Republican in office, you’re going to have isolationist Democrats who are going to try to restrain his exercise of his powers… and the Republicans aren’t going to like it. I would not truck in the War Powers Resolution.

I also think that the administration’s defense of what it’s doing is extremely weak and misguided. Obama’s answer essentially is, ‘Well, the resolution is out there, but it’s not relevant because this isn’t really a war,’ which is absurd and insulting. …

What he should say is, “I, like every other of my predecessors, I do not recognize the legality of this act and its authority over the presidency.’ And that’s where he should make his stand. …

And as a president, he’s implicitly supporting the [War Powers] resolution in saying, ‘Well, it just doesn’t apply here.’ That implies that ‘If this were a real war’ — as he pretends it’s not — ‘I would have to comply.’ And no president ought to do that. …

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


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