The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Friday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On whether Republicans will regret invoking the War Powers Resolution on Libya:

I think so, and I think we’ve got to have some kind of understanding between the Executive and the Congress over this. They’ve been at loggerheads for over 30 years, and the judiciary is not going to adjudicate it [the war powers question].

But I think the significance of the vote is that the Congress actually voted — the House voted — to deny the president authority to do this. This is almost unprecedented.  And I think it’s less a matter of opposition to the war, but I think it’s distrust of presidential war leadership here.

Democrats have talked about, liberals have talked about — in criticizing the Republicans and the Bush administration — wars of necessity and wars of choice. The war in Libya doesn’t even rise to the level of a war of choice. It’s a war of whim, presidential whim. Humanitarian, if you like, but utterly capricious and inconsistent.

It is misbegotten conceptually and operationally. There’s no articulation of ends. There is a pretense that deposing Qaddafi is not the objective — where obviously it is. Otherwise you have an endless civil war.

And the means: Obama introduces an idea of America leading from behind — gets us into a war, immediately withdraws. We pay for most of the operations, provide the infrastructure. I think what the House is saying – If you’re going to get into a war, you lead it and you succeed or you don’t get into a war at all.

On the proliferation of White House czars:

It’s a perfect example of the leviathan growing uncontrollably. We have 15 cabinet departments, and this [the czars] is redundant. It makes them [the cabinet departments] marginal without making them any less expensive.

I think that we ought to have the same rule as imperial Russia: one czar per administration.

On President Obama’s plans to meet with Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid in an effort to revive the bipartisan debt ceiling negotiations:

I’m not sure a lot will come of it. I think Obama and the Democratic leadership have made a bet [that] the only way to get out of the November election next year alive is to run against the Republicans as the granny killers who want to destroy entitlements — Medicare and Social Security.

[Yet] the only way to reduce the debt is to do something on entitlements. The Democrats will refuse. I think this is all headed for a train wreck August 2.

On Chris Christie’s bipartisan success at reining in benefits for public employees and the NLRB’s efforts to speed up the timetable for unionization elections in the private sector:

It tells you that at the popular level — the democratic level … — there is a lot of support for reining in unions, especially the public sector ones, that are draining the state treasuries. That’s why Christie has succeeded, and you have seen success on that also in Wisconsin and Ohio.

But at the federal level, what’s happening is Obama is giving the unions what the unions are demanding because he failed on card-check. Card-check was a way to get union organizing elections without a secret ballot. That was the number one priority of the unions. The Congress would hear nothing of it. So he [Obama] is doing an end run.

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


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