The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From last night’s “All-Stars.”

On the tea party protests:

I don’t think it’s a movement. It’s a protest. And it’s a reaction to the fairly radical social agenda that Obama has unveiled ever since his inauguration.

But I would remind the people at the parties that, unlike the original tea party, this one is taxation with representation. Obama was elected by the American people — against my sage advice, I would add, but no one listens to me — and his program was pretty open. It was not him.

They elected a Democratic majority, large Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, and what they have as a result is a government that is ready to use the tax code to confiscate as much of your earnings as it can.

Now, the process is legitimate, I think, in terms of the substance. I agree with the protest against the stimulus and the pork, but I disagree on the bailouts. Paulson and Bernanke are not socialists, and they are the other ones who invented the TARP. And Summers and the Secretary of the Treasury, Tim Geithner, are not socialists either.

That’s required to keep the economy working, and I think it has had some success.

But I think what they are anticipating is an explosion of spending, which is coming, as announced by the programs that Obama has spelled out. And it’s good that the elites know that there is a constituency strong and energetic ready to oppose it, if not Republican, conservative at least.

On the Obama administration’s plans for negotiations with Iran:

Iran cannot continue to pursue nukes? Of course it can. Of course it is, and of course it will. It has gotten a huge concession from the Obama administration, which is we are now willing to engage in direct talks without the precondition of suspension of uranium, which means, and of course Iran likes this, because it means it can engage in endless negotiations while it continues to enrich, meaning as it gets daily closer to acquiring a nuke.

So it’s completely in its interest, and the president of Iran said today to a rally that the west and the United States is reaching out to him out of weakness, and we certainly are.

It’s in Iran’s interest, of course, to engage in negotiations and to drag it out. And the reason is the only stick on the horizon is an Israeli attack, and Israel would not attack Iran while the U.S., its patron, is in negotiations with Iran.

So it’s in its interests to stay in negotiations, enrich, achieve a nuke, and leave the Israelis helpless on the sidelines.

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

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