The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From the Fox News Special Report All-Star Panel December 19, 2011

On the National Payroll Reporting Consortium stating that “there is insufficient lead time to accommodate” Senate-passed two-month extension of the payroll tax cut.

It shows how — to an outside observer who knows about this stuff and has no political axe to grind — this bill passed by the Senate is an abomination. It is one of the worst ever crafted by the hands of man, and saying that in this Congress is saying a lot.

It can’t be administered in time and fairly. It’s not just bad tax policy, a two-month extension: a one-year extension isn’t a tax cut; it’s a tax holiday… a two-month extension is essentially a long tax weekend. It won’t have any effect whatsoever on hiring practices. The idea that Obama saying this is a jobs [bill] — it won’t have any effect on jobs whatsoever.

It’s a terrible bill. The House Republicans are right on principle and on policy.

But on the politics of it they will get killed on this. That is the irony — that the people who actually are trying to do the right thing by extending it to a year are being trapped. The Democrats have set a trap. The Republicans are walking into it.

It’s a perfect example of a corrupt environment. If you act on principle — as I think the conservatives in the House are doing — you will be nailed on politics.

On what is likely to happen to the tax holiday extension in the Congress:

Democrats take a walk and Republicans take the fall.

On what the consequence of Kim Jong-il’s death will be:

When Kim Jong-il, the dead Dear Leader, took over, he had been working closely with the father (Kim il-Sung) for about 10 years. So we know he acquired authority in the military and elsewhere. This guy, the new guy, Mr. Un, is coming in without any experience whatsoever. The grooming began only about a year ago. In fact, the people of the country hadn’t even heard of this guy or seen a picture of him until about a year ago. So he has no relationships.

There is also a little squiggle in this where the sister of the dead Dear Leader has been given authority — and her husband. So you have kind of a regency here, a Shakespearean situation in which the young one ends up in the Tower of London or worse.

In the end, it’s probably the military — they will decide which of the Kims will reign, if any.

But the idea that somehow this will hasten or bring about the collapse of the regime I think is a doubtful one. It’s [the regime has been] incredibly stable over time and has defied all expectations of collapse for many decades.

On the death of Vaclav Havel:

He was one of the great heroes of human liberty and of the Cold War. At the nadir of the democracy movement, meaning in the mid-’70s when the Soviets were ascendant… and America and the West in retreat, he authored the Charter 77 (of the year 1977), which declared… the dignity of man against the communist authorities at a time when everybody imagined it [democracy in Eastern Europe] was simply a lost cause. He turned [history] by the moral example and the courage he — and the others who signed it — set, and by counterparts in Poland, Walesa and the worker revolution. They essentially liberated Eastern Europe from within, one of the great successes… of our time.

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

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Sinking Collusion Ship

The entire Trump-Russia collusion narrative was always implausible. One, the Washington swamp of fixers such as Paul Manafort and John and Tony Podesta was mostly bipartisan and predated Trump. Two, the Trump administration’s Russia policies were far tougher on Vladimir Putin than were those of Barack ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Problem with Certainty

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Including those of you having this read to you while you white-knuckle the steering wheel trying to get to wherever you’re going for the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Worst Cover-Up of All Time

President Donald Trump may be guilty of many things, but a cover-up in the Mueller probe isn’t one of them. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, attempting to appease forces in the Democratic party eager for impeachment, is accusing him of one, with all the familiar Watergate connotations. The charge is strange, ... Read More

Theresa May: A Political Obituary

On Friday, Theresa May, perhaps the worst Conservative prime minister in recent history, announced her resignation outside of number 10 Downing Street. She will step down effective June 7. “I have done my best,” she insisted. “I have done everything I can. . . . I believe it was right to persevere even ... Read More
PC Culture

TV Before PC

Affixing one’s glance to the rear-view mirror is usually as ill-advised as staring at one’s own reflection. Still, what a delight it was on Wednesday to see a fresh rendition of “Those Were the Days,” from All in the Family, a show I haven’t watched for nearly 40 years. This time it was Woody Harrelson ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Democrats’ Other Class War

There is a class war going on inside the Democratic party. Consider these two cris de couer: Writing in the New York Times under the headline “America’s Cities Are Unlivable — Blame Wealthy Liberals,” Farhad Manjoo argues that rich progressives have, through their political domination of cities such as ... Read More

The Deepfake of Nancy Pelosi

You’ve almost made it to a three-day weekend! Making the click-through worthwhile: A quick note about how National Review needs your help, concerns about “deepfakes” of Nancy Pelosi, one of the most cringe-inducing radio interviews of all time, some news about where to find me and the book in the near ... Read More

America’s Best Defense Against Socialism

The United States of America has flummoxed socialists since the nineteenth century. Marx himself couldn’t quite understand why the most advanced economy in the world stubbornly refused to transition to socialism. Marxist theory predicts the immiseration of the proletariat and subsequent revolution from below. ... Read More