The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Special Report with Bret Baier | Friday March 23, 2012

On the start of Supreme Court arguments in the legal challenge to President Obama’s health care law:

The fact that the court has taken this and the fact that it’s allocating three days, which I think is the most for any case in half a century, [shows] they understand it represents a crossroads. And the argument of those against the bill is that if you can compel a citizen — under the individual mandate — to enter into a private contract with a private company, then there are no limits to what government can make a citizen do under the Commerce Clause.

And then there is a fundamental change in the nature of our social contract. It used to be — or at least we imagined ourselves [to be] — under a government of enumerated powers. Congress is allowed to do “x,” “y,” “z.” Everything outside of that is in the free area of the individual and the states. [But] if you allow this unlimited expansion of the Commerce Clause, then Congress and the president, the federal government, is all powerful. And then what is left is for the individual and for elements of civil society to carve out areas of autonomy.

That is a huge change in the nature of the social contract.

On how the Supreme Court will decide:

Like all the other issues in American life, it will depend on what side of the bed Justice Anthony Kennedy arises on that morning. He is the ultimate in swing votes.

Or, you could say: king.

On President Obama’s support for expedited construction of the southern half of the Keystone XL pipeline:

 As Obama said in his speech on algae, the American people aren’t stupid. Here he goes all the way to Oklahoma to announce he the approval of [a leg of] the [Keystone] pipeline… which does not require his approval!

 And second, it’s a pipeline from nowhere. It is supposed to carry Canadian oil, but there’s a gap of 1,800 miles [to the Canadian border], so it carries air.

I think people understand this is all for show, it’s a way in which he can now say “I was against Keystone before I was in favor of it.”

On how much harm — small, middling or major — has been done by a senior Romney aide’s suggestion that, like an Etch A Sketch, Romney could start clean in the general election:

The correct answer is: huge. If there is one knock on Romney which people on the left and right seem to think is true it’s that he is a man who can re-create himself and doesn’t have a core. And here is Romney’s director of communications who comes out and gives a perfect analogy: Etch-A-Sketch — shake and remake. You wake up in the morning and you’re a new candidate. It’s the worst possible way to describe your candidate.

Romney has a good shot at the presidency if he can overcome his staff.

On the ongoing national outrage over the shooting of Trayvon Martin:

There is one oddity in the story. George Zimmerman, the alleged shooter, is a man with a white father and a Peruvian mother. He is as Hispanic as Barack Obama is black. And yet you don’t see it in the coverage. And I think part of that is political correctness. People don’t want that to get in the way of the main conventional narrative of oppression and victimization of African-Americans — which is historically so — at the hands of whites.

It didn’t happen in [this] case. It’s odd that the coverage has been so restrained or misleading about this [point].

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

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