The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Special Report with Bret Baier | Monday, April 16, 2012

On House hearings held yesterday on the spending scandal at the GSA:

What Representative Cummings said was quite interesting because he said it’s a basic tenet of government that it’s not your money. It’s the taxpayers’ money.

But he is missing the point. It’s a basic tenet of human nature that if you are spending other people’s money you will be less careful than with your own. And that is the central argument against big government. Apart from the content of the program or the intent of the programs, it’s the fact that the government exists parasitically on the money of the taxpayers, and everything it spends is something that has been sucked out of the private economy. And intrinsically, that money spent by a bureaucrat, rather than a person with that money, will be spent with more disregard for the ultimate good than if it were in the hand of the private citizens.

That’s why Obama will suffer. The Obama administration isn’t responsible for what happened in 2010 [the GSA Las Vegas extravaganza]. This undoubtedly happened in Bush years and other years…. It’s intrinsic.

However, Obama and the Democrats are the party of government who believe in expanding it, have expanded it, and want it to continue to expand. The Republicans are the party of smaller government. And as a result, when government does crazy things that are offensive to the people who support it, it will hurt the party of government. It will hurt Obama.

On souvenirs given to GSA employees at the Las Vegas conference, including items signed by GSA administrator Jeff Neely:

A coveted autograph, up there with Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle.

On the coordinated weekend Taliban attacks throughout Afghanistan:

But as to what it tells us about the war, some events are truly demoralizing, like when an Afghan soldier turns and shoots an American. This happened a few weeks ago… and it happens often. Demoralizing because you figure “Are we ever going to have a stable and reliable ally”?

But this [coordinated suicide] event ought not be demoralizing. There was an attempt of jihadists to do a Tet offensive. And the Tet offensive actually was a miserable failure for the Vietcong militarily, but psychologically it was success because it demoralized Americans and it was the beginning of the end of the war.

But it shouldn’t in this case. The Afghan defense forces actually acted well on their own and showed a lot of resilience. Yes, it showed that the bad guys have infiltration [capacity], can penetrate cities and have allies inside. But we knew that. What we weren’t aware of is how good the Afghan commandos were in defending themselves.

This ought to be a plus in terms of looking at our prospect of success in Afghanistan.

On whether escalated violence in Afghanistan will accelerate US withdrawal:

No. The [liberal] base [of the Democratic Party] is loyal and cynical. It will not attack its own president in the run-up to an election — no matter what. It stands on principle only if the Republicans are in office.

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


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