The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take


From Special Report with Bret Baier | Friday, June 22, 2012

On President Obama’s comfortable lead over Mitt Romney among Hispanics:

He [Obama] outmaneuvered the Republicans. I think there is no chance that you would have had real legislation in this election year on something as difficult as immigration. But the point is that Republicans had the opportunity to at least propose something that would have given Romney and the Republicans an idea to run on.

The mistake they made was waiting, trying to get some huge consensus on the Rubio idea. And perhaps because they were so naive that they could not imagine that the president — having declared that doing what he now has done is illegal, unconstitutional and unconscionable in terms of the legality of how our system works — would actually go ahead and do it [amnesty-by-fiat for young illegal immigrants]. But he did.

And the measure of his success in this cynicism is that nobody is even speaking about the constitutional aspect. He, himself, in March and in July of last year has said: This is something I cannot do unilaterally. It’s not the way our systems works. It’s against our constitution — and yet he went ahead and did it.

They’re saying [it’s justified by] prosecutorial discretion — which you do when you’re talking about individual case-by-case extenuating circumstances. If you look at the actual exceptions on immigration law, yes, you can temporary declare that anybody who comes from country X, which is now in civil war or whatever, who therefore would be jeopardized by return, can get a temporary suspension of deportation at the discretion of the secretary. Yes.

But this is not at all what’s involved here. This case is nothing remotely like the suspension for a case of civil war or persecution in a home country, which is temporary, specific and elapses immediately. Here was a case of rewriting the law.

Republicans should have done something more quickly, seized the issue with the Rubio idea, and this wouldn’t have happened.

On the impending House vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress:

I can’t imagine Holder offering the documents he needs to turn over that would stop it. So yes, it’s going to happen and it will stop all the inquiries cold because it’s going to end up in the courts until after Election Day, which is all Obama cares about.

On news Friday that Syrian forces had downed a Turkish fighter jet:

This is a big moment. It depends on what the Turks want to do. The President, Erdogan, has nostalgia for the Ottoman empire. He sees himself as the guy who could become the champion of the Sunni Arabs. And so he turned against Assad about a year ago. He was an ally of Assad until the civil war began.

He sees an opportunity to restore Turkish hegemony and it would start with the destruction of the Assad regime. Right now he’s the biggest supporter of the rebels. A plane has been shot down. It would give an opportunity of responding if he wanted.

Remember: Assad is leading a Shiite off-shoot sect that — it’s only 10 percent of Syria. It runs Syria with an iron hand. It can be easily overthrown.

So if he [Edrogan] supports the Sunni people [of Syria] against him [Assad], he becomes the champion of the region. He’s got an opportunity. Is he ambitious and reckless enough to go ahead and respond militarily? I don’t know. But it would be his opening.

On the reaction to news Friday that the Muslim Brotherhood candidate had won Egypt’s presidential runoff:

With Syria, Erdogan has a choice, he can stay in the back if he wants. But here, the [Muslim] Brotherhood have decided that this is their moment. They’re coming out in the streets. There are a million people out there.

Last week, before the elections, this issue came up and I suggested that the military had closed the [Brotherhood dominated] parliament because the parliament had elected a constitutional committee. And it did not want a constitution that the Brotherhood would control. So, in the interim, the military has appointed its own [constitutional] committee. It wants a constitution that will make the president’s office empty and weak. So that whoever wins the election will not challenge them.

And that’s what is at stake. The Brotherhood is opposing the military control of the constitution….

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


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