The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Special Report with Bret Baier |Wednesday, July 4, 2012

On Mitt Romney’s declaration in a Wednesday interview that the individual mandate is a tax – a reversal of his earlier position that the mandate should not be called a tax:

They’ve obviously been watching the show.

We berated them earlier in the week for missing an incredible opportunity that the court handed them when Romney’s adviser said publicly that it’s a penalty, not a tax. He kicked away a gift the Supreme Court had given them. And, of course, that is why Romney reversed his campaign’s position on this.

Clearly if it’s a tax, you can argue, number one, against Obama [that] he was disingenuous for a year-and-a-half, pretending a tax wasn’t a tax. Second, you can say that having promised he wouldn’t raise taxes on middle income people, this thing hits overwhelmingly people in the middle income bracket. Lastly, you can say this is a tax like many others in Obamacare. That didn’t come up in 2010 or in arguments against Obamacare, but the idea that there are dozens of taxes in it, from capital gains to taxes on medical device makers… [gives you] a tax issue you can attack Obamacare with.

So all of that I think they understood they had kicked away — and thus the reversal.

On the Supreme Court’s ruling the Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional:

I think the majority opinion is right. You don’t criminalize everything that is bad behavior, insensitive behavior, or contemptible behavior, as this is. We have enough criminalization of our actions already today, particularly when it comes to speech. That is one area you want to protect above all others.

Yes, incitement, you can punish. If you cry “fire” in a crowded theater, yes. But the idea if you lie about something, even something as important as this, the courts, the law, the police powers of the state will come down on you, I think is a mistake. I’m glad — look, if you can burn a flag on the grounds of the First Amendment, you can surely do this.

On a University of Texas experiment in which teams successfully remotely hijacked unmanned aerial drones:

It scared the bejeebies  out of me.…. I’m against drones over American air space for grounds of privacy. But set that aside, we now have a huge national security issue. We are spending billions on the TSA, suffering indignities, strip searching toddlers, nuns, and elderly people to protect our airplanes — and we are speaking about opening up our skies to thousands of these autonomous vehicles which, as you showed, a bunch of graduate students and an assistant professor can take charge of and turn it into missiles like on 9/11.

If this isn’t completely addressed, we shouldn’t even begin to think of allowing any in the country. That would mean fail-safe mechanisms and something built in these so if anything is detected as having been hijacked it self-destructs instantly.

Anything short of that, we should not have these anywhere near our shores. I’d put it over Canada, perhaps, but not over us.

Why over Canada?

The War of 1812, for starters.

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


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