Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 12:52 PM ET, 01/28/2011

Charles Krauthammer gets it

By Greg Sargent

Charles Krauthammer is very angry at President Obama because he didn't use his State of the Union to repudiate his entire existence, and instead doubled down on his vision that government spending should play an important role in resuscitating our economy and securing our future:

This entire pantomime about debt reduction came after the first half of a speech devoted to, yes, new spending. One almost has to admire Obama's defiance. His 2009 stimulus and budget-busting health-care reform are precisely what stirred the popular revolt that delivered his November shellacking. And yet he's back for more.

It's as if Obama is daring the voters -- and the Republicans -- to prove they really want smaller government.

Yes, Charles, that's right. When it comes to Republicans, at least, that's precisely what Obama is doing.

But you're missing a key ingredient here. As David Axelrod has already spelled out quite explicitly, President Obama is also daring the new Republican majority to show how they would achieve the dramatically downsized government they say they want, and betting that once they get specific, the voters will prefer his vision to theirs. Get it?

UPDATE, 1:14 p.m.: Krauthammer also summarizes the President's dare as follows:

The people say they want cuts? Sure they do -- in the abstract. But any party that actually dares carry them out will be punished severely.

As it happens, Gallup recently found that when respondents are asked about specifics, majorities oppose cuts in education, anti-poverty programs, funding for the arts and sciences, Social Security and Medicare. And CNN recently found that a huge majority cares more about protecting Social Security from cuts than about reducing the deficit.

By Greg Sargent  | January 28, 2011; 12:52 PM ET
Categories:  Political media  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: What the right won't tell you about the Black Panther case
Next: Biden renews vow to repeal tax cuts for rich

Comments


What is going on in Egypt right now is extremely serious.

If this government falls, an Islamic Revolutionary government will take power. Make no mistake, this is not a democracy movement. This is a pro-Islamic movement.


The Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty will be out the window.

I can not emphasize enough how serious this is.


This is like having a Hamas-like government in Egypt. The current co-operation that Israel is getting along the Hamas-Egypt border on the Gaza Strip will be open season for supplying all sorts of weapons.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

And in business news, that left-wing rag Inc. magazine's feature story this month is about business booming in socialist Norway.
http://www.inc.com/magazine/20110201/in-norway-start-ups-say-ja-to-socialism.html
All you right wingers, please give us your truthiness attack on this.

Posted by: LeftCoast5 | January 28, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

PL readers really should click over to the Krauthammer piece - it's terrific!

"President Obama certainly heard it, but judging from his State of the Union address, he doesn't believe a word of it. The people say they want cuts? Sure they do - in the abstract. But any party that actually dares carry them out will be punished severely. On that, Obama stakes his reelection."

Posted by: sbj3 | January 28, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

It's as if Obama is daring the voters -- and the Republicans -- to prove they really want smaller government.


________________________

UMMMM there was an election - and the Republicans won.


I think the budget should be CUT until there is a less-than-$300 Billion deficit.


That is what the AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT.


The liberals just don't get it.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Sargent is almost saying "RUN ALL THE LIBERALS OUT OF TOWN, I DARE YOU"


That is EXACTLY what the American People want.


You don't get it.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, another piece in the WaPo sending up another piece in the WaPo. Then this response, "PL readers really should click over to the Krauthammer piece - it's terrific!"

Naaaaw, couldn't be. My mind is playing tricks on me. I need a vacation.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 28, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I do not understand why President Obama keeps on thinking that he was elected President, and thinks he gets to decide what policies he wishes to pursue.

Does he not realize that the American People actually elected Charles Krauthammer to make all those policy decisions, right after he produced a long copy of his Canadian Birth Certificate.

Some people feel that the Canadian Birth Certificate is a fake, because an elderly Kenyan woman, says that at the time Charles was born, she was working as a maid in Israel, and saw Charles' heavily pregnant mother in a Kibbutz in Israel.

You know what that means folks; If Charles was not born in Canada, as he claims, then he is really not A Great American.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3 "PL readers really should click over to the Krauthammer piece - it's terrific!

"President Obama certainly heard it, but judging from his State of the Union address, he doesn't believe a word of it. The people say they want cuts? Sure they do - in the abstract. But any party that actually dares carry them out will be punished severely. On that, Obama stakes his reelection.""

Obama is also staking his reelection on his ability to raise $1 billion dollars from large donors.

"Obama's fundraisers are rebuilding bridges to big donors for 2012 campaign"

"The White House reelection bid will test the enthusiasm of small donors, who might prove discouraged by the centrist bent and the policy compromises of Obama's administration. Big-dollar donors expect to be in greater demand.

"The president's shift to the center has renewed my . . . interest, enthusiasm and support for him," said Myers, who added he wasn't alone among his peers. He plans to play a large role in presidential fundraising this cycle. "My guess is that he is going to do better with people writing large checks."

Myers, who has been invited to the Hartley fundraiser and is a top donor to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), said that the $1 billion target for total money raised is both floating around fundraising circles and not out of bounds.

"It sounds incredibly aggressive," he said. "But I think it's very doable."

If Obama hopes to hit such a mark, he'll need his top team on board. According to the prominent Obama donor, the president's core group of financial backers including Orin Kramer, an investor at Boston Provident; Mark Gallogly a co-founder of Centerbridge Partners; Jamie Rubin, an investor at BC Partners; and Robert Wolf, president of UBS Investment Bank, remains intact."

""I was talking to one Wall Street guy, and he said, 'Ugh. Do I have to help Obama?'" recounted the Democratic fundraiser. "I said: 'Of course you do. He's going to be president again!'" "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/27/AR2011012707002.html?hpid=moreheadlines

So much for Change You Can Believe In.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 28, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Anyway. The Republicans are not going to play Axelrod's games.


Get it?


The Republicans are focused on taking over the Senate (with as close to 60 votes as possible) and getting Obama out of office.


Get it?


Then the American People WILL GOVERN THEIR NATION THE WAY THEY WANT TO. Not according to some BAIT-AND-SWITCH OBAMA post-racial SCAM.


Get it????


The American People are taking their country back


Get it???


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Also, it appears that there is a formatting issue between "And yet he's back for more." and "It's as if Obama is daring the voters "

Everything after that on the entire page is showing up as bolded.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 28, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer should have stuck with his day job.

LeftCoast, people here know socialism is bad for all that is good, like business and freedom etc., so they are not interested in any option other than corporate welfare, the pay to play, mock-free enterprise system. Now that the Republicans found the part of the Constitution that says corporations are indistinguishable from American citizens, no one has to know whose money is in the suitcase.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 28, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I too believe that Obama doesn't believe the Krauthammer piece.

Posted by: Ardiva1 | January 28, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

This is a dare I and millions of angry voters will gladly take.

The point is this: Americans are smart enough, and well enough informed, to see the destination to which the DC power folks are taking us. We can see the situation in Europe and now the Middle East. We understand that we simply don't want this future for ourselves or our children.

We also understand that the government has massively under performed repeatedly and that continued reliance on government at all levels will make our lives dramatically worse, not dramatically better.

OK, let's have the debate and let's have the fight. We're ready. Nothing less that our freedom is at stake now. Expanding government can only mean one thing: contracting citizens. That's not what Americans want. As evidence look at the 2010 election.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 28, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

all, apologies for the formatting error. fixed.

also see the update I added. recent polling supports the idea that people reject cuts when they are proposed in specific terms

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 28, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

When The American People take their country back, who will frequent all their casinos after they have send all those European settlers back to their ancestral homelands.

Think carefully Native American people, before you get rid of all of we foreign settlers, because you will end up with much more land to build casinos on(hell you will even be able to convert all those NFL indoor stadiums into Casinos) but where are you going to find all the customers to support them, once you have deported all those Euro Suckers?

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

@jnc4p: "So much for Change You Can Believe In."

It's almost unbelievable. He seems to me at this point to be the most cynical President of my time.

This morning you posted of his hypocrisy regarding the war on terror and continuation of Bush policies even though he campaigned on something completely different. Here we see Kraut adroitly pointing out that while Obama understands we want smaller govt, he also understands that programmatically that is difficult to achieve - so he won't do anything at all for the sake of getting reelected. (And Greg thinks this is a good thing!)

And this $1,000,000,000.00 that he will be pursuing while at the same time shunning the public financing he earlier promised to take while at the same time arguing against the GOP effort to get rid of it... It's mind boggling what this guy is getting away with.

Posted by: sbj3 | January 28, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama is driving SBJ around the bend.

Keep up the good work Mr. President.

Anyone who can cause some idiot, who kept sending contributions to the homophobic Sharron Angle, to tear their hair out, is alright in my book.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I guess this is where unemployed rightwingers come to whine.

Too bad for you, Greg!

Did you note the WaPo story that House Republicans are considering proposing a bill to privatize Medicare and instead introduce vouchers designed to decrease in value over time? This would be a guarantee that a lot of older people would not receive the care they needed and simply die, which is fine with wingers, of course.

But I do hope that Republicans follow Ryan's lead over the cliff, and the 2012 election will look a lot different than this one-- once seniors discover who is out to steal their health care.

Posted by: fiona5 | January 28, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

fiona5 |

The Republicans should label their Medicare Privatization plan;

Death Panel Vouchers.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3 "It's almost unbelievable. He seems to me at this point to be the most cynical President of my time."

I think President Nixon still wins that one. I would also characterize Obama as more hypocritical than cynical. If he was more cynical, he'd be less naive.

"And this $1,000,000,000.00 that he will be pursuing while at the same time shunning the public financing he earlier promised to take while at the same time arguing against the GOP effort to get rid of it... It's mind boggling what this guy is getting away with."

My favorite part of the story linked is that Obama's "top team" appears to be all investment bankers and hedge fund managers. I especially like that the president of UBS Investment Bank is in there given the settlement it had to reach with the Justice Department on charges of facilitating tax evasion for wealthy American clients.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/19/AR2009021903291.html

If this article was about one of the Republican Presidential candidate fund raising plans, you can imagine what the Plum Line write up would be, complete with the usual perfunctory denunciations of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

More significantly, neither the Democrats or the establishment Republicans seem willing to take on the banks or Wall Street in any meaningful way. I happen to be one of those Republicans who believes that the biggest threat to free market capitalism in the United States isn't the "socialism" of the Obama administration but rather the crony capitalism that has broad bipartisan support especially when it comes to the financial sector.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 28, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

All, good to see Joe Biden renewing the push to roll back tax cuts for the rich:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/joe_biden_renews_focus_on_tax.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 28, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I happen to be one of those Socialists who believes that the biggest threat to freedom, justice and prosperity in the United States isn't the Republicans but rather the crony capitalism that has broad bipartisan support especially when it comes to the financial sector.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 28, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Less Government! More Spudnuts! Government spending just robs private enterprise of opportunities. Government spending never created anything as wonderful as the Spudnut Shop!

Or, maybe . . .

For those of us in the Pacific Northwest, Sarah Palin's story about the Spudnut Shop in Richland, Washington was a great moment of comic relief. She seems to believe that Spudnut is the epitome of a small business getting by without government support. But Richland's economy is largely dependent on federal dollars spent on cleaning up the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Even the City's website states:

"The U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Reservation dominates this region in terms of its size, employment and expenditures. Hanford’s mission of waste management and environmental restoration has largely been focused on the River Corridor in the past few years. As that work is completed by 2015, the active cleanup area will shrink from 586 square miles to the 75-square mile Central Plateau."

If the billions of federal Hanford dollars suddently dried up, if cheap power from the federal Bonneville Power Administration went away, if irrigation water from the federal Columbia River system disappeared, how would the Spudnut Shop be doing?

Posted by: bearclaw1 | January 28, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"And CNN recently found that a huge majority cares more about protecting Social Security from cuts than about reducing the deficit."


That's a stupid question. They're asking: do you want benefit cuts, or borrowing to make up the slack? They should be asking: Do you want higher taxes or benefit cuts?

The latter is a tougher decision for most people.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 28, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Actuarial reports indicate SS will run a surplus and pay full benefits until 2037.

Posted by: fiona5 | January 28, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Billo-the-clowns favorite spewing MD... Krauth's own words from above. "The people say they want cuts? Sure they do -- in the abstract. But any party that actually dares carry them out will be punished severely." will sink any other talking points that come out of Luntz; the cluster-fox talking swine patrol; or, any media trying to get out another lie by murdoch's flying monkeys.

Krauth is sunk; billo-the-garbage-bag is sunk; limberger and newt, along with there blow-up doll carry-ons are sunk; murdoch's flying monkey's are sunk; Brewski in Arizonie is sunk... Perry in texas could be lynched in public for a $ 30 BILLION debt he's been lying about for years; Yikes, the list of folks lining the bottom of the scum pound is getting longer by the hour!!

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | January 28, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

@fiona5 "Actuarial reports indicate SS will run a surplus and pay full benefits until 2037."

What's your source for this? The reports I read recently stated that SS is due to go into deficit (defined as starting to draw down the "trust fund" and thus requiring the government debt it holds to be repaid rather than helping to mask the deficit that the rest of the government runs) this year. I think the timetable moved up due to the decision to suspend collections on employee withholding taxes this year as part of the lame duck tax cut deal.

I believe that 2037 is when the "trust fund" is exhausted.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 28, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Sargent still has his feelings hurt over this:

"It's hard to be an Obama sycophant these days. Your hero delivers a Ramadan speech roundly supporting the building of a mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York. Your heart swells and you're moved to declare this President Obama's finest hour, his act of greatest courage.

Alas, the next day, at a remove of 800 miles, Obama explains that he was only talking about the legality of the thing and not the wisdom -- upon which he does not make, and will not make, any judgment."

Gregt Sargent; just another obsequious, sycophantic, partisan hack.

Posted by: kryon77 | January 28, 2011 8:11 PM | Report abuse

@fiona5 "Actuarial reports indicate SS will run a surplus and pay full benefits until 2037."

@jnc4p "What's your source for this?"

http://www.ssa.gov/oact/trsum/index.html

This is "A SUMMARY OF THE 2010 ANNUAL REPORTS" by the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees

Posted by: OhioHunter | January 28, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company