Posts Tagged ‘Charles Krauthammer’
These remarks by commentator Charles Krauthammer are too good to not share. He said this:
“Here’s the president talking about respect for the law and implying there’s partisanship if the law is overturned. We all were witnesses to the oral hearings in which Obama’s case for the constitutionality of the law was utterly demolished to the point where one liberal observer called it a ‘train wreck.
“It’s perfectly natural for a majority of the Court to side with the side that actually won the argument intellectually. That’s not partisanship, that’s logic. What is partisanship is when the four liberal justices are in such lockstep with the administration that they end up supporting the case that’s been utterly destroyed in an open argument and be humiliated.
“Second, the president talks about the deal as unprecedented. What’ he talking about? Since 1803, our system has been one in which the Supreme Court in the end, judges, whether the law is constitutional or not. And in this case, he talked about the law passing by majority. He had a strong majority, with 75 Democrats outnumbering Republicans in the House. Obamacare passed by seven votes. It was a very narrow majority. It wasn’t a broad of a majority that he implied.
“On every count he doesn’t have an argument. This is liberals in shock over watching their side being demolished in oral argument and trying to bully the Supreme Court into ending up on their side in a case which they clearly lost intellectually and logically.”
With oral arguments in the case challenging the individual mandate of Obama’s health care law starting in the Supreme Court on Monday, this piece by Charles Krauthammer is worthy of posting in total. It is a must read.
Obamacare: The reckoning
By Charles Krauthammer, Published: March 22
Obamacare dominated the 2010 midterms, driving its Democratic authors to a historic electoral shellacking. But since then, the issue has slipped quietly underground.
Now it’s back, summoned to the national stage by the confluence of three disparate events: the release of new Congressional Budget Office cost estimates, the approach of Supreme Court hearings on the law’s constitutionality and the issuance of a compulsory contraception mandate.
Obamacare was carefully constructed to manipulate the standard 10-year cost projections of the CBO. Because benefits would not fully kick in for four years, President Obama could trumpet 10-year gross costs of less than $1 trillion — $938 billion to be exact.
But now that the near-costless years 2010 and 2011 have elapsed, the true 10-year price tag comes into focus. From 2013 through 2022, the CBO reports, the costs of Obamacare come to $1.76 trillion — almost twice the phony original number.
It gets worse. Annual gross costs after 2021 are more than a quarter of $1 trillion every year — until the end of time. That, for a new entitlement in a country already drowning in $16 trillion of debt.
Beginning Monday, the Supreme Court will hear challenges to the law. The American people, by an astonishing two-thirds majority, want the law and/or the individual mandate tossed out by the court. In practice, however, questions this momentous are generally decided 5 to 4 — i.e., they depend on whatever side of the bed Justice Anthony Kennedy gets out of that morning.
Ultimately, the question will hinge on whether the Commerce Clause has any limits. If the federal government can compel a private citizen, under threat of a federally imposed penalty, to engage in a private contract with a private entity (to buy health insurance), is there anything the federal government cannot compel the citizen to do?
If Obamacare is upheld, it fundamentally changes the nature of the American social contract. It means the effective end of a government of enumerated powers — i.e., finite, delineated powers beyond which the government may not go, beyond which lies the free realm of the people and their voluntary institutions. The new post-Obamacare dispensation is a central government of unlimited power from which citizen and civil society struggle to carve out and maintain spheres of autonomy.
Figure becomes ground; ground becomes figure. The stakes could not be higher.
Serendipitously, the recently issued regulation on contraceptive coverage has allowed us to see exactly how this new power works. All institutions — excepting only churches, but not excepting church-run charities, hospitals, etc. — will be required to offer health care that must include free contraception, sterilization and drugs that cause abortion.
Consider the cascade of arbitrary bureaucratic decisions that resulted in this edict:
(1) Contraception, sterilization and abortion pills are classified as medical prevention. On whose authority? The secretary of health and human services, invoking the Institute of Medicine. But surely categorizing pregnancy as a disease equivalent is a value decision disguised as science. If contraception is prevention, what are fertility clinics? Disease inducers? And if contraception is prevention because it lessens morbidity and saves money, by that logic, mass sterilization would be the greatest boon to public health since the pasteurization of milk.
(2) This type of prevention is free — no co-pay. Why? Is contraception morally superior to or more socially vital than — and thus more of a “right” than — penicillin for a child with pneumonia?
(3) “Religious” exemptions to this edict extend only to churches, places where the faithful worship God, and not to church-run hospitals and charities, places where the faithful do God’s work. Who promulgated this definition, so stunningly ignorant of the very idea of religious vocation? The almighty HHS secretary.
Today, it’s the Catholic Church whose free-exercise powers are under assault from this cascade of diktats sanctioned by — indeed required by — Obamacare. Tomorrow it will be the turn of other institutions of civil society that dare stand between unfettered state and atomized citizen.
Rarely has one law so exemplified the worst of the Leviathan state — grotesque cost, questionable constitutionality and arbitrary bureaucratic coerciveness. Little wonder the president barely mentioned it in his latest State of the Union address. He wants to be reelected. He’d rather talk about other things.
But there’s no escaping it now. Oral arguments begin Monday at 10 a.m.
Obama has made some pretty outlandish comments throughout his presidency, but this one takes the cake:
“I try not to pat myself too much on the back, but this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration. And that’s not just our opinion, that’s the opinion of the Israeli government.”
Seriously? What makes this even more jarring is that he said it at a fundraiser at the Manhattan home of Jack Rosen, who is the chairman of the American Jewish Congress. Not certain how he can stand by and listen to that.
Has Obama’s administration done more in terms of security of the state of Israel than any previous administration? And is that truly the opinion of the Israeli government?
Read this exchange on Fox News (emphasis mine):
BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: The president on election night in 2009 and then last night at a fundraiser talking about a second term and turning the economy around.
He also said this not on camera about Israel, quote, “I try not to pat myself too much on the back, but this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration. And that is not just our opinion. That is the opinion of the Israeli government.”
We’re back with the panel. Charles, is that the opinion of the Israeli government?
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It is not, and I’m sure Obama knows it. If he doesn’t, he’s delusional. And this is really chutzpah. This president has done more to delegitimize and undermine Israel’s position in the world than any other president, and he did it by arriving on the scene and imposing and demanding of Israel a freeze on settlements, including the building of Jewish homes in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem of all places, something that had never been a precondition in 17 years of negotiations.
Imposing, and of course the Palestinians had to insist on it as well once the president had, and that destroyed all negotiations, and it made Israel the fall guy for an era, an era of an arrogant amateur who imposed this at the beginning of his term. As a result there are no negotiations.
And second, the most important issue for Israel, for its security is Iran. And this is a president who at a time of maximum weakness of the Mullahs in 2009 did not lift a finger to help the revolution because he had another delusion that if he engaged and negotiated with the Mullahs he could sweet talk Iran out of its weapons. The policy is a failure. He knows it. And we are on the threshold of Iran becoming a nuclear power.
BAIER: Chuck, many analysts not just at this table but other places, have talked about a vulnerability when it comes to Israel. You saw the congressional district, the ninth congressional district race in New York which turned many people believed on the issue of Israel. This was kind of a bold statement, even to say at a Democratic fundraiser wasn’t it?
CHARLES LANE, EDITORIAL WRITER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, I thought it was kind of a tall claim. I’m perhaps not as hard over about this as Charles is. But I was trying to think back of what previous administrations had done for Israel’s security. And I guess my winner for the one who had done the most of any would be good old Richard Nixon who in 1973, together with Henry Kissinger secretary of state decided to ship weapons to Israel when it had his back against the wall in the Yom Kippur War. Now, that is doing something for Israel’s security. And I’m not sure anything is that critical in the last three years to measure up to it.
This is the kind of detachment from reality that could have a real impact on whether President Obama is able to get elected for a second term next November. Unless he tempers his tall tales, he will continue to be the best opponent against himself.