Krauthammer: McCain as a bulwark against Great Society II

posted at 9:35 am on October 31, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Charles Krauthammer wrote a definitive piece last week on why the nation should support John McCain over Barack Obama.  At least, it seemed definitive, but apparently Krauthammer had more to add.  In what looks like the longest post-script in history, Krauthammer details the similarities and differences between Obama and McCain, and draws at least one important distinction for dispirited conservatives:

A conservative government has already partially nationalized the mortgage industry, the insurance industry and nine of the largest U.S. banks.

This is all generally swallowed because everyone understands that the current crisis demands extraordinary measures. The difference is that conservatives are instinctively inclined to make such measures temporary. Whereas an Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Barney Frank administration will find irresistible the temptation to use the tools inherited — $700 billion of largely uncontrolled spending — as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to radically remake the American economy and social compact.

Of course, this is the point that conservatives opposing the bailout made all along.  The government can’t be trusted to make these solutions temporary, especially with Congress in the hands of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.  Allowing the partial nationalization of banking and insurance companies ceded important philosophical and political ground to the statists, and instead the direction of the bailout should have been limited to fixing what government broke in the first place: the mortgage-backed securities that infected the entire system.

Think of it in terms of an old joke.  A man approaches a beautiful woman at a bar and asks if she will have sex with him for a million dollars.  She says, “For a million dollars?  Sure!”  The man hands her a $100 bill, and she throws it in his face, saying, “What do you think I am?”  He replies, “We’ve already established what you are.  Now we’re just negotiating over price.”

In other words, one cannot become a temporary statist without giving credibility to statism.

After noting that both candidates have talked about the necessity of bipartisanship, Krauthammer warns that Obama won’t need to be bipartisan while Congress is controlled by Reid and Pelosi:

Obama, on the other hand, talks less and less about bipartisanship, his calling card during his earlier messianic stage. He does not need to. If he wins, he will have large Democratic majorities in both houses. And unlike Clinton in 1992, Obama is no centrist.

And Obama has no track record at all of bipartisanship.  McCain has a long history of working across the aisle, to the consternation of his party at times, but Obama has none.  In an Obama administration with a Democratic Congress, Republicans will become irrelevant for at least the next two years.  The only bipartisanship Obama will show will be to name a couple of Republicans as advisers, people who will keep those positions only as long as they can stomach being mouthpieces for policy they won’t influence one single degree.

Krauthammer says it won’t be the end of the world, and he’s right.  We survived the Great Society and the Jimmy Carter presidency, too.  Unfortunately, we haven’t yet gotten past the economic and foreign-policy hangovers of either yet, and we certainly don’t need to add to that burden with the sharp left turn we’ll get in four years of Barack Obama’s leadership.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

We’ve already established what Obama is too, hopefully the majority has been listening.

Vashta.Nerada on October 31, 2008 at 9:39 AM

Personally, I’d rather the Barack Obama presidency remain in the theoretical case. I agree we’d survive it – but I have my doubts on that….

Let’s just don’t and say we didn’t.

kybowexar on October 31, 2008 at 9:40 AM

Sauerkraut started out bashing Palin because he is an elitist snob. Now he is prematurely predicting Republican defeat in order to suppress republican votes. He can go stand in the corner with Nooner.

Blake on October 31, 2008 at 9:42 AM

it’s seems like lots of americans have given (it) up for Obama and socialism. and that’s sad. seems that the number of adults in the room is diminishing.

jimmer on October 31, 2008 at 9:44 AM

A conservative government has already partially nationalized the mortgage industry, the insurance industry and nine of the largest U.S. banks.

…as well as spent tax dollars like a liberal government for the last eight years. Not to mention enlarging the Dept. of Education. And the prescription drug program.
Are you sure it’s a conservative government?

jgapinoy on October 31, 2008 at 9:48 AM

Did someone say socialism?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6ikOxi9yYk

Dudley Smith on October 31, 2008 at 9:49 AM

According to some new Fed. bank of Minneapolis report, its possible Paulson and Bernanke and those in trouble on Wall Street lied about the financial problem to get the bailout. I caught Danny fontana this morning talking about it on radio, he was pretty livid. Thinks they should be thrown in jail if its true.

ironically the report number is 666

Here’s the paper: Facts and Myths about the Financial Crisis of 2008

according to Fontana it proves that Bernanke and Paulson lied about threat of crisis, and it was way overblown.

jp on October 31, 2008 at 9:54 AM

Krauthammer says it won’t be the end of the world, and he’s right. We survived the Great Society and the Jimmy Carter presidency, too.

They weren’t dealing with Thugocracies who are hell-bent to create nuclear weapons and would gladly hand the keys of a few nukes over to their Islamic-fundie proxies.

Sorry but an Oborg Presidency would be catastrophic in ways that are terrifying to imagine.

Bishop on October 31, 2008 at 9:58 AM

Blake,
“Sauerkraut started out bashing Palin because he is an elitist snob.”

His criticisms of Palin were all valid points; she does have weaknesses. Do her strengths overcome the weaknesses? Probably, but it’s hardly a slam dunk, and you don’t ignore them. One of the jobs of the media is point them out.

exhelodrvr on October 31, 2008 at 9:59 AM

Sauerkraut started out bashing Palin because he is an elitist snob. Now he is prematurely predicting Republican defeat in order to suppress republican votes. He can go stand in the corner with Nooner.

Blake on October 31, 2008 at 9:42 AM

…hear, hear!

…should it be defeat next Tuesday, the epitaph of the McCain campaign’s already written: damned by faint praise, killed by punditry.

Puritan1648 on October 31, 2008 at 10:04 AM

This vote is another left-right no brainer. Obama represents the 10% far left. His campaign – aided by a far left media/propaganda machine – has started with 99% of the 13% black population, and has then done an amazing job of convincing the rest of the center-left that he’s a moderate.

Hopefully, enough people in the nitwit middle will wake from their delusion next Tuesday and realize that this is important.

Jaibones on October 31, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Yes, America survived The Great Depression and Carter, but you have done nothing to undo any of the damage caused. Surviving a crisis is one thing, repairing the damage is quite another.

OldEnglish on October 31, 2008 at 10:04 AM

America is theoretical for pundits…something they make money talking about…like farmers and dirt, pundits plow the nation under for a profit…except that farmers have more reverence for the soil they turn over….

…but America is where I live…it’s my home…I’m beginning to get a little steamed that Krautenstein and his starched-collar ilk are waiting for the page to turn…so’s they can make a dollar talking about it….

…screw ‘em….

Puritan1648 on October 31, 2008 at 10:06 AM

Regretfully, I’m unable to share CK’s optimism over our recoverability. Carter and Johnson were traditional liberal Democrats who essentially played by customary rules of their day. Obama is no Carter or Johnson. Obama is a ‘progressive’ out of the MoveOn-Soros mold, where rules are used against those who obey them, the ends justify the means, and the fight is to the death.

Obama-Reid-Pelosi intend not just to change America, but to transform it, to transform America not just for their term, but for all time.

petefrt on October 31, 2008 at 10:06 AM

Maybe it is time for us to seriously consider outsourcing the federal government to the Chinese. After all, they have a lot more experience with socialism than we do.

Ars Moriendi on October 31, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Krauthammer says it won’t be the end of the world, and he’s right.

Technically, and literally true; it won’t be the end of the world, but it will be the end of the United States as a free society.

With a radical leftist government it will take a hundred years to undo the damage, if that is even possible. Capitalism, and Christianity will be reduced to a historical footnote, democracy corrupted, and all that will be left will be the struggle between rival gangs.

rockhauler on October 31, 2008 at 10:09 AM

One of the jobs of the media is point them out.

exhelodrvr on October 31, 2008 at 9:59 AM

…and where have they done that this election cycle except with Gov. Palin.

…she has weaknesses, my aunt Fanny…where has this pack of crusaders been in pointing out Mr. Obama’s weaknesses? Biden’s? They’ve been in bed with him, you see, as is the wont of any whore.

…if you don’t want to be taken for a moron, don’t stick up for morons.

Puritan1648 on October 31, 2008 at 10:10 AM

Here’s the paper: Facts and Myths about the Financial Crisis of 2008

according to Fontana it proves that Bernanke and Paulson lied about threat of crisis, and it was way overblown.

jp on October 31, 2008 at 9:54 AM

Kulow and Santerelli(sp?) from the CME have been talking about the report for at least a week. It shows that credit activity in the non-financial business sector was no where near as bad as made out by Bernanke et.al. The crisis seems to have been more localized in the financial industry than they made it out, and the consequences would have disproportionally fell to that sector–that’s apparently the reason for creating the huge Wall Street-Main Street tie-in.

I’ve been investing for a quarter century. My trust is gone.

JiangxiDad on October 31, 2008 at 10:13 AM

It’s not a matter of “we will survive” certainly we will…the world “survived” WWII, the Jews survived WWII, Russia survived WWII, England survived WWII…survival is one aspect of life, freedom, pursuit of happiness, not living under a tax burdensome government, are additions to.
We will all “survive”, or at least the ones who are writing that we “survived” have survived.
We don’t live in the U.S. to survive, we live here to thrive…

right2bright on October 31, 2008 at 10:16 AM

Yes, America survived The Great Depression and Carter, but you have done nothing to undo any of the damage caused. Surviving a crisis is one thing, repairing the damage is quite another.

OldEnglish on October 31, 2008 at 10:04 AM

…hear bloody hear!

…and one can easily survive a night out drunk, sobering up in the morning, but then one finds that one has to deal with a smashed car, an empty wallet, shoes filled with vomit, a sleeping blonde in the back seat, and a wife with a rolling pin awaiting your arrival. Idiotic episodes have consequences.

We had only four years of James Earl Carter Jr…and we’ve had Islamism ever sense…thanks, Jimmy….

…Clement Atlee only a short time, six years all told..when he was done, the British Empire was destroyed…the British people were forcibly empoverished many years after the war due to artificial austerity measures…how many thousands were dead in the creation of India and Pakistan?…how many suffered in Africa when that nasty “imperialism” stuff, so odious in the nostrils of Mr. A’s socialist party, was given up and the Brits cut and ran?

…one bad politician and the regime he brings in can have far-reaching consequences….

Puritan1648 on October 31, 2008 at 10:18 AM

Obama. Very far left. Very weak on foreign policy. Very weak leader (so far, as he’s never been a leader, and has never led anything in his life). Untested. Extremely naive. To me that’s a fair characterization. And we’re electing this guy in 4 days! It’s bringing my childhood stutter back. I don’t need that. Tolerates a racist pastor for 20 years. Brings his wife and children to listen to him. His role models are commies and socialists. He has an unhealthy fixation on his own racial identity. He’ll be worse than Carter, he’s weaker than Carter in every way. What does Michelle say? We’re screwed ’08.

Paul-Cincy on October 31, 2008 at 10:19 AM

right2bright on October 31, 2008 at 10:16 AM

Good stuff. McCain ought to use it. It’s powerful.

We don’t live in the US to survive, we live to thrive.

JiangxiDad on October 31, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Dudley Smith on October 31, 2008 at 9:49 AM

That is, without a doubt, the most horrifying 30 seconds I have ever watched.

Happy Halloween – It will scare you to DEATH.

tru2tx on October 31, 2008 at 10:19 AM

And did I mention he grew up without a daddy. Couldn’t the Dems field a candidate with a daddy?!

Paul-Cincy on October 31, 2008 at 10:21 AM

Capitalism, and Christianity will be reduced to a historical footnote, democracy corrupted, and all that will be left will be the struggle between rival gangs.

rockhauler on October 31, 2008 at 10:09 AM

captalism for sure…christianity? no we have survived worse than the new bi-racial messiah. christianity thrives under persecution.

right4life on October 31, 2008 at 10:23 AM

…one bad politician and the regime he brings in can have far-reaching consequences….

Puritan1648 on October 31, 2008 at 10:18 AM

Most of which are not appreciated at the time.

Your comments about the fall of England are spot on.

OldEnglish on October 31, 2008 at 10:29 AM

Puritan,
“if you don’t want to be taken for a moron, don’t stick up for morons.”

LOL – right back at you. You criticize what the media does re Obama’s weaknesses, but then want to do the same thing about Palin’s weaknesses.

exhelodrvr on October 31, 2008 at 10:29 AM

Hopefully, enough people in the nitwit middle will wake from their delusion next Tuesday and realize that this is important.

Jaibones on October 31, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Well put. This is what the next five days boil down to.

BuckeyeSam on October 31, 2008 at 10:31 AM

We survived the Great Society and the Jimmy Carter presidency, too.

We survived those years because the people making the policies back then were reasonably sane. The gang we’ve got in the Dem leadership now are completely and without question, totally bonkers. Ther’s no telling the damage these idiots can do in no time at all.

Big John on October 31, 2008 at 10:33 AM

Obama doesn’t have the temperment of a leader. Clinton acted based on polls, because he wanted to be liked. For Obama, being liked is even more important. Obama will never put his foot down. He never has. We’ll see it in the first 100 days, and moreso in the next year. I’m telling you.

Paul-Cincy on October 31, 2008 at 10:36 AM

The divide between conservatives and pundits who just want to hang on to their jobs grows sharper every day.

attemptedthinking on October 31, 2008 at 10:40 AM

Sixty-five years before the attack on Pearl Harbor U.S. Grant told the Japanese they had a strong claim to the possession of Pacific Islands and encouraged them to exercise that claim. This long forgotten President still shapes geopolitics.

What will Barry tell Dinnerjacket, Chavez, Putin?

Limerick on October 31, 2008 at 10:42 AM

Amazing, only those who lived under socialist rule and emigrated (legally) to become U.S. citizens seem to understand what an Obummerocracy means to us. I fervently hope that all the “closet” conservatives come out and tip this thing on Tuesday. Michelle’s comment is “We’re Screwed in ’08″. I beg to differ…. we’re screwed for the foreseeable future.

HomeoftheBrave on October 31, 2008 at 10:57 AM

I love Charles Krauthammer. He will be the only who will keep me sane in an Obamatocracy.

bopbottle on October 31, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Chipping away, chipping away…chip…chip…chip…

whitetop on October 31, 2008 at 11:03 AM

If Obama wins I’m not converting my tv set. I’d rather watch a test pattern for the next four years than the MSM news on its knees before the potentate Obama.

Mojave Mark on October 31, 2008 at 11:09 AM

Is what I been saying all along. Paulson and Bernanke are both crooks. I never liked them. You can see by looking at the two. They are shady at their best. Guess they wanted a ton of money before Bush is out of Office. I love how there is no reprimand on the Democrats in Congress. The Banks used some of their money to pay off their CEO’S. Interesting.

sheebe on October 31, 2008 at 11:36 AM

Okay gang some reality here. Krauthammer is absolutely correct in his assessment with this exception. I sell process equipment to the chemical manufacturing and plastics compounding industrial sector. The vast majority of my clients are small business some with only one facility with less than 20 employees and other with several facilities in several states with under 50 employees in any one location including corporate offices which includes R&D, engineering, accounting, purchasing and administrative staff.

NONE OF THEM, I REPEAT NONE OF THEM, have been buying anything at all for the last 8 months. Some of their production has been at over capacity levels still to this day. They need to expand but fear not after looking at Obama’s economic policies of “Eat the Rich”. These are private companies which are do not have to appease stockholders when looking towards the future and turning their profits back into the company to meet new markets or expand on existing successful markets.

In addition, with my business at a standstill, I have been giving time to a congressional candidate (3 hrs daily) by going door to door. It is clear in professional and working clase demographics that it is 15:1 straight GOP ticket. These are registered Democrats in equal numbers to registered Republicans. However the Dems are about 10:1 pro GOP candidates. The only two neighborhoods who are not overwhelminly pro GOP were a predominantly black apartment complex which had very few registered voters and was non-commital but polite, and one populated by a lot of young academics which still went 3:1 pro GOP. In fact the most vile people who yell, curse and one even spit at me were the young Academics with Obama signs in their yards. 50% of these Academics (with Obama signs) were very nice and appreciated my work AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN but the other half were just what the DKOS and Huffandpuff promote.

A lot of folks opened up when they found out which side I was campaigning for. They offered me a bottle of water, or a soft drink, and a couple offered me some type of snack. They opened up completely with their opinions on the race and the state of the nation. Once again equal among registered Dem and GOP.

The wealthier and more highly educated the neighborhood (excluding young academics) the more they admitted to being active religiously and the more “Blue Star” homes were in the neighborhood. This holds true among the foreign born citizens as well.

The local media is touting a 50/50 poll, but it is not what I’ve seen.

Kermit on October 31, 2008 at 11:58 AM

I forgot a very important thing that started yesterday. Several housewives, with Dem candidate signs in their yards, whispered that they were voting GOP. Hopefully this trend will continue.

Kermit on October 31, 2008 at 12:04 PM

LOL – right back at you. You criticize what the media does re Obama’s weaknesses, but then want to do the same thing about Palin’s weaknesses.

exhelodrvr on October 31, 2008 at 10:29 AM

…no…I want some appearance, anyway, of fairness…of these scribbling asshats doing the bloody jobs…you are imagining that I want them silent on Gov. Palin’s faults…all we’ve heard from them are Gov. Palin’s faults, many of those reported not existing.

…get out of your head, then get your head out of your ass, sir/madam.

Puritan1648 on October 31, 2008 at 12:04 PM

For Obama, being liked is even more important. Obama will never put his foot down. He never has.

Paul-Cincy on October 31, 2008 at 10:36 AM

…I’m not worried about Obama’s foot…the fact that he’s not put it down can be directly linked to his career having been one of building his career…he’s a resume stuffer, pure and simple. He, like Clinton, was passed from hand to hand as an up-and-comer, a fair-haired-boy-type, all potential and therefore accomplishment has not been required of him.

He hasn’t put his foot down because he hasn’t really done anything. He’s “verb-neutral”.

As to his hunger, vis-a-vis Clinton, to be liked, I’d disagree…his hunger is to arrive. He’s been pointed like a rocket at the top job since his college days…”the first black (fill in blank)”…I don’t think that he cares, one way or the other, how the prolls reard him. We are useful only in enabling him to arrive, as a river enables a man in a canoe or the air enables the pilot. We’re simply the medium. We’re ultimately not important…and, for that matter, neither is the nation.

…it’s all about him, after all.

Puritan1648 on October 31, 2008 at 12:12 PM

Kermit on October 31, 2008 at 11:58 AM

What state/district?

Any sense of Presidential preferences or were you just polling for the congressional candidate?

Y-not on October 31, 2008 at 12:21 PM

Sauerkraut started out bashing Palin because he is an elitist snob. Now he is prematurely predicting Republican defeat in order to suppress republican votes. He can go stand in the corner with Nooner.

Blake on October 31, 2008 at 9:42 AM

This is beyond idiotic – he expressed justifiable concern about her impact on the campaign’s ability to run against Obama on the grounds of “lack of experience,” and as it turns out his concerns were well-founded. Shouting at one of the few pundits who hasn’t turned tail and run away from the McCain-Palin ticket because he expressed some objective skepticism is not only brazenly anti-intellectual, it’s anti-conservative.

What separates us from liberals is our ability to remain intellectually honest, and that means pulling our heads out of the Kool-Aid bowl no matter how delicious it tastes and scrutinizing the campaigns of our candidates. Krauthammer was the first one of us out the gate to do it, and for that he’s on-par with Noonan and Parker? You’re out of your mind – this man has done more to bring credibility to the most important tenets of conservatism, namely strict constructionism and fiscal conservatism, than any one else since Bill Saffire and Bill Buckley.

Tacitus_SGL on October 31, 2008 at 12:27 PM

A conservative government has already partially nationalized the mortgage industry, the insurance industry and nine of the largest U.S. banks.

Since our banks practice fractional-reserve banking overseen by the Federal Reserve, they’ve been “partially nationalized” since 1913. Alas, most everything is subsidized (and subsequently nationalized) in this country.

TMK on October 31, 2008 at 12:44 PM

@Y-not
It is in the South. Flagship U and Capitol one in the same. We have an up and coming national GOP figure as Gov.

That is all that I can say right now.

Kermit on October 31, 2008 at 12:54 PM

Puritan1648 on October 31, 2008 at 12:12 PM

…it’s all about him, after all.

For the narcissist, for whom it’s “all about him”, they always want to be liked. Goes hand in hand. It’s part of the package. Obama thrives on the crowds, the love, the adoration, the admiration. Yes, it’s all about him. His take from the rich, give to the poor policy ties directly into this. 95% will love him. He’ll live with 5% not loving him. Besides, he envies those with more than him. How dare they. Take it away. 95% approval, he’s good with that.

Paul-Cincy on October 31, 2008 at 12:55 PM

@Y-not.

My customers are in MN, MI, NJ, IL, OH, RI, KY, TN, FL, TX, LA, AR, KS, OK, CA, WV, VT, PA & MS

Kermit on October 31, 2008 at 12:57 PM

oops I forgot MO & NC

Kermit on October 31, 2008 at 12:57 PM

The USA may survive four years of an Obama presidency. But I am 100% certain that the State of Israel will not.

rockmom on October 31, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Puritan,
Apparently you are from the school of thought that we should never acknowledge faults or weaknesses on “our side.” Of course, that does result in said faults or weaknesses never getting fixed. Which is mainly how we, on the conservative side, got ourselves into this mess.

exhelodrvr on October 31, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Those talking about Krauthammer’s problem with Sarah Palin are missing the point. Krauthammer is a paraplegic and a strong supporter of embryonic stem cell research because he hopes it will someday lead to cures for spinal cord injuries. Palin opposes ESCR. McCain supports it, otherwise Krauthammer would not have endorsed McCain either.

rockmom on October 31, 2008 at 1:21 PM

rockmom,
“Krauthammer would not have endorsed McCain either”

If you think that Krauthammer is a “single-issue” voter, you haven’t paid much attention to him over the past twenty years.

His support of McCain is consistent with his opinions on which candidate would be best for the country, on a variety of topics. And his criticism of Palin was a valid one. She is inexperienced. Whether her strengths outweigh her weaknesses can be argued, but her inexperience is a fact.

exhelodrvr on October 31, 2008 at 2:04 PM

Once again, Krauthammer nails it.

I really hope that Fox News can find a regular place for him whenever Brit Hume leaves.

The Ugly American on October 31, 2008 at 3:29 PM

PS: Don’t Vote Blue.

Just a few elections ago, the Republicans were blue and the Democrats red. It had been that way for as long as I could remember (as it is in Britain: Tories blue, Labour red). All of a sudden it switched (2000 I think it was). What’s up with that?

Tzetzes on October 31, 2008 at 5:33 PM