Okay. So, if you don't know this guy, I can tell you, he is an unpleasant man.
FOX News loves him as a guest; he contributes a unique blend of erudite and yet intensely sophomoric and hostile commentary on governmental atrocities committed by our President. Attacking Barack Obama is his fetish.
The first thing I thought when I read this column is that I would rather think the best of others and be a million times disappointed in life, than go through it with as morose and contemptuous an attitude as Krauthammer’s. His column reveals much more about himself than it does about Mr. Obama.
With an air of triumph and pride, he delineates the Republican Party’s successes in their ongoing mission to obstruct at every turn the sitting President of the United States. Their explicitly stated goal has always been to stand against anything the president supports, because he supports it. One assumes the objective is for Obama to be seen, currently, and by history, as a failed president. With this column, (rather prematurely, as we are currently in year 4.4 of the Obama era), based on a couple of GOP victories on high-profile votes, Krauthammer has decided to break out the champagne.
Never mind that the country is hurting because of these victories. Never mind that its citizens appear to be gradually catching on to the fact that they were won at great expense to all. Writing with the same tone as would someone expressing an admirable and legitimate position, Krauthammer crows about recent punches Republicans have landed on the president’s jaw. Not punches thrown in the name of principle or policy, mind you, but thrown because, well, they just hate that guy.
Let's look at some of what Mr. Krauthammer has to say:
"...the victor (a reelected Obama) is hailed as the new Caesar, facing an open road to domination..."
Mr. Krauthammer, you realize that you folks are the only ones who see it that way, right? No Democrat I know has any desire for a Caesar in the White House. On the domestic front, far from wanting to dominate others, we want to empower fellow citizens to each reach a place where they can grow, succeed, and be happy. We want everyone to have doctors and medicine. We want to learn to walk ever more lightly on the earth. We don’t want domination internationally, either; you’re projecting. We want to support fledgling democracies across the world in their efforts toward self-determination. We want to find peaceful agreement with opposing countries, not destroy them. I wish you could know what it feels like to be in a party that is for something, rather than against everything. It can be exhilarating. It might even wipe that perpetual scowl off your face.
Let’s go on. What else, Mr. K.?
"...Barack Obama, already naturally inclined to believe his own loftiness, graciously accepted the kingly crown..."
(Eye roll.) Again...
"Thus emboldened, Obama turned his inaugural and State of the Union addresses into a left-wing dream factory, (including) his declaration of war on global warming (on a planet where temperatures are the same as 16 years ago and in a country whose CO2 emissions are at a 20-year low)…”
Er… You frighten me, Mr. Krauthammer.
"Obama sought to fracture and neutralize the congressional GOP..."
Wait, Obama did what? I think Republicans sought to... oh, never mind.
"Obama cried wolf, predicting the end of everything we hold dear if the sequester was not stopped. It wasn't. Nothing happened."
Yeah? Tell that to the people who... oh, never mind.
"...Obama’s spectacular defeat on gun control..."
So, "spectacular" is the word that springs to mind for you there, Mr. K.? I would have gone with "insanely immoral." Because Republicans didn't oppose this bill in favor of another bill, one with a different approach to protecting the American people from random violence. There was no pretense of a greater motivation for voting down this bill than a political strike against President Obama. Mr. K., even if this bill had passed, it would be a time for sober optimism that it might stem the flow of blood. To call its defeat “spectacular” is obscene.
And do understand, sir: it was a defeat for Obama only in the cheapest political sense. The real defeat was for the gun-violence victims' families, traveling home from Washington after the vote, to Newtown and Chicago and Tucson and Aurora. The real defeat will be felt, (terrifyingly enough) by people who don't even know it yet. Maybe me. Maybe someone I know. It’s a defeat for the next victims of mass or otherwise indiscriminate shootings that could have been prevented by this bill.
"For Obama, gun control was a political disaster. He invested capital. He went on a multi-city tour. He paraded grieving relatives. And got nothing... Obama failed even to get mere background checks."
You usually hear the somewhat unsophisticated label "pervert" applied to someone with socially frowned-upon sexual proclivities. I don't normally use the word myself. But what can one say reading this stuff? "He paraded grieving relatives. And got nothing." Charles Krauthammer is a pervert.
Finally, Krauthammer wraps up his column with a sarcastic, school-boy taunt; his take on the Obama Presidency to date:
"From king of the world to dead in the water in six months. Quite a ride."
Republicans are a tribe. They have retreated into a national yet somehow provincial horde. They defend their holdings with all their might. They see the rest of us as constant threats to their sovereignty and survival.
Democrats are a party of many tribes. In the current iteration of the two parties, we are simply the one more comfortable with a broad mix of folks, a wide diversity of opinion within the party, and the ability to think of unlike groups as potential members of coalitions, coming together around overlapping concerns.
Republicans are starting to understand that such a conglomeration, with varying backgrounds, needs and priorities but with a firm set of shared ideals, is likely to keep growing; in size and therefore power. Their response is to reluctantly edge open the gate to their compound, remain inside, and beg others to come in and join the tribe. Their strategy is to tell these others that they would benefit from coming inside the compound and hating everyone outside it. They’ll even accept those who look like outsiders, as long as they agree to mimic and obey tribal customs and dictates.
Welllll, GOP, good luck with that. You have quite a cheery spokesperson in Charles Krauthammer. Most of us are honestly hoping you will ditch him and his ilk, pass through the gate, leave the tribe behind, and join the rest of us. Not to be Democrats, necessarily. Just come out here away from that tribe. With us, you can believe anything you want, live the way you prefer, and promote anything you believe in. That's how we roll out here. We just ask that you don't sacrifice the good of the people for the will of that angry little tribe.
Then maybe you can get back to making real contributions on important matters. From a sane conservative perspective, if you like. On important matters like the economy, defense policy, governmental effectiveness and transparency, tax policy, and so on. You're needed.
In the meantime, I just hope the rest of us can survive the tribe.