Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Has anyone located the Presidential backside?

by Smitty

The Spiegel interview has a few good riffs, especially the second page, emphasis mine:
SPIEGEL: You famously coined the term "Reagan Doctrine" to describe Ronald Reagan's foreign policy. What is the "Obama Doctrine?"

Krauthammer: I would say his vision of the world appears to me to be so naïve that I am not even sure he's able to develop a doctrine. He has a view of the world as regulated by self-enforcing international norms, where the peace is kept by some kind of vague international consensus, something called the international community, which to me is a fiction, acting through obviously inadequate and worthless international agencies. I wouldn't elevate that kind of thinking to a doctrine because I have too much respect for the word doctrine.

SPIEGEL: Are you saying that diplomacy always fails?

Krauthammer: No, foolishness does. Perhaps when he gets nowhere on Iran, nowhere with North Korea, when he gets nothing from the Russians in return for what he did to the Poles and the Czechs, gets nowhere in the Middle East peace talks -- maybe at that point he'll begin to rethink whether the world really runs by international norms, consensus, and sweetness and light, or whether it rests on the foundation of American and Western power that, in the final analysis, guarantees peace.
CK thrashes the Right equally for lacking leadership, and then asserts he's too old to back up his trash-talk with running for office himself.

Great dodge, buddy. He's sufficiently crafty that I have to wonder if his anti-Palin rhetoric isn't just slick reverse psychology.
  • Sarah is still a few weeks shy of Going Rogue, so her actual policy directions at the national level aren't known.
  • Taking the skeptical stance on Sarah buys credibility, and enables heavier hits on BHO without seeming as partisan.
  • Condescending to the popular, charismatic candidate will piss the conservative base right off, helping galvanize support.
I'll see CK's contrarian and raise him a curmudgeon: lack of a central "personality" on the right ain't no bug. It's a feature. What's at stake is the commitment to the Constitutional principles of the country, not the individual stylings of a stuffed shirt or a stuffed skirt.

What good another Reagan, or even an American Magaret Thatcher (should Sarah prove to be of that caliber) if you follow that leader with a G.H.W. Bush? The real threats are dire, structural, and exceed any on person's capacity to address. Swapping out our First Black President in exchange for our First Woman President macht nichts without a societal course change as firm and protracted as our commitment to debt slavery.

Socialism is the opiate of the bureaucracy, to paraphrase Nietszche. But cold turkey is a better answer to the problem of dope than more dope.

Full circle, then, CK: fine snark indeed. Your attention and wisdom is drawn towards figuring out how to convince the American people that, given the choice between Canaan and Egypt, the current movement towards Egypt is undesirable.


  1. I think Mr. Krauthammer's opposition to Sarah Palin is because he finds her "socially horrifying," Mrs. Palin is an underdog who fights like David against Goliath. This disturbs the game and I believe the game is more to Mr. Krauthammer than the team on which he plays.

    See Malcolm Gladwell's essay about How underdogs can win. I elaborated this thesis a while back here.

  2. Charles Krauthammer is not a conservative. He could easily have his mug over to the right on this screen with an appeal for funds for his fisking.

    He is called a 'conservative' by the MSM for the same reason Brooks is: to marginalize real conservatives.

    It goes without saying that he wants us to have a bellicose foreign policy and perhaps start another war on Israel's behalf.

  3. Might doesn't make right, but might certainly makes law. I've long felt that the entire concept of international law is a fantasy. And although there is a certain element of "consensus fiction" to all government, the idea of some overall order to the spaces between those governments goes far beyond that. Perhaps the United Nations was a "good try" if one considers a world government something desirable, but it requires an enforcement mechanism. The idea that Obama (and many others) really believe that it is all self-enforcing is an interesting idea... and possibly a correct one. It would explain a whole lot.

    If we were all pure creatures we could live happily with anarchy, but we can't. We have to have a government. The nature of government itself is inescapable. Government is, and it *must* be, purely coercive. That's why limiting government as much as possible is a good thing.

    What exists now between nations is not government, it can't be, it's anarchy and we are not pure people. Nothing is going to self-enforce itself. At the same time, however, the rather messy way we have of dealing with disputes is far better than the alternatives.

  4. Oh for crying out loud! Of course Krauthammer is a conservative, and a very smart and principled one. He´s no Frum or Brooks. He is every bit as conservative as Sarah Palin whom I like (and defend all the time) but who isn´t above some gentle criticism like a damn saint.

    Conservaives who are so parochial that even Charles Krauthammer isn´t good enough for them are not interested in conserving anything, never mind winning and governing. They just want to decide who gets to come into their little treehouse.

  5. The "impurity of people" is the best argument against government and for anarchy. If you can't trust people, why the hell would you wrap up a big bundle of coercive power (which, as Lord Acton pointed out, tends to corrupt anyway) in pretty paper, put a bow on it, and hand it to a bunch of ... people? Do you think that calling the people who gleefully open the package and put it to use "government" somehow magically "purifies" them or something?

  6. "Taking the skeptical stance on Sarah buys credibility, and enables heavier hits on BHO without seeming as partisan."

    This is axiomatic for beltway types, might as well come with his mother's milk.

    But beyond the particulars of CK a Sun Tzu quote goes something like

    'If you are formless, the most penetrating spies will not be able to discern you, or the wisest counsels will not be able to do calculations against you.'

    Which is all well and good, so long as there is an intention, and plan to coalesce into a unified force at some critical juncture.

    Don't count on CK at that point, but if he does fall in line (along with the likes of Noonan, et.al.) the consider it a harbinger of victory.


  7. No, he's not being skeptical, he dismisses her outright. Even though she was the only public official who really warned people of what was coming. Now the HK speech is a good template
    for anyone's platform, then again he told her to 'get out of the room' about the death panels

  8. @El Gordo - Yeah, Krauthammer is a conservative. And George W. Bush and John McCain are conservatives too, right?

    I'm not aware of what the conservative positions of CK are. They certainly aren't on immigration or any of the social issues.

  9. "The "impurity of people" is the best argument against government and for anarchy."

    And the best argument against anarchy and for government. It's a paradox. If we have anarchy the strong abuse the weak. Very shortly people will realize that banding together makes them stronger. Rules will apply within any of those groups and those groups will be coercive as a condition of membership. The area *between* groups will remain anarchistic. And ta-da! now we've got "governments" and "international relations."

    I'm not saying anything about what is *good* or not, just what *is*. Understanding the truth of it means making decisions that work because they are not based on delusion that some other magical system of happy enforcement of standards through fairy-dust and unicorn farts is going to make everything work out the way (for example) Obama thinks it ought to.