I am a huge admirer of Dr. Charles Krauthammer. I find him a honest intellectual, a fervent supporter of Israel and a persuasive voice for conservatism. He's also got a wonderfully dry sense of humor. Most guys would love to meet one of the Mannings or their favorite musical hero - I'd like to have dinner with Dr. and Mrs. Krauthammer.
Having said that (I'm going to do everything possible to restrict use of that phrase), I found myself disagreeing with the good doctor for the first time in a long time. This, regarding an effort led by Sen. Mike Lee to defund Obamacare within the context of a continuing resolution to fund the government. The doctor argues that the strategy is suicidal, that it cannot prevail, and that if the government is shut down as a result of an ensuing standoff, the Republicans will suffer.
The Republicans are going to suffer regardless. Speaker Boehner says there will not be a debt limit increase without significant spending reductions, but Obama has already telegraphed that he has no intention of negotiating spending decreases in a debt limit discussion. Then, what will he and the Democrats do? Uh, I think the answer to that is nothing and I think we already know that Republicans will be pilloried by the syncophantic press regardless of the nature of the negotiations. Therefore, I enthusiastically support the efforts of Sens. Lee and Cruz to take a principled stand, to defund Obamacare and permit the other organs of government to function. If that's not good enough for the Democrats, then I think we ought to shut down the government, with the exception of benefits payments and complete funding for the armed forces. It would not trouble me one whit if the IRS, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Education, etc., were to temporarily halt payroll expenses for a period of time.
This country is completely out of control. Obama hits the road for a "pivot" to the economy and complains about wealth inequality and lobbies for further stimulus spending. But he can't bother to delay a vacation to Martha's Vineyard to approve the Keystone Pipeline. This is a guy who cares about the economy and wealth inequality. Please.
It is well past time to draw a proverbial line in the sand. Fundamentally, whether these fights are winnable or not, someone has got to stand up and argue in favor of constitutional reason. I usually look to the good doctor to stand firmly in the corner of principle, regardless of political expediency. Time will tell whether his position yields the reasoned response he expects from the opposition; their actions, not their words, suggest otherwise.