Free Markets, Free People


Krauthammer – 2 for 2

Via The Corner, Charles Krauthammer on Fox’s News Hour with Brett Bair. First he talks about the pre-negotiated reduction of nuclear arms between Russia and the US:

That was the deal that Obama really was lusting after as a way to come home and to wave a diplomatic success.

The problem is that any deal on offensive nuclear weaponry is either useless or a detriment to the United States.

Useless because it makes no difference above a certain level how many warheads you have. We could suspend our negotiations today and say to the Russians: You can construct as many warheads as you want and spend yourselves into penury, as the Soviets did, to make weapons that are redundant, that will do nothing more than make the rubble bounce, as Churchill once said memorably.

It could be a detriment because the Russians have insisted on linkage between offensive and defensive weaponry. The reason it’s a detriment is because we have a huge technological advantage on defensive weaponry. We can shoot down a missile. The Russians can’t.

For 25 years, the Russians have attempted to get a curb on American defensive weaponry, starting at Reykjavik, where Gorbachev attempted to swindle Reagan out of our strategic defenses. Reagan said no. Bush 1 said no. Clinton said no. And Bush 2 said no.

Obama is wavering on this, and I think it could be a real catastrophe if he concedes. He already is wavering on the missile shield in Eastern Europe. Medvedev said we [he and Obama] agreed on linkage, and Obama himself had said it would be the subject of extensive negotiations.

Why negotiations with the Russians over a shield in the Czech Republic and Poland?

If he gives away the missile shield then he’s essentially given the Russian the advantage of not having to worry about losing any warheads to anti-missile defenses, thereby making any cuts, even by a third, painless. And, of course, he’s already ceded ground by agreeing to linkage and subjecting such a defense to “extensive negotiations”.

Reducing nuclear weapons is a laudable accomplishment. But weakening our defenses against such weapons as the price isn’t.

Sarah Palin:

If she thinks that this decision is a way to advance her political career, she is delusional. She could survive this. It’s possible. It may not be a fatal decision, but it’s not an advancement.

It is a quitting, and I think it’s largely a personal decision, a reasonable one. There was a lot of heat, a lot of attacks, and she wanted out, and that’s OK.

If there was a political calculation, it would have to be—if it were rational—that after the age of Obama, you know, way down the road, there are second acts in American politics. Reagan returned. Nixon returned. Clinton returned. It’s possible.

But she has to make herself serious. If she imagined she is going to be a Reagan-in-the-wilderness in the ’70′s and lead a movement, she has to be like Reagan, who was a serious man with serious ideas, who studied, who wrote, who thought, and made himself a major figure. If she doesn’t do that, she’s toast.

As much as I like Sarah Palin as a personality, I think Krauthammer has put his finger on her problem – she isn’t a Reagan or a Thatcher, or even a Nixon or Clinton. And as I’ve implied in some commentary to another blog post, with this highly partisan and poisonous political atmophere which gets 24/7 coverage, second acts are very, very hard to come by. And, as Krauthammer notes, when it’s “quitting” that defines your departure, a second act may be impossible.

~McQ

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Print
  • Google Bookmarks

20 Responses to Krauthammer – 2 for 2

  • If he gives away the missile shield then he’s essentially given the Russian the advantage of not having to worry about losing any warheads to anti-missile defenses, thereby making any cuts, even by a third, painless.

    Maybe, but our ABM capabilities have never been sufficient to tackle anything like a full scale Russian attack.  They’re far more important for countering emerging threats from the 3rd world like the NorKoms, Iranians, and potentially the Pakistanis.  The Russians have the nuclear capacity to swamp a ballistic missile shield.  None of the smaller nations can do that or are likely to be able to do it in the future.

    • Of course they can do that, which is why reduction by 1/3 doesn’t cost them anything. Nada. Yet, if he gives away the ABM defenses, it removes something the Russians have tried to have removed for decades. Heck, reducing the Russian arsenal by 1/3 is a financial favor to them. So in essence they’re getting something for nothing and it removes the ABM shield as defense against the 3rd world threats.

  • As much as I like Sarah Palin as a personality,…

    And that’s pretty much all she is/was.  It’s the idea of Palin.  The myth.  The valkyrie descending from Valhalla, to vanquish her foes, light to heroes, and serve mead to the valiant fallen.
    Saracudas play victim, valkyries make them.

    And in fact, that’s where she’ll do best for the GOP.  As a personality.  Not a policy maker.  Give her a show on Fox, a radio show following Rush.  A flag bearer.  A banner to rally.
    She’ll make tons of money and hold more power than she ever would as a candidate.  Every GOP pol will kneel with hopes of knighthood.  If we think that GOP pols kneel to Rush, imagine the prostrations to queen Palin.


    And, as Krauthammer notes, it’s “quitting” that defines your departure, a second act may be impossible.
    One question… I don’t remember and I’m too lazy to do my own research… But many are making the comparison that the media wrote Reagan off, but he made a comeback, so why can’t Palin.  Well, did Reagan ever quit a public office?  I don’t think so.

    Cheers.

    • The point is Reagan didn’t, which is why when “quitting” defines your departure from politics (they were talking about Reagan running for prez and losing in the primary as his “time in the wilderness” before he got a “2nd act”) you’re most likely not going to get a 2nd act.

    • And that’s pretty much all she is/was. It’s the idea of Palin. The myth.

      Oh, so now this is a bad thing?  Didn’t we elect a guy based on that exact idea?

    • It is way too early to write Palin or anyone else off.  We are better than 3 years away from the 2012 election.  Think back and tell me where Obama was in 2005.

      What Palin still has going for her is her stated reason: it was better for Alaska that they have a full time governor rather than one who crippled from fighting frivolous ethics.  Most of us think politicians are SOB’s who are more interested in personal aggrandizement than the voters or the country.  Politicians pursue power.  If things keep up the way they are going now,  Palin will be breath of fresh air as long as the voters agree that she resigned for the good of Alaska.  Time will tell, not pundits.

      Rick

       

      • Think back and tell me where Obama was in 2005.

        I’ll tell you what he wasn’t doing.  He wasn’t quitting an office for which he was elected to run, that’s what he wasn’t doing.
        He was running for office, after coming off of being the keynote speaker at the DNC.

        What Palin still has going for her is her stated reason…

        You actually drew something from that babble!?  She was not a quitter because she quit?  Alaskans need a better point guard, or something???  Her “stated reasons” were incoherent at best.

        And ‘breath of fresh air’ my ass.  She’s a politician looking out for her own ass.  No matter how much you want to change that kitty’s spots.

        Cheers.

        • I’ll tell you what he wasn’t doing.  He wasn’t quitting an office for which he was elected to run, that’s what he wasn’t doing.

          Correct.  He was simply not voting on most key issues.  Yes, like most everyone (Hillary, Biden, McCain, et al), but your point loses some of it’s sting.  I’d point out that his “barely doing jack-crap” period lasted over 2 years.

          • Ah yes.  But perception is reality.

            All anyone has to do when running against Palin is say, “Umm… Helloooo… quitter over here.”  And be measuring the drapes before one could say, “You betcha’.”

        • Had to double post.  I forgot about the reply work around.

          Thanks for your advice, Pogue, but  I never take advice from the opposition.  In fact, I look at such contrary advice as confirmation of my direction.  If you are unable to understand what Palin said, that is on you.  In fact, it probably defines you.   The left has a complete inability to understand anything that does not fit with their preferred story line.  The fall immediately into attack and ridicule mode.  We can tell the left has feared Palin by the ferocity of the attacks.

          As I said, Pogue, time will tell rather than you.  It may come as a great surprise to you, but your opinion is irrelevant.  I do find your interrnal contradictions amusing.  First, you tell us you could get nothing out of her ” babble”.  And, then you tell us she is “She’s a politician looking out for her own ass.”  So, which is it?  You got nothing, but know what it is about?  Since “perception is reality”,  how should we handle your flippant contradiction.

          Cheers,
          Rick

          • Thanks for your advice, Pogue,

            Umm…  I didn’t offer any, Ricky.

            You’re funny though.  You follow this,

            In fact, I look at such contrary advice as confirmation of my direction.  If you are unable to understand what Palin said, that is on you.  In fact, it probably defines you.

            With this,

            The left has a complete inability to understand anything that does not fit with their preferred story line.

            Umm, who has the “preferred story line” here?
            Yeah, yeah… people who don’t get you or Palin’s meandering speech must be dumb lefties.  Right.  Good one.

            It may come as a great surprise to you, but your opinion is irrelevant.

            Oh, you hurt me Rick.
            And here I thought we we’re going to be friends.

            You ask what Obama was doing back in ’05.  I told you.  Whatever he was doing, and whatever you think of his job performance… he didn’t outright quit his elected office.  So your point is moot.

            You suck at this.

  • Apparently something like half of Russian strategic launchers will not function within a few years so Obama bargained away something for nothing.  Seems like par for the course with him.

    The Obama administration will undoubtedly come under heavy pressure to move to the low end of the 500-1,100 limit on launchers in order to match Russian reductions. But it need not and should not do so. Based solely on open Russian sources, by 2017-2018 Russia will likely have fewer than half of the approximately 680 operational launchers it has today. With a gross domestic product less than that of California, Russia is confronting the dilemma of how to maintain parity with the U.S. while retiring its many aged strategic forces.
    Mr. Medvedev’s solution is to negotiate, inviting the U.S. to make real cuts, while Russia eliminates nothing that it wouldn’t retire in any event.
    This isn’t just my conclusion — it’s the conclusion of many Russian officials and commentators. Russian Gen. Nikolay Solovtsov, commander of the Strategic Missile Troops, was recently quoted by Moscow Interfax-AVN Online as saying that “not a single Russian launcher” with “remaining service life” will be withdrawn under a new agreement. Noted Russian journalist Pavel Felgengauer observed in Novaya Gazeta that Russian leaders “have demanded of the Americans unilateral concessions on all points, offering practically nothing in exchange.” Precisely.

    The guy should be called President Pinhead.  What a douche
     

  •  

    Oh, so now this is a bad thing?  Didn’t we elect a guy based on that exact idea?

    Yeah, and how is that working out ;)

    Right it is a friggin’ disaster.

  • We do not now, nor will we likely ever have the capacity to intercept or “knock out” incoming missiles.  Anti-missile shield technology is a pipe dream.

  • A lot of things were impossible at one point.  Ever scientist worth his salt laughed at the idea of heavier than air flight.  According to all the predominate theories of the time,  it was never going to be possible to do it.

    Never say never.

  • I wish Obama was still doing Jack crap.  It would be more useful than he is doing now.

  • i’m with capt. joe: never say never. along with the usual mentions of supposedly washed-up pols returning to office – napoleon had been whipped and exiled; churchill had basically been kicked out of his own party; deng hsiao-ping had been effectively banished and ruined; hugo chavez had been in frickin’ *prison* – there are also tales of stunningly rapid  falls from grace, too. churchill won his war, and a grateful nation fired his ass next election. LBJ and nixon won **huge** landslide victories, victories that would let them make/change the course of history, and it all turned to dust in 4 years or less. clinton was no less adored by the media than bambam is today, and he watched in horror 2 years later as congress went GOP for the first time in decades. his lovely wife hillary and her enormous war chest had the ’08 dem nomination locked up, as everyone with a brain agreed.

    just recently: bubba came outta nowhere, endured calls of ‘crooked hillbilly sexual predator sociopath’ and won the presidency. GW bush came outta nowhere, endured calls of ‘cokehead draftdodging stupid frat boy’ and won the presidency. o’dipstick came outta nowhere, endured calls of ‘corrupt muslim inexperienced marxist born in kenya’ and won the presidency.  palin is *at least* as popular with her supporters as those clowns were: the people who like her REALLY like her. (she draws 20,000 people to her appearances – biden drew maybe 100 to his last one.) given that, and some time, you think she can’t spin away “quitter”? when – even by 202o – she’ll only be 56? the fact b. clinton was impeached AND disbarred doesn’t seem to have cost him one iota of love, etc. from his fans. if he ever gets  horny for another batch of interns and runs for office – hilly’s senate seat, maybe? – i expect he’ll win, despite all the (factual) mud slung at him. if voters like you enough, pretty much any obstacle can be overcome.

    never say never.

    • Yes, well… every politician is branded something by their political foes.

      And now, see, Palin is a “retarded snowbilly grifter” and a quitter.

      Never say never.  Sure.  Stranger things have happened.
      But a Palin comeback?
      Unlikely.

      Cheers.

  • Thanks for your advice, Pogue, but  I never take advice from the opposition.  In fact, I look at such contrary advice as confirmation of my direction.  If you are unable to understand what Palin said, that is on you.  In fact, it probably defines you.   The left has a complete inability to understand anything that does not fit with their preferred story line.  The fall immediately into attack and ridicule mode.  We can tell the left has feared Palin by the ferocity of the attacks.

    As I said, Pogue, time will tell rather than you.  It may come as a great surprise to you, but your opinion is irrelevant.
    Cheers,
    Rick