One of my favorite newscasters is Fox News’ Brit Hume and Special Report was a frequent place for me to get my “Fair and Balanced” news. Within that newscast Brit usually had three journalists who discussed current events as the “Fox All-Star” panel. The panel always offered balanced opinions which in the eyes of the Main Stream Media (MSM) made it look conservative. Funny how perspective can skew your vision and make you miss the obvious.
As the All-Star Panel winds through various topics, I always look forward to the last guy, Charles Krauthammer. Mr. Krauthammer has a talent for honing in on the basics of the topic, exposing it, and delivering his perspective in very thoughtful and practical and often humorous (though dry) message. I almost wish that they would start with Mr. Krauthammer.
I am not the only one to enjoy Mr. Krauthammer’s opinions as I notice how often talk radio hosts use Charles Krauthammer’s message on their shows. Mr. Krauthammer recently was awarded the Eric Breindel Award for Opinion Journalism. You can watch excerpts from his acceptance speech, but one thing that he said sticks with me. He was talking about why he switched from a career in the medical profession to writing. He said that:
“Because I felt that history was happening outside the examining room door. And that history was being shaped by a war of ideas and I wanted to be in the arena. Not for its own sake; I enjoy intellectual combat, but I don’t live for it. I wanted to be in the arena because some things mattered. Some things need to be said. Some things need to be defended. “
In discuss the birth and subsequent growth of Fox News Mr. Krauthammer offered thoughts on a conversation he had with a MSM political correspondent:
“She could not fathom the plain fact that the liberal media were presenting the news and the world through a particular lens. The idea that it was particular, and that there might be competing ones, perhaps even superior ones, was beyond her ken. That’s why Fox News is so resented. It altered the intellectual and ideological landscape of America. It gave not only voice but also legitimacy to a worldview that had been utterly excluded from the mainstream media. “
How many of us listen to a friend or colleague discussing a current event and wonder what the heck they are talking about. They spout drivel as if programmed. I generally do not even engage them in debate, because it is not worth the effort…that is unless I feel like ruffling some feathers. It is fun to shut down these folks with the thing that they hate the most, FACTS.
In a recent article, the Politico dubbed Charles Krauthammer “Barack Obama’s biggest critic.” Politico reports that “Krauthammer has emerged in the Age of Obama as a central conservative voice, the kind of leader of the opposition.” No disrespect to Rush Limbaugh, but Charles Krauthammer is also a voice of clarity, but not as widely hated or listened to.
Here are some of my favorite Krauthammer “Takes.” Folks from the National Review Online post transcripts from his All-Star Panel appearances.
“The only purpose is the reduction of global warming, which in and of itself is speculative. And even if it were not, the fact that India and China are not in on this means that any of our savings on that, which are going to add a huge expense to our economy, will be swallowed up entirely by increased pollution by India and China.”
“But somehow he is implying that somehow the Obama era is a break with the American past. Somehow it is undoing a disrespect of Islam that had somehow occurred under the previous administration. One week after 9/11, the president of the United States, George Bush, showed up in the Islamic center in Washington and declared Islam is peace and extended a hand of tolerance and generosity. There were no anti-Muslim riots in America. There was a spirit of generosity and tolerance. And, in fact, over the last 20 years, the United States has been engaged in exactly five military engagements in the world, two in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait, all of them liberating Islamic peoples. We have no need to apologize. Extend a hand, yes, but to imply that there was a disrespect of Islam in the last administration, I think is unfair and fictional.”
“Look, this is one of the worst bills [Stimulus Bill] in galactic history. It’s not only on the timing of it—as we saw from the Congressional Budget Office, more than half of the infrastructure stuff with the bridges and roads will not be spent until two years hence when the recession will be likely over or coming out of it, and it will only add to inflation, not jobs… a third of a billion for contraception, a billion to states to help them collect child support, nursing training—all this is worthy, but it ain’t stimulus…This bill has a fifth of a billion for grass at the Jefferson Memorial. FDR left behind the Hoover dam and Eisenhower left behind the interstate highway system. We will leave behind, after spending $1 trillion, a dog run in East Potomac Park.”
“Why do you not release memos which might show how these interrogations helped save American lives? And we know from Obama’s own director of national intelligence, he has said in writing that these interrogations yielded information of high importance about Al Qaeda. So let’s see them. And I think Republicans ought to focus on this and not on Pelosi resigning. I want to keep her in office twisting slowly in the wind.”
“I don’t think it’s a movement [tea parties]. It’s a protest. And it’s a reaction to the fairly radical social agenda that Obama has unveiled ever since his inauguration. But I would remind the people at the parties that, unlike the original tea party, this one is taxation with representation. Obama was elected by the American people — against my sage advice, I would add, but no one listens to me — and his program was pretty open. It was not him. They elected a Democratic majority, large Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, and what they have as a result is a government that is ready to use the tax code to confiscate as much of your earnings as it can.”
“It’s a real sleight of hand, because, as a politician, especially on abortion, he isn’t only in one camp. He is about as partisan as you get. His views on abortion are about as radically anti-restrictionist as almost any American president.”
“He [Obama] is a man who has expressed in the joint address to congress, in the budget, and again in the speech he gave to Georgetown a few weeks ago, a radical domestic agenda which involves, as he puts it every time, a holy trinity of healthcare reform, by which he means nationalizing healthcare, and he wants to federalize education with essentially a federal guarantee of college education, and to seize control of the energy economy with a carbon tax.”
And finally on Pennsylvania’s Snarlin in Arlen Specter:
“The reason Specter is switching is because he was going to lose as a Republican. The idea that he switched for ideological or philosophical reasons is a joke. As Jonathan Chait of the liberal “New Republic” said, the man is an unprincipled hack. He was 40 years ago when he became a Republican in order to win an election. Now he is becoming a Democrat in order to win an election again, he hopes. In fact, as Fred says, the apogee of the move to the right of the party was under Reagan 30 years ago. And ever since—and Specter was quite happy under Reagan—in the last 20 years, it has moved to the center. And for Specter to pretend otherwise is his usual, unprincipled hackery.”
Mr. Krauthammer’s reasoned opposition to Obama politics has made him a target of some of the usual left-winged web sites. One that surprised me was a recent quote from Time Magazine’s Joe Klein. Klein tried to complement (I think) Mr. Krauthammer, but failed miserably. This excerpt is from the Politico.
“There’s something tragic about him, too,” Klein said, referring to Krauthammer’s confinement to a wheelchair, the result of a diving accident during his first year of medical school. “His work would have a lot more nuance if he were able to see the situations he’s writing about.”
I am energized by Charles Krauthammer. I too want to have a voice in this history in the making though Mr. Krauthammer sets the bar high.