Dr. Krauthammer and Gov. Palin: Analyzing the Analyst
Charles Krauthammer's opinion matters. As any political junkie knows, Dr. Krauthammer is all at once witty, sublime, sarcastic, and serious. People listen to Krauthammer and care about what he thinks. Political junkies yearn for reliable scouts like him who speak plainly, tell the truth, and offer unique insights based on the truth.
The most valuable characteristic an established "wise man" can have is the ability to see and tell the truth. Speaking the truth about current events is where Krauthammer seems to hit all the right notes. Only on very rare occasions does this maestro hit a decidedly sour note. And these false notes are starting to become glaringly tinny when Krauthammer opines on Sarah Palin. With Palin, Krauthammer's reliable sights become suspect. He lowers himself from wise man to wise guy. He leaves his well positioned observation post to take up a sniper's position in the mud.
Why does he do this? And why is he making a habit of it? What exactly is Krauthammer's beef with Governor Palin?
I am guessing Krauthammer's miserable failure as speechwriter for Walter Mondale has at least something to do with his ongoing campaign to delegitimize Palin. I would wager that Krauthammer wrote the line that sank Mondale: "Mr. Reagan will raise taxes; and so will I. He won't tell you. I just did." I suspect Krauthammer is still smarting from his colossal election failure and from time to time is re-fighting the campaign against that phony cowboy Reagan.
Perhaps this is where Krauthammer harvests his unseemly vitriol against Palin. While the nation yearns for the "next Reagan," Krauthammer seemingly yearns to seek and destroy any true blue Reaganite. His most recent oddball attack on Palin seems like only yesterday:
The problem with her, I think, is that she is not schooled. I don't mean she didn't go to the right schools. I mean when you get into policy, beyond instincts -- I like her political instincts, I like her political overall view of the world -- but when it comes to policy, she had two-and-a-half years to school herself and she hasn't and that's a problem. ... It's not only the lack of schooling; it's the lack of effort to school herself and the lack of insight to see that she needs it.
I like Krauthammer's overall view of the world, but when did Charles go to school to become a schoolmarm scold? Does he hand out homework assignments to Palin? By what factual basis does Krauthammer make this charge? For all anyone knows Sarah Palin has been taking tap dancing lessons from Henry Kissinger. Krauthammer certainly has no way of knowing. So why is Krauthammer shooting these gratuitous broadsides against Palin? And why isn't Krauthammer's laser-like analysis focused on this nation's biggest disaster on any policy, namely Obama?
Why is Krauthammer so unjustly dismissive of Palin's intellect? She displayed more knowledge of the Constitution than Joe Biden did during their debate. I cannot think of one single issue or "policy" that Palin does not hold the same position that most thinking conservatives hold. On energy, taxation, and social and foreign policy matters, most conservative groups I speak to find her perspective of the political landscape a breath of fresh air. What is Krauthammer sniffing? And why is he sniffing at all?
Krauthammer's mission to dismiss Palin started in an instant and in earnest in September of 2008. Krauthammer jumped on the anti-Palin bandwagon:
[T]he choice of Palin remains deeply problematic [because] [t]he vice president's only constitutional duty of any significance is to become president at a moment's notice. Palin is not ready. Nor is Obama. But with Palin, the case against Obama evaporates.
Here again, the normally surefire Krauthammer bends over backward to pile on Palin. No mention of Biden's readiness, just a helmet on helmet cheap shot tackle on the girl. The last time I checked, Charles, one had to be 35 years of age and a natural born citizen to be qualified to be President. How is it that Krauthammer knows that Palin is not ready to hold office when the Constitution plainly states that she is? On which exact issue is she wrong and why, Charles?
In yet another tantrum-like outburst, Krauthammer stoops to conquer Palin's prescient warning over ObamaCare's reliance on "Death Panels":
Let's see if we can have a reasoned discussion about end-of-life counseling. We might start by asking Sarah Palin to leave the room. I've got nothing against her. She's a remarkable political talent. But there are no "death panels" in the Democratic health care bills, and to say that there are is to debase the debate.
Much to Dr. K's chagrin (I'm sure), the Democrats immediately cut out the exact "death panel" provisions Palin was speaking about from ObamaCare. But you could not miss the dripping sarcasm and smarmy condescension aimed at Palin. Did Charles ever see clear to apologize for his petulance when Palin was vindicated? Have you noticed how many times Charles has to couch his commentary on Palin by repeatedly explaining that he has nothing against her before he hits her in the face with a hit piece?
The day after Krauthammer's piece suggesting that Palin leave the room, a truly revolting government-endorsed "end of life counseling" manual for veterans was exposed. The manual suggested that severely injured war vets should dwell on the worth of their own lives and consider other "options." Sarah Palin's son was fighting in Iraq at the time, so that Krauthammer could freely crack wise about Palin and her supposedly unlearned views about "end of life counseling." Sarah Palin's son may well have been one of the wounded warriors subjected to this revolting piece of government-sponsored trash. Krauthammer missed the irony of it all.
As a political junkie myself, I have my own political heroes and villains. My heroes always try to tell the truth in the political bubble populated with the usual crowd of liars. The villains are vindictive gossips who lie by omission when they are not lying straight to your face. In this real-life drama, America's future is at stake. And the stakes are too high to sabotage good people with unwarranted twaddle. In the last analysis, a man like Dr. Krauthammer should know that gratuitous ankle-biting is unbecoming of one who has earned our respect. Or perhaps when conservatives have thoughtful discussions of Governor Palin, we should start by asking Charles Krauthammer to leave the room.