But no one disputes that he's a very smart guy and a leading conservative columnist admired by the right and by people who watch FAUX NOOZ. He was one of the few conservatives who acknowledged Mr. Obama's "first-class intellect and first-class temperament" in a column he wrote just before the 2008 presidential election.
Here's what Krauthammer said about Mr. Obama in July of this year:
Krauthammer: 'Don't Underestimate Obama'
"It’s not too often that we say this, but you should really read Charles Krauthammer’s Friday column. The conservative columnist has a warning for Republicans: 'Don’t underestimate Barack Obama.' The net effect of health-care reform, financial-regulation reform, and the stimulus is a 'structural alteration of the U.S. budget' that will eventually 'require massive tax increases' (because, Krauthammer says, 'there just isn’t enough to cut' if you take Medicare and Medicaid off the table, as Obama has). He then compares Obama to Reagan—'highly ideological, grandly ambitious and often underappreciated by their own side.' He says that Obama’s accomplished everything that he needs to for his first term, and that the next things on his agenda—energy, education, and immigration—will not be tackled until 2012. For that reason, 'For Obama, 2010 matters little. If Democrats lose control of one or both houses, Obama will probably have an easier time in 2012, just as Bill Clinton used Newt Gingrich and the Republicans as the foil for his 1996 reelection campaign.' ”
I wonder what Krauthammer's admirers think about his assessment of how President Obama got the GOP to do what they never would have done in the new Congress. Hmmmmm?
At this point, some of President Obama's detractors on the left still don't understand what Mr. Obama manuvered the GOP into doing for him.
Swindle of the year
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, December 10, 2010
"Barack Obama won the great tax-cut showdown of 2010 - and House Democrats don't have a clue that he did. In the deal struck this week, the president negotiated the biggest stimulus in American history, larger than his $814 billion 2009 stimulus package. It will pump a trillion borrowed Chinese dollars into the U.S. economy over the next two years - which just happen to be the two years of the run-up to the next presidential election. This is a defeat?Pardon me while I ROTFLMAO!!! Thank you, Mr. Krauthammer for telling the conservatives and the liberals what they couldn't see happening in front of their noses!
If Obama had asked for a second stimulus directly, he would have been laughed out of town. Stimulus I was so reviled that the Democrats banished the word from their lexicon throughout the 2010 campaign. And yet, despite a very weak post-election hand, Obama got the Republicans to offer to increase spending and cut taxes by $990 billion over two years. Two-thirds of that is above and beyond extension of the Bush tax cuts but includes such urgent national necessities as windmill subsidies.
No mean achievement. After all, these are the same Republicans who spent 2010 running on limited government and reducing debt. And this budget busting occurs less than a week after the president's deficit commission had supposedly signaled a new national consensus of austerity and frugality.
Some Republicans are crowing that Stimulus II is the Republican way - mostly tax cuts - rather than the Democrats' spending orgy of Stimulus I. That's consolation? This just means that Republicans are two years too late. Stimulus II will still blow another near-$1 trillion hole in the budget.
At great cost that will have to be paid after this newest free lunch, the package will add as much as 1 percent to GDP and lower the unemployment rate by about 1.5 percentage points. That could easily be the difference between victory and defeat in 2012.
Obama is no fool. While getting Republicans own reelection chances, he gets them to make a mockery of their newfound, second-chance, post-Bush, Tea-Party, this-time-we're-serious persona of debt-averse fiscal responsibility.
And he gets all this in return for what? For a mere two-year postponement of a mere 4.6-point increase in marginal tax rates for upper incomes. And an estate tax rate of 35 percent - it jumps insanely from zero to 55 percent on Jan. 1 - that is somewhat lower than what the Democrats wanted.
No, cries the left: Obama violated a sacred principle. A 39.6 percent tax rate versus 35 percent is a principle? "This is the public option debate all over again," said Obama at his Tuesday news conference. He is right. The left never understood that to nationalize health care there is no need for a public option because Obamacare turns the private insurers into public utilities, thus setting us inexorably on the road to the left's Promised Land: a Canadian-style single-payer system. The left is similarly clueless on the tax-cut deal: In exchange for temporarily forgoing a small rise in upper-income rates, Obama pulled out of a hat a massive new stimulus - what the left has been begging for since the failure of Stimulus I but was heretofore politically unattainable.
Obama's public exasperation with this infantile leftism is both perfectly understandable and politically adept. It is his way back to at least the appearance of centrist moderation. The only way he will get a second look from the independents who elected him in 2008 - and abandoned the Democrats in 2010 - is by changing the prevailing (and correct) perception that he is a man of the left.
Hence that news-conference attack on what the administration calls the "professional left" for its combination of sanctimony and myopia. It was Obama's Sister Souljah moment. It had a prickly, irritated sincerity - their ideological stupidity and inability to see the "long game" really do get under Obama's skin - but a decidedly calculated quality, too. Where, after all, does the left go? Stay home on Election Day 2012? Vote Republican?
No, says the current buzz, the left will instead challenge Obama for the Democratic nomination. Really now? For decades, African Americans have been this party's most loyal constituency. They vote 9 to 1 Democratic through hell and high water, through impeachment and recession, through everything. After four centuries of enduring much, African Americans finally see one of their own achieve the presidency. And their own party is going to deny him a shot at his own reelection?
Not even Democrats are that stupid. The remaining question is whether they are just stupid enough to not understand - and therefore vote down - the swindle of the year just pulled off by their own president."