Monday, December 20, 2010

Vacation Time

Charles Krauthammer is frequently sharp and insightful in his commentary, especially when his subject is the uber-jungle of foreign policy. I think he also has potential as a boxing promoter: 

Now, with his stunning tax deal, Obama is back. Holding no high cards, he nonetheless managed to resurface suddenly not just as a player but as orchestrator, dealmaker and central actor in a high $1 trillion drama.

Compare this with Bill Clinton, greatest of all comeback kids, who, at a news conference a full five months after his shellacking in 1994, was reduced to plaintively protesting that "the president is relevant here." He had been so humiliatingly sidelined that he did not really recover until late 1995 when he outmaneuvered Newt Gingrich in the government-shutdown showdown.

Okay, in this corner we have Kid Obama, fresh from a shellacking and fighting mad for a comeback, facing his challengers, Crying John Boehner and his Congressional Weenies.  In secret, they come up with a deal that is despised by a large chunk of leftists, conservatives and tea partiers, and that would be impossible after the new Congress is sworn in.

I suppose there's a victory in there for somebody, but I don't know who. Obama does get to spend yet more of those billions he so loves wasting, but he's basically just admitted that the past eight years of liberal tantrums about the Bush tax cuts were horseshit. The only victory I see for Boehner is that his performance in the past month will make him a cinch for winning the part of 
Blanche DuBois in the next revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. The financial markets are whistling a hopeful tune but on a clear day anyone who cares to look can see all the way to Greece, and it's not a pretty sight.

Charles Krauthammer had a giddy spell about Obama early on but quickly regained his balance, and he's been largely unceasing in his criticism of Obama since.  I don't what's going on with him lately, but he does seem to have occasional bouts of a sort of contrarian romanticism.  Maybe it's of a piece with his love of baseball, taking joy in underdogs and so forth.  What do I know, he's the psychiatrist.  But if he keeps sounding like David Brooks, I'll have to tune him out for a while.

So now Obama's off to Hawaii to meet the family.  I suppose a few thousand of their closest friends will be there to enjoy a low-cal bacchinalia planned by Michelle.  In D.C., the Congress is finishing up whatever damage to the Republic they can yet manage to accomplish in the waning days of their terms.  Well, Merry Christmas for them!  And for those who will be returning to Washington in January, they have two more years to find ways to annoy us and ruin our lives, all with great pay and benefits.

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