Monday, November 3, 2008
Rubes, Parapets, Lions and Lambs
I was incorrect when I wrote that Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post was “an author of the Bush Doctrine” (Putting Descartes Before Horace). In his September 13 column he wrote “I was the first to use the term.” (June 4, 2001, Weekly Standard) He also wrote “Yes, Sarah Palin didn't know what it is,” after referring to Palin as “the moose-hunting rube.” It’s good to be quoted, even if the term “Bush Doctrine” is incorrect (I looked up doctrine). Krauthammer is correct about Palin (I looked up rube).
In addition to being a Pulitzer Prize winner and an MD, he provides commentary for Fox News and is one of the most articulate conservative writers of our time. I like to read Krauthammer’s Post column because I can philosophically disagree with his well wrought prose and agree with his observations at the same time. For example, “The vice president's only constitutional duty of any significance is to become president at a moment's notice. Palin is not ready.” (September 5)
I agree. However, if he is correct, then how can he endorse John McCain’s presidential bid, which he does not once but twice? In the first endorsement (October 24) the good doctor wrote “. . . I'll have no truck with the phony case ginned up to rationalize voting for the most liberal and inexperienced presidential nominee in living memory.” It’s a nice turn of phrase. The contradiction is that his endorsement of McCain also endorses the most inexperienced vice presidential nominee in memory.
“Today's economic crisis,” he wrote, “like every other in our history, will in time pass. But the barbarians will still be at the gates. Whom do you want on the parapet?” I can just about guarantee you the answer is not the “moose hunting rube.”
By the way his rhetorical answer to the parapet question is “I'm for the guy who can tell the lion from the lamb.” I must agree. There is little worse in this world than barbarian lions and lambs.
I can also agree that “the current economic crisis demands extraordinary measures.” In Krauthammer’s October 31 second McCain endorsement, he continued “an Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Barney Frank administration will find irresistible the temptation to use the tools inherited -- $700 billion of largely uncontrolled spending -- as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to radically remake the American economy and social compact.”
Other than the omission of Joe Biden’s name, I could not agree more. I certainly hope Krauthammer is indeed correct. That is exactly what the nation needs. So does the Republican party.