Charles Krauthammer is wickedly smart, wickedly conservative and, maybe, just plain wicked.
It is not beyond him to spread disinformation--to write a column that says one thing, when he really believes another, in order to spread chaos and confusion among his foes.
Remember Vizzini in The Princess Bride: “A clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.”
But maybe Krauthammer is sincere when he analyzes the proposed Obama tax deal as a loss for conservatives, and a triumph for the president. If so, House liberals would be wise to heed him.
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….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.
Obama is no fool, Krauthammer says, and those congressional Democrats who oppose him are being “infantile” and “clueless.” [ Read Scott Galupo: Is the Tax Cut Deal Really Stimulus II?]
While getting Republicans to boost his own reelection chances, [Obama] gets [the Republicans in Congress] 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…that is somewhat lower than what the Democrats wanted.
As George F. Will would say: “Well.”
Maybe this president is not the (pick one) 1) traitor, 2) wuss, 3) incompetent that liberals say he is.
Maybe the ire being heard from the Democrats on the Hill (mostly from those in safe liberal districts) is just a negotiating ploy, and that they are hanging tough to squeeze some further concessions from the GOP, as some senators just did for clean energy credits.
It is equally possible, however, that the liberals have been watching MSNBC, or reading hyper-leftish blogs, and believe that Democrats should shut down the government at Christmas, raise taxes on all Americans, cut off unemployment insurance payments and a host of helpful tax breaks for working class folks, and that somehow this would represent victory.
“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,” says Krauthammer.