Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hammer Time

The most recent edition of National Review features Charles Krauthammer on its cover and has a good piece on the indispensible intellectual/pundit by Jay Nordlinger called Critic-in-Chief (sub req):

So, Charles Krauthammer has not exactly been a wallflower or nonentity. But since January 20, 2009, his fame, reach, and popularity has burgeoned. That is because he has been a brilliant critic of President Obama: a persistent, fearless, profound critic of Obama. Indeed, many conservatives, and some liberals as well, consider him the critic-in-chief. He has been on Obama's case constantly, for his errors and follies in policy both foreign and domestic. In a column last month, he said that the "commander-in-chief, young Hamlet, frets, demurs, agonizes." Krauthammer was speaking of the Afghan War. Only in August, Obama had declared Afghanistan to be "a war of necessity." Now the president seemed very much unsure. Krauthammer concluded his column, "Does anything he says remain operative beyond the fading of the audience applause?"

Krauthammer also has a big television presence, a tremendous platform: appearing almost every night on Fox News, specifically Special Report with Bret Baier, where he gives commentary. Fox has rattled the president and his administration, as they have not bothered disguising. Krauthammer is a key part of what you may call the Fox resistance to Obama. There is precedent for the intellectual as television star: Malcolm Muggeridge in Britain, William F. Buckley Jr. in America. But the precedents are few.

There are few precedents indeed for the role that Krauthammer is now playing. His columns are must-reads and I find myself tuning in to Special Report whenever I have the chance chiefly in the hope of catching a few minutes of Krauthammer's expounding on the issues of the day. His language is precise and analytical and, like a surgeon wielding a scalpel, he uses words to cut to the heart of the manner with an almost clinical style. Most importantly, he was one of the first critics to be able to articulate what President Obama is really all about. He's now got Obama down cold which makes his analysis so insightful and convincing.

It might seem unlikely that a man who was born (correction) raised in Quebec, trained as a psychiatrist, once a speechwriter for Walter Mondale, and a writer for the New Republic would become one of the foremost conservative critics of the Age of Obama. But fate has worked in favor of conservatives in the case of Krauthammer and we're fortunate to have his voice leading the resistance. It isn't always an easy role either.

Every columnist writes a "soft" column now and then--a column about sports, or fashion, or maybe a beloved former teacher. All summer long, Krauthammer was wanting to write a column about the Washington Nationals, the baseball team. But he never had the opportunity, because "Obama keeps coming at me like a fire hose."

And it doesn't look like the deluge is going to let up anytime soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment