I know that Charles Krauthammer is a contributor to NPR and writes a column for the Washington Post. Therefore, he has to be careful not to be too conservative. That’s just how it works. He likes his paychecks. He wants to be thought of as thoughtful and wise. He wants to be invited to the cocktail parties of the ruling class. And part of the dues for those invitations is not to get too cozy with the unsophisticated, unwashed “country class.” He is free to have his own opinion, as long as he doesn’t come too close to striking at the roots of power.
I was surprised at the time, but on reflection I see it as his keeping entirely within character. He was offering an opinion on proposed new electronic surveillance rules. He said that he was against the proposed rules, but not strongly against them. He said he trusted our own government to not use surveillance inappropriately. Charles is an intelligent man. Did he forget all the abuses of the Clinton administration, including the discovery in the White House of all those FBI files of political opponents? Or has he ignored the Black Panther thugs at voting places, the threats of Kathleen Sebelius against dissident health insurance companies, and on and on?
No, I think he is plenty smart, but he got where he is by knowing the line he is not to cross, and that line is to show proper respect to the ruling class, while disagreeing with them.
But still, I thought that his comment about Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was a gratuitous cheap shot. Yes, the Left is deathly afraid of her, just as they are of Sarah Palin. But Palin has that pronounced cowboy-like flair to her, that over-the-top common sense that endears her to the common folk and so annoys the intellectuals. Bachmann, on the other hand, is studied, erudite, brilliant in an obvious way, and articulate in a sophisticated way.
Friday, on Special Report, on the all-star panel, anchor Bret Baier asked the panel about Michele Bachmann as a candidate for Republican Conference Chair in the House of Representatives. Fred Barnes thought it was a great idea and well-deserved. “I think it makes a lot of sense,” he said, and then he outlined how he felt she could win the post.
Bret then turned to Charles Krauthammer, who pooh-poohed the idea. “I think she’s likely to fall short,” he said. “It’s a little early for the established Republicans to accept someone of her orientation in the leadership.”
Thus far, while I strongly disagreed with his assessment, I can respect what he says. But then, Bret followed up with a question, “Even after that vote Tuesday?” That’s where Charles took it over the line. Here’s what he said:
“Well, I’m not sure, but, the only only regret I would have is in being incredibly entertaining in that position.”
Shame on you, Charles.
But his comment did something helpful for me. Reflecting on the terror that she strikes in the hearts of members of the ruling class and how that is spilling over into Krauthammer’s comments, I am a more solid fan than ever of Bachmann for president in 2012! “Go for it, Michele!” If she decided to run, I’m sure Sarah Palin would endorse her.