[digg-reddit-me]Back in October, Charles Krauthammer attempted to synthesize the Republican narrative about Obama into what I have termed, “The Unified Theory of Obama,” that, in its many parts has been adopted by Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and many others. Krauthammer took the many individual stories harped on by each of these right wingers and unified them into a single theory. He maintained that “The current liberal ascendancy in the United States–controlling the executive and both houses of Congress, dominating the media and elite culture–has set us on a course for decline.” This course is not – in Krauthammer’s telling – accidental. This New Liberalism has chosen to “gradually, deliberately, willingly, and indeed relievedly give” up American dominance. The domestic and foreign policy of New Liberalism “work synergistically to ensure” that America will lose power through the “demolition of the moral foundation of American dominance,” “engaging in moral reparations” for our many imagined sins, dithering over Afghanistan, preferring “social goods over security needs,” undermining the individualism at the heart of America’s dominance, &tc.
Krauthammer lays out no general principles unifying his highly partisan interpretation of various Obama administration actions aside from a deliberate attempt to ensure America’s decline in power. Why do liberals want to address climate change? Because it will cause America to decline in power. Why do liberals want health care reform? Because it will cause America to decline in power, making us more like European social democracies. Krauthammer doesn’t see much reason to dwell on the positive reasons for any liberal agenda.
Krauthammer’s thesis is that this New Liberalism advocates a foreign policy “designed to produce American decline” and a domestic policy that is “not designed to curb our power abroad. But what it lacks in intent, it makes up in effect.”
Fast forward five months, and see if you can tell the individual writing this column still thinks Obama is subjecting America to an assault designed to destroy its power:
True, the rotation of power inevitably results in stops and starts and policy zigzags. Yet for all its inefficiency, it ultimately helps create a near-miraculous social stability by setting down layers of legitimacy every time the opposition adopts some of its predecessor’s reforms — while at the same time allowing challenges to fundamental assumptions before they become fossilized.
Krauthammer’s columns are meant to function differently than his long-form more “intellectual” pieces. They are supposed to pull less partisan readers towards him, to influence them, to pry them away from liberalism; his longer pieces are directed at a more partisan audience, and are supposed to represent some intellectual foundation.
But what I want to know is who the real Charles Krauthammer is. Does the real Krauthammer believe Obama is trying to destroy America or not?
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