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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>This Weeks Conservative Focus &hellip; AG Sessions</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Krauthammer.gif\" style=\"width: 300px; height: 113px;\" /></p>\n<p>Transparency, thy name is Trump, Donald Trump. No filter, no governor, no editor lies between his impulses and his public actions. He tweets, therefore he is.<br />\n Ronald Reagan was so self-contained and impenetrable that his official biographer was practically driven mad trying to figure him out. Donald Trump is penetrable, hourly.<br />\n Never more so than during his ongoing war on his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions. Trump has been privately blaming Sessions for the Russia cloud. But rather than calling him in to either work it out or demand his resignation, Trump has engaged in a series of deliberate public humiliations.</p>\n<p> DAY BY DAY, he taunts Sessions, attacking him for everything from not firing the acting FBI director (which Trump could do himself in an instant) to not pursuing criminal charges against Hillary Clinton.<br />\n What makes the spectacle so excruciating is that the wounded Sessions plods on, refusing the obvious invitation to resign his dream job, the capstone of his career.<br />\n Trump relishes such a cat-and-mouse game and, by playing it so openly, reveals a deeply repellent vindictiveness in the service of a pathological need to display dominance.<br />\n Dominance is his game. Doesn&rsquo;t matter if you backed him, as did Chris Christie, cast out months ago. Or if you opposed him, as did Mitt Romney, before whom Trump ostentatiously dangled the State Department, only to snatch it away, leaving Romney looking the foolish supplicant.<br />\n Yet the Sessions affair is more than just a study in character. It carries political implications. It has caused the first crack in Trump&rsquo;s base. Not yet a split, mind you. The base is simply too solid for that. But amid his 35 to 40 percent core support, some are peeling off, both in Congress and in the pro-Trump commentariat.<br />\n The issue is less characterological than philosophical. As Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard put it, Sessions was the original Trumpist &mdash; before Trump. Sessions championed hard-line trade, law enforcement and immigration policy long before Trump rode these ideas to the White House.<br />\n For many conservatives, Sessions&rsquo; early endorsement of Trump served as an ideological touchstone. And Sessions has remained stalwart in carrying out Trumpist policies at Justice. That Trump could, out of personal pique, treat him so rudely now suggests to those conservatives how cynically expedient was Trump&rsquo;s adoption of Sessions&rsquo; ideas in the first place.</p>\n<p> BUT BEYOND character and beyond ideology lies the most appalling aspect of the Sessions affair &mdash; reviving the idea of prosecuting Clinton.<br />\n In the 2016 campaign, there was nothing more disturbing than crowds chanting &ldquo;lock her up,&rdquo; often encouraged by Trump and his surrogates. After the election, however, Trump reconsidered, saying he would not pursue Clinton who &ldquo;went through a lot and suffered greatly.&rdquo;<br />\n Now under siege, Trump has jettisoned magnanimity. Maybe she should be locked up after all.<br />\n This is pure misdirection. Even if every charge against Clinton were true and she got 20 years in the clink, it would change not one iota of the truth &mdash; or falsity &mdash; of the charges of collusion being made against the Trump campaign.<br />\n Moreover, in America we don&rsquo;t lock up political adversaries. They do that in Turkey. They do it (and worse) in Russia. Part of American greatness is that we don&rsquo;t criminalize our politics.<br />\n Last week, Trump spoke at the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier. Ford was no giant. Nor did he leave a great policy legacy. But he is justly revered for his decency and honor. His great gesture was pardoning Richard Nixon, an act for which he was excoriated at the time and which cost him the 1976 election.<br />\n It was an act of political self-sacrifice, done for precisely the right reason. Nixon might indeed have committed crimes. But the spectacle of an ex-president on trial and perhaps even in jail was something Ford would not allow the country to go through.<br />\n In doing so, he vindicated the very purpose of the presidential pardon. On its face, it&rsquo;s perverse. It allows one person to overturn equal justice. But the Founders understood that there are times, rare but vital, when social peace and national reconciliation require contravening ordinary justice. Ulysses S. Grant amnestied (technically: Paroled) Confederate soldiers and officers at Appomattox, even allowing them to keep a horse for the planting.<br />\n In Trump World, the better angels are not in evidence.</p>\n<p> TO BE SURE, Trump is indeed examining the pardon power. For himself and his cronies.</p>\n<p> July 28, 2017</p>\n', created = 1574258277, expire = 1574344677, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:dedc79df5b38f31de61afe3ee380aad1' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>FOREIGN POLICY: February 24, 2017</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Krauthammer.gif\" style=\"width: 300px; height: 113px;\" /></p>\n<p>At the heart of Donald Trump&rsquo;s foreign policy team lies a glaring contradiction. On the one hand, it is composed of men of experience, judgment and traditionalism. Meaning, they are all very much within the parameters of mainstream American internationalism as practiced since 1945. Practically every member of the team &mdash; the heads of State, Homeland Security, the CIA, and most especially Defense Secretary James Mattis and national security adviser H.R. McMaster &mdash; could fit in a Cabinet put together by, say, Hillary Clinton.<br />\n The commander in chief, on the other hand, is quite the opposite &mdash; inexperienced, untraditional, unbounded. His pronouncements on everything from the &ldquo;one China&rdquo; policy to the two-state (Arab-Israeli) solution, from NATO obsolescence to the ravages of free trade, continue to confound and, as we say today, disrupt.</p>\n<p> THE OBVIOUS question is: Can this arrangement possibly work? The answer thus far, surprisingly, is: Perhaps.<br />\n The sample size is tiny but take, for example, the German excursion. Trump dispatched his grown-ups &mdash; Vice President Pence, Defense Secretary Mattis, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson &mdash; to various international confabs in Germany to reassure allies with the usual pieties about America&rsquo;s commitment to European security. They did drop a few hints to Trump&rsquo;s loud complaints about allied parasitism, in particular shirking their share of the defense burden.<br />\n Within days, Germany announced a 20,000-man expansion of its military. Smaller European countries are likely to take note of the new setup.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s classic good-cop, bad-cop: The secretaries represent foreign policy continuity but their boss preaches America First. Message: Shape up.<br />\n John Hannah of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies suggests that the push-pull effect might work on foes as well as friends. Last Saturday, China announced a cutoff of all coal imports from North Korea for the rest of 2017. Constituting more than one-third of all North Korean exports, this is a major blow to its economy.</p>\n<p> TRUE, PART of the reason could be Chinese ire at the brazen assassination of Kim Jong Un&rsquo;s half-brother, who had been under Chinese protection. Nonetheless, the boycott was declared just days after a provocative North Korean missile launch &mdash; and shortly into the term of a new American president who has shown that he can be erratic and quite disdainful of Chinese sensibilities.<br />\n His wavering on the &ldquo;one China&rdquo; policy took Beijing by surprise. Trump also strongly denounced Chinese expansion in the South China Sea and conducted an ostentatious love-in with Japan&rsquo;s prime minister, something guaranteed to rankle the Chinese. Beijing&rsquo;s boycott of Pyongyang is many things, among them a nod to Washington.<br />\n This suggests that the peculiar and discordant makeup of the U.S. national security team &mdash; traditionalist lieutenants, disruptive boss &mdash; might reproduce the old Nixonian &ldquo;Madman Theory.&rdquo; That&rsquo;s when adversaries tread carefully because they suspect the U.S. president of being unpredictable, occasionally reckless and potentially crazy dangerous. Henry Kissinger, with Nixon&rsquo;s collaboration, tried more than once to exploit this perception to pressure adversaries.<br />\n Trump&rsquo;s people have already shown a delicate touch in dealing with his bouts of loopiness. Trump has gone on for years about how we should have taken Iraq&rsquo;s oil for ourselves. Sunday in Baghdad, Mattis wryly backed off, telling his hosts that &ldquo;All of us in America have generally paid for our gas and oil all along, and I am sure we will continue to do so in the future.&rdquo;<br />\n Yet sometimes an off-center comment can have its uses. Take Trump&rsquo;s casual dismissal of a U.S. commitment to a two-state solution in the Middle East. The next day, U.S. policy was brought back in line by his own U.N. ambassador. But this diversion might prove salutary. It&rsquo;s a message to the Palestinians that their decades of rejectionism may not continue to pay off with an inexorable march toward statehood &mdash; that there may actually be a price to pay for making no concessions and simply waiting for the U.S. to deliver them a Palestinian state.<br />\n To be sure, a two-track, two-policy, two-reality foreign policy is risky, unsettling and has the potential to go totally off the rails. This is not how you would draw it up in advance. It&rsquo;s unstable and confusing. But the experience of the first month suggests that, with prudence and luck, it can yield the occasional benefit &mdash; that the combination of radical rhetoric and conventional policy may induce better behavior both in friend and foe.</p>\n<p> ALAS, THERE is also a worst-case scenario. It needs no elaboration.</p>\n', created = 1574258277, expire = 1574344677, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:a8d1c7141af90d637d2ff86a9e026d0e' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>At Issue this week...&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Flynn Incident</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Krauthammer.gif\" style=\"width: 300px; height: 113px;\" /></p>\n<p>It&rsquo;s a Watergate-era cliche that the cover-up is always worse than the crime. In the Mike Flynn affair, we have the first recorded instance of a cover-up in the absence of a crime.<br />\n Being covered up were the Dec. 29 phone calls between Flynn and the Russian ambassador to Washington. The presumed violation was Flynn negotiating with a foreign adversary while the Obama administration was still in office and, even worse, discussing with Sergey Kislyak the sanctions then being imposed upon Russia (for meddling in the 2016 elections).</p>\n<p> WHAT&rsquo;S WRONG with that? It is risible to invoke the Logan Act, passed during the John Adams administration, under which not a single American has been prosecuted in the intervening 218 years. It prohibits private citizens from negotiating with foreign powers. Flynn was hardly a private citizen. As Donald Trump&rsquo;s publicly designated incoming national security adviser, it was perfectly reasonable for him to be talking to foreign actors in preparation for assuming office within the month.<br />\n Worst case: He was telling Kislyak that the Trump administration might lift sanctions and therefore, comrade, no need for a spiral of retaliations. How different is this from Barack Obama telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, on an inadvertently open mic, during his 2012 re-election campaign, &ldquo;This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.&rdquo;<br />\n Flynn would have been giving the Russians useful information that might well have contributed to Russia&rsquo;s decision not to retaliate. I&rsquo;m no Russophile. But again: What&rsquo;s wrong with that? Turns out, the Trump administration has not lifted those sanctions. It&rsquo;s all a tempest in an empty teapot.<br />\n The accusations of misbehavior by Flynn carry a subliminal echo of a long-standing charge against Richard Nixon that he interfered in the Paris peace talks in October 1968 to prevent his Democratic opponent from claiming a major foreign policy success on the eve of the presidential election.<br />\n But that kind of alleged diplomatic freelancing would have prolonged a war in which Americans were dying daily. The Flynn conversation was nothing remotely of the sort. Where&rsquo;s the harm?<br />\n The harm was not the calls but Flynn&rsquo;s lying about them. And most especially lying to the vice president who then went out and told the world Flynn had never discussed sanctions. You can&rsquo;t leave your vice president undercut and exposed. Flynn had to go.<br />\n Up to this point, the story makes sense. Except for one thing: Why the cover-up if there is no crime? Why lie about talking about sanctions? It&rsquo;s inexplicable. Did Flynn want to head off lines of inquiry about other contacts with Russians that might not have been so innocent? Massive new leaks suggest numerous contacts during the campaign between Trump associates and Russian officials, some of whom were intelligence agents. Up till now, however, reports the New York Times, there is &ldquo;no evidence&rdquo; of any Trump campaign collusion or cooperation with Russian hacking and other interference in the U.S. election.</p>\n<p> THUS FAR. Which is why there will be investigations. Speculation ranges from the wildly malevolent to the rather loopily innocent.<br />\n At one end of the spectrum is the scenario wherein these campaign officials &mdash; including perhaps Flynn, perhaps even Trump &mdash; are compromised because of tainted business or political activities known to the Russians, to whom they are now captive. A fevered conspiracy in my view, but there are non-certifiable people who consider it possible.<br />\n At the benign end of the spectrum is that the easily flattered Trump imagines himself the great dealmaker who overnight becomes a great statesman by charming Vladimir Putin into a Nixon-to-China grand bargain &mdash; we jointly call off the new Cold War, join forces to destroy the Islamic State and reach a new accommodation for Europe that relieves us of some of the burden of parasitic allies.<br />\n To me, the idea is nuts, a narcissistic fantasy grounded in neither strategy nor history. But that doesn&rsquo;t mean Trump might not imagine it &mdash; after all, he maintains that if we had only stayed in Iraq to steal its oil, we wouldn&rsquo;t have the Islamic State. And if this has indeed been his thinking about Russia, it would make sense to surround himself with advisers who had extensive dealings there.</p>\n<p> I BELIEVE neither of these scenarios but I&rsquo;m hard put to come up with alternatives. The puzzle remains. Why did Flynn lie? Until we answer that, the case of the cover-up in search of a crime remains unsolved.</p>\n<p> February 17, 2017</p>\n', created = 1574258277, expire = 1574344677, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:ae55fecdd45935985ee46a7be7b1c076' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>At Issue this week...&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Nuclear Option</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Krauthammer.gif\" style=\"width: 300px; height: 113px;\" /></p>\n<p>There are many people to thank for the coming accession of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Donald Trump for winning the election. Hillary Clinton for losing it. Mitch McConnell for holding open the high court seat through 2016, resolute and immovable against furious (and hypocritical) opposition from Democrats and media. And, of course, Harry Reid.<br />\n God bless Harry Reid. It&rsquo;s because of him that Gorsuch is guaranteed elevation to the court. In 2013, as then-Senate majority leader, Reid blew up the joint. He abolished the filibuster for federal appointments both executive (such as Cabinet) and judicial, for all district and circuit court judgeships (excluding only the Supreme Court). Thus unencumbered, the Democratic-controlled Senate packed the lower courts with Obama nominees.</p>\n<p> REID WAS warned that the day would come when Republicans would be in the majority and would exploit the new rules to equal and opposite effect. That day is here.<br />\n The result is striking. Trump&rsquo;s Cabinet appointments are essentially unstoppable because Republicans need only 51 votes and they have 52. They have no need to reach 60, the number required to overcome a filibuster. Democrats are powerless to stop anyone on their own.<br />\n And equally powerless to stop Gorsuch. But isn&rsquo;t the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees still standing? Yes, but if the Democrats dare try it, everyone knows that Majority Leader McConnell will do exactly what Reid did and invoke the nuclear option &mdash; filibuster abolition &mdash; for the Supreme Court, too.<br />\n Reid never fully appreciated the magnitude of his crime against the Senate. As I wrote at the time, the offense was not abolishing the filibuster &mdash; you can argue that issue either way &mdash; but that he did it by simple majority. In a serious body, a serious rule change requires a serious supermajority. (Amending the U.S. Constitution, for example, requires two-thirds of both houses plus three-quarters of all the states.) Otherwise you have rendered the place lawless. If in any given session you can summon up the day&rsquo;s majority to change the institution&rsquo;s fundamental rules, there are no rules.<br />\n McConnell can at any moment finish Reid&rsquo;s work by extending filibuster abolition to the Supreme Court. But he hasn&rsquo;t. He has neither invoked the nuclear option nor even threatened to. And he&rsquo;s been asked often enough. His simple and unwavering response is that Gorsuch will be confirmed. Translation: If necessary, he will drop the big one.<br />\n It&rsquo;s obvious that he prefers not to. No one wants to again devalue and destabilize the Senate by changing a major norm by simple majority vote. But Reid set the precedent.<br />\n Note that the issue is not the filibuster itself. There&rsquo;s nothing sacred about it. Its routine use is a modern development &mdash; with effects both contradictory and unpredictable. The need for 60 votes can contribute to moderation and compromise because to achieve a supermajority you need to get a buy-in from at least some of the opposition. On the other hand, in a hyper-partisan atmosphere (like today&rsquo;s), a 60-vote threshold can ensure that everything gets stopped and nothing gets done.</p>\n<p> FILIBUSTER ABOLITION is good for conservatives today. It will be good for liberals&nbsp; tomorrow when they have regained power. There&rsquo;s no great principle at stake, though as a practical matter, in this era of widespread frustration with congressional gridlock, the new norm may be salutary.<br />\n What is not salutary is the Reid precedent of changing the old norm using something so transient and capricious as the majority of the day. As I argued in 2015, eventually the two parties will need to work out a permanent arrangement under which major rule changes will require a supermajority (say, of two-thirds) to ensure substantial bipartisan support.<br />\n There are conflicting schools of thought as to whether even such a grand bargain could not itself be overturned by some future Congress &mdash; by simple majority led by the next Harry Reid. Nonetheless, even a problematic entente is better than the free-for-all that governs today.<br />\n The operative word, however, is &ldquo;eventually.&rdquo; Such an agreement is for the future. Not yet, not today. Republicans are no fools. They are not about to forfeit the advantage bequeathed to them by Harry Reid&rsquo;s shortsighted willfulness. They will zealously retain the nuclear option for Supreme Court nominees through the current Republican tenure of Congress and the presidency.</p>\n<p> AFTER WHICH, they should be ready to parlay and press the reset button. But only then. As the young Augustine famously beseeched the Lord, &ldquo;Give me chastity and continency, only not yet.&rdquo;</p>\n<p> February 3, 2017</p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n', created = 1574258277, expire = 1574344677, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:88cac059242f45fb37a32ab2b581b563' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>AMERICA FIRST: January 27, 2017</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Krauthammer.gif\" /></p>\n<p>The flurry of bold executive orders and of highly provocative Cabinet nominations (such as a secretary of education who actually believes in school choice) has been encouraging to conservative skeptics of Donald Trump. But it shouldn&rsquo;t erase the troubling memory of one major element of Trump&rsquo;s inaugural address.<br />\n The foreign policy section has received far less attention than so revolutionary a declaration deserved. It radically redefined the American national interest as understood since World War II.</p>\n<p> TRUMP OUTLINED a world in which foreign relations are collapsed into a zero-sum game. They gain, we lose. As in: &ldquo;For many decades, we&rsquo;ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries&rdquo; while depleting our own. And most provocatively this: &ldquo;The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.&rdquo;<br />\n JFK&rsquo;s inaugural pledged to support any friend and oppose any foe to assure the success of liberty. Note that Trump makes no distinction between friend and foe (and no reference to liberty). They&rsquo;re all out to use, exploit and surpass us.<br />\n No more, declared Trump: &ldquo;From this day forward, it&rsquo;s going to be only America First.&rdquo; &nbsp;<br />\n Imagine how this resonates abroad. &ldquo;America First&rdquo; was the name of the organization led by Charles Lindbergh that bitterly fought FDR before U.S. entry into World War II &mdash; right through the Battle of Britain &mdash; to keep America neutral between Churchill&rsquo;s Britain and Hitler&rsquo;s Reich.<br />\n Not that Trump was consciously imitating Lindbergh. I doubt he was even aware of the reference. He just liked the phrase. But I can assure you that in London and in every world capital they are aware of the antecedent and the intimations of a new American isolationism. Trump gave them good reason to think so, going on to note &ldquo;the right of all nations to put their own interests first.&rdquo; America included. &nbsp;</p>\n<p> SOME CLAIM that putting America first is a reassertion of American exceptionalism. On the contrary, it is the antithesis. It makes America no different from all the other countries that define themselves by a particularist blood-and-soil nationalism. What made America exceptional, unique in the world, was defining its own national interest beyond its narrow economic and security needs to encompass the safety and prosperity of a vast array of allies. A free world marked by open trade and mutual defense was President Truman&rsquo;s vision, shared by every president since.<br />\n Until now.<br />\n Some have argued that Trump is just dangling a bargaining chip to negotiate better terms of trade or alliance. Or that Trump&rsquo;s views are so changeable and unstable &mdash; telling European newspapers two weeks ago that NATO is obsolete and then saying &ldquo;NATO is very important to me&rdquo; &mdash; that this is just another unmoored entry on a ledger of confusion.<br />\n But both claims are demonstrably wrong. An inaugural address is no off-the-cuff riff. These words are the product of at least three weeks of deliberate crafting for an address that Trump said would express his philosophy. Moreover, to remove any ambiguity, Trump prefaced his &ldquo;America first&rdquo; proclamation with: &ldquo;From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.&rdquo;<br />\n Trump&rsquo;s vision misunderstands the logic underlying the far larger, far-reaching view of Truman. The Marshall Plan sure took wealth away from the American middle class and distributed it abroad. But for a reason. Altruism, in part. But mostly to stabilize Western Europe as a bulwark against an existential global enemy.<br />\n We carried many free riders throughout the Cold War. The burden was heavy. But this was not a mindless act of charity; it was an exercise in enlightened self-interest. After all, it was indeed better to subsidize foreign armies &mdash; German, South Korean, Turkish and dozens of others &mdash; and have them stand with us, rather than stationing even more American troops everywhere around the world at greater risk of both blood and treasure.<br />\n We are embarking upon insularity and smallness. Nor is this just theory. Trump&rsquo;s long-promised but nonetheless abrupt withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific&nbsp; Partnership is the momentous first fruit of his foreign policy doctrine. Last year the prime minister of Singapore told John McCain that if we pulled out of TPP &ldquo;you&rsquo;ll be finished in Asia.&rdquo; He knows the region.</p>\n<p> FOR 70 YEARS, we sustained an international system of open commerce and democratic alliances that has enabled America and the West to grow and thrive. Global leadership is what made America great. We abandon it at our peril.</p>\n', created = 1574258277, expire = 1574344677, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:143fbffbb7bad4d9009ce50c7de41e36' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>BARACK OBAMA: January 20, 2017</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Krauthammer.gif\" style=\"width: 300px; height: 113px;\" /></p>\n<p>Barack Obama did not go out quietly. His unquiet final acts were, in part, overshadowed by a successor who refused to come in quietly and, in part, by Obama&rsquo;s own endless, sentimental farewell tour. But there was nothing nostalgic or sentimental about Obama&rsquo;s last acts. Two of them were simply shocking.<br />\n Perhaps we should have known. At the 2015 White House correspondents dinner, he joked about whether he had a bucket list: &ldquo;Well, I have something that rhymes with bucket list.&rdquo;</p>\n<p> TURNS OUT, he wasn&rsquo;t kidding. Commuting the sentence of Chelsea Manning, one of the great traitors of our time, is finger-in-the-eye willfulness. Obama took 28 years off the sentence of a soldier who stole and then released through WikiLeaks almost half a million military reports plus another quarter-million State Department documents.<br />\n The cables were embarrassing; the military secrets were almost certainly deadly. They jeopardized the lives not just of American soldiers on two active fronts &mdash; Iraq and Afghanistan &mdash; but of locals who were, at great peril, secretly aiding and abetting us. After Manning&rsquo;s documents release, the Taliban &ldquo;went on a killing spree&rdquo; (according to intelligence sources quoted by Fox News) of those who fit the description of individuals working with the United States.<br />\n Moreover, we will be involved in many shadowy conflicts throughout the world. Locals will have to choose between us or our enemies. Would you choose a side that is so forgiving of a leaker who betrays her country &mdash; and you?<br />\n Even the word &ldquo;leaker&rdquo; is misleading. Leak makes it sound like a piece of information a whistleblower gives Woodward and Bernstein to expose misdeeds in high office. This was nothing of the sort. It was the indiscriminate dumping of a mountain of national security secrets certain to bring harm to American troops, allies and interests.<br />\n Obama considered Manning&rsquo;s 35-year sentence excessive. On the contrary. It was lenient. Manning could have been &mdash; and in previous ages, might well have been &mdash; hanged for such treason. Now she walks after seven years.</p>\n<p> WHAT MAKES this commutation so spectacularly in-your-face is its hypocrisy. Here is a president who spent weeks banging the drums over the harm inflicted by WikiLeaks with its release of stolen materials and emails during the election campaign. He demanded a report immediately. He imposed sanctions on Russia. He preened about the sanctity of the American political process.<br />\n Over what? What exactly was released? A campaign chairman&rsquo;s private emails and Democratic National Committee chatter, i.e. campaign gossip, backbiting, indiscretions and cynicism. The usual stuff, embarrassing but not dangerous. No national security secrets, no classified material, no exposure of anyone to harm, just to ridicule and opprobrium.<br />\n The other last-minute Obama bombshell occurred four weeks earlier when, for the first time in nearly a half-century, the United States abandoned Israel on a crucial Security Council resolution, allowing the passage of a condemnation that will plague both Israel and its citizens for years to come. After eight years of reassurance, Obama seized the chance &mdash; free of political accountability for himself and his potential Democratic successor &mdash; to do permanent damage to Israel. (The U.S. has no power to reverse the Security Council resolution.)<br />\n Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. who went on to be a great Democratic senator, once argued passionately that in the anti-American,&nbsp; anti-democratic swamp of the U.N., America should act unwaveringly in opposition and never give in to the jackals. Obama joined the jackals.<br />\n Why? To curry favor with the international left? After all, Obama leaves office as a relatively young man of 55. His next chapter could very well be as a leader on the international stage, perhaps at the U.N. (secretary-general?) or some transnational (ostensibly) human rights organization. What better demonstration of bona fides than a gratuitous attack on Israel? Or the about-face on Manning and WikiLeaks? Or the freeing of a still unrepentant Puerto Rican terrorist, Oscar Lopez Rivera, also pulled off with three days remaining in his presidency.<br />\n A more likely explanation, however, is that these are acts not of calculation but of authenticity. This is Obama being Obama. He leaves office as he came in: A man of the left, but possessing the intelligence and discipline to suppress his more radical instincts. As of Nov. 9, 2016, suppression was no longer necessary.</p>\n<p> WE&rsquo;VE JUST gotten a glimpse of his real self. From now on, we shall see much more of it.</p>\n', created = 1574258277, expire = 1574344677, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:082fdf27e7aea2f336a605ff721a2fc0' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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Charles Krauthammer

08/02/2017 - 8:59am
This Weeks Conservative Focus … AG Sessions Transparency, thy name is Trump, Donald Trump. No filter, no governor, no editor lies between his impulses and his public actions. He tweets, therefore he is. Ronald Reagan was so self-contained and impenetrable that his official biographer was practically driven mad trying to figure him out. Donald Trump is penetrable, hourly. Never more so...
02/24/2017 - 12:47pm
FOREIGN POLICY: February 24, 2017 At the heart of Donald Trump’s foreign policy team lies a glaring contradiction. On the one hand, it is composed of men of experience, judgment and traditionalism. Meaning, they are all very much within the parameters of mainstream American internationalism as practiced since 1945. Practically every member...
02/22/2017 - 1:11pm
At Issue this week...    Flynn Incident It’s a Watergate-era cliche that the cover-up is always worse than the crime. In the Mike Flynn affair, we have the first recorded instance of a cover-up in the absence of a crime. Being covered up were the Dec. 29 phone calls between Flynn and the Russian ambassador to Washington. The...
02/08/2017 - 9:31am
At Issue this week...    Nuclear Option There are many people to thank for the coming accession of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Donald Trump for winning the election. Hillary Clinton for losing it. Mitch McConnell for holding open the high court seat through 2016, resolute and immovable against furious (and hypocritical)...
01/27/2017 - 12:44pm
AMERICA FIRST: January 27, 2017 The flurry of bold executive orders and of highly provocative Cabinet nominations (such as a secretary of education who actually believes in school choice) has been encouraging to conservative skeptics of Donald Trump. But it shouldn’t erase the troubling memory of one major element of Trump’s inaugural...
01/20/2017 - 11:08am
BARACK OBAMA: January 20, 2017 Barack Obama did not go out quietly. His unquiet final acts were, in part, overshadowed by a successor who refused to come in quietly and, in part, by Obama’s own endless, sentimental farewell tour. But there was nothing nostalgic or sentimental about Obama’s last acts. Two of them were simply shocking...
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