Charles Krauthammer Says A Final Goodbye

Charles-Krauthammer-interview
Courtesy of Fox News

This week, the political and journalistic world was rocked by the news that columnist Charles Krauthammer had only weeks to live.  The news came from Charles himself in a characteristically elegant and simple goodbye.  I have been personally devastated by the news. I have known Charles for many years and there are few people who I respect more.  He is truly one of the most brilliant and interesting individuals I have ever known.

A diehard Nationals fan, Charles and I would watch games together when my Cubs played his Nats.  It was a running competition between us as our teams competed each year.  Sitting with Charles at a game was one of my great pleasures.  Every conversation (no matter the subject) with Charles had a profound and honest character.  We would talk about our Dads, kids, politics, and most importantly baseball.
I will not say more at this time because I am still trying to get my mind right with the news.  This town without Charles would simply not be the same place for me.
I wanted to share his letter with you in case you have not seen it.  It is true and honest and direct . . . just like my friend Charles Krauthammer:
I have been uncharacteristically silent these past ten months. I had thought that silence would soon be coming to an end, but I’m afraid I must tell you now that fate has decided on a different course for me. 
In August of last year, I underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in my abdomen. That operation was thought to have been a success, but it caused a cascade of secondary complications – which I have been fighting in hospital ever since. It was along and hard fight with many setbacks, but I was steadily, if slowly, overcoming each obstacle along the way and gradually making my way back to health.
However, recent tests have revealed that the cancer has returned. There was no sign of it as recently as a month ago, which means it is aggressive and spreading rapidly. My doctors tell me their best estimate is that I have only a few weeks left to live. This is the final verdict. My fight is over. 
I wish to thank my doctors and caregivers, whose efforts have been magnificent. My dear friends, who have given me a lifetime of memories and whose support has sustained me through these difficult months. And all of my partners at The WashingtonPost, Fox News, and Crown Publishing.
Lastly, I thank my colleagues, my readers, and my viewers, who have made my career possible and given consequence to my life’s work. I believe that the pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and rigorous argument is a noble undertaking. I am grateful to have played a small role in the conversations that have helped guide this extraordinary nation’s destiny.
 
I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life — full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended. 

80 thoughts on “Charles Krauthammer Says A Final Goodbye”

  1. I too enjoy quite much watching and reading Mr. Krauthammer’s insights and wisdom. The last sentence of his letter proved most elegant:

    I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.

    Few individuals who are honest with themselves can accept such candor and also inspire others to regard such a reflection as whole-heartedly credible in its own merit.

    He certainly earns his admiration as a true contributor to society. He will certainly remain long after in the form of publications and his countless analyses spanning many decades. If you find yourself in sadness with your personal loss, you can still be in a way in his company through literature.

  2. FWIW My old boss at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery adored Krauthammer. I thought that was odd given that she was a vocal Bubba supporter. Curious as always I had to ask her why – she said she utterly disagreed with him on politics, but aside from that he was one of the kindest and most intellectually stimulating people she’d ever met. She and her husband used to hang out with him and his wife regularly.

    1. I once read a piece by liberal columnist Eleanor Clift of The McLaughlin Group where she noted that Mr Krauthammer is one of her dearest friends.

      1. Peter Hill – Elenear Clift is lying, Elenear does not have friends, she has frenemies. 😉

        1. They were (roughly speaking) in the same line of work. It’s difficult to imagine what they would have found to talk about around the table. Krauthammer earned his living in topical commentary. That was, however, the most pedestrian part of his inventory. You read what he was writing prior to 1985 and you get a sense of the liberal education on which he could draw. The pity is all these years is that there wasn’t more of that and less of what his contracts with Fox and the WaPo compelled him to discuss. George Will, the most erudite of American opinion journalists, couldn’t have written those pieces. Richard John Neuhaus couldn’t have written those pieces. The ‘public intellectual’ who most resembled that aspect of Krauthammer was Willard Gaylin.

            1. David Benson still owes me two citations after three weeks, one from the OED. – And you overrate yourself. 😉 You are way behind on doing my research. Get to it!!!

  3. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo9OQNpatgY

    “As he discovered, to his shock, the cancer had returned and… he talks about ‘the final verdict is in, my fight is over’ and finally when he says that ‘I leave this life with no regret,’ it is such quintessential Charles Krauthammer,” Wallace said. “It is so graceful, it is so honest, it is so brave.”

    “I never, in all the years I knew Charles ever heard him express any sense of pity, ‘why me,’” The Fox News Sunday anchor added. “He led his life fully, vibrantly. Yes, he was very badly disabled. No use of his legs. Almost no use of his hands. And yet he lived a full life.”

    “I think the thing that I… admire most about Charles, though, is that in a world in which we all, there’s a tendency to fall into tribes, you’re in this camp or this camp, Charles’ camp was his honesty, his values, his conviction,” Wallace said. “He could be lacerating in going after the excesses of liberalism, he could be just as tough going after the betrayals of his conservatism.”

    “Charles, if you’re out there, if you’re watching this with your beloved wife Robin and your dear son Daniel who I know have been such a support to you in so many ways, I want you to know that I love you… and feel so honored to consider myself a colleague of yours,” he concluded. “You are a great man.”

  4. Although, I had never met this man, he was in my living room many, many evenings. I felt as though I knew him and loved his courage. One of the most brilliant men on earth. The news hit me like a ton of bricks and crushed hard. The world will be a little dimmer when he leaves for good. The good news is that he will be reunited with his parents and brother. Also, he will walk again on the other side. So sad for myself to have to say goodbye, Charles, you were my hero. Your soul may yet have another life but the truth is, something tells me that you have learned all your lessons.

  5. The question is not:
    Why is Charles Krauthammer so respected, when he’s been wrong about everything?
    perhaps, the question is: Why do some people “believe” a person who advocated ( and still advocates ) death, destruction and “democracy” when the person only desires ignorance, prejudice, hate and murder of “the other?”

    Perhaps, the person appeals to the “Chosen People, The Saved
    ( in Jesus Christ ), American Exceptionalism and America … Idealism cloaked in political and religious hubris.

    Some, but not all the evidence,:

    The luminary of the contemporary conservative commentariat, Charles Krauthammer, has a record of erroneous predictions and discredited analysis that stretches back to the turn of the millennium. When collated and assessed, the record is so egregious that it is hard to figure out why he is still held in such esteem.
    When NATO, seeking to prevent another potential Balkan genocide, launched a bombing campaign against Serbia in 1999, Krauthammer argued that air strikes would be insufficient to force Milosevic out of Kosovo. Having denounced the move as mere wide-eyed liberal amateurism on the part of President Clinton, Krauthammer added a sarcastic note about Clinton playing golf in the midst of conflict (“The stresses of war, no doubt”). He seems to have changed his mind on the propriety of such stress-relief measures around 2002 or so.
    Even after the Kosovo campaign proved successful, Krauthammer said that NATO involvement “would sever Kosovo from Serbian control and lead inevitably to an irredentist Kosovar state, unstable and unviable and forced to either join or take over pieces of neighboring countries.”
    When an ethnic Albanian insurgency arose in Macedonia along its border with UN-administered Kosovo in 2001, he felt himself vindicated, announcing that “the Balkans are on the verge of another explosion,” making several references to Vietnam, and characterizing the continued presence of NATO forces in the region as a “quagmire.” The violence ended within the year, having claimed less than 80 lives. Kosovo has since joined both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
    Krauthammer was one of the leading boosters of the Iraq war. He argued in his February 1, 2002, Washington Post column that an invasion of Iraq would lead to the spread of democracy throughout the Middle East:
    “Overthrowing neighbouring radical regimes shows the fragility of dictatorship, challenges the mullahs’ mandate from heaven and thus encourages disaffected Iranians to rise. First, Afghanistan to the east. Next, Iraq to the west”.
    As the Iraq war got into full swing, Krauthammer ridiculed a New York Times article proposing that coalition forces might have to contend with guerrilla fighters in Iraq. He initially hailed the Iraq conflict as “the Three Week War”; and was sarcastically dismissive when those guerrillas whose existence he had found so improbable actually materialized. When U.S. reconstruction efforts were revealed to be amateurish, Krauthammer concluded a 2003 column with the suggestion that if, “in a year or two we are able to leave behind a stable, friendly government, we will have succeeded. If not, we will have failed. And all the geniuses will be vindicated.”
    As the war dragged on, Krauthammer began a process of dissembling about the motivations for the Iraq war: “Our objectives in Iraq were twofold and always simple: Depose Saddam Hussein and replace his murderous regime with a self-sustaining, democratic government,” he said, now leaving the central argument made by the president and by the secretary of state at the U.N. about weapons of mass destruction out of his assessment.
    A review of Krauthammer’s columns from 2002-2003 shows that he argued consistently that the risk of Saddam acquiring WMD and passing them on to terrorists was the reason for going to war, not the need to create democracy.
    4/19/02: “Saddam survived, rearmed, defeated the inspections regime and is now back in the business of building weapons of mass destruction…Time is running short. Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. He is working on nuclear weapons. And he has every incentive to pass them on to terrorists who will use them against us. Given the nature of Hussein’s rule, destroying these weapons requires regime change.”
    9/20/02: “The vice president, followed by the administration A Team and echoing the president, argues that we must remove from power an irrational dictator who has a history of aggression and mass murder, is driven by hatred of America and is developing weapons of mass destruction that could kill millions of Americans in a day. The Democrats respond with public skepticism, a raised eyebrow and the charge that the administration has yet to “make the case.” The threat of mass death on a scale never before seen residing in the hands of an unstable madman is intolerable – and must be preempted.”
    In the wake of the invasion, Krauthammer’s tone began to change:
    6/13/03: “The inability to find the weapons is indeed troubling, but only because it means that the weapons remain unaccounted for and might be in the wrong hands. The idea that our inability to thus far find the weapons proves that the threat was phony and hyped is simply false.”
    Later, when the surge was proposed, Krauthammer came out against the idea, explaining in a 2007 column that it “will fail” due to the perfidy and incompetence of the Maliki government. He eventually deemed it a success and criticized those who predicted that it would be a failure. Krauthammer also claimed that President Bush was able to present Barack Obama with a war virtually won and that all Obama had to do was seal the deal.
    Regarding Afghanistan, he would initially declare it “an astonishing success” and Karzai a “deeply respected democrat.” As the Afghanistan war dragged on into President Obama’s administration, Krauthammer was asked if the president would end up giving General McChrystal the troops he wanted, or would change the war strategy, Krauthammer replied, “I think he doesn’t and McChrystal resigns.”
    In reality, Obama did, and McChrystal didn’t.
    Krauthammer has been delivering exasperated, portentous remarks about Iran being right on the cusp of a bomb for more than half a decade now. In Oct 2009 he gravely stated: “Our objective is to stop the enrichment. Unless it stops, they’re [Iran] going to have a bomb and they’re going to have it soon…” Two months later, he warned: “2010 will be the year of Iran. Only three outcomes are possible. A: there’s going to be an Israeli strike; B: there’s going to be a revolution; or C: the Iranian regime will either acquire or come up to the threshold of becoming a nuclear power.” In May of 2010 he lamented “the total collapse of our nuclear policy with Iran.” In February of 2012, Bret Bair asked: “Will Israel strike Iran before the [2012 Presidential] election?” To which Krauthammer replied: “I think Israel will strike, because it cannot live under the threat of annihilation from Iran.”
    None of these predictions were accurate, and in retrospect, the rhetoric is agitated and alarmist.
    When it came to early predictions about the 2008 Presidential race, Krauthammer suggested that should Obama run, “he will not win.” In the meantime, he said, the White House would probably go to a Republican, “say, 9/11 veteran Rudy Giuliani.” Krauthammer also warned that the “reflexive anti-war sentiments” of the left “will prove disastrous for the Democrats in the long run – the long run beginning as early as November ‘08.”
    In the long run, of course, the Democrats won. During Obama’s first term as president, Krauthammer, On the PBS show Inside Washington, predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court would overturn the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act: “I think the way it works is in the short run it will be a devastating defeat for the president, because his singular achievement will be shown by the Court to be unconstitutional”.
    In the lead up to the 2012 election, Krauthammer speculated, “The fact is I think Romney does win in November, and the reason is it’s a pretty static race now, but it’s not going to be static forever, and the dynamic is the economy is weakening…”
    On the eve of the election he predicted: “Romney, very close. But he’ll win the popular by I think about half a point, Electoral College probably a very narrow margin.” And for good measure he said: “I have every confidence he’s going to win in Florida, in North Carolina and Virginia”.
    After Obama handily won the election, with virtually the same electoral college margin as in ’08, Krauthammer complained darkly about the President asserting himself in the new term. “This is entirely about politics. It’s phase two of the 2012 campaign. The election returned him to office. The fiscal cliff negotiations are designed to break the Republican opposition and grant him political supremacy, something he thinks he earned with his landslide 2.8-point victory margin on Election Day.”
    Krauthammer’s sneering reference to Obama’s “landslide” overlooks the fact it was a more substantial win than either of George W. Bush’s, and Krauthammer never insisted that Bush practice restraint because of his narrow wins. Instead, he remarked of George W. Bush’s re-election: “The endorsement was resounding. First, his Electoral College victory was solid. He won comfortably. Second, there was the popular vote…If you have already won the electoral vote, it is okay to talk about the popular vote as a kind of adjunct legitimizer. And a 3.5 million vote margin is a serious majority. Knowing he will never again run for office, he is going to attempt several large things, most notably reforming Social Security…”
    Obama’s near-5-million-vote margin was cause for sneering, and a reason why he shouldn’t push for the things he said he wanted to do during the campaign. Whereas George W. Bush’s 3.5-million-vote margin was “a serious majority”, giving him license to do things he never mentioned during the campaign, like try to privatize Social Security.
    When the I.R.S issue surfaced, Krauthammer declared: “This thing is going to go on, and it could be fatal.”
    When The Affordable Care Act was struggling early on, it was Krauthammer’s view that the prospect of Obamacare self-destructing and setting American Liberalism back at least a decade, “is more than likely.” Five months later, enrollments surpassed expectations.
    More recently, Krauthammer castigated the President over the Ukraine situation: ‘The E.U dithers while Obama slumbers’. Krauthammer advocated “a serious loan/aid package, say, replacing Moscow’s $15 billion”, and urgent delivery of weapons in case the Russians advanced into Ukraine “as far as Kiev”. While a messy conflict ebbs and flows in the eastern Donetsk region, economically and geopolitically Putin looks compromised and unable to advance the situation, something Obama alluded to at the State of the Union.
    On the Hugh Hewitt show, after explaining his professional aversion to diagnosing someone from afar, Krauthammer then promptly did so, labelling Obama ‘a narcissist.’ His castigation of the president became a little histrionic: “Count the number of times he uses the word I in any speech, and compare that to any other president. Remember when he announced the killing of bin Laden? That speech I believe had 29 references to I – on my command, I ordered, as commander-in-chief, I was then told, I this. You’d think he’d pulled the trigger out there in Abbottabad. You know, this is a guy, you look at every one of his speeches, even the way he introduces high officials – I’d like to introduce my secretary of State. He once referred to ‘my intelligence community’. And in one speech, I no longer remember it, ‘my military’. For God’s sake, he talks like the emperor, Napoleon…” This was the assessment that prompted Stephen Colbert to describe Krauthammer as “a bit of a dick.”
    Charles Krauthammer has a terrible history of erroneous predictions and assessments, stretching back to the turn of the millennium. Nevertheless, many perceive him to be preternaturally authoritative, and give a lot of credence to his insights. As Nate Silver has said: “The thing that people associate with expertise, authoritativeness, kind of with a capital ‘A,’ don’t correlate very well with who’s actually good at making predictions.”

    With acknowledgment to:
    FROM: http://sheppardpost.com/

    dennis hanna

    1. dennis hanna – when you have an opinion, it is just that, an opinion. Personally, I thought ACA would be overturned. Color me shocked when Roberts found it was a tax when the Congress said it was not. International relations change daily. Relations between Israel and Iran are now being played out in Syria. As I said, I do not always agree with him, but I can always see how he got to his conclusion. How good are your predictions? BTW, Nate Silver gave Trump a 15% of winning the day the polls opened.

      1. What you said. Most pundits I have watched or read make a slew of failed predictions. The Amazing Criswell even once said there would be “bedbugs in Boston!”

        How many Leftist pundits have gotten things right, even on the big things. Trump won, and queers aren’t being persecuted on the streets, or Muslims stripped of their headgear, or blacks being lynched by rabid Trump supporters. Nope, the economy is still plugging along, and we haven’t gotten into a nuclear war with anybody, and Washington DC hasn’t fallen apart at the seams or anything.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

    2. Again, this is a memorial thread. Take it somewhere else.

    3. We’ve just received 2,000 words of complaint that nobody asked for on a memorial thread for a moribund man. Can you please retreat to your basement and quit pestering us neurotypicals?

      1. Krauthammer isn’t dead. This isn’t a ‘memorial thread’.

    4. Thank you for taking the time to set record straight he and the other hypocrites showcased on the fox noise programs have been extraordinarily effective as one of the most pernicious and destructive forces to democracy. They never admit nor apologize when they have been proven to be liars and repeatively wrong. Hundreds of thousand of real people most powerless an helpless have suffered and died because of the policies he and the other repugs promoted. May they soon be held to account for their hubris. Let us never forget.

        1. You’re both jack-wagons who’ve said grossly inappropriate things.

  6. Pastor Andrew Wommack who raises the dead & heals the sick, says there is a reason. You walked away from god. When god does the healing, god gets all the glory, Charlie.

      1. Peter Hill, you can ask Andrew Wommack directly through his social media platforms. He will reply to you.

    1. Raises the dead?
      Or listens to the Dead? With a rose, in and out of the garden he goes.

      The first is, of course, preposterous.

  7. Devastating news. I’m so sorry for what he is going through.

    Charles Krauthammer always brought an interesting perspective to the conversation. Everything he said appeared to be thoughtful and insightful. I got the impression that you could bump into him, talk about the weather, and end up in interesting conversation.

    He is one of those people I would have really liked to have met in person.

    HIs loss will be keenly felt when he journeys home. I am sorry that your friend is so seriously ill.

  8. I did not always agree with Charles but I could always agree with how he got to his solution. Not having Charles on the scene has already been a loss, his death will create a great void. 🙁

  9. EXCERPTS FROM: “DONALD TRUMP FEUDS WITH PUNDIT CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER”

    By Sabrina Eaton, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, 6/15/2015

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today’s Donald Trump news: During Thursday’s edition of Special Report on Fox News, Charles Krauthammer offered some backhanded praise of Donald Trump for leading a poll of presidential candidates people will not vote for. The real estate mogul leads the poll “with a deserved 59 percent,” the pundit told host Bret Baier. “[Trump] is going to say how sad it is that I’m saying these things,” Krauthammer continued. “But, you know, this is an open forum and we have free speech. He has a well-deserved and, I would say, an impressive 59 percent:” MediaIte

    This prompted Trump to fire off a series of insulting “Tweets” directed at Krauthammer, calling him a “dummy,” an “overrated clown,” and “one of the worst and most boring political pundits on television. Trump even took issue with Krauthammer over the Iraq war: The Hill

    Trump’s vitriol towards Krauthammer is the latest Twitter attack Trump has waged against people he believes have insulted him. Prior targets of his wrath have included Weekly Standard writer Stephen Hayes, National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg, conservative pundit Michelle Malkin, and Washington Post writers George Will and Chris Cillizza: The Washington Post

    1. SEE THIS?

      TRUMP LAUNCHED TWEET ATTACKS AGAINST KRAUTHAMMER

      Trump referred to Krauthammer as a, “Dummy”, “Overrated Clown”, and “One of the worst and most boring political pundits on television”.

    2. The biggest fault of Trump was his lack of depth in our political economy in the world though he has been a fast learner. Not a fault, rather a gap in Krauthammer’s amazing success, was his lack of experience in having to deal with the real world with people that aren’t that smart. Those two characteristics complement one another. They do not exclude one another.

      I often wonder how much Trump knew about Krauthammer when the sparks flew. My guess is not much, not enough. However, today Trump has grown in office and Krauthammer whose inciteful mind leads to a willing alteration of opinions recognizes it is the success that counts and not words.

      It’s hard to mix the outward appearance of a cultured gentleman like Krauthammer with the unpolished builder from Queens but given enough time I believe we would have seen the two personalities merge without a loss of their distinct properties.

  10. EXCERPTS FROM: “DONALD TRUMP AND THE FITNESS TEST”

    BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, 8/4/2016

    Of course we all try to protect our own dignity and command respect. But Trump’s hypersensitivity and unedited, untempered Pavlovian responses are, shall we say, unusual in both ferocity and predictability.

    This is beyond narcissism. I used to think Trump was an 11-year-old, an undeveloped schoolyard bully. I was off by about 10 years. His needs are more primitive, an infantile hunger for approval and praise, a craving that can never be satisfied. He lives in a cocoon of solipsism where the world outside himself has value — indeed exists — only insofar as it sustains and inflates him.

    Most politicians seek approval. But Trump lives for the adoration. He doesn’t even try to hide it, boasting incessantly about his crowds, his standing ovations, his TV ratings, his poll numbers, his primary victories. The latter are most prized because they offer empirical evidence of how loved and admired he is.

    Prized also because, in our politics, success is self-validating. A candidacy that started out as a joke, as a self-aggrandizing exercise in xenophobia, struck a chord in a certain constituency and took off. The joke was on those who believed that he was not a serious man and therefore would not be taken seriously. They — myself emphatically included — were wrong.

    Winning — in ratings, polls and primaries — validated him. Which brought further validation in the form of endorsements from respected and popular Republicans. Chris Christie was first to cross the Rubicon. Ben Carson then offered his blessings, such as they are. Newt Gingrich came aboard to provide intellectual ballast.

    Although tepid, the endorsements by Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were further milestones in the normalization of Trump.

    President Obama strongly criticized Donald Trump’s suitability for president during an August 2 news conference at the White House. (Reuters)
    But this may all now be jeopardized by the Gold Star gaffe. (Remember: A gaffe in Washington is when a politician inadvertently reveals the truth, especially about himself.) It has put a severe strain on the patched-over relationship between the candidate and both Republican leadership and Republican regulars.

    Trump’s greatest success — normalizing the abnormal — is beginning to dissipate. When a Pulitzer Prize-winning liberal columnist (Eugene Robinson) and a major conservative foreign policy thinker and former speechwriter for George Shultz under Ronald Reagan (Robert Kagan) simultaneously question Trump’s psychological stability, indeed sanity, there’s something going on (as Trump would say).

    Edited from “Donald Trump And The Fitness Test”

    By Charles Karauthammer, 8/4/16

    THE WASHINGTON POST

    1. The most significant words here are, “Trump’s greatest success – normalizing the abnormal.”

      Those words tell us everything we need to know about Trump’s impact on America.

    2. Why don’t you go to the funeral home when the time comes and spread your rabble there.

      Krauthammer also said you can’t argue with success and recognized his characterizations of Trump, though in his mind correct, didn’t mean he couldn’t be a successful President. That was the nature of the Krauthammer we love who said things as he saw them ( and few argue about the eccentricities of Trump). He wasn’t afraid to change his mind nor did he back away from his original opinions merely because the winds had changed direction. He was a great man and a straight shooter.

      1. Mr. Krauthammer isn’t dead yet, Allan. If you respect him, then respect his views.

        1. No, Peter, he isn’t dead, but his brilliant political mind has been publically resting for about a year. I respect Krauthammer and his views knowing a bit more about him from his younger days. To soil his existence in a thread such as this one reflects badly on your behavior.

  11. KRAUTHAMMER IS A CONSERVATIVE WITH INTEGRITY

    EXCERPTS FROM: “BUNGLED COLLUSION IS STILL COLLUSION”

    Yes, there were several meetings with Russian officials, some only belatedly disclosed. But that is circumstantial evidence at best. Meetings tell you nothing unless you know what happened in them. We didn’t. Some of these were casual encounters in large groups, like the famous July 2016 Kislyak-Sessions exchange of pleasantries at the Republican National Convention. Big deal.

    I was puzzled. Lots of coverup, but where was the crime? Not even a third-rate burglary. For six months, smoke without fire. Yes, President Trump himself was acting very defensively, as if he were hiding something. But no one ever produced the something.

    My view was: Collusion? I just don’t see it. But I’m open to empirical evidence. Show me.

    The evidence is now shown. This is not hearsay, not fake news, not unsourced leaks. This is an email chain released by Donald Trump Jr. himself. A British go-between writes that there’s a Russian government effort to help Trump Sr. win the election, and as part of that effort he proposes a meeting with a “Russian government attorney” possessing damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Moreover, the Kremlin is willing to share troves of incriminating documents from the Crown Prosecutor. (Error: Britain has a Crown Prosecutor. Russia has a Prosecutor General.)

    Donald Jr. emails back. “I love it.” Fatal words.

    Once you’ve said “I’m in,” it makes no difference that the meeting was a bust, that the intermediary brought no such goods. What matters is what Donald Jr. thought going into the meeting, as well as Jared Kushner and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, who were forwarded the correspondence, invited to the meeting, and attended.

    “It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame,” Donald Jr. told Sean Hannity. A shame? On the contrary, a stroke of luck. Had the lawyer real stuff to deliver, Donald Jr. and the others would be in far deeper legal trouble. It turned out to be incompetent collusion, amateur collusion, comically failed collusion. That does not erase the fact that three top Trump campaign officials were ready to play.

    It may turn out that they did later collaborate more fruitfully. We don’t know. But even if nothing else is found, the evidence is damning.

    It’s rather pathetic to hear Trump apologists protesting that it’s no big deal because we Americans are always intervening in other people’s elections, and they in ours. You don’t have to go back to the ’40s and ’50s when the CIA intervened in France and Italy to keep the communists from coming to power. What about the Obama administration’s blatant interference to try to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu in the latest Israeli election? One might even add the work of groups supported by the U.S. during Russian parliamentary elections — the very origin of Vladimir Putin’s deep animus toward Clinton, then secretary of state, whom he accuses of having orchestrated the opposition.

    This defense is pathetic for two reasons. First, have the Trumpites not been telling us for six months that no collusion ever happened? And now they say: Sure it happened. So what? Everyone does it.

    What’s left of your credibility when you make such a casual about-face?

    Second, no, not everyone does it. It’s one thing to be open to opposition research dug up in Indiana. But not dirt from Russia, a hostile foreign power that has repeatedly invaded its neighbors (Georgia, Crimea, eastern Ukraine), that buzzes our planes and ships in international waters, that opposes our every move and objective around the globe. Just last week the Kremlin killed additional U.N. sanctions we were looking to impose on North Korea for its ICBM test.

    There is no statute against helping a foreign hostile power meddle in an American election. What Donald Jr. — and Kushner and Manafort — did may not be criminal. But it is not merely stupid. It is also deeply wrong, a fundamental violation of any code of civic honor.

    I leave it to the lawyers to adjudicate the legalities of unconsummated collusion. But you don’t need a lawyer to see that the Trump defense — collusion as a desperate Democratic fiction designed to explain away a lost election — is now officially dead.

    Edited from: “Bungled Collusion Is Still Collusion

    By Charles Krauthammer

    THE WASHINGTON POST, 7/13/2017

      1. No, this is fine here. Readers should know how Mr Krauthammer feels about our rogue president.

        1. Why don’t you go to the funeral home when the time comes and spread your rabble there.

          Krauthammer also said you can’t argue with success and recognized his characterizations of Trump, though in his mind correct, didn’t mean he couldn’t be a successful President. That was the nature of the Krauthammer we love who said things as he saw them ( and few argue about the eccentricities of Trump). He wasn’t afraid to change his mind nor did he back away from his original opinions merely because the winds had changed direction. He was a great man and a straight shooter.

    1. You remind me of those ghoulish black and hispanic gang members who, after whacking someone from another gang, go to funeral to continue to shoot up their enemies. You just can’t put your hatred on hold, can you? Not even for someone who is dying. Pathetic.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

    2. You should have left it with: “KRAUTHAMMER IS A CONSERVATIVE WITH INTEGRITY”.

  12. He usually had intelligent things to say and points to make on the various news shows. He was a little slow on warming up to Trump, but being an honest person, he came around. The best thing I can think to say about him is, that he is a person who lets facts and reality change his opinions. That is extremely rare.

    Plus, he didn’t let being physically disabled stop him from achieving great things. We all have to die one of these days, and I think it is a blessing to him that he knows his end is coming soon, so that he can get all his affairs in order and say goodbye to all those people he loves. IMO, that is a lot better way to go than just getting whacked in a car wreck, or clobbered by a tornado in the middle of the night.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  13. I’ve read a few of his columns and saw him a couple of times on tv. I was impressed and wished I had read more of his columns. We need his voice now more than ever.

  14. Devastating news about Charles Krauthammer. His wit and humor will be sorely missed on Bret Baier’s panel and by viewers like me. I read his wonderful book and selfishly wished he had written one more since intellectuals and Reason itself are pretty much absent today. He embodied both categories.

  15. Jonathan, thanks for sharing your relationship. I could never get enough of his brilliance. His life experience should be shared with all of our youth. A hero in my book. Brett Baier’s interview with Charles on Utube is worth seeing.

  16. Jonathan, The news is sad but Charles always seems at peace. He has the class and calm demeanor you also possess. Thanks for sharing stories of your friendship. Charles had a horrible accident. But, like all people who overcome tragedy, he never allowed it to define him. Things That Matter is a book he wrote I would encourage all to read.

    1. I think for about 15 years worth of public writing, he said next-to-nothing about the disability that defined his daily life. You only knew about it because in the occasional PBS or Nightline appearance, you could just tell he was in a wheelchair. The first I can recall him writing about it, it was a Time column wherein he offered a tribute to the engineer who had designed the van he drove. The next occasion was some mild criticism of Christopher Reeve’s public advocacy. He spent 14 months in the hospital in 1973, but managed to complete medical school in five years. He was chief psychiatric resident at Massachusetts General Hospital He had to have had intensive rehabilitation to be able to use his arms. You could tell he had some sort of device on him to help him breathe. It appears to be a family where resilience was expected. His father’s biography is a story of moving, starting over, and making good. He left the Ukraine as a teenager. He founded and ran businesses in France, then Cuba, then Brazil, then the U.S., then Canada, then the U.S.again and picked up a law license along the way. His brother managed to survive and prosper in a demanding profession for 17 years carrying around with him a cancer which would have killed an ordinary man in 2 years.

    2. Well said. At a time of uber-partisan foxholes, both Charles and Jonathan exhibited a healthy and much needed dose of contrarianism all to rare.

  17. Great last letter. I was especially pleased to read that he lived the life he had intended to live. How rare is that?

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