FAREWELL, CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER

Charles-Krauthammer-interview
Courtesy of Fox News

This morning I posted a column in The Hill newspaper on the passing of Charles Krauthammer, one of the truly great columnists of his generation.  For those of us who had the privilege of knowing Charles as well as his millions of followers, this is a devastating loss that will leave a deep and lasting void.  

I will miss teasing Charles in the green room at Fox over the rivaling fortunes of my Cubs versus his Nats.  While we disagreed on some policy issues, we agreed on many others.  Law was always a central interest for Charles and he embraced a textualist approach to most constitutional issues.  His principles would at times put him at odds with Republicans and he was highly critical of Trump, who he believed was guilty of collusion with the Russians.

Charles was a unique voice in a business filled with artificiality and formula commentary.  Charles had an unrelenting and uncompromising intellect.  He lived a true life that ended far, far too early.

Rest in peace, Charles.

86 thoughts on “FAREWELL, CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER”

  1. I will miss Charles Krauthammer. He was a gentleman and a scholar and never got preachy or screachy. He just opined in a calm, organized manner. He was very easy to listen to and follow. That is not to say I agreed with him all the time, that means he was a civil, polite debater. Not too many of them on the air any more. Well, maybe no more.

    1. You told us yesterday.
      You need to take your meds and control those impulsive behaviors that are destroying you.
      Practice self-regulation, bud, pronto

    2. Patriot, what planet are you living on? Charles loved this country. Often bring chaos in discussions to order. I didn’t always agree with him, but had great respect for his thoughts. He has been missed for several months, everyone praying for his good health and return to “Special Reporting “. The courage he showed us every day, and his humor was unmatched.

      1. Sandi, he’s an off-his-meds anti-semite whose apartment is filled with trash in spite of his sister’s best efforts and who hasn’t bathed in a year.

  2. KRAUTHAMMER; WARMONGER, SUPREME WAR CRIMINAL

    The Passing of a Warmonger and Ethnic Cleanser

    “Charles Krauthammer, one of the warmongers at the Washington Post, has passed away. He was sixty-eight. CNN called him a “legendary conservative intellectual.” But what was this man known for? Intellectual pursuit? Of course not. Keep in mind that any intellectual pursuit cannot exist without the moral law.”

    “What was driving Krauthammer’s political ideology is 1) ancestor worship, 2) Zionism, and finally the Talmud, which essentially provides the diabolical foundation of the Khazarian Mafia, a cult system which continues to drag much of the world to submission through covert operations.”

    https://www.veteranstoday.com/2018/06/22/the-passing-of-a-warmonger-and-ethnic-cleanser/

    https://youtu.be/gkPSKDqNT6E

    1. Patriot, good points.
      Americans are bred, bottlefed and sustained on imperialism, which is also merely an offshoot of capitalism, itself a pyramid scheme, and necessarily strong anti-intellectualism- a side effect of ignorance… In this thread, they display all of those afflictions, all symptoms of the dying empire…
      There is no intellectualism without morality, as morality is the baseline for all humanism, including the ability to think through human problems and offer humane solutions.
      I think therefore i am applies to animals and fish, trees and rocks too, as they each think within the system of their sentience… man’s standard is I ponder therefore I am. Americans don’t know the difference because Americans don’t know, they are ignorant… the same principle that sustains their military expansion and the massacre of countless human beings across the globe, human rights, is absent from their moral environment as they laud another dead warmonger.
      In recent times, america has chanted the greatness of various worthless human beings whose chief intellectual pursuit is the demonization of others and their obliteration, and this is on the conservative christian right, the secular liberal left and the in the middle new atheist sphere… kissinger, bush, undead mcCain…etc…
      so those of you erecting intellect as the chief standard by which to laud krauthammer, reveal thereby your inability to know intellect or morality if either bit you in the ass. “he talks pretty ” gave us obama the droner in chief, which most of you hate, yet krauthammer can be said to be the “intellectual” moralist behind much of obama’s imperialist actions.

      1. One of the most appropriate alliances I have ever seen in any comments section…..Patriot and Po.

        1. as usual, tom will be shooting all kinds of messengers, for he, tom, has no arrow potent enough against the message…
          tom, i don’t want to argumentatively drag you around as usual, it’s been a while and I hope we both have moved on, but, though i would hesitate to revisit those old times, I would gladly/mournfully abuse you again for somebody must do it, and who best but the one who does it best?

          1. I’m actually quite selective….I don’t “shoot all kinds of messengers”, just the ones who give me the most ammunition.

              1. Your best ,Po, is to continue posting material as powerful and as lucid as that of Patriot.
                I think you’ll find that you get the “recognition” you deserve for doing so.
                And keep telling yourself how effective and convincing you are as a debater, and with your missives posted here.

                1. the mere fact i speak on issues, tom, even if divergently from the standard thought here, while you lurk in the dark and pounce on me and keep attacking me (and patriot) for well constructed ideas that are flawed perhaps only in that they differ from yours (whatever they are, hard to tell since you make it all about me), reflects quite effectively, tom, on the value of your side of this “debate”.
                  I am still waiting for you to debate my ideas. still waiting, tom.

                  1. Been there, done that. I don’t mind debating those who aren’t on the “same page”, but they need to be on the same planet.

                    1. based on the vastness of the intellectual gulf between me and you, tom, we are indeed on different planets…
                      makes sense you can’t debate me, in hindsight…

                    2. Keep telling yourself that, Po. As someone commented during one of your last appearances here, you are truly “a legend in your own mind”.

  3. I am sorry for the loss of your friend.

    Charles Krauthammer always seemed to thoroughly think about what he wanted to say. If he gave an opinion, it was a considered one that often made the others at the table think about their own position. I always thought he was honest and sincere, whether he was lauding or criticizing.

    I enjoyed his point of view, and will miss it. He is one of those people that would have been an honor and pleasure to meet.

    I never knew he was sick until his farewell statement. However, the last time I saw him on Fox, I remember thinking his breathing seemed a bit labored. Maybe I imagined it. I hope he was as comfortable as possible in his last illness.

    Cancer is such a wretched disease. It is not a foreign agent to fight, but your own body betraying you, turning against you, and causing pain. I am so sorry that it felled Dr Krauthammer when he should have had many years left with his family, and his work.

    His family and friends will be in my prayers.

  4. Yes, especially his grace and humility in listening to opposite opinions. One can learn a lot from watching Charles. I also did not always agree with him, but I never felt that he was offensive in defending his viewpoints or disputing opposing views.

  5. It’s more than a bit cognitively dissonant of many on this blog — author and commenters — who normally think of themselves as “supporters of the troops” to so vigorously defend Krauthammer — a man who had no personal “skin in the game” (of military deployment, and risk), yet, who through his eloquence (for which he was well paid) vigorously encouraged and rationalized, and therefore helped produce, the U.S. military adventurism that led to death of thousands of those U.S. troops and the maiming of tens of thousands more.

    (And no, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s comment notwithstanding, it is NOT a sign of intelligence to operate with such cognitive dissonance).

    1. I think that Krauthammer probably had a valid 4-F Classification, and therefore no “personal skin in the game”.
      A quad would likely be exempt from serving.
      Is it your position that only those in the military, or who were in the military, are qualified or worthy of making decisions that involve deploying troops to combat?
      Interesting that you made that personal “no skin in the game” comment, under the circumstances of Krauthammer’s disability.

          1. Then it is clear he would never have qualified for military service given how young he was when injured in a swimming pool accident and became a quadriplegic. Thanks, Tom.

          2. I was curious so I just checked….it was his first year of medical school, not his first year in college when he was injured.
            So early 20s, probably at the time of the accident.

            1. I remember him talking once about arguing with the Dean about the requirement that Med. students or interns/ residents going into the field of psychiatry enroll in therapy, to “get in touch with themselves” and see it from the patients’ perspective.
              He evidently stood his ground, insisting that “I didn’t come here to get therapy…I’m here to learn how to GIVE therapy to patients”.
              At this point his life had already changed forever, dealing with his paralysis with a mental health professional would be more than understandable, but he seemed to be a remarkable strong and well-adjusted individual to deal with it, and accomplish what he did.

      1. @Tom Nash:

        You ask “Is it your position that only those in the military, or who were in the military, are qualified or worthy of making decisions that involve deploying troops to combat?”

        My answer is “no”, taking the meaning of “decision” to include the possibility of a “no deployment” answer. I have no problem with someone with no past service experience and no prospect of such future risk making a decision that we should NOT engage in war. But I AM saying that there is what might be called a conflict of interest, or even hypocrisy, for someone ineligible for service to strongly advocate that OTHERS be sent off to war.

        Krauthammer was 22 when his accident happened. Of course he would not have subsequently been at risk of service-connected harm. But his lack of personal risk while strongly advocating for militarism and war just adds a secondary layer of dissonance.

        My primary comment was regarding the cognitive dissonance of those HERE lauding Krauthammer, when they supposedly “support the troops” and yet he unnecessarily helped place so many of those troops in very real harms way — and additionally, did so while being completely free of past acquaintance with, or future risk of, war’s dangers to himself.

        That he went through a terrible trauma in his diving accident does not give him any special authority to urge that others should be placed at risk via war. In fact, even past combat experience (and I mean real combat, infantry, not bombing from 10,000 feet) probably should not confer authority (though those having such experience would at least understand the reality of war). Only the certainty of personally being placed at the same future risk of mortality and injury as one is suggesting that others, soldiers and civilians, be subject to, might give anyone — be they military brass, politician, newpaper columnist or television talking head — any authority and credibility to advocate for war. Anyone advocating for war should be immediately and permanently assigned to the existing, or, if it hasn’t yet begun, likely front lines. Until that occurs, anyone advocating for war from a safe and sound location should be disdained and ignored. I’d bet there would be fewer families visiting cemeteries on Memorial Day if George W. Bush and Charles Krauthammer had been required to be on the front lines in Iraq.

        1. The term ‘cognitive dissonance’ does not mean what you fancy it means.

          I’ll leave it to Mespo to identify the logical fallacy here.

          A policy is advisable or inadvisable without regard to the personal situation or personal history of a given individual advocating one side or another. A person advocating a side may be better-informed than some other person due to personal experience, but the quality of the argument is going to be manifest either way.

          Krauthammer was resident of Quebec from 1955 to 1970. He wasn’t subject to conscription after 1969 because his lottery number was so high.

          I would suggest you make an argument for or against a policy rather than ad hominem attacks on people. I’d also suggest you make arguments on policy on appropriate threads.

        2. Biologist,…
          -Thanks for your reply. For simplicity, I’ll refer to those who haven’t been in the military as “civilians” v. veterans or active duty personell.
          If I understand you correctly, a “civilian” Commander-in-Chief can legitimately decide against
          committing troops to combat.
          But that “civilian” C-in-Chief, not being “…personally placed at the same future risk of mortality and injury as one is suggesting that others —–soldiers and civilians,–might give anyone, be they military brass, politician, newspaper columnist, or television talking head—-any authority and credibility to advocate for war” lacks the “moral standing”, or “credentials”, to commit troops to combat.
          That’s where we disagree. I would guess that about half of our Presidents never served in the military, and some of those who did serve in wartime may or may not have seen combat.
          And probably (guessing) c.85-90% of those in Congress never served.
          By your standard,
          FDR, a “civilian”, lacked that same
          moral standing or credentials to go to war after Pearl Harbor.
          I don’t think that a “civilian” C-in-Chief is any less more prone, or less prone, to subject troops to the hazards of war.
          All other things being equal, I am more inclined to vote for a combat veteran than a “civilian”.
          Call in a “veterans’ preference”, similar to what veterans received ( or used to…I don’t know if the current system gives veterans the 5 or 10 point bonuses for federal jobs).
          But that preference on my part does not override any significant policy differences that I might have with the the veteran candidate.
          I would add that some of the most hawkish military commanders have been combat veterans.
          And in many cases, their previous combat exoerience does not make them any less likely to advocate for military action, or to be more casualty-averse in military operations.

          1. Biologist is scamming you. He’s not going to defer to Ralph Peters on these questions just because Peters is a combat veteran. This argument is only invoked to attempt to discredit someone advocating military action. He’s also not going to advance the argument that only farmers have any standing to have an opinion on the subject of farm subsidies.

          2. @Tom Nash

            Thanks for the civil debate — and I endevor to keep my comments similarly civil. Contrary to what “Nutchacha is insufferable” may think, I am not “scamming you” or anyone else. I am indeed well left of center politically (though not sure that’s particularly descriptive nowadays, since in recent decades center has moved so far to the right that it now lies to the right of Eisenhower and Nixon). I am strongly opposed to the nearly-permanent state of low-level war, with periodic spasms of increased-intensity conflict, that the U.S. has adopted as SOP in recent decades, and I believe that military force should only be used judiciously, because of 1) international blowback, 2) the unnecessary risk to soldiers and civilians alike, and 3) the spillover of militarism into the domestic sphere, where a militarization mentality ultimately poses a threat to democracy and individual liberty. But I’m not a pacifist, nor am I putting forward disingenuous arguments against war.

            I fully agree that simply choosing a veteran as Commander in Chief is not a guarantee of a more cautious policy for deployments, that veterans can range all over the political — and psychological — map.

            But at the same time, I believe that it’s generally desirable to eliminate conflicts of interest and hypocrisies in most matters. (Fail to do that, and the end result is often full-blown corruption). We commonly accept that conflicts of interest can exist with regard to money, and many laws and procedures address that: corporate officers can’t sell their stock in a certain time frame prior to the release of quarterly financial statements, a judge who owns stock in a company wouldn’t be presiding over a trial involving that company, a talking head touting a stock must disclose whether he or his company holds a position in it, a scientist publishing a paper in a reputable journal must disclose payments or other connections that could represent a conflict of interest and might have influenced his research and conclusions, etc… . We either prohibit certain actions or require disclosure — because we recognize the corrosiveness of conflict of interest and hypocrisy.

            Yet in warmaking, which, as a threat to life and limb and indeed sometimes whole societies surely ranks as more important than money matters, we often ignore the conflicts of interest and hypocrisies that can, consciously or unconsciously, promote it. That should surely be something that we should find objectionable and try to remedy, for while militarization and war are sometimes necessary, they shouldn’t ever be desirable, and shouldn’t be undertaken without true — perhaps overwhelming — need.

            I’m not sure how to prevent such conflicts of interest and hypocrisies, but I think it’d be highly beneficial if that could be done. King Richard III died in battle. Modern political leaders and the television talking heads urging war usually face no risk at all. Would it moderate their degree of war enthusiasm — if not lust — if they were subject to its risks? For all but a few total crazies, I believe that it would.

            I’ve outlined one scenario, the requirement for “skin in the game” — future “skin in the game” — by means of required commensurate risk for those who advocate or authorize military deployments, and I’d like this to be applied to military brass and civilians alike. (Additionally, anyone advocating or authorizing war ought to face an immediate substantial tax increase to pay for it!). I’m not suggesting “Tokyo Rose”-style demonization and treason trials for the likes of Krauthammer. But I think it’s important that we recognize the role he played in the deaths of more than five thousand U.S. soldiers, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and trillions of dollars of U.S. debt.

            I don’t really expect to see my suggestions adopted, and I admit it’d be difficult to do so. In the absence of that we can at least call out conflicts of interest and hypocrisies when they exist, which I believe they did/do for “National Guard” Bush, “chicken hawk” Cheney, “bone spur” Trump, and many more — including Krauthammer. That Krauthammer’s was connected to a terrible injury he involuntarily sustained doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. He still advocated heavily for war, with no possibility of skin in the game.

            1. Biologist,…
              – I didn’t consider it “scamming” by you…my associates and I keep detailed dossiers😀😉 on known scammers, spinners, deflectors, and “inventors” of facts.
              You’re not on that list.
              One historian wrote that there were only 3 wars in American history that he considered justified; the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and WWII.
              Some would question the justification for even these 4 wars, and most would come up with different lists.
              If we asked the last 100 commentators that same question, we’d probably get close to 100 different answers.
              I draw a distinction between what “can be justified”, and what makes sense.
              E.G., Saddam Hussein repeatedly violated U.N. Resolutions after Gulf War One.
              There was a near- universal conviction that he had an active WMD program underway, and likely had a stockpile if WMDs.
              That conviction was not just that of the CIA….U.N. Inspectors and intelligence services from other countries made that same assessment.
              So there was justification for removing Saddam after about 10 years of his multiple instances of defiance of U.N. demands.
              If there had been strong evidence presented that Saddam posed a dangerous terrorist threat to the U.S., that would have “cinched it” for me, and I would have been in favor of Gulf War II.
              That last element—
              evidence that Saddam was a genuine threat to the U.S.—-was not forthcoming, so my basis for thinking that we were blundering by launching Gulf War II was largely based on my belief that the Bush 43 Administration had not demonstrated a Saddam threat level worth going to war over.
              I’m drawing a distinction between what is arguably “justifiable”, and what actually makes sense.
              The fact that there are valid supporting justifications for deploying military action does not mean that it makes sense to go to war.
              So those are elements that I look at as far as criteria.
              I’d draw a sharp distintion between Gulf War II and the invasion of Afghanistan….I won’t review those now, but I think it was vital to go after Al Queda and dislodge their co-conspirators, the Taliban.
              And I think we need to maintain a continued presence there for the indefinate future….unless the original idea was to just dislodge the Taliban “for a while”, then let them regain control of the country.
              Their history of active, enthusiastic support for terrorists would probably motivate a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan to put out the welcome mat again for groups like ISIS, etc.
              I’ll try to wrap this up….basically, I’m presenting part of my view on when I think going to war is justified and necessary.
              I’ll present one more example; the Korea War.
              Anyone who could have anticipated the massive carnage of that war, or whose knowledge of that war is based primarily on MASH episodes, would likely conclude that there was no way the Korean War was worthwhile.
              Contrasting a vibrant, democratic South Korea with three generations of thuggish oppression and extreme poverty by the Kim dynasty in North Korea is evidence of what the Korean War did accomplish.
              If you asked most South Koreans today if it would have been preferable to “roll over” to be absorbed North Korea, I don’t think the majority would agree that generations of control of the entire Korean Peninsula in the hands of the Kims was an not an acceptable trade for shortening the Korean War.
              Just these few examples of how I evaluate the justification/ necessity for war have taken up far too much space.
              I would be interested in what wars, in any, in our history would be considered justified/ worthwhile/ necessary by you.

  6. Charles began in politics as a writer, but made the transition (thanks to PBS) as an on-air talking head (no pun intended). His self-control in modulating his tone and demeanor might have put some off as a tad cold, but was surpassed by his wit and cerebral clarity. He became a paragon of meritocratic argument, not delivered in a stiff manner, but rather warm and engaging. I honestly didn’t know until about a year ago about his wheelchair-bound handicap — I thank Charles and the producers of TV talk shows for suppressing that camera shot as inconsequential to the debate of political issues.

    Losing a top-notch commentator like Charles is all the more tragic at this time, as the public policy debate is dragged down into ditch Charles steadfastly avoided — ad-hominem attacks, pejorative mind-reading, and obsession with emotionally-charged, symbol-laden anecdotal events. I will remember Charles for his elevation of the art of perspicacity and meritocratic dialog.

  7. I did not agree with Charles on many occasions. But I really admired his honesty, his ability to state a belief and then explain the basis for that belief. I also liked the way that he interacted with people he was with. He did not interrupt, rather he allowed people to make their statement, and he would answer respectfully and truthfully even when people obviously disagreed. I have watched Charles for years on TV. He has never “evolved” over a major issue. What you saw and heard with and from Charles is what you got. I shall miss him. Truly, Charles is ‘one of a kind’.

  8. I didn’t agree with most of his positions, but I respected and admired his eloquence at advocating for them.

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