I had Charles Krauthammer on yesterday’s show, and most of the discussion centered on the president’s intervention in the Professor Gates-Officer Crowley affair. The opening exchanges:
HH: Joined now by Fox News all star and Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer. Charles, what a day for the news. What do you make of the President’s extraordinary appearance in the White House today to try and put the Gates-Officer Crowley matter behind him?
CK: Well, I think his folks realize they made a pretty big mistake. You know, it hearkens back to the old Democratic stereotype of Democrats, which actually was quite accurate for half a century, of soft on crime, and the flip side of that is tough on cops. And they just don’t respect the people of the thin, blue line between us and barbarism. And that’s what came out. Here was the president of the United States not knowing the facts, taking the side of a professor at Harvard over a cop who has an incredibly good and clean record of being respectful, particularly on issues of race, and secondly, accepting the narrative, that’s the word that the left loves, the narrative that the reason for the altercation was racism, for which there is no evidence. And I think the turning point was when the Cambridge Police Department held that press conference. It’s a multi-racial police department. They’ve got support from surrounding police departments saying that this simply wasn’t right, the President had got it wrong, that the police had acted correctly. That’s when they understood they did not want to stay in a confrontation with cops. That is really bad politically for Democrats, for all kinds of reasons, historical and political. And that’s when he had to beat a retreat.
HH: You know, Charles, when I saw that press conference, I said this is going to be far more significant than the incident, because it’s an example of people pushing back against the Obama administration, and against the President himself. No one’s really done that in that kind of a context thus far. I mean, people have tried, you know, DeMint got into it on the Waterloo thing, and other people have had t?te-?-t?tes with him, but no one stood up and said you’re not going to bully us, we’re not going to be intimidated the way that the Cambridge cops did today. And I think that may have a long-lasting effect on opposition to the President.
CK: And I think you’re right, and I think it’s even more significant that the issue on which the pushback came was on race. I mean, after all, go back to the Philadelphia race speech the President gave last year when he got in real trouble over Jeremiah Wright, a speech in which he basically blamed everybody, black, white and grandmother for racism except himself, and in which he refused to renounce Jeremiah Wright. Well, I thought it was an outrageous speech and a fraud, and yet you remember how the mainstream media heralded it as a second coming of Abraham Lincoln. I think Gary Wills wrote it should be taught in schools along with the great speeches of Abraham Lincoln. It was absurd. So he must have thought well, if he got away with that, which was truly scandalous, he’s untouchable on issues of race, and he can sort of freelance. And this is what he did when he answered that question at the press conference. So the fact that the pushback is on this issue, in which he must have thought himself invulnerable, must have been an amazing shock to him.