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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Charles Krauthammer, RIP

He could have given up upon paralysis from an accident in medical school, but Charles Krauthammer did not given in to self-pity. He worked and graduated -- from Harvard Medical School.

He distinguished himself as a psychiatrist, and as a columnist he won a Pulitzer.

I included him in "Trump the Press" because he was oh so wrong oh so often.

But on December 31, 2015, he made amends.

From the book:
On New Year’s Eve, Krauthammer disclosed his winner of year, a choice that Ed Henry said surprised him.
“Well, you should be, but you should also remember that I’m a straight shooter. The obvious political winner in the United States this year is Donald Trump. The most astonishing, unexpected political rise in recent American political history. I would say with the exception of Jeremy Corbyn becoming the leader of the Labour Party, you know, a board-certified communist, the most unlikely. And, you know, I never let feelings get in the way of my ironclad judgment. Although I would say that the thing that probably tipped me over is when Trump, after a lot of hesitation, came out against the killing of journalists. That’s what sealed the deal for me,” Krauthammer said.
Henry then played a video clip of Trump, saying, “I mean, I got to tell you, Krauthammer is terrible. He is so unfair to me. He is the worst. He is the worst. And I’m not allowed to criticize him, so I am going to be very nice. Krauthammer, he is terrible, he’s terrible. You have a guy named Steven Hayes. I never heard of this guy. When my name is mentioned, it’s like he is a boil. He goes crazy.”
To that, Krauthammer replied, “Let me just say, Mr. Trump, or Mr. Thrump, no diphthong in Krauthammer.”
The good doctor knew candor and humor were good for the head. His fellow pundits in Washington could have used a few similar little mental-health therapies, even if they were the kind poured over ice and topped with a small ornamental umbrella.
Krauthammer died today at 68. The Washington Nationals held a moment of silence. He could have given up. He had every right to. Thank God he didn't.


Please enjoy my books in paperback and on Kindle.

Trump the Press covers the nomination.

Trump the Establishment covers the election.

Fake News Follies of 2017 covers his first year as president.

For autographed copies, write me at


  1. Very gutsy, brilliant guy.

    And, to hear him speak in person, as I did, was a real treat.

    They don't make 'em like him much.

  2. I don't know when I first started paying attention to CK but it was several years after than that I realized he was a paraplegic. It didn't seem to matter.

    1. Likewise. For a long time I wondered why he seemed so stiff. I didn't always agree with him, but for some reason his style reminded me a lot of William F. Buckley, Jr. - Elric

  3. A Moment Of Silence...

  4. Krauthammer was a real mentsh.

  5. He made me re-think my position when we disagreed. Mad respect for CK. He said he lived the life he in peace.

  6. Honesty, Industry, Concentration.

    They serve well in many professions, but particularly in journalism.

  7. When there is contradictory evidence, Don Surber, you need to admit it into evidence.

    On July 28, 2017 Krauthammer wrote:

    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 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.

    For many conservatives, Sessions’ 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’s adoption of Sessions’ ideas in the first place.

    But beyond character and beyond ideology lies the most appalling aspect of the Sessions affair — reviving the idea of prosecuting Clinton.

    In the 2016 campaign, there was nothing more disturbing than crowds chanting “lock her up,” often encouraged by Trump and his surrogates. After the election, however, Trump reconsidered, saying he would not pursue Clinton who “went through a lot and suffered greatly.”

    Now under siege, Trump has jettisoned magnanimity. Maybe she should be locked up after all.

    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 — or falsity — of the charges of collusion being made against the Trump campaign.

    Moreover, in America we don’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’t criminalize our politics.

    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 cost him the 1976 election.

    It was an act of political self-sacrifice, done for the right reason. Nixon might indeed have committed crimes. But the spectacle of an ex-president on trial and perhaps in jail was something Ford would not allow the country to go through.

    In doing so, he vindicated the very purpose of the presidential pardon. On its face, it’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.

    In Trump World, the better angels are not in evidence.

    To be sure, Trump is indeed examining the pardon power. For himself and his cronies.

    1. Just remember everybody goes to heaven and everybody is a saint after they die,according to the living.

    2. At least with Trump in the White House, Liberty is no longer chained to the oar in some Commie galleyship headed for yesterday.

    3. This comment reminds me of my first college biology teacher explaining why he gave so many bad grades on our first test. He had to explain to us the differences between opinions, facts and evidence in science, and he was upset because we were college students. I can imagine him looking at Barfly's comment and asking, "This is evidence? Beyond the fact that there are no facts here, but only opinion, you don't even warrant partial credit."


    4. What part of "Krauthammer wrote" didn't you understand?

    5. Both Krauthammer and Barfly are caught up in their own psychology here. There's nothing of substance in either. What Krathammer wrote is not evidence despite the fact that he says otherwise, and what Barfly wrote is an opinion anout an opinion. And one from a year ago at that.

      There was a time when I thought GWB was a good president. If you look up my old opinions about him you could convey all kinds of falsity. And it would be meaningless blather.

  8. My mom always told me, if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything.

    OK. I won’t.

  9. Dr. Krauthammer was a giant, especially when next to the dwarves of punditry who were usually on a panel with him. He was intellectually honest, unlike the great majority of talking heads.

    Though I frequently disagreed with him, I honor his memory. He fought honestly and well, and never used his disability to cudgel his opponent. His arguments were usually well-considered and hard to counter.

    I will miss him, and may he rest in peace.

    1. There's a very nice tribute to Dr. K over at MOTUS which gives some of his memorable quotes: