Charles Krauthammer is a syndicated columnist from the Washington Post.

Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer

Rubio Grabs Early Lead Over Walker, Bush

Rubio Grabs Early Lead Over Walker, Bush

March 26, 2015

With Ted Cruz announcing and Rand Paul and Marco Rubio soon to follow, it's time to start handicapping the horses and making enemies.

  • No Palestinian State In Offing, Netanyahu Or Not

    March 19, 2015

    Of all the idiocies uttered in reaction to Benjamin Netanyahu's stunning election victory, none is more ubiquitous than the idea that peace prospects are now dead because Netanyahu has declared that there will be no Palestinian state while he is Israel's prime minister.

  • Hillary's Email Dodging Is Just Like Old Clinton Times

    March 12, 2015

    She burned the tapes.

  • Netanyahu's Bold Warning Echoes History

    March 5, 2015

    Benjamin Netanyahu's address to Congress was notable in two respects. Queen Esther got her first standing O in 2,500 years. And President Barack Obama came up empty in his campaign to pre-emptively undermine Netanyahu before the Israeli prime minister could present his case on the Iran negotiations.

  • Leaked Deal Assures Iran Of Nuclear Future

    February 26, 2015

    A sunset clause? The news from the nuclear talks with Iran was already troubling. Iran was being granted the "right to enrich." It would be allowed to retain and spin thousands of centrifuges. It could continue construction of the Arak plutonium reactor. Yet so thoroughly was Iran stonewalling International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors that just last Thursday the IAEA reported its concern "about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed ... development of a nuclear payload for a missile."

  • Abolish Senate Filibuster, Pass Republican Agenda

    February 19, 2015

    I've been radicalized. By Harry Reid and Barack Obama. Goodbye moderation and sweet reason. No more clinging to constitutional and procedural restraint. It's time to go nuclear.

  • Obama's Alarming Passivity To World Turmoil

    February 12, 2015

    His secretary of defense says "the world is exploding all over." His attorney general says that the threat of terror "keeps me up at night." The world bears them out. On Tuesday, American hostage Kayla Mueller is confirmed dead. On Wednesday, the U.S. evacuates its embassy in Yemen, cited by President Barack Obama last September as an American success in fighting terrorism.

  • Will Islamic State's Barbarism Yield Results?

    February 5, 2015

    Why did they do it? What did the Islamic State think it could possibly gain by burning alive a captured Jordanian pilot?

  • Iran's Emerging Empire Threatens Our Arab Allies

    January 22, 2015

    While Iran's march toward a nuclear bomb has provoked a major clash between the White House and Congress, Iran's march toward conventional domination of the Arab world has been largely overlooked. In Washington, that is. The Arabs have noticed. And the pro-American ones, the Gulf Arabs in particular, are deeply worried.

  • Raise Gas Tax $1, Cut Social Security Tax

    January 9, 2015

    For 32 years I've been advocating a major tax on petroleum. I've got as much chance this time around as did Don Quixote with windmills. But I shall tilt my lance once more.

  • Foreign Groups Inspire Lone Wolf Terrorists

    December 18, 2014

    The lone wolf is the new national nightmare, dramatized and amplified this week by the hostage-taking attack in Sydney, Australia. But there are two kinds of lone wolves — the crazy and the evil — and the distinction is important.

  • Interrogation Report One-Sided, Hypocritical

    December 11, 2014

    The report by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding CIA interrogation essentially accuses the agency under George W. Bush of war criminality. Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein appears to offer some extenuation when she reminds us in the report's preamble of the shock and "pervasive fear" felt after 9/11.

  • U.S. Carbon Deal With China One-Sided

    November 20, 2014

    Historic. Such is the ubiquitous description of the climate agreement recently announced in Beijing between Barack Obama and Xi Jinping in which China promised for the first time to cap carbon emissions.

  • Sagging U.S. Mood Favors Republicans

    October 31, 2014

    Is this election really about nothing? Democrats might like to think so, but it's not.

  • Turkey Playing Double Game With Kurds

    October 9, 2014

    During the 1944 Warsaw uprising, Stalin ordered the advancing Red Army to stop at the outskirts of the city while the Nazis, for 63 days, annihilated the non-Communist Polish partisans. Only then did Stalin take Warsaw.

  • Winning Senate Key To Republican Strategy

    October 2, 2014

    You can win midterm elections without a positive agenda. You can't win presidential elections that way. It is therefore vitally important for Republicans to win the Senate in 2014. Here's why.

  • Containing Islamic State Will Be A Long-Term Struggle

    September 25, 2014

    Late, hesitant and reluctant as he is, President Barack Obama has begun effecting a workable strategy against the Islamic State. True, he's been driven there by public opinion. Does anyone imagine that without the broadcast beheadings we'd be doing anything more than pinprick strikes within Iraq? If Obama can remain steady through future fluctuations in public opinion, his strategy might succeed.

  • Islamic State Savagery Entangles U.S.

    September 18, 2014

    What was the Islamic State thinking? We know it is sophisticated in its use of modern media. But what was the logic of propagating to the world videos of its beheadings of two Americans (and subsequently a Briton) — sure to inflame public opinion?

  • Obama's Uncertain Trumpet Sounds Again

    September 11, 2014

    In his Islamic State speech, President Barack Obama said many of the right things. Most important, he finally got the mission right: degrade and destroy the enemy.

  • End 'Inversions': Lower Corporate Tax Rates

    August 28, 2014

    The Obama administration is highly exercised about "inversion," the practice by which an American corporation acquires a foreign company and moves its headquarters out of the U.S. to benefit from lower tax rates abroad.

  • Obama Must Build Case Against Jihadist State

    August 21, 2014

    Baghdad called President Obama's bluff and he came through. He had refused to provide air support to Iraqi government forces until the Iraqis got rid of their divisive sectarian prime minister.

  • Obama Waits On History As Putin Marches On

    July 24, 2014

    The president's demeanor is worrying a lot of people. From the immigration crisis on the Mexican border to the Islamic State rising in Mesopotamia, Barack Obama seems totally detached. When he does interrupt his endless rounds of golf, fundraising and photo ops, it's for some affectless, mechanical, almost forced public statement.

  • EPA Overreach Just Part Of Obama's Agenda

    June 26, 2014

    The Supreme Court this week admonished the Environmental Protection Agency for overreaching in regulating greenhouse gases. The Clean Air Act covers polluters that emit 250 tons per year (or in some cases, 100 tons). This standard makes no sense if applied to greenhouse gases. Thousands of establishments from elementary schools to grocery stores would be, absurdly, covered. So the EPA arbitrarily chose 100,000 tons as the carbon dioxide threshold.

  • Removing Troops Opened Door To Al-Qaida's Return

    June 19, 2014

    Yes, it is true that there was no al-Qaida in Iraq when George W. Bush took office. But it is equally true that there was essentially no al-Qaida in Iraq remaining when Barack Obama took office.

  • Getting Sweet Revenge, American Baseball-Style

    June 12, 2014

    Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord. And although retribution shall surely come in the fullness of time, a ballplayer can only wait so long.

  • Free Captive Soldier, Then Try Him Here

    June 5, 2014

    What is it with Susan Rice and the Sunday morning talk shows? This time she said Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had served in Afghanistan "with honor and distinction" — the biggest whopper since she insisted the Benghazi attack was caused by a video.

  • Obama Failed To Help Syrians, Libyans, Ukrainians

    May 29, 2014

    It is fitting that the day before President Barack Obama gives his grand West Point address defending the wisdom and prudence of his foreign policy, his government should be urging Americans to evacuate Libya.

  • Russia-China Gas Deal Alters Global Balance Of Power

    May 22, 2014

    On Wednesday, it finally happened — the pivot to Asia. No, not the United States. It was Russia that turned East.

  • Can GOP Run Clean Benghazi Hearings?

    May 8, 2014

    The Democrats are portraying the not-yet-even constituted House Select Committee on Benghazi as nothing but a partisan exercise. They are even considering boycotting the hearings to delegitimize them.

  • Under Obama, America Helpless To Stop Putin, Syrians

    May 1, 2014

    Barack Obama's 949-word response on Monday to a question about foreign policy weakness showed the president at his worst: defensive, irritable, contradictory and at times detached from reality. It began with a complaint about negative coverage on Fox News, when, in fact, it was The New York Times front page that featured Obama's foreign policy failures, most recently the inability to conclude a trade agreement with Japan and the collapse of Secretary of State John Kerry's Middle East negotiations.

  • Thought Police Tackle Climate, Gay Marriage

    April 10, 2014

    Two months ago, a petition bearing more than 110,000 signatures was delivered to The Washington Post demanding a ban on any article questioning global warming. The petition arrived the day before publication of my column, which consisted of precisely that heresy.

  • Kerry Pursues Program Of Diplomatic Folly

    April 3, 2014

    When has a secretary of state been involved in so many disastrous, self-initiated negotiations? First, John Kerry convenes — against all advice and holding no cards — Geneva negotiations to resolve the Syria conflict and supposedly remove Bashar al-Assad from power. The talks collapse in acrimony and confusion.

  • Obama vs. Putin: The Mismatch

    March 27, 2014

    "The United States does not view Europe as a battleground between East and West, nor do we see the situation in Ukraine as a zero-sum game. That's the kind of thinking that should have ended with the Cold War."

  • Obama Must Do More To Challenge Putin

    March 20, 2014

    Early in the Ukraine crisis, when the Europeans were working on bringing Ukraine into the EU system and Vladimir Putin was countering with threats and bribes, one British analyst lamented that "we went to a knife fight with a baguette."

  • Tougher Actions Needed To Stop Putin

    March 13, 2014

    The president of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council challenges critics of President Barack Obama's Ukraine policy by saying "What are you going to do, send the 101st Airborne into Crimea?" Not exactly subtle. And rather silly, considering that no one has proposed such a thing.

  • Putin Takes While Obama Gives Ground

    March 6, 2014

    Vladimir Putin is a lucky man. And he's got three more years of luck to come.

  • U.S. Must Counter Putin's Ukraine Gambit

    February 27, 2014

    Henry Kissinger once pointed out that since Peter the Great, Russia had been expanding at the rate of one Belgium per year. All undone, of course, by the collapse of the Soviet Union, which Russian President Vladimir Putin called "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century."

  • Certainty About Climate Change Wrong

    February 20, 2014

    I repeat: I'm not a global warming believer. I'm not a global warming denier. I've long believed that it cannot be good for humanity to be spewing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I also believe that those scientists who pretend to know exactly what this will cause in 20, 30 or 50 years are white-coated propagandists.

  • Obamacare's War On Jobs Accelerates

    February 13, 2014

    In the ongoing saga of the Affordable Care Act, oddly referred to by Democrats as the law of the land even as it is amended at will by presidential fiat, we are beginning to understand the extent of its war on jobs.

  • Health Care Assumptions Off The Mark

    February 6, 2014

    Swedish researchers report that antioxidants make cancers worse in mice. It's already known that the antioxidant beta-carotene exacerbates lung cancers in humans. Not exactly what you'd expect given the extravagant — and incessant — claims you hear made about the miraculous effects of antioxidants.

  • Republicans Must Debunk 'War On Women'

    January 30, 2014

    What is it about women that causes leading Republicans to grow clumsy, if not stupid? When even savvy, fluent, attractively populist Mike Huckabee stumbles, you know you've got trouble. Having already thrown away eminently winnable Senate seats in Missouri and Indiana because of moronic talk about rape, the GOP might have learned. You'd think.

  • Stop Kicking Canada Around On Keystone Pipeline

    January 23, 2014

    Fixated as we Americans are on Canada's three most attention-getting exports — polar vortexes, Alberta clippers and the antics of Toronto's addled mayor — we've somewhat overlooked a major feature of Canada's current relations with the United States: extreme annoyance.

  • Gates Reveals Obama Didn't Have Faith In Afghanistan Strategy

    January 16, 2014

    By early 2011, writes former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, he had concluded that President Obama "doesn't believe in his own [Afghanistan] strategy, and doesn't consider the war to be his."

  • How Republicans Can Slay Obamacare

    January 2, 2014

    First order of business for the returning Congress: The No Bailout for Insurance Companies Act of 2014.

  • Obama Oblivious To Government He Runs

    December 12, 2013

    In explaining the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, President Obama told Chris Matthews he had discovered that "we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly."

  • Obamacare's Failure Will Be Knife In The Heart Of New Liberalism

    November 14, 2013

    "Even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got."

  • Obama Can't Talk His Way Out Of This One

    November 7, 2013

    The Obamacare website doesn't work. Hundreds of thousands of insured Americans are seeing their plans summarily terminated. Millions more face the same prospect next year. Confronted with a crisis of governance, how does President Barack Obama respond?

  • Obamacare's Three Ugly Truths: It's All About The Mandates

    October 31, 2013

    Every disaster has its moment of clarity. Physicist Richard Feynman dunks an O-ring into ice water and everyone understands instantly why the shuttle Challenger exploded. This week, the Obamacare O-ring froze for all the world to see: Hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters went out to people who had been assured a dozen times by the president that "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan. Period."

  • Time For Redskins To Get A New Name

    October 17, 2013

    In the matter of the (Washington) Redskins.

  • Obama Will Be Forced To Capitulate In Debt Ceiling Fight

    October 10, 2013

    For all the hyped indignation over GOP "anarchism," there has been remarkable media reticence about the president's intransigence. He has refused to negotiate anything unless the Republicans fully fund the government and raise the debt ceiling — unconditionally.

  • Putin, Assad Best Obama In Syrian Debacle

    September 12, 2013

    The president of the United States takes to the airwaves to urgently persuade the nation to pause before doing something it has no desire to do in the first place.

  • Obama Needs Serious Plan For Syria

    September 5, 2013

    Sen. Bob Corker: "What is it you're seeking?"

  • Military Attack On Syria Is Either Serious, Or It Is Not

    August 29, 2013

    Having leaked to the world, and thus to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a detailed briefing of the coming U.S. air attack on Syria — 1) the source (offshore warships and perhaps a bomber or two), 2) the weapon (cruise missiles), 3) the duration (two or three days), 4) the purpose (punishment, not "regime change") — perhaps we should be publishing the exact time the bombs will fall, lest we disrupt dinner in Damascus.

  • Fractured GOP Debates Security, Obamacare

    August 2, 2013

    A combination of early presidential maneuvering and internal policy debate is feeding yet another iteration of that media perennial: the great Republican crackup. This time it's tea party insurgents vs. get-along establishment fogies fighting principally over two things: (a) national security and (b) Obamacare.

  • Bankrupt Detroit A Warning To Country

    July 25, 2013

    If there's an iron rule in economics, it is Stein's Law (named after Herb, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers): "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."

  • Race No Factor In Fair Zimmerman Verdict

    July 18, 2013

    "No justice, no peace" chants the telegenic mob. In a civilized society, however, where the mob doesn't rule, justice is defined by the verdict that follows a fair trial. It's the best that humans can do.

  • Republicans Should Press Reform Agenda

    July 11, 2013

    The conventional wisdom evolves. Yesterday, Washington was merely broken, gridlocked, dysfunctional. The passive voice spread the blame evenly. Today, it's agreed that Republican obstructionism is the root of all evil — GOP resistance having now escalated to nihilism and indeed sabotage.

  • Obama Should Have Kept Force In Iraq To Stay A Player In Region

    June 21, 2013

    The war in Syria, started by locals, is now a regional conflict, the meeting ground of two warring blocs. On one side, the radical Shiite bloc led by Iran, which overflies Iraq to supply Bashar al-Assad and sends Hezbollah to fight for him. Behind them lies Russia, which has stationed ships offshore, provided the regime with tons of weaponry and essentially claimed Syria as a Russian protectorate.

  • Trading Phone Data For Security Sensible

    June 13, 2013

    Thirty-five years ago in United States v. Choate, the courts ruled that the Postal Service may record "mail cover," i.e., what's written on the outside of an envelope — the addresses of sender and receiver.

  • Obama Hesitates As Assad Boldly Advances

    June 6, 2013

    On Wednesday, Qusair fell to the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. Qusair is a strategic town that connects Damascus with Assad's Alawite heartland on the Mediterranean, with its ports and Russian naval base. It's a major strategic shift. Assad's forces can now advance on rebel-dominated areas in central and northern Syria, including Aleppo.

  • Obama Can't Wish War On Terrorism Away

    May 30, 2013

    "This war, like all wars, must end. That's what history advises."

  • Arrogance, Intolerance Filters Down From Dear Leader

    May 23, 2013

    "Horrible customer service." That's what the newly fired IRS commissioner averred was the agency's only sin in singling out conservative political groups for discriminatory treatment.

  • Obama's Wavering Red Line Over Syria

    May 9, 2013

    You know you're in trouble when you can't even get your walk-back story straight. Stung by the worldwide derision that met President Barack Obama's fudging and fumbling of his chemical-weapons red line in Syria, the White House leaked to The New York Times that Obama's initial statement had been unprepared, unscripted and therefore unserious.

  • History Shows George W. Bush Kept Us Safe

    April 25, 2013

    Clare Boothe Luce liked to say that "a great man is one sentence." Presidents, in particular. The most common "one sentence" for George W. Bush (whose legacy is being reassessed as his presidential library opens) is: "He kept us safe."

  • Limiting Deductions Cornerstone Of Great Deal

    March 22, 2013

    The proposition that entitlement curbs are the key to maintaining national solvency is widely accepted, though not by many congressional Democrats. President Barack Obama, however, has endorsed it on various occasions. And he could make it happen.

  • Rand Paul Is Right About Drones

    March 14, 2013

    Rand Paul's now legendary Senate filibuster was a stroke of political genius. The topic was, ostensibly, very narrow: Does the president have the constitutional authority to put a drone-launched Hellfire missile through your kitchen — you, a good citizen of Topeka to whom POTUS might have taken a dislike — while you're cooking up a pot roast?

  • U.S. Foreign Aid Must Have Strings Attached

    March 7, 2013

    Sequestration is not the best time to be doling out foreign aid, surely the most unpopular item in the federal budget. Especially when the recipient is President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt.

  • Republicans Finally Have Leverage To Cut Spending

    February 7, 2013

    For the first time since Election Day, President Barack Obama is on the defensive. That's because on March 1, automatic spending cuts ("sequestration") go into effect — $1.2 trillion over 10 years, half from domestic (discretionary) programs, half from defense.

  • GOP Must Never Bend To Obama Power Play

    December 6, 2012

    Let's understand President Obama's strategy in the "fiscal cliff" negotiations. It has nothing to do with economics or real fiscal reform. This is entirely about politics. It's Phase 2 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.

  • Republicans Must Be Willing To Risk Fiscal Cliff

    November 29, 2012

    Why are Republicans playing the Democrats' game that the "fiscal cliff" is all about taxation?

  • Israel Defends Itself, Hamas Regroups

    November 21, 2012

    Why was there an Israel-Gaza war in the first place? Resistance to the occupation, say Hamas and many in the international media.

  • Republicans Must Hew To Conservative Core

    November 8, 2012

    They lose and immediately the chorus begins. Republicans must change or die. A rump party of white America, it must adapt to evolving demographics or forever be the minority.

  • Romney Played Passive Card In Third Debate

    October 25, 2012

    "L'etat, c'est moi."

  • Romney Will Wins Monday's Debate On Libya Lies

    October 19, 2012

    Fight night at Hofstra. The two boxers, confined within a ring of spectators — circling, feinting, taunting, staring each other down — come several times, by my reckoning, no more than one provocation away from actual fisticuffs, of the kind that on occasion so delightfully break out in the Taiwanese parliament. Think of it: The Secret Service storming the ring, pinning Mitt Romney to the canvas as Candy Crowley administers the 10 count.

  • Obama's Big Bird Counterattack Doesn't Fly

    October 11, 2012

    No mystery about the trajectory of this race. It was static for months as President Barack Obama held a marginal lead. Then came the conventions. The Republicans squandered Tampa; the Democrats got a 3- to 4-point bounce out of Charlotte.

  • Romney Over Obama By Two Touchdowns

    October 4, 2012

    It was the biggest rout since Agincourt. If you insist, since the Carter-Reagan debate. With a remarkable display of confidence, knowledge and nerve, Mitt Romney won the first 2012 debate going away.

  • Time For Romney To Go Big Or Go Home

    September 27, 2012

    In mid-September 2008, Lehman Brothers collapsed and the bottom fell out of the financial system. Barack Obama handled it coolly. John McCain did not. Obama won the presidency. (Given the country's condition, he would have won anyway. But this sealed it.)

  • Obama's Middle East Policy In Tatters

    September 20, 2012

    In the week following 9/11/12 something big happened: the collapse of the Cairo Doctrine, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's foreign policy. It was to reset the very course of post-9/11 America, creating, after the (allegedly) brutal depredations of the Bush years, a profound rapprochement with the Islamic world.

  • Obama's Iran Inaction Casts Israel Adrift

    September 13, 2012

    There are two positions one can take regarding the Iranian nuclear program: (a) it doesn't matter, we can deter them; or (b) it does matter, we must stop them.

  • Deterring Iran A Fantasy Foreign Policy

    August 30, 2012

    There are few foreign-policy positions more silly than the assertion without context that "deterrence works." It is like saying air power works. Well, it worked for Kosovo; it didn't work over North Vietnam.

  • Ryan Poised To Be GOP's Leader Of The Future

    August 16, 2012

    Vice presidential picks are always judged by their effect on the coming election. They rarely have any.

  • Romney Should Be Running On Ideology

    August 10, 2012

    There are two ways to run against Barack Obama: stewardship or ideology. You can run against his record or you can run against his ideas.