It’s the end of another long week. I’m tired. And to top it all off, B.B. King just died. I could use some comic relief.

And there it is: Charles Krauthammer to the rescue on fast-track!

It’s quite the feat. In a column headlined (probably not by CK) “Save Obama (on Trade),” Krauthammer manages to get through the whole thing without once saying anything positive about the president whose trade negotiating authority is at stake. He even blames Obama for the fast-track bill being in trouble because he hasn’t gone on TV to hype it (when has a president ever asked for, much less received, TV time for a measure to set the terms of debate for a yet-to-be-submitted treaty?). Looking every Obama-hater in the House who’s opposed to or on the fence about fast-track straight in the eyes, Krauthammer wants them to know he’s with them in spirit:

Having strongly opposed Obama’s constitutional usurpations on immigration, health care, criminal justice and environmental regulation, I’m deeply sympathetic to that concern. But in this case, there is no usurpation. There is no congressional forfeiture of power. Fast track has been the norm for 81 years. And the final say on any trade agreement rests entirely with Congress.

In other words, it ain’t no thing. But for some bizarre reason, Democrats are opposed to it (he even manages to understate Democratic support for fast-track, which isn’t easy), so clearly it’s time to punish Obama’s friends by giving him trade negotiating authority:

Watching America’s six-year retreat under Obama, the world wonders whether this is the product of one idiosyncratic presidency or of an inexorably declining America. Republicans have been telling the world that decline is not a condition but a choice, and that America’s standing will be restored when U.S. policy is entrusted to geopolitically serious people. Here is the GOP’s chance to show seriousness.

So vote for fast-track as an insult to Obama!


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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.