Krauthammer: 'Don't Underestimate Obama'

It’s not too often that we say this, but you should really read Charles Krauthammer’s Friday column. The conservative columnist has a warning for Republicans: “Don’t underestimate Barack Obama.” The net effect of health-care reform, financial-regulation reform, and the stimulus is a “structural alteration of the U.S. budget” that will eventually “require massive tax increases” (because, Krauthammer says, “there just isn’t enough to cut” if you take Medicare and Medicaid off the table, as Obama has). He then compares Obama to Reagan—“highly ideological, grandly ambitious and often underappreciated by their own side.” He says that Obama’s accomplished everything that he needs to for his first term, and that the next things on his agenda—energy, education, and immigration—will not be tackled until 2012. For that reason, “For Obama, 2010 matters little. If Democrats lose control of one or both houses, Obama will probably have an easier time in 2012, just as Bill Clinton used Newt Gingrich and the Republicans as the foil for his 1996 reelection campaign.”