THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP
HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN
PANEL: PATRICK BUCHANAN, MSNBC; ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK; TONY BLANKLEY, THE WASHINGTON TIMES; MORT ZUCKERMAN, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT
RECORDED: THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2005 AIR: WEEKEND OF JUNE 4-5, 2005
Copyright (c) 2005 by Federal News Service, Inc., Ste. 500 1000 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA. Federal News Service is a private firm not affiliated with the federal government. No portion of this transcript may be copied, sold or retransmitted without the written authority of Federal News Service, Inc. Copyright is not claimed as to any part of the original work prepared by a United States government officer or employee as a part of that person's official duties. For information on subscribing to the FNS Internet Service, please visit http://www.fednews.com or call(202)347-1400
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Shadow Citizenry.
A shadow citizenry exists in the U.S. today -- 11 million illegal aliens. How is this vast multitude to be dealt with by the U.S. government? That's the issue in the Congress, pitting Republicans against Democrats, and more importantly, Republicans against Republicans.
On one side, Republicans who want illegals to be made legal guest workers, with eligibility but no guarantee to gain permanent legal residence, a green card, and then on to full citizenship. This is the view of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, hotel owners, restaurant owners, farming conglomerates, free marketers and President George W. Bush.
On the other side, those opposed to guest-worker programs and legal status, the enforcers of existing law, who want to round up the aliens and deport them and tighten the borders. Included on this side: social conservatives, American Firsters, Minutemen; the Immigration Reform Caucus in the House, led by Tom Tancredo, Republican congressman from Colorado, with 80 members signed on, including a handful of Democrats.
Besides these pros and cons, there is the third way, led by John McCain and Ted Kennedy: legislation bridging the two camps by addressing both business interests and security issues.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): (From videotape.) Being subject to fine, background checks, learning a new language, held in the same status for six years before they can apply for adjustment, is not amnesty. It is earned adjustment.
SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D-MA): (From videotape.) This is not a guarantee of citizenship but an opportunity to continue to work hard, play by the rules and earn permanent residency. We offer a fair deal.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is Kennedy right? Is the McCain- Kennedy bill a fair deal for illegal immigrants eventually becoming permanent citizens and then permanent residents and then citizens? Pat Buchanan.
MR. BUCHANAN: McCain-Kennedy is an amnesty bill. It is going nowhere, John. What -- the country is, the whole Republican Party is now moving for security on the border, protecting and defending the border, with structures, if need be, no amnesty, and also expelling people who are here illegally, beginning with -- I will say this -- those who have committed crimes.
And you go to state by state, John; local television is running stories of illegal aliens who are shooting cops, committing crimes. This thing is a firestorm. The president is behind the curve, and so are McCain and Kennedy.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, are any Democrats talking tough on immigration?
MS. CLIFT: I don't think anybody much is talking tough on immigration, other than Pat Buchanan. I don't know what Republican Party --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How about Hillary? How about Hillary?
MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but she's nowhere near where Pat Buchanan is. And if you look at the Republican candidates emerging for 2008, there isn't a single one of them who's going to run on a restrictionist platform when it comes to immigration.
And it seems to me you can characterize the McCain-Kennedy plan as amnesty. You can characterize anything as amnesty. But it's a rational plan because we're not going to have massive roundups in this country. We've got to figure out some way to legitimize these people who are contributing to our economy in a mostly positive way.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is immigration a pocketbook issue, Tony?
MR. BLANKLEY: It is both a pocketbook, a cultural and now a security issue since 2001. There is no chance of this kind of legislation getting through, unless it's combined with genuine security at the border. Now, interestingly, years late but finally, homeland security has developed -- not had it approved as a policy -- a strategy for securing the borders. Once that -- that's at the sub- Cabinet level right now.
Once that gets approved and you have an implementing set of legislation, it's possible that at some point, maybe this year or next year, that the administration might -- it's not yet official policy -- actually be able to come forward with a proposal that would probably require somewhere between 35(,000) and 70,000 more border guards on both the borders, along with a lot of technology support. You might be able to have a program that genuinely can secure the borders, at which point, then, guest-worker policies become debatable. Until then, it's not.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort, does this sound right to you? Does immigration depress wages? According to a study published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics in 2003, the record high immigration since 1980 -- so that would have been over 13 years -- legal and illegal, has depressed wages 4 percent overall but 7 percent for those who lack a high school education. Is that your experience?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, there's no doubt but that when you have an influx of the number of people who've come here whose only skill is physical labor, that at that end of the wage scale, that is where the downward pressure is on wages. People who come in with skills do not depress the skill-set wages. But at the bottom end, absolutely; that is exactly the problem. I don't know what the exact percentage is, because, in fact, you know, there's a great deal of mobility in the labor force. But in a number of the markets, the economists have concluded there is some depression of wages.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Where do you travel from there? If it depresses the wage scale across the board, does it not make certain jobs unappetizable to Americans who want to make more than the minimum wage that illegal aliens make, and perhaps even lower than illegal immigrants -- MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah. No, I think that is a big issue. Of course, there are -- because of the fact that these illegal aliens have no documentation to speak of, they'll take jobs almost on any terms. And so that's bound to affect the wages. But what you have to do, if you're going to do something about that, is increase the minimum wage.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right.
What's the relationship with all of the above that I've addressed to you and that you have so eruditely answered, you think -- what is the impact of that on globalism, or vice versa?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, just from the point of view of the United States, okay, it costs us -- at the low end of the wage scale, low end of the skill set, it costs us a certain amount of money. The estimate is $13,000 over the lifetime of earnings that we, in effect, have to do it to support these people. But if you get to skill sets, okay, people with a lot of talent, that produces a benefit to the economy over their workings lives of $200,000.
From mine -- I know -- the whole idea, in my judgment, is to change the skill set that we acknowledge in terms of admitting people to this country.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Globalization obviously has a big effect on this because we are exporting a lot of jobs that have -- you know, people are getting $2 a day.
MS. CLIFT: Well --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: There's a requirement that we have to cut costs in order to compete with the Chinese labor market, et cetera?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Right. Right. We -- and the illegal alien market doesn't help us there.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. So where does all this lead? Are we on some kind of a treadmill, Pat Buchanan? I don't know whether you've answered this question.
MR. BUCHANAN: Well, look, John, there's no doubt about it; the Harvard study shows if you bring in 10 million people who have no skills, they drive down the wages of Americans who don't graduate from high school -- black Americans -- African-Americans, I mean, Hispanic- Americans and white women who don't have a high school education.
Here's the problem, John. There's the social problem here. Crime is up and -- you know, in addition to this wage problem. And the social costs in states like California are soaring. It is bankrupting California. And there's a tremendous concentration in the Southwest of people who have no allegiance to the United States. They come here to work, and that is it.
MS. CLIFT: Yeah. Yeah, they come here to work, and they learn English, and they contribute, and they pay Social Security taxes. And I don't think you have any documentation that shows that illegals are overrepresented in our crime statistics.
MR. BUCHANAN: Take a look at the federal prisons, Eleanor!
MS. CLIFT: Let her finish. Let her finish.
MS. CLIFT: There are some jobs that cannot be exported -- child care, fruit-picking, construction workers. And ideally we will be boosting these wages, so they would be more attractive to native-born Americans. But that's not going to happen any time soon. The business community has the whip hand on this issue.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony, is the rate of immigration into the United States today too high for assimilation into our culture and society?
MR. BLANKLEY: I think the -- the jury is out on that. You compare the immigration rate in the late 19th century. We had very high numbers that, within two generations, were integrated culturally into the country. I'm not convinced the numbers are much beyond that, plus if we can get legal, not illegal -- if we can get legal immigration -- we need a certain amount of legal immigration just to keep our birth rate moving and the population expanding over the next --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (To Mr. Zuckerman.) You live in New York. One- third of the New York population is foreign-born.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: At least, yes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So are we creating permanent pools or pools of foreigners who cannot be assimilated into our economy and our society and our culture?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: It is the first time that you're really developing a culture with two languages. I meant, that is unprecedented in the United States. Now it may not be -- because of the power of American culture, they're learning English, and it may change after a couple of generations.
I came -- I grew up in a country, which was Quebec, where they had two languages, and it was a disaster. That is something we really have to avoid in this country.
MR. BLANKLEY: Quick point. There's a big -- MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Quebecois.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: You had the -- the Quebecois, the French and the English, have been in a language cultural conflict for two centuries.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's not -- that is mostly over now. Is that right?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, it's not over at all.
MR. BLANKLEY: Quick point. Quick point. There was a huge Pew study about a year ago showing that the rate of learning English in the Hispanic community in the second generation was the same as it was for the Europeans who came here a hundred years ago. So I'm not convinced we're moving in that direction.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay.
MR. BLANKLEY: But we must control the border and define how many we want to have.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Against the background of all of this discussion, the exit question is, which would be better for the country: a guest worker program or a moratorium on immigration? Pat Buchanan.
MR. BUCHANAN: You need a moratorium on legal immigration, you need to secure the frontiers, and you need to find the businesses that are hiring illegals and go along with that. And when you get with that down the road, then you can take a look at what Tony's talking about.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But during a moratorium --
MR. BUCHANAN: Moratorium on legal immigration.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Correct.
MR. BUCHANAN: Illegal immigration --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But during that moratorium, do you not think it would be in the public interest of the United States, the great public interest, to have an expansive set of hearings, of discussion, on this issue?
MR. BUCHANAN: If you have an amnesty, John, you'd get 10 million more.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: We already have caps on immigration. We don't need any further moratorium. I'd just like to point out that Mexico has a huge problem with our guns flowing across the border, fueling their drug trade. They have restrictive gun laws. So if there's crime, Pat, we may be exporting it across the border.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do we need? Do we need a moratorium or do we need amnesty?
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, we don't -- a moratorium does no good until we have a secure border. But we don't need a moratorium.
We do need to have standards, so we let in people with high skills and not let in people with low skills. We need more engineers. We need a lot of people who have the skills that we need for our industry. So I don't want a moratorium, but you've got to have standards based on practicality, rather than generic "everybody in."
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I think both are impossible. I don't think it's possible to have a moratorium, and an amnesty is totally impossible.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why? You mean politically impossible?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes. And look, if you have an amnesty, you will basically destroy the credibility of our laws, in addition.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm talking about a moratorium on both legal and illegal, meaning -- translating that into Pat's language, secure the frontiers --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Oh, if you secure the frontiers, A, I don't think you need --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- and a moratorium to discuss and get at the bottom of exactly what immigration does to us today.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, immigration, by and large, is helping us in many ways. Okay? And I agree we should have that discussion. But the real question is, we are not prepared to do what it takes to export 11 million people, and we have not been prepared to do what it takes to secure our borders. So we have done neither of the two things we need to do.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I have said before and I say, again, what this country needs is a vast discussion of this subject, which is so complex and has so many different factors that are economic, social, criminal, et cetera.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: That I agree with.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And then, after that, we can then take certain actions. But an amnesty now would be quite immature -- premature. When we come back: Any "faulta" at Yalta?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: No "Faulta" at Yalta.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: (From videotape.) For much of Eastern and Central Europe, victory brought the iron rule of another empire. V-E Day marked the end of fascism, but it did not end oppression. The agreement at Yalta followed in the unjust tradition of Munich and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Once again, when powerful governments negotiated, the freedom of small nations was somehow expendable.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Stop trying to rewrite history, Mr. Bush, which many say you're doing. The Yalta Agreement was not unjust, nor was it in the tradition of Munich or the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which gave Hitler the green light for invasion. Yalta was far from it. It was necessary to win World War II.
In February 1945, the first year of Franklin Roosevelt's fourth term, and two months before his death, he convened with Josef Stalin, the Russian premier, and Winston Churchill, British prime minister. The three men met in Yalta, a city in the Crimea on the Black Sea, for seven days. The Nazis were close to defeat and, in fact, surrendered three months later, May 1945.
At Yalta, FDR, Stalin and Churchill agreed on plans to dismember Germany and on the future governance of Eastern European countries. Mr. Bush says the Yalta Agreement laid the groundwork for a generation of Soviet oppression and domination. On the contrary, what laid that groundwork was Josef Stalin, who blatantly violated the Yalta pact.
Item: Stalin reneged. The Yalta Agreement specifically called for free and fair elections throughout Eastern Europe. It repudiated Soviet domination. Roosevelt condemned the Soviet violation of Yalta two weeks before his death, in a stern 1,200-word telegram to Stalin. "So far there has been a discouraging lack of progress in the carrying out of the political decision we reached at the Yalta conference. I do not fully understand in many respects the apparent indifferent attitude of your government."
Item: War with Japan. Hitler was near defeat when Yalta was signed, but the war with Japan was raging. And Churchill and FDR were told -- and they believed and they declared -- that it would last another 18 months, probably, with millions of deaths. Stalin's support was crucial for victory in the Pacific. FDR secured that support at Yalta. Quote, "In two or three months after Germany has surrendered and the war in Europe is terminated, the Soviet Union shall enter into war against Japan on the side of the allies," unquote. So declares the Yalta Agreement. Stalin eventually did enter the war against Japan. Item: The A-bomb. Critics say FDR didn't need Stalin's support because FDR had the atomic bomb. Not true. Number one, no certainty had come from the Manhattan Project on the delivery, the impact and the creation of the bomb. Number two, FDR and the bomb scientists believed that the bomb would have only a fraction of the power the bomb actually showed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Question: Is President Bush's indictment of the Yalta conference a fair reading of history or a false reading of history? Eleanor Clift.
MS. CLIFT: Well, first of all, I think they ought to screen your little documentary at the White House, because I'm not sure President Bush knew what he was talking about. He forgot about that little thing called the Red Army, which was occupying Eastern Europe, and you couldn't very well go in and ask an ally -- by the way, the Russians -- the Soviets had expended a great deal more human life, I think 24 million in all, and a much greater commitment to fighting the Nazis than America had at the time. And so I think, you know, maybe Roosevelt was a little naive about Stalin, but Churchill was right there. This wasn't some left-wing cabal to sell out the captive nations.
MR. BLANKLEY: Look, it didn't happen at Yalta. The problem was Roosevelt. Roosevelt was a great wartime leader. He had one shortcoming, and it was regarding Stalin. His intention at the beginning of the war was to have the Soviets and the Americans manage the world after the war. Therefore, he never saw the Soviet Union as the kind of threat that Churchill did, but Churchill was powerless by '43 and '44 and '45.
If it had been a moment when we could have tried to enforce something, it would have been at Tehran in '43, when we were offering the Soviets lend-lease; we could have put a condition on it for some language. But the truth is that there was going to -- wherever the troops ended up was going to be the line. And Eisenhower and Roosevelt decided to let the Soviets move further west than they needed to. We could have. We would have lost men, and that was the calculation. We -- Patton and our army could have moved much further east. Wherever the troops ended up was going to be the line.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Roosevelt and Churchill and Stalin had met Tehran 14 months before Yalta. At that meeting, the relationship was good. Churchill and Roosevelt had every reason to believe that Stalin would live by his word.
MR. BLANKLEY: Churchill never trusted Stalin.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Churchill believed Stalin at that time, and he believed him at Yalta.
MR. BUCHANAN: John, he did not. He didn't believe -- MR. BLANKLEY: He never trusted the communists, going back to 1918.
MR. BUCHANAN: How foolish can you be, 25 years into Stalin's reign, to trust him when he says we're going to have democracies in Eastern Europe, when he's been in a deal with Adolf Hitler, he's gone into the Baltic republics, he's persecuted those people, he massacred the Polish officers at Katyn? All of these things were known.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Roosevelt sent this telegram that I described there --
MR. BUCHANAN: No -- oh, for heaven's sakes. By that time in 1945 --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What are you telling me? That Roosevelt should have known --
MR. BUCHANAN: Here's the most -- of course you ought to know the character you're dealing with.
MS. CLIFT: Well, wait a second. Even if we buy what you're saying -- excuse me -- you've got --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, look, there were 350 -- 360 Soviet divisions.
MR. BUCHANAN: You couldn't do anything --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let him --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: There was nothing we could do about that.
MR. BUCHANAN: At Yalta.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: We were not going to go to war -- at Yalta, it was too late already.
MR. BUCHANAN: It was over. That's exactly right.
MR. BLANKLEY: By then it was too late.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: But we weren't going to tell the Soviet Union to stop using --
MR. BUCHANAN: But why did you sign a Declaration of Liberated Europe to say these countries were liberated, when he was murdering people even at that time? MR. ZUCKERMAN: Look, we also sent back -- we sent back Russian emigres back into the Soviet Union to their --
MR. BUCHANAN: Two million of them.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: -- many of them to their deaths.
MR. BUCHANAN: To death. Two million.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I agree. So there was not a perfect agreement --
MR. BUCHANAN: Operation Keelhaul. And that's what Truman did.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Military historians are nearly unanimous in believing that the result would have been a continuation of the war, with the U.S. fighting Russia, Pat.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely.
MR. BUCHANAN: Oh, you couldn't -- look, I --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: If Yalta had not -- let me finish. As the Red Army drove west and we drove east, we would have clashed.
MR. BUCHANAN: Nobody believes we ought to have fought the Soviet Union at that time. Tony is right. At Tehran, this was the time when you hauled the guy up?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You wanted U.S. commanders to press into Eastern Europe and take on Russia? Is that what you wanted?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, no, they could have taken Prague, they could have taken Vienna, and we could have taken Berlin.
MS. CLIFT: Yeah. The idea was to defeat the Nazis.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Stalin played ball to the extent that he agreed to fight in the Pacific front.
MR. BUCHANAN: How do you -- look, he joined the war in the Pacific two days after Hiroshima.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So what? That means nothing. In February he agreed to do it.
MR. BUCHANAN: He waited till Hiroshima.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He said -- he did it exactly three months, according to the Yalta Agreement -- he said, "Yes, we'll go in."
MS. CLIFT: General Buchanan, with the benefit of a half-century of hindsight, would take on the Red Army in Eastern Europe, which had been our allies, and it's preposterous. MR. BUCHANAN: How can -- 25 years after the Russian revolution, anyone who believes they can trust Stalin is a fool.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, the world reaction.
MS. CLIFT: Well, anybody who could believe that we could defeat the Nazis without Stalin is a bigger fool.
MR. BUCHANAN: Well, that's a very good point.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Here's the Japan Times, a newspaper published in Japan, the nation targeted by the Yalta Agreement, in an editorial three weeks ago about Yalta. Quote, "Mr. Bush's words are ahistorical," meaning unrelated to history. "FDR was a pragmatist. He knew that the U.S. was in no position at the time to challenge the Soviet presence in Europe," as Mort pointed out. "More significantly, he recognized that the U.S. needed allies to fight its real enemies," namely in the Pacific, namely Japan -- written by an editorial -- an editorial in a Japan newspaper.
MR. BUCHANAN: We didn't need any help from the Soviets in the war in the Pacific.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Baloney! Baloney!
MR. BUCHANAN: And we got none!
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: As calculated by them --
MR. BUCHANAN: We got none!
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- by Roosevelt and Churchill at the time, it would stretch out for 18 more months.
MR. BUCHANAN: It shows you how much Roosevelt knew!
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You are just trying to rewrite history on the basis of knowledge that you gained --
MR. BUCHANAN: No, John --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- since the war was over!
MS. CLIFT: I --
MR. BUCHANAN: You were a little kid, John, worshipping FDR, and you can't get over the fact --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And you were -- and you were a little kid --
MR. BUCHANAN: -- that he's the most naive -- most naive president we ever had! MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And you were a little kid hurling epithets, as your father did, against Roosevelt -- and you know it!
MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.
) When I was six years old, right!
MS. CLIFT: (Laughing.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But --
MR. BUCHANAN: I knew more than you knew then! (Laughing.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is that editorial particularly heart-stopping because it originated in Japan, the target of the Stalin (for ?) Churchill agreement to focus and contain the Pacific front, i.e., Japan?
I ask you, Tony Blankley.
MR. BLANKLEY: It didn't stop my heart, thank goodness.
MR. BLANKLEY: But look --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean that cold slab of steel that you're displaying on this program towards Roosevelt?
MR. BLANKLEY: Was it a slab of steel? Isn't that wonderful? No, look --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you trying to rewrite history like Buchanan?
MR. BLANKLEY: I -- no, I'm -- I try to --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you agree that the president was justified in comparing Yalta to the Molotov-Ribbentrop --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Maybe I should let Mort --
MR. BLANKLEY: Everybody is playing around with words. Yalta has come to stand for the mentality that Roosevelt had from the beginning. Everybody agrees that by the time of Yalta, it was too late. But that mentality, which was memorialized at Yalta and was born in Roosevelt's mind, is the reason. I think Bush -- Bush is -- MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you're here on the set trying to perpetuate that false stereotype!
MR. BLANKLEY: No! No --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is that what you're trying to do?
MR. BLANKLEY: No, I'm saying that Yalta stands for an attitude that became inevitable --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question --
MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible) -- Bush would rather refight Yalta than figure out a rational exit plan from Iraq. (Laughs.)
MR. BLANKLEY: He's looking for a victory plan about Iraq --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now there was a --
MR. BLANKLEY: -- just like we had a victory plan in World War II.
MS. CLIFT: Yeah, he'll be looking for a long time! (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, he was -- Roosevelt didn't look for an exit plan.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: The point of it all was we were fighting fascism. We were not fighting communism. We needed -- we -- as Churchill said, we suffered the devil in order to defeat fascism. And that's --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question. Exit question. Did Bush dishonor Roosevelt, the president who led us through the Great Depression and final victory in World War II?
Yes or no?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, he did not. The truth dishonors Roosevelt, John. As Churchill said after the war, we killed the wrong --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly! Eleanor Clift. Yes or no?
MS. CLIFT: The best you can say about Bush is he didn't know what he was saying; it was some speechwriter's schtick.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Was it a dishonoring of --
MS. CLIFT: It was a dishonoring -- MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- of Roosevelt?
MS. CLIFT: -- and it was a revising of history to fit his ideology.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Was it a --
MR. BLANKLEY: Eleanor is dishonoring our president, and Bush was not dishonoring Roosevelt. He was stating a broadly true statement, which was that Yalta was a memorialization of a wrong strategy.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Oh, yes, I mean, I think this was -- this was not only ahistory, but nonhistory. I just can't believe that the president of the United States goes up and makes that statement in retrospect.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It was a wicked revisionist effort at revising history.
We'll be right back.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions.
MR. BUCHANAN: Rafsanjani wins the Iranian election. It's Rafsanjani versus Bush over nuclear weapons.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: Chief Justice Rehnquist offers his resignation the last week of June.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony.
MR. BLANKLEY: Contrary to what Eleanor said earlier in the show, the campaigns in 2008 will be fighting on the immigration issue.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Senator Lindsey Graham is going to have an opponent in the primary because of his involvement in the end of the nuclear option on the judges.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Next week, an on-site report from Iran by the host of this program. And Donald Rumsfeld will not finish out the term the president; in fact, possible successors are already being secretly vetted by the administration. Bye-bye!
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue three: judging judges.
PAT ROBERTSON (televangelist): (From videotape.) I think they are destroying the fabric of -- that holds our nation together.
I think the gradual erosion of the consensus that's held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's televangelist Pat Robertson comparing U.S. judges unfavorably to al Qaeda terrorists.
Some judges are starting to feel like targets, and not just targets of political rhetoric . U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow's husband and elderly mother were murdered by a litigant. She testified on Capitol Hill.
JUDGE JOAN LEFKOW: (From videotape.) The fostering of disrespect for judges can only encourage those who are on the edge or on the fringe to exact revenge on a judge who displeases them.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is Pat Robertson the only prominent leader condemning the judiciary?
I ask you, Mort.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, I mean there's a whole culture war going on in which the judges are considered to be at the heart of it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about the government? How about Tom DeLay? He condemned them, didn't he?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, yeah not just Tom DeLay, but there are other people who do that. And I think there's a valid point here. You cannot undermine the credibility of a branch of government in that way, both collectively and individually.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But what about the president himself when he termed the phrase "activist judges" during his convention speech and elsewhere.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah, that's a little bit less concerned, but it's all part of that same fabric of really contempt for the judiciary. And I think that's very dangerous.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is "activist judges" a code word? MR. BLANKLEY: No, it's not. No, it's an active description. Let me go back to the Robertson quote. The latter part of his statement was just stupid and outrageous, comparing the terrorists.
But the question of whether the judiciary -- interpreting the law to their own likes and expanding into American life ever more increasingly is a central problem. It's why there's been a fight in Congress over it. It's why there's a building American -- on the right -- opposition to it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, Pat. Pat?
MR. BLANKLEY: If you put aside the terrorist nonsense, he has a very valid point.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is it time for the judiciary to fight back, Pat?
MR. BUCHANAN: We're under a judicial dictatorship, and -- (laughter) -- when they act like politicians, they can expect the same treatment as politicians.
MS. CLIFT: Sandra Day O'Connor was inviting members of Congress to her chambers for lunch to try to get them to cool this rhetoric. This is basically anti-American rhetoric --
MR. BUCHANAN: Why doesn't Justice O'Connor cool her actions?
MS. CLIFT: You get these -- you get these --
MR. BUCHANAN: Cool her jets.
MS. CLIFT: She was appointed by Ronald Reagan.
MR. BUCHANAN: I don't care who appointed her.
MS. CLIFT: What do you want?!
MR. BUCHANAN: Ronald Reagan made a mistake or two.