THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN PANEL: PATRICK BUCHANAN, MSNBC; ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK; MONICA CROWLEY, WASHINGTON TIMES; JONATHAN CAPEHART, WASHINGTON POST TAPED: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2009 BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF DECEMBER 12-13, 2009
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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Climate Change or Climategate?
REP. JAMES SENSENBRENNER (R-WI): (From videotape.) At worst, it's junk science, and it is a part of a massive international scientific fraud.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Congressman James Sensenbrenner is the senior Republican of the Science Committee. The junk science he refers to is called, variously, global warming, climate change, and now, by some, Climategate.
Sarah Palin is a skeptic. She had this to say about Climategate. Quote: "We recognize the occurrence of these natural cyclical environmental trends, but we can't say with assurance that man's activities cause weather changes," unquote.
That Palin assertion produced this response from former Vice President Al Gore.
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: (From videotape.) It's not a question of debate. (Laughs.) It's like gravity. It exists.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: What are the stakes on this controversial subject, Pat Buchanan?
MR. BUCHANAN: The stakes are hundreds of billions of dollars, enormous power being transferred from individual American citizens to the federal government. For example, the EPA has just declared carbon dioxide a pollutant, even though plants and trees (depend on it ?); and enormous power to basically what might be called the new world order -- transnational governments to control the environment. That's the stake.
But Palin -- I will say this; she is in a minority now and Gore is still in the majority, but she is rising and her views are rising, and skepticism is rising for two reasons, John. First, there is some global warming that took place. It leveled out after 1997. Secondly, we do not know if it's man-made. Sun spots may be responsible for 99 percent of it. Third, we don't even know if it's injurious. We now have a Northwest Passage opening across the top of Canada to Asia. How bad is that?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: Well, the stakes are very high. I think the fate of the planet is at stake. And there are also some political issues here as well. Sarah Palin as governor was actually quite responsible in recognizing climate change and regulating it. She is now saying that it's all natural and God-given. But if it's all natural and God- given, why should we be concerned?
If you look at the data, it's pretty clear that man's activity has escalated the warming to the point where this year is one of the five warmest on record, and you can see the negative effects of climate change happening everywhere.
But she wants to ride this issue, I think, to the Republican nomination. It's her version of what Ronald Reagan did in 1980 with the Panama Canal, saying, "It's ours. We bought it. We paid for it." And you can certainly rev up a segment of the political community. And right now there's a group of climate naysayers who are looking to her, and it gives her an issue.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Like Buchanan, right?
MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.) MS. CLIFT: He's one of them.
MS. CROWLEY: And Monica. And Monica.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know the story on East Anglia, the hackers penetrating and stealing --
MS. CROWLEY: Yes. The point that -- and the argument that Sarah Palin was making dovetails with what we're seeing coming out of Climategate. The University of East Anglia in the UK is the nerve center for a lot of this climate research. And, in fact, it is -- their climate research unit is the biggest feeder research unit into the U.N.'s intergovernmental --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What did the hackers do?
MS. CROWLEY: -- climate-change panel. What the hackers did was they hacked into thousands of e-mails between climate-change scientists in the United States, UK and abroad, and these e-mails showed or at least they suggest that a lot of the climate science that we have been basing global warming on has been either falsified, manipulated, massaged. A lot of the dissent has been crushed or silenced. Peer review has been manipulated.
So the questions that Sarah Palin was raising here is this: Is global warming happening? Is it man-made? Is it due to human industry and innovation or not? And is it historically anomalous? In other words, is what we're seeing now, is it out of the ordinary in the thousands of years of the earth's history or not? And those questions, John, have not been settled by the science, and that's a debate we need to have.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The United Nations has a climate panel, and the principal research feeder to that climate panel is this East Anglia science group. Does that mean that this is a very serious problem?
MR. CAPEHART: It's serious in that it's an embarrassment. But all the questions that Monica just raised have pretty much been answered in the sense that there's a consensus around the world that climate change is a problem; climate change is something that needs -- that the world needs to work together to solve.
And so, if anything, yeah, the stakes are high. Yes, there are billions of dollars at stake. Yes, there might be some political payoff for Sarah Palin if she decides to run for president in 2012. But ultimately, when Sarah Palin gets into these arguments with Vice President Gore and posts things on her Facebook page, I think it really has to do -- the stakes are for Sarah Palin's bank account and selling her book and putting herself out there as a voice of the conservative movement --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's talk about the money. MR. CAPEHART: -- but has nothing to do --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's talk a little bit more about the money trail that you and Buchanan have mentioned. There is big money going into green technology -- windmills and so forth, hydropower --
MR. BUCHANAN: Solar.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- and nuclear power. If this climate change is found to be implausible, as described, then it goes away. And that source of green technology must go somewhere else. That's money.
MS. CLIFT: Well, first of all, there are --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now, is the money going to go back to big oil?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, here's what happens. Where the money will go, it will not go from taxpayers to governments and to the Third World countries, not actually the poor in the countries. But that is a massive transfer of wealth, John. And the truth is, you mentioned Sarah Palin's got an economic interest here. What about Al Gore's economic interest in this thing?
MS. CROWLEY: Right -- tens of billions of dollars.
MR. BUCHANAN: They are far larger. Nobody brings up the potential conflict --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are we going to bring the clunkers back? (Laughter.)
MR. BUCHANAN: The clunkers can go. (Laughs.)
MS. CLIFT: We already have plenty of clunkers on the set, I think. (Laughter.) There are --
MR. BUCHANAN: Not bad, Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: There are four independent climate-monitoring stations. The one in East Anglia is only one of four. The preponderance of scientific evidence is overwhelming. And you have the business community now getting behind the fact that we have to wean ourselves of nonsustainable energy.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think --
MS. CLIFT: And you have legislation on Capitol Hill with responsible conservatives also looking for a consensus.
MS. CROWLEY: Look, if --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, do you think all of this nerve-wracking business on climate change is a product of the massive media? Namely, the media have spawned the whole issue.
MS. CROWLEY: The global-warming alarmism.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The --
MR. CAPEHART: Oh, come on.
MS. CROWLEY: They're certainly complicit in it. And if the preponderance of scientific evidence shows this, Eleanor, then why do we have these thousands of e-mails from these leading climate scientists suppressing data? They should be very secure in their scientific -- MS. CLIFT: That's so --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let --
MS. CLIFT: They don't have thousands --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's your point, Jonathan? What's the point, Jonathan?
MR. CAPEHART: Science isn't always settled.
MS. CROWLEY: Then they should welcome the debate, Jonathan. It is said we have evidence --
MR. CAPEHART: Well, wait a minute. Those reports --
MS. CROWLEY: -- that they've been suppressing the debate. If they're secure in the research --
MR. CAPEHART: IPCC is nothing but a consensus document. And you get to a consensus debate by having scientists --
MS. CLIFT: Through debate.
MR. CAPEHART: -- through debate, scientists on all sides of the issue --
MS. CLIFT: You have a handful of --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why was --
MS. CLIFT: You have a handful of e-mails out of thousands --
MS. CROWLEY: Thousands of --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why was 1998 --
MS. CLIFT: -- (inaudible) -- not thousands.
MS. CROWLEY: Yes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why was 1998 hotter than 2008 if there's global warming?
MR. CAPEHART: The scientists here at the --
MR. BUCHANAN: I'll tell you why, John. They made a prediction. This is one of the problems the global-warming crowd has got. They made a prediction and it didn't come true. All the way up to this year, it's less warm. That's why they changed from global warming -- (Cross talk.)
MR. BUCHANAN: -- global warming to climate change.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, they were saying that there was a discharge of CO2 in the atmosphere in enormous volumes.
MR. BUCHANAN: It's increased, and the temperature --
MS. CLIFT: There's a difference --
MR. BUCHANAN: -- did not go up. That's --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It went down.
MR. BUCHANAN: That's why they changed the climate change -- the verbiage has changed to climate change, no longer global warming. (Laughs.)
MS. CLIFT: There's a difference between climate change and weather. And climate change is an overall phenomenon that is happening --
MR. BUCHANAN: Why didn't the hurricanes come that they predicted?
MS. CLIFT: -- because we have lots of severe weather. If you were in the Midwest --
MS. CROWLEY: We've already had severe weather.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question --
MR. BUCHANAN: Severe and cold.
MS. CLIFT: More severe -- more severe than we've had in the past.
MR. BUCHANAN: And colder than ever.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, let me in, please. Exit question: We are agreed that the planet is warming. We've got agreement on that. The planet is warming.
MS. CROWLEY: No.
MR. BUCHANAN: No.
MS. CROWLEY: Not really.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Cyclically warming? MR. BUCHANAN: It's cyclical, up and -- that means it gets cooler and it gets hotter.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So there's not agreement even on that.
MS. CLIFT: Even the great Sarah Palin agrees with that.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Wait a minute. Well, what is climate change? Is this another big thing to worry about? Is it B, another minor thing to worry about? C, is it a curiosity item? D, is it a nuisance issue? Or E, is it a prevarication rooted in avarice, meaning the money's going to go somewhere else, maybe back to big oil?
MR. BUCHANAN: It's a cult. It is a --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A cult?
MR. BUCHANAN: It's a Malthusian idea which was in vogue but is ceasing to be in vogue.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But we passed the millennium, Pat. This is now 2010 we're going into.
MR. BUCHANAN: That's right. And none of the predictions has --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Wait a minute. Is Malthusian -- is that off schedule now too? (Laughter.
MS. CLIFT: If it's a cult, it embraces much of the entire world, which is gathering in Copenhagen trying to get reasonable targets to control the emission of these pollutants into the atmosphere.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You will notice that Obama did not go to Copenhagen.
MS. CLIFT: He is going.
MR. CAPEHART: He's going.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He's going for one overnight, if he's even going to stay one overnight.
MS. CLIFT: He's going.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He's in and out. He doesn't want to be contaminated with this any more than he has to. He knew this whole story --
MS. CLIFT: He's contaminated --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- was going to play out.
MS. CLIFT: No, he's contaminated, John.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So he changed his schedule. Is that right?
MR. BUCHANAN: That's exactly right.
MS. CLIFT: He's contaminated.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He shortened it up.
MR. BUCHANAN: He's showing at the end because he wants to conclude this thing for 2050, 83 percent cut in CO2, and it's preposterous. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And he flies across the Atlantic as though he's going out to get a pizza.
MR. BUCHANAN: No, that's the Nobel prize. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But the idea is to keep the schedule short so that we don't inherit any of this exhaust.
MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly -- in and out.
MS. CROWLEY: And he's also leaving a huge carbon footprint by doing it. Look, global warming is a secular religion. It's a political movement, not a scientific movement, and it's essentially socialist, because it's all about the redistribution of global wealth.
MR. CAPEHART: John, climate change is a serious issue. It is a serious problem. It's a problem that the world has rallied around to try to solve. And the president is going to Copenhagen. He was supposed to be there today. Instead he changed his schedule to go a week from today because that --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Because he knew all of this --
MS. CLIFT: No. That's when they're --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He knew the hackers were going to get into East Anglia.
MR. CAPEHART: No, that's when all of the heads of state will be there. That's when they're going to cut the deal.
MS. CLIFT: Exactly.
MR. CAPEHART: That's when they're going to announce the new --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, that's the way he's framing it.
MS. CLIFT: That's the truth, though. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, look at the amount of wear and tear it is on him. He looks like he's fatigued. I think he gave an excellent speech --
MR. BUCHANAN: Cap and trade, John --
MS. CROWLEY: Cap and trade is dead.
MR. CAPEHART: He is the president of the United States. He has --
MR. BUCHANAN: Why is cap and trade in trouble if the world believes this? The elites in Copenhagen believe it. MS. CLIFT: Cap and trade is --
MS. CROWLEY: The Democrats don't believe it.
MS. CLIFT: Cap and trade is in trouble because all the special interests are lining up against it.
MR. CAPEHART: Exactly.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How much --
MS. CLIFT: Excuse me. Let me finish.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right.
MS. CLIFT: A carbon tax is now becoming fashionable, and I have a column about it this week.
MR. BUCHANAN: It's a tax. You would like a tax, Eleanor. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: There it is.
MS. CLIFT: John Kerry, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Follow the money. Follow the money.
MR. BUCHANAN: Another tax. (Laughs.)
MS. CLIFT: -- and Lindsey Graham working together. That's a Republican, an independent and a Democrat. It is a major issue that will consume a lot of Congress's time next year.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How much worry are you going to assign to it?
MR. CAPEHART: How much worry am I going to assign to it?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. Moderate?
MR. CAPEHART: Moderate to a lot.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Really?
MR. CAPEHART: Yeah. It's a very serious issue.
MR. BUCHANAN: You see, it's the end of the world, John -- moderate concern. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think no worry, but serious concern.
Issue Two: Nobel Laureate. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: (From videotape.) I receive this honor with deep gratitude and great humility. It's an award that speaks to our highest aspirations.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: President Obama this week in Oslo accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. Surprisingly, the emphasis of his Oslo address was centered sharply on military force as an instrument of preserving the rationale of a just war and, reductively, the rationale of preemptive war.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) I face the world as it is and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Was this display of humility a wise gesture?
MR. BUCHANAN: John, I think this speech was sober, serious, scholarly. It was a speech of a president of the United States who has come to learn a lot in a year. "Yes, we can" is yesterday. I think this -- I mean, we use the cliche "He has grown" and mock it. But I see in this speech, quite frankly, the first third or first half of it, a president who has really grown, who is thoughtful, who has an understanding of the world, who has an understanding of the kind of wars we're entering, and who's a serious guy and he understands limitations of power and things. There's a lot in here which a conservative would deliver.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that Buchanan is sufficiently praising the president?
MR. CAPEHART: I'm shocked. But, no, he had --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you want to add to that?
MR. CAPEHART: I do. I think that this was a superb speech from the president. It was a reassertion of American power. It was a reassertion of American moral authority. And at the same time, the president reminded those folks sitting in the room that, you know, it's been the United States that's underwritten global security for the last 60 years with American lives.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, the Nobel peace laureate, Obama, defends America's military might from the perspective of history and of philosophy.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism. It is a recognition of history, the imperfections of man and the limits of reason. So, yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The commander in chief was quick to caution against militarism, however. Watch this.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) But war itself is never glorious, and we must never trumpet it as such.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How were you impressed by that, Eleanor?
MS. CLIFT: I agree with everything Pat said. But I don't think this has been a metamorphosis of Barack Obama. He's just not the caricature that the right tried to make him out to be, as someone who really didn't love America and wouldn't defend American interests. He said during the campaign, "I'm not against all wars; I'm just against dumb wars."
And he went over to this speech with a lot of people thinking, "How can he square sending 30,000 troops to Afghanistan with receiving a peacemaker's speech?" And, in fact, he defended that very well, and he did it in a country which is one of 42 countries backing the mission in Afghanistan. So I thought he put the two together --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, six months ago --
MS. CLIFT: -- quite nicely.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Six months ago in Cairo, at that speech, he said there must be a sustained effort to listen to each other, to learn from each other, to respect one another, to seek common ground. There was none of this quasi-emphasis on military power to enforce the goals of peace.
MS. CLIFT: No, but --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He also said this at the United Nations. Let me read this, three months ago. "The time has come for the world to move in a new direction. We must embrace a new era of engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect."
MS. CLIFT: Right. And if there is an Obama doctrine that's emerging, it is negotiate, engage, do everything you can, and if it doesn't work, then you have laid the legitimacy for using force, which is what President Bush did not do.
MS. CROWLEY: For all of President Obama's criticisms, continuing criticisms of President Bush, the first half of this speech could have been delivered by President Bush. And I think it was very strong in the first half before he sort of veered off on Guantanamo Bay for some cheap applause lines.
The question for Obama is, will he live up to the words that he spoke? Does he believe them? And, if necessary, is he willing to take more aggressive action vis-a-vis a lot of the threats that we're facing in Iran and so on?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay --
MS. CROWLEY: And that will be his challenge.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Nobel Peace Prize winner tells the world that military force need not be only a response to active aggression, but can be preemptive and benevolent.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) I believe that force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans or in other places that have been scarred by war. Inaction tears at our conscience and can lead to more costly intervention later. That's why all responsible nations must embrace the role that militaries with a clear mandate can play to keep the peace.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think of that, Pat? MR. BUCHANAN: Well, I think that's right, John. For example, I mean, I do think some preemptive strikes are perfectly moral. If John F. Kennedy had decided, look, those missiles are being operational in Cuba; they're nuclear missiles; we have to take them out," and he'd gone in and blown them all to kingdom come, that would have been a moral act.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is there a problem with just-war theory where you have four basic elements, one of which is that the attack must be -- the quote-unquote attack --
MR. BUCHANAN: Imminent.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- must be imminent and it must be real?
MR. BUCHANAN: And it must be grave. Exactly.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now, if it's a preemptive strike, you're getting ahead of that in the time line, are you not?
MR. BUCHANAN: Right.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But is the attack in the day, what he says, a new architecture is needed because we have the nuclear bomb and it doesn't take necessarily a big army to collect, therefore, there is a new time architecture and compression that's available to the just-war theory? Do you follow me?
MR. BUCHANAN: Well, look, the architecture -- also he talked about the postwar architecture is crumbling. He is right. And new wars are within nations, John. The key thing, though, is no apologies for America; a defense of America. That's --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: On a Nobel Peace Prize acceptance-speech scale, zero to 10, rate Obama's Nobel speech, zero to 10?
MR. BUCHANAN: I'd give him a nine or 10, John. It was -- I mean, most of them are very eminently forgettable. Faulkner's was great. I don't know it's on a level with Faulkner's, but I do think -- that was literature -- I do think it was an outstanding speech.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you remember what Margaret Thatcher said to Reagan? "Don't go wobbly on us, George."
MR. BUCHANAN: No, that was to George H.W. Bush.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, are you getting wobbly on us?
MR. BUCHANAN: I'll be good next week, John. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, nine or 10 he gives him. MS. CLIFT: It was a 10. And President Obama has finally achieved the promise of his campaign, which was to bring the country together. (Laughter.)
MS. CROWLEY: I give the speech an eight, and here's why -- because so much of it was vindication of President Bush's anti- terrorism policy.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Laughs.) That's known as get Bush in however.
MR. CAPEHART: I know, right. A 10, John.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A 10?
MR. CAPEHART: A 10.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think I'm with you. I thought it was an extremely courageous speech to give, to get into those waters and to come out of it with --
MR. BUCHANAN: Very thoughtful.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- thoughtful and, I think, constructive concepts and expression.
Issue Three: Christmas Rush.
SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D-IL): (From videotape.) Well, we're here on a Saturday.
It's a rare occurrence for the Senate to meet on a Saturday, but I'm glad we're here.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Senate Democrats are feverishly at work, not only from Monday to Friday, but also weekends, to reach one goal: A health-insurance-reform bill by Christmas.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has roughly two weeks to get the 60 votes to override a possible Republican filibuster that would scuttle the health bill. But Republicans are unintimidated by the Reid time line.
SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): (From videotape.) I think the majority leader believes that somehow if we stay in on weekends, the Republicans are going to blink. You know, I can assure him we're not going to blink.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Critics of the health-insurance measure on both sides of the aisle emphasize that, once enacted, health insurance will be an entitlement, forever uncancellable.
That has led GOP members to ask the obvious question: Why all the rush?
SEN. MIKE ENZI (R-WY): (From videotape.) The majority side keeps talking about getting this done by Christmas time. Will we have time to read it before Christmas time? Will we have a chance to do any amendments on it before Christmas time?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Would the Democrats be better off if they slowed down, reorganized and tried to win bipartisan support? Jonathan Capehart.
MR. CAPEHART: (Laughs.) That's presuming that the Republicans actually want to get a deal done. No. Keep going. Get it done.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think, Pat?
MR. BUCHANAN: I think Jonathan -- (laughs) -- is dead right on this. Look, John, this is not even a Democrat -- this is a bill that's down to four or five people -- Joe Lieberman, Collins, Snowe, Nelson and a couple of other folks. And their problems are three, I think. One is the Medicare thing and the public option. They're not costed out yet, and I don't think they can get those. You've got the abortion bill. And so I don't think they're quite there yet. But I do agree with those who say if they get the public option with a trigger and they do something on abortion, I think they've still got the potential to win this thing by next year.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Every piece of social legislation in modern history -- in health-care reform, that is -- has had a big piece of the Senate GOP. Social Security had 64 percent of the GOP, 79 percent of the House. Civil rights had 82 percent of the Senate GOP, 80 percent of the House. Medicare had 41 percent of the Senate GOP and 51 percent of the House. Bipartisan support should be added to this.
MR. BUCHANAN: John, I was back there --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you agree with that?
MS. CROWLEY: Yes. All of the big social-changes legislation that we have seen in the history of the Republic has had exactly that -- widespread public support as well as bipartisan support in the Congress.
What we're seeing now is the more the American people see of this plan, the more they hate it. It is now down to 34 percent, with 57 percent of the American people opposing this. If the Democrats want to fly this suicide mission, be my guest.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, I want you on this. This is Senator Harry Reid's response to the slowdown call.
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID (D-NV): (From videotape.) If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said, "Slow down. It's too early. Let's wait. Things aren't bad enough."
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, what do you think about that?
MS. CLIFT: I don't think you have to go back to slavery to find examples. But on Capitol Hill --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, Republicans were behind abolition in the slavery issue.
MS. CLIFT: Yes, those were different Republicans, and the Republicans that were on that --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: These are naughty Republicans now?
MR. BUCHANAN: We are for it. (Laughs.) MS. CLIFT: The Republicans, yes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Naughty Republicans.
MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)
MS. CLIFT: Let me finish, please.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay.
MS. CLIFT: And those were the Republicans that called themselves moderates, and they have been eliminated by the right wing, which is determined to make the party a bunch of purists. You only have two or three moderates --
MR. BUCHANAN: Are you saying --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who is that?
MS. CLIFT: -- who are calling themselves moderates in the Senate -- the two ladies from Maine --
MR. BUCHANAN: Are you saying we are pro-slavery Republicans over here? Pro-slavery Republicans?
MS. CLIFT: I didn't say that. I didn't say that. You just said it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think it's a boo-boo for him to have said that?
MS. CLIFT: I don't know what case he's making. All I'm saying is that you don't have to go back to slavery to make the case --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How bad was that?
MS. CLIFT: -- to make the case --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let Capehart answer that. How bad was it? Then I'll go to you. How bad was that?
MS. CLIFT: -- to make the case that delay tactics on Capitol Hill --
MR. CAPEHART: I cede my time.
MS. CLIFT: -- kill legislation.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why are you ceding your time?
MR. CAPEHART: Well, because Eleanor was still speaking. But, look -- MS. CLIFT: I was trying to finish a sentence.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Laughs.)
MR. CAPEHART: John, look, Senator Reid is not the most artful speaker. I don't know who wrote that speech for him.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Careful, now.
MR. CAPEHART: But --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I mean, he's your leader. (Laughter.)
MR. CAPEHART: What do you mean, he's my leader? He's the majority leader of the Senate.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't you support him every chance you get on that blog site of The Washington Post? (Laughter.)
MR. CAPEHART: PostPartisan, you mean? No, I don't. In fact --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: PostPartisan, Washington Post.
MR. BUCHANAN: PostPartisan Post.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Imagine that.
MR. BUCHANAN: Specter wins his Democratic primary but loses to Pat Toomey in the fall.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: Martha Coakley will be the next U.S. senator from Massachusetts, filling Ted Kennedy's very large shoes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is she good?
MS. CLIFT: She's excellent.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is she strong?
MS. CLIFT: She's strong.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Big Democrat?
MS. CLIFT: Big Democrat.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And she'll get the votes.
MS. CLIFT: And she'll get the votes, yes. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is it automatic?
MS. CLIFT: Yes -- no, no, no.
MR. BUCHANAN: Anti-Afghanistan.
MS. CLIFT: She's got to run against a Republican; a pro-choice Republican, I might add.
MS. CROWLEY: The administration's move through the EPA this week to regulate carbon dioxide will be tied up in the courts for years.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Jonathan.
MR. CAPEHART: Senators Cantwell and Collins have a bill, a cap- and-rebate bill, that's going to change the debate on cap and trade in the Senate.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Senate will pass health care by the end of the year, December 31.
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