Who was up or down this week? We let the Beltway Boys decide
Up, British Prime Minister Tony Blair
MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Blair leaves no doubt he stands shoulder to shoulder with President Bush in the fight against terrorism, jumping in on coalition-building efforts and powerfully laying out the case against Usama bin Laden and his terrorist network. Here's Blair on Tuesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: They have no moral inhibition on the slaughter of the innocent. If they could have murdered not 7,000 but 70,000, does anyone doubt they would have done so and rejoiced in it?
So there is no compromise possible with such people. There's no meeting of minds, no point of understanding with such terror. Just a choice -- defeat it, or be defeated by it. And defeat it we must.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KONDRACKE: That, or, that was a fantastic speech.
TONY SNOW, CO-HOST (IN FOR FRED BARNES): Hear, hear.
KONDRACKE: All, almost as -- on a par with, with Bush's speech to the joint session of Congress.
Blair went on to, to say some things about how to run foreign policy that I hope Bush will pick up on. I mean, it -- instead of a unilateralist, you know, stay away from the world kind of foreign policy, I hope that we've been transformed. And what Blair said is, if Rwanda massacre ever happened again, we should be involved, Sierra Leone, Congo, that sort of thing, and stick with Afghanistan, help it out after the Taliban's gone, et cetera. That's going -- that's an interventionist foreign policy that Bush did not in -- originally anticipate.
SNOW: Mort, you may recall that at the beginning of the Gulf War, Margaret Thatcher said to George Bush's father, Now, George, don't go wobbly on us. And Tony Blair's doing that not only militarily but diplomatically. And you're absolutely right, what he's saying is, Get at some follow-up. If the West had followed up after the Soviets got defeated in Afghanistan, we wouldn't be in this mess today.
And military planners get it too. Every military person I talked to says, You know what you need after it? You need a Marshall Plan. We'll see if that happens.
Also up, Attorney General John Ashcroft
His pressure on Senate Democrats forces a breakthrough on an anti-terrorism package. He didn't get everything on his legislative wish list, but the bill went further than many Democrats and civil libertarians wanted. Here's Ashcroft describing the urgency of the situation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: ... additional terrorist acts are possible, and I believe the kind of attack which we endured shows that the risks of such possibilities are substantial, and that we should be very much aware of those risks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNOW: Mort, our latest Fox poll shows a whopping 65 percent favor Congress immediately passing laws that the government says it needs to fight terrorism, even if those laws curb civil liberties.
Now, the good news is, it doesn't go that far. Americans right now are talking about extreme action, but it's been very interesting, there's actually been a pretty thoughtful debate on these issues, and it's actually a good thing that people took a little deliberation, waiting an extra day or two, it's probably worth the price.
KONDRACKE: And, you know, I'm a great aficionado of bipartisanship, and you can't get any much, much more bipartisan than the handling of this bill, 36 to nothing in the House Judiciary Committee, which is the most partisan committee in the House of Representatives. And an agreement between Pat Leahy, John Ashcroft, and, and Orrin Hatch, you know, I -- and swift passage of that bill, I hope, too.
Down, former president Bill Clinton
He gets a visit from the ghost of scandals past when the Supreme Court decides to suspend him from practicing before the high court, and not to be outdone by President Bush, he has his aides, former aides, leak information about how he tried to wage war on terrorism during his presidency.
Well, I mean, it's -- it is nice to know that Bill Clinton, you know, did try to, do something about terrorism during, during his presidency. But, you know narcissism is just a Clinton disease. I mean, it's not limited to Bill either. I mean, Hillary Clinton was asked about, you know, how do -- how, how, how do -- how does it feel to have rage directed against America. And her response was, Oh, I know all about that. They were mad at me when, when -- during the, during the, the health care debate.
I mean, you know, it's all -- everything is personal with them.
SNOW: It's interesting, Mort, because the incident she cited there, somebody went back and looked at the news clips. And she said she actually enjoyed it, she considered it flattering.
Paul Greenberg, the guy who came up with the term Slick Willie, pointed out that presidents probably shouldn't be talking about things they tried, but you -- because you can compromise security. In this case, maybe loose lips can sink ships. Let history record what Bill Clinton did or didn't do.
Also down, NBC's "West Wing"
It tried to tackle the terrorism issue in this week's episode, but the show got bogged down in its usual liberal rants, and even went so far as to equate Islamic terrorists with the Christian right.
KONDRACKE: Actually, you know, they didn't really make an equivalency between the Christian right and -- they said that the -- that, that Islamic terrorism is like the Ku Klux Klan.
But what, what did happen in that show was that you had the White House chief of staff apologizing to some Arab-American White House aide who says that women shouldn't be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia and that U.S. troops shouldn't be there. I mean, that violates foreign policy. Political appointees in the White House who don't agree with the policy of the United States ought to be not apologized to but fired.
SNOW: Well, that's right, it happens. I mean, here's what's interesting is, Hollywood is still trying to come to grips with the fact that the world did change shatteringly and suddenly. And as a result, people are actually going back to the old-fashioned values at which Hollywood has been thumbing its nose for years.
Whose on your up and down list for the week? E-mail the Beltway Boys at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your nominations and look for winners and losers on this webpage.