This partial transcript of The Beltway Boys, April 20, was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.

FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Ups and Downs, you ready for that?

MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Ready, ready.

Up: Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle

BARNES: All right. Up, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. Daschle hands President Bush a big-time loss as the Senate votes this week to block drilling in ANWR. You know what ANWR is, that's that place up in Alaska.

KONDRACKE: Yes.

BARNES: All right. The centerpiece of his energy plan, here is that Bush's plan, anyway, defeating it, here is Daschle gloating.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DASCHLE: We are just not going to allow Republicans to destroy the environment. And that's exactly what this issue's been all about from the very beginning, whether or not you protect the environment, whether or not you send a clear message that when it comes to protecting sensitive lands in this country, you're going to do it or not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KONDRACKE: You know, I am for drilling in ANWR...

BARNES: Right, yes.

KONDRACKE: ... and I do know what it is.

BARNES: Good, good.

KONDRACKE: And, and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) — but I'm also for higher CAFE standards.

BARNES: Right.

KONDRACKE: You know what they are...

BARNES: Yes, yes...

KONDRACKE: ... you know, fuel, fuel...

BARNES: ... I'm not for them, but I...

KONDRACKE: ... fuel efficiencies...

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: ... and I'm for nuclear, nuclear.

BARNES: Right, right.

KONDRACKE: We should do it all. But, you know, both the Republicans and the Democrats are so loyal, so beholden to their constituency groups, the environmentalists in the...

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: ... in the case of the Democrats, the oil companies and the auto companies in favor of the, the Republicans, that their cannot pass a full-blown energy policy...

BARNES: Right.

KONDRACKE: ... and the beneficiary is who? Saddam Hussein...

BARNES: I know, it's the third week in a row you've...

KONDRACKE: ... you know, his birthday's...

BARNES: ... made that point...

KONDRACKE: ... coming up. I know.

BARNES: ... and I tend to agree with that point. Look, let me say something about Tom Daschle, who is an extremely clever and skillful majority leader. He is an extremely likable guy too...

KONDRACKE: But?

BARNES: ... but he lacks — yes, but, you know it was coming — but he lacks one thing to be a great majority leader. And you know what that is? Positive achievements. Great majority leaders like Lyndon Johnson come up with bold initiatives, often working with a president of the opposite party, and they achieve them.

Daschle is great on blocking things. You know, he won't bring up terrorism insurance or a lot of appellate judges nominated by the president. I could work — I could run down the list of other things, patient's bill of rights, fast track, all these things you like.

He's, he's gotten the campaign finance bill, reform bill through, but it — but everybody knows it's full of holes and, and won't do much. That, you know, that does not — he's got a long ways to go, my point is, in becoming a great majority leader.

Look, he could...

KONDRACKE: But I don't, I don't...

BARNES: ... but he's nowhere near — being an obstructionist doesn't do it.

KONDRACKE: Lyndon Johnson didn't have a 50-50 Senate.

Up: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

KONDRACKE: Up, Arizona Senator John McCain. The media's in full swoon mode with two major articles this week making the case that McCain is the Democrats' best hope to recapture the White House in 19 — in 2004.

Jonathan Chait of The New Republic wrote, quote, "It's easy to forget that the Arizona senator is not, in fact, a Democrat. In the past year he has stood against his party on so many prominent and contentious issues that his, that is concurrences with the GOP dogma have become more an exception than the rule. And it's no exaggeration to say that he's co- sponsored virtually the entire domestic agenda of the Democratic Party."

And McCain did it again this past week...

BARNES: Right.

KONDRACKE: ... by voting against the, the, the president on ANWR, you know, but the idea that he's going to become the Democrats' 2004 candidate, although, you know...

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: ... the Democrats could do worse...

BARNES: Yes, sure...

KONDRACKE: ... is what The Washington Monthly called fantasy football.

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: I mean, the fact is that no party accepts a turncoat...

BARNES: Right, no, no, I...

KONDRACKE: ... as its nominee.

BARNES: ... I think you're right about that. But he — McCain is going to vote with the president on cloning, by the way, which will irritate you. But (UNINTELLIGIBLE), look, I'll have to say, switching parties and running as a Democrat makes more sense than running as an independent. There you don't get anywhere, and even if elected, you can't govern.

But it does tell you that these two magazines, which are both basically Democratic magazines, The New Republic and The Washington Monthly, are calling on McCain to run, it tells you something about what they think about the current crop of Democratic president hopefuls. I mean, they have just concluded that these guys don't, even Al Gore doesn't stand a prayer against George Bush in 2004. OK.

Down: Attorney General John Ashcroft

BARNES: Down, Attorney General John Ashcroft. A federal judge in Oregon rejects Ashcroft's attempt to block that state's assisted suicide law, saying Ashcroft lacked the authority to decide, quote unquote, "what constitutes the legitimate practice of medicine."

True, he made, but he does have the authority to decide what is suicide and what is murder, and that's exactly what he decided.

Now, you know, a compassionate society is one that doesn't kill old or disabled people or unborn children, for that matter, and that's exactly what he was trying to do using federal law.

KONDRACKE: Yes, but look, this — in this — this is a very difficult moral issue. I mean, if people are in...

BARNES: Of course it is, yes.

KONDRACKE: ... are in grave pain...

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: ... the idea that they, that they want to decide when they're going to check out ought to be their own responsibility.

BARNES: Yes, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

KONDRACKE: Now, but what is the U.S. Supreme Court...

BARNES: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

KONDRACKE: ... going to do with this case? I don't...

BARNES: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

KONDRACKE: ... the conservatives constantly say...

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: ... Oh, leave it, leave matters like this to the states, you know...

BARNES: Not on every matter.

KONDRACKE: Well, come on, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), this is...

BARNES: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on some matters.

KONDRACKE: OK, but this is...

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: ... what is — a constitutional — who has the constitutional power to decide...

BARNES: Yes, but...

KONDRACKE: ... what criminal laws are all about?

BARNES: But these laws, assisted suicide...

KONDRACKE: If the law's (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

BARNES: ... laws, only put pressure on people to agree, ill people, dying people, to go ahead and have suicide.

KONDRACKE: It's worth a test.

BARNES: All right, move on.

Up: National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice

KONDRACKE: Up, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. Rice raises eyebrows after an interview with The New York Times where she muses about her other dream job, commissioner of the National Football League.

She went, she just said in this article that...

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: ... she was going to wait until the, the incumbent, Paul Tagliabue...

BARNES: Yes, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

KONDRACKE: ... retires...

BARNES: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

KONDRACKE: ... nice of her...

BARNES: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) — yes...

KONDRACKE: ... and, and she's, and she's got work to do...

BARNES: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

KONDRACKE: ... she has to strategize on how to get rid of Saddam Hussein...

BARNES: yes.

KONDRACKE: ... she's got to get George W Bush the Nobel Peace Prize, you know, she's got plenty of work to do before, before...

BARNES: Yes — yes...

KONDRACKE: ... the job comes up.

BARNES: She's a lot more hawkish than you thought she would be, isn't she?

KONDRACKE: I don't know, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

BARNES: Oh, yes, she is. Anyway...

KONDRACKE: No, no.

BARNES: ... look, you could wind up after eight years of the Bush presidency. She's a commissioner of the, of the NFL. Bush is running major league baseball. Could happen. Not likely, but it's possible.

KONDRACKE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), somehow I don't think ex-presidents...

BARNES: Well, no, for their dream jobs...

KONDRACKE: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

BARNES: ... though.

KONDRACKE: Yes, I know.

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