Ups and Downs for the Week of April 5 - 9

This is a partial transcript from "The Beltway Boys", April 10, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Time for this week's ups and downs.

DOWN: Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey

He must have gotten the memo that he was too statesmanlike in the last round of the 9/11 hearings, Mort. You know, I like Bob Kerrey (search), I thought he was a good senator. I'm sorry he retired. I think it's brave for him as a Democrat to be very vocally pro-Iraq war.

But listen to this filibuster at the beginning ... of his part in the 9/11 hearings the other day.


BOB KERREY (D), FORMER NEBRASKA SENATOR: Let me ask a question that, well, actually, let me say, I can't pass this up, I know it'll take into my 10-minute time, but as somebody who supported the war in Iraq, I'm not going to get the national security adviser 30 feet away from me very often over the next 90 days.

And I've got to tell you, I believe a number of things. I believe, believe first of all that we underestimate that this war on terrorism is really a war against radical Islam. Terrorism is the tactic. It's not a war itself.

Secondly, let me say that, that I don't think we understand what the Muslim -- how the Muslim world views this. And I'm, I'm terribly worried that the military tactics in Iraq are going to do a number of things, and they're all bad.


BARNES: Well, that was quite a statement. And then he complained later, of course, that he didn't have enough time to ask Condi Rice questions after he'd done that. I think he was wrong on that second point. I mean, you have to take military action in Iraq against, against the Ba'athists and against the Mahdi army, otherwise you're not going to ever have a democratic Iraq.

I think it turns out that there's been one statesman on this entire 9/11 commission. There've been some others that have been OK, but one statesman, and that's been Lee Hamilton, the Democratic vice-chairman.

MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Well, you know, after the "Cole" incident, when our, our destroyer was hit, Bob Kerrey called for an attack on Iraq...

BARNES: I know.

KONDRACKE: ... you know, I mean...

BARNES: Amazing.

KONDRACKE: ... so I think he's trying to, he's trying to recoup in that regard.


KONDRACKE: And also Democratic activists, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, thought that he had soured his chances of being John Kerry's vice presidential candidate because he was, because he was too nice to Don Rumsfeld and, and Colin Powell. So apparently...


KONDRACKE: ... he was trying to recoup there.

BARNES: Yes, but he wasn't exactly mean to her, he was just strange.

KONDRACKE: Yes, but he also spent, a lot of time demanding to know what flies has George Bush ever swatted, you know, and what Condi Rice obviously meant was that Bush didn't want to do what Clinton had done. He wanted a stronger policy.

Now, it did take Bush a very long time to develop that policy, you got to admit.

DOWN: Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy

John Kerry's unofficial attack dog goes over the top in his latest salvo, accusing the administration of a Nixonian pattern of deceit and likening Iraq to Vietnam.

Now, it's actually not only down Kennedy, it's also down Robert Byrd (search). I mean, both of them have accused, have said that Iraq is Bush's Vietnam, and John McCain, who knows something about Vietnam, since he was a prisoner of war there and fought there, said, Look, Iraq is not Vietnam on several counts.

One, there is no superpower like Russia or China involved. There are no -- hidden sanctuaries, like Hanoi was. Three, this is not the whole population that we're against, it's a minority. And four, there are 600 American deaths, sad, but there are not 50,000.

So, you know, it just doesn't add up. So Kennedy and Byrd are not only wrong, but I think that by bringing this analogy up now, while American troops are under attack, is to say, Troops, you're dying in vain. And all this does is demoralize them and, and encourage our enemies.

BARNES: Of course it did. Mort, I think it was Cambodia that was the sanctuary, not Hanoi. But in any case...

KONDRACKE: Well, we didn't...

BARNES: But in any case, along with your point, what would, what do American troops who are now in this fierce fighting think if they see Robert Byrd's statement from the Senate floor, which we're going to show you in just a minute, that likens their military efforts now to the, to Tennyson's poem, what Tennyson wrote about in his poem about the futile British attack, you know, "The Charge of the Light Brigade." And listen to Byrd on the Senate floor. Amazing.


SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D), WEST VIRGINIA: "Forward, the Light Brigade. Was there a man dismayed? Not though the soldier knew someone had blundered. Theirs not to make reply, theirs not to reason why. Theirs but to do and die. Into the Valley of Death rode the six hundred."


KONDRACKE: Six hundred.

BARNES: Jeez. Jeez.

DOWN: Florida Governor Jeb Bush

At least in my book. He came out this week in favor of a measure that would give driver's licenses to illegal aliens after submitting to background checks. They have, the illegal aliens have to submit to them, not Jeb Bush.

The, you know, I don't understand, I think Jeb Bush is America's best governor, and Florida's a hard-to-govern state. I don't know why he's doing this, because I don't think it's going to help his brother much with the Hispanic vote. Jeb already stands very tall with them.

This can only reward lawbreakers, people who come illegally, and encourage more people to enter to the United States illegally. I'm all in favor of immigration, but let's do it as much as possible legally. This takes the wrong tack, entirely wrong tack.

KONDRACKE: This is good policy. Look, these people are ... here ...

BARNES: Lawbreakers, Mort, lawbreakers. You're rewarding lawbreakers.

KONDRACKE: They are here, they have families, they have jobs, they pay taxes. And if they behave, and we can check that by, through these background checks, they ought to be able to drive legally and get automobile insurance so that they can continue to work, and there ought to be a process for them to become legal citizens.

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