This is a partial transcript from "The Beltway Boys", April 16, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Let’s see who’s up and down this week.
UP: John Bolton (search), President Bush’s pick for U.N. ambassador. It looks like he survived this week’s brutal Senate confirmation hearings and should be confirmed both in the committee and the entire Senate next week.
That is, unless there’s another bombshell in the works.
FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: What do you mean, another? There hasn’t been one yet.
KONDRACKE: The Democrats are trying to find one.
KONDRACKE: They’ve been throwing lots of things at him.
KONDRACKE: And generally speaking, they haven’t worked.
The top charge was that he "disdains" the Senate and multinationalism, that didn’t work. That he’s a foreign policy hard-liner, that didn’t work. That he doctored in intelligence or phonied up intelligence that was never proved in this case.
And so the, the last-ditch charge is that he bullies subordinates. Watch, this is the allegation made by Carl Ford (search), the former head of in the intelligence agency at the State Department. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARL FORD, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT INTELLIGENCE AGENT: I think that anytime a senior official pulls out someone from another organization, five or six levels below, and reams them a new one, that just doesn’t happen. And if it does, somebody ought to say, that’s not acceptable, that’s simply not good government. It’s not excellence in government. It’s a serial abuser.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KONDRACKE: Well, two things about that.
KONDRACKE: First, what Carl Ford alleged was argued against by one of Bolton’s own subordinates, who was in a meeting where he was…
BARNES: Yes, actually was there.
KONDRACKE: Yes, with the guy.
BARNES: Unlike Carl Ford, who wasn’t there.
KONDRACKE: Right, exactly.
KONDRACKE: And, secondly, you know, if being abusive to your subordinates was a disqualifying offense, half of the Senate would have to quit.
BARNES: Serial abuser, though, I mean, that would, I mean, that’s completely false. I mean, I think this was a pathetic low point in the entire confirmation process in the Senate. I mean, a legend that Bolton is mean to his subordinates, and when there’s no evidence for that, and I say Carl Ford was not there at the meeting at the time he said this happened, and people who were there contradicted him.
He’s also a guy whose credibility, I think, is not the firmest, the guy who said he was a loyal Republican, turns out he’s given money to a bunch of Democrats.
So I think John Bolton, while treated roughly, sailed through it very well.
UP: gay rights (search). Connecticut is one step away to becoming the first state to voluntarily, that is, without a court order, establish civil unions for gay couples. Vermont has civil unions, and Massachusetts has gay marriages. But those changes came only after same-sex couples brought lawsuits.
Look, if you want to get gay rights, if you want to get civil unions, if you want to get gay marriage, the way to do it is democratically through the legislature, or, in some states, have a referenda. Do it that way. But if you do it, and the public will accept it. They may not like it, I disagree with it, but if it’s done democratically, that’s completely different. It has credibility, it has legitimacy.
If it’s just some court like in Massachusetts ruling four to three that, gee, 200 years later, we find that the Massachusetts constitution says you have to accept gay marriage, people don’t accept that. It just has no credibility. So I, I think, while I don’t agree with what Connecticut has done, they have done it the right way, no question about it.
KONDRACKE: Well, I think this was a big victory for moderation, for human rights, and for good order. Human rights, in that is that people get the, the rights of marriage, moderation, because it’s not exactly forcing marriage yet on the, on the whole public, but rather civil unions, which is an easier thing to accept, and it was done in good order by, as you say, by, through the legislature.
KONDRACKE: Now, neither the gay rights activists, nor the right wing is happy. The gay rights activists aren’t happy because, because marriage was defined as being between a man and a woman.
KONDRACKE: That’s a step that could, that could be changed at some, at some later time.
I do not understand what the right wing objection to civil unions is. I just -- if it’s not bigotry, you’ll have to explain it to me. I don’t know what it is.
BARNES: Tradition, you know, thousands of years.
KONDRACKE: Civil unions.
BARNES: Thousands of years of practice through all civilizations and religions, and because, as you pointed out, I think you just said, Mort, but I know you believe anyway, that you get to civil unions, then it’s a pretty short step to marriage. Right? Don’t you think that?
KONDRACKE: I do, I do think that.
OK. UP: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (search). Despite the media’s focus on his disagreement with President Bush on settlements, Sharon did get a huge boost from Bush on his plans to unilaterally pull out from Gaza and parts of the West Bank later on this summer.
Look, this is a major step, which somehow both the media here in the United States and certainly the Palestinians don’t really appreciate. I mean, they’re going to get Gaza.
KONDRACKE: The Palestinians.
Now, one complication here is that the week before the scheduled pullout from Gaza, the Palestinians are supposed to have an election, and Hamas might win. Now, what does Sharon do if the parliament, the Palestinian parliament, is dominated by Hamas, an organization dedicated to Israel’s destruction? You know, I would think that he would think twice about pulling out of Gaza.
BARNES: It’d be tough. That would be make it a lot harder, because then the threat of violence would be even greater, I think, when the Israelis are pulling on their 8,000 Israelis. And look, you know, it’s important here, a factor here is the relationship between Bush and Sharon. The fact that Bush has been such a supporter of Israel, particularly its right to defend itself, has made it easier for Sharon to make concessions like this one.
Look, I’m not giving Bush credit for this. This is Sharon. It’s a bold move by, by Sharon and the Israelis. But Bush is a factor here. If it were some president like Jimmy Carter or Bush’s own father, I don’t think this could happen. All right.
UP: the Washington Nationals (search). For one night, at least, political and nonpolitical Washington came together to welcome baseball back to the capital city for the first time in 34 years Thursday. The Nets won five to three, are in first place in the National League East, and both busts were, were at the game.
Look, I have been to, I remember going to the Senators years before they were at RFK Stadium, and before that at Griffith Stadium, since I grew up here in Washington. Washington, however, despite the great crowd and enthusiasm, Mort, that opening night, is not a great sports town. They go out to the Redskins game, but other teams have not done so well here.
The test of a good sports town is whether they’ll support a loser. Now, this team is, is probably not going to be a losing team. It’s not an expansion team. But if they start losing games, I’d worry about the attendance.
KONDRACKE: Yes, the next shoe to drop is the auction, it’s to decide who owns the team.
KONDRACKE: Now, I think, I have great idea. The great idea is to make this a public company where people can buy stock in it, then they’ll have a reason to go to the games, and also the Washington owners might win the socialism in Major League.
KONDRACKE: No, no.
KONDRACKE: No, it’s capitalism.
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