Ups and Downs for the Week of August 8

This is a partial transcript from "The Beltway Boys", August 13, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: It’s time for this week’s ups and downs.

DOWN: National Abortion Rights Action League, or, as they call themselves, NARAL Pro-Choice America (search), leaving out the word "abortion," Mort. They’re forced to pull a controversial TV ad that essentially accuses John Roberts (search) of "excusing violence" against abortion providers. Here’s a quick look at the ad.


ANNOUNCER: Supreme Court nominee John Roberts filed court briefs supporting violent fringe groups and a convicted clinic bomber. Call your senators. Tell them to oppose John Roberts. America can’t afford a justice who’s ideology leads him to excuse violence against other Americans.


BARNES: Mort, I think that ad gives you an idea of the depths to which these left-wing groups will go to block any conservative from getting on the Supreme Court. And, of course, Roberts is a conservative.

I mean, the ad’s hysterical and gives an entirely false impression.


BARNES: You know, at one point, it links Roberts to a bombing in Birmingham of an abortion clinic that came, you know, a decade after he’d argued this case. And if you believe that ad, you know, six of the nine Supreme Court justices agreed with the narrow legal point that Roberts was making when he spoke to the Supreme Court or signed the brief. And does that mean these six Supreme Court justices were excusing violence? Puh-leeze.

KONDRACKE: Yes, look, this ad was totally discredited, and I think that it damages the credibility of all the other liberal groups that are going to come out against Roberts, because they, they’re all going to look hysterical unless, unless they can actually find some, from some specific grounds.

Now, the great good news this week about John Roberts was in a Los Angeles Times story reporting on a speech that he made to Wake Forest University Law School (search), in which he said that he’s found being a judge a lot harder than he ever thought it was going to be, that he changes his mind several times about the case — from the time that he starts reading briefs till the time that he finally writes his, writes his opinion.

This means that contrary to what right-wing ideologues are hoping this is a guy with an open mind.

BARNES: That’s not what they’re hoping for.

KONDRACKE: Yes, they are. They’re hoping for automatic decision-making that the ideology will lead them to...

BARNES: No, they’re hoping for somebody with a judicial philosophy that is, fits with the Constitution, that means that we don’t have judges taking over America. Legislatures are the people who are supposed to write laws. You got that?

KONDRACKE: I got it.

BARNES: All right.

KONDRACKE: DOWN: the International Atomic Energy Agency (search). Its response to Iran’s resumption of its nuclear program this week was tepid and weak, even by its low standards. The answer was, draft a resolution stating that, stating, "serious concern" over Tehran’s nuclear activities. I mean, this is pathetic. And President Bush said that it was a good first step.

Now, a good first step would have been, one, set a deadline, and two, lay out consequences, namely, economic sanctions by the Europeans, especially, against Iran, which would, which would bite into, into its economy.

I think, in the long run, we’re not going to get those sanctions by the Europeans. But that only argues in favor of what I think is the ultimate answer, regime change. And not only regime change in Iran, but in Germany and in France as well.

BARNES: Well, we may get it in Germany. There’s an election there September 18, and the Christian Democrats are ahead and it looks like they’re going to win.

Mort, I agree with you, particularly about the E.U. three, France, Germany, and Great Britain, promised the president, or at least he said, promised the president last February, when he was in Europe, that they would get tough with the Iranians if they went ahead and, and began enriching uranium again. And, of course, the enriched uranium can be used to make nuclear weapons.

I mean, now is the time to take some, some tough action. Iran is very, it has a very bad economy, and sanctions could, I think, have some impact.

KONDRACKE: Absolutely.

BARNES: But it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

Okay, UP: Florida State University (search). Its board of trustees has given FSU’s president permission to do whatever is necessary, including a lawsuit, to fight the NCAA's (search) decision to ban Native American symbols it deems hostile and abusive.

You know, Mort, Florida State has every right to use the Seminole (search), or, as they call the team, you know, the Noles, as their symbol. For one thing, the Seminole tribe has endorsed the use of of this mascot. But the symbol for the team, and, you know, it shows a Seminole Indian riding on a horse, you know, rides into the stadium where Florida State plays football.

They have every right to do it. It is not demeaning Indians at all. And I think the NCAA has just fallen into political correctness of the worst sort.

KONDRACKE: Yes, I mean, most of these, the use of the Indian symbols is a heroic portrayal.


KONDRACKE: I mean, they’re chosen for because they’re fighters, and that’s what teams are supposed to be.

Now, look, if American Indians were opposed to the use of the symbol, I would agree with the NCAA. But there was an Annenberg survey in 2004 that showed that by 90 to 9, American Indians don’t object to the Washington Redskins being named what they are. And then there was another poll by Sports Illustrated that indicated that, that 83 percent of Indians support the idea of having Indians as symbols for, for other teams.

So, look, what the NCAA is being here is not only politically correct, but also patronizing toward Indians. I mean, they should be allowed to decide what their own point of view is.

DOWN: the Rolling Stones (search). Move over, Dixie Chicks (search), there’s a new band taking potshots at President Bush. In a new song called "My Sweet Neocon," Mick Jagger insists the song is not aimed at Bush, but you decide for yourself:

"You call yourself a Christian. I call you a hypocrite. You call yourself a patriot. Well, I think you’re full of... " blank.

So, look, I mean, this, this is a piece of what Whoopi Goldberg (search) did, you remember, at that John Kerry rally... making obscene jokes about the name Bush. You know, it just goes with the turf...


KONDRACKE: The Hollywood left.

BARNES: You know, I think I’m going to give the Stones a pass on this. I mean, this song is really silly, and, but I don’t think anybody’s going to be looking to Mick Jagger for political advice. And, you know, the heck with it. I don’t think it’s going to hurt anything.

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