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Ups and Downs for the Week of October 10

This is a partial transcript from "The Beltway Boys", October 15, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

Watch "The Beltway Boys" Saturday at 6 p.m. ET and Sunday at 1 and 6 a.m. EST.

FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: With Mort’s acquiescence, we will turn now to this week’s ups and downs.

DOWN: Toledo (search), Ohio. That city’s getting a black eye Saturday after a planned neo-Nazi rally was disrupted by protesters who then turned violent, setting fires and breaking into residents’ homes.

Now, Mort, the Toledo police sent out 150 officers, and I guess they had some vehicles, maybe a helicopter, 150. One thing you know, whenever the neo-Nazis have a rally or a march or something, it’s going to provoke violence. Now, you can blame the people who are provoked for being violent too, but the fact is, you’re always going to have violence.

Now, so what should Toledo have done? You know the first thing they should have done? Banned the march, say, “You can’t do it.” Then the neo-Nazis can go out and get the ACLU, your friends at the ACLU (search), and they can sue. They can sue the city of Toledo and maybe they’ll get the right to have a march. Appeal, appeal that case, and appeal it all the way to the Supreme Court if you have to.

And then, if you finally have to allow these Neo-Nazis, who you know are going to provoke violence, to march, get more than 150 police. Get the whole darn police force out there, and the National Guard if necessary.

MORT KONDRACK, CO-HOST: Yes, well, the ACLU (search) is not, is not usually my friend, but I’m with them on this one. Look if the Nazis are themselves willing to demonstrate peacefully and not themselves engage in violence, they ought to be allowed to march as I on the basis of free speech. It is, in this case, the protesters who were committing the violence, not the Nazis themselves. And the, look, I agree with you completely about the police. And if the police thought they couldn’t handle it, or the Toledo authorities couldn’t handle it, they should have called out the National Guard, lined up the streets, and that would have prevented all the violence.

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: But, you know, that’s what’s got to happen.

DOWN: White House senior adviser Karl Rove (search). He testified for a fourth time before the grand jury investigating the CIA leak case, and there’s real worry that Rove could be a target for indictment.

The Washington Post this morning quoted unnamed sources as saying that what the special prosecutor wanted to do was to explore, "discrepancies" in what Rove had previously testified, apparently his failure to mention that he had discussed the CIA agent Valerie Plame, although not by name, with Matt Cooper (search) of TIME magazine.

Now, nobody knows who is going to get indicted, or if anybody’s going to get indicted in this case. But the legal kibitzers in Washington sort of agree that the special prosecutor is not after an indictment about the disclosure of the agent’s name so much as possibly perjury, obstruction of justice, or maybe a conspiracy in the White House to disclose on an unauthorized basis classified information, an offense, by the way, which occurs every day in Washington.

BARNES: Mort. You know, I’ve heard items attributed to lots of things, you know, to senior White House officials...

KONDRACKE: Legal kibitzers?

(LAUGHTER)

KONDRACKE: That’s where we’re getting our information.

BARNES: Legal kibitzers. This is a new low. Anyway, it’s true. We’re paying attention to them.

Now, look, Fitzgerald has had two years to answer a simple question, and that is, was the law violated by someone having willfully exposed an undercover CIA agent? Now, we know that wasn’t true. Valerie Plame wasn’t even an undercover agent at the time. Everybody in Washington knew that this guy Joe Wilson, who’d written a piece attacking Bush’s Iraq policy, that his wife was a CIA agent, and so that’s nonsense.

Now you’re getting around these ancillary issues. Look, if this guy Patrick Fitzgerald (search) is going to indict Karl Rove or anyone else, including Scooter Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, he better have an iron case, I mean, a case where it’s a slam-dunk that he’s going to win a prosecution, because an indictment in this case, particularly of Karl Rove, that is the nuclear option. I mean, that would be so harmful to the White House, public relations-wise, losing Karl Rove, it would be extraordinary.

But he does have another option. You know, a special prosecutor can put out a report. That’s what Ken Starr did, you know, his very critical report of President Clinton. But if he thinks there was some stuff, wrongdoing or something, that doesn’t rise to the level of an indictment, he ought to do that. A flimsy indictment, and he’ll be just seen as another Ronnie Earle, the guy who indicted DeLay.

All right, DOWN: Harriet Miers (search). We too, and she and the White House, are still on the defensive over her nomination, and now, instead of focusing on Miers’ legal background, which is pretty impressive, there’s a new effort to assure conservatives she’s an evangelical Christian.

President Bush says that’s fair game.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People are interested to know why I picked Harriet Miers. They want to know Harriet Miers’ background. They want to know as much as they possibly can before they form opinions. Yes, part of Harriet Miers’ life is her religion...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARNES: You know, I think the attacks on President Bush for nominating Harriet Miers, and on Harriet Miers herself, have run their course and now, I think they should have run their course earlier.

And now, look, she’ll get to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and we’ll find out if she’s what President Bush has said she is, a judicial conservative, which he promised to promote, to name.

I think it’s a mistake for him to keep repeating this religion question. I share her faith, but I think it’s irrelevant in this, in this thing. And we’ll, in this whole nomination process, and will anger some people.

KONDRACKE: Yes. Well, I think they’re off the religion kick, and they’re now onto the qualifications kick. I’ve got to say that I don’t think the White House has been doing a terribly effective job selling her.

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: Dick Cheney was on FOX with Brit on Friday and I didn’t see any spectacular endorsement of her.

Look, it’s going to be largely up to her in the hearings. And I think that if she gets through the hearings, and I’ve changed my mind, I think that expectations are now low, if she demonstrates enough competence in constitutional law, I think the loyalists in the Republican Party (search) will, some of them not happily, will go along, and pass her through.

BARNES: Yes, I agree.

KONDRACKE: OK, DOWN: the Nobel Prize Committee (search). They showed their anti-American bias once again by picking British playwright Harold Pinter (search) for the Nobel Prize for Literature, a man just dripping with disdain for America. For example, here’s a sample of Pinter’s work. This one was written about your favorite sport, Fred, football.

"Hallelujah! It works. We blew the sh**out of them. We blew the sh** back up their own a** and out of their f****ing ears. It works."

BARNES: What was that, blew their what?

(LAUGHTER)

KONDRACKE: Yes, you get the general idea.

BARNES: You know, I’ve seen some movies for which Harold Pinter wrote the screenplay, and I can tell you one thing, you come out of the theater down in the dumps. I think he’s a great boon to the pharmaceutical industry, because you need to take an antidepressant after going to his movies, that’s for sure.

KONDRACKE: Well, you know, in 1991, after Saddam Hussein (search) had invaded Kuwait, Harold Pinter basically was against that Gulf War, and he’s accused the United States of being a bloodthirsty wild animal.

(LAUGHTER)

KONDRACKE: You know, I’m sure that his acceptance speech at the Nobels in December is going to resemble the Academy Awards.

BARNES: Yes.

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