Ups and Downs for the Week of Dec. 3 - 7

This partial transcript of The Beltway Boys, Dec. 8, was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.

MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: OK, let's go to the ups and downs.

Down: PLO chairman Yasser Arafat

KONDRACKE: Down, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat.  One week after last weekend's deadly bombings in Israel, it's still unclear if Arafat is willing and able to crack down on Islamic extremists, risking more air strikes and the loss of U.S. support.

Now, the White House and the Israelis sound like they are issuing orders to Arafat: This is your last, final, honest-to-God...

FRED BARNES, CO-HOST:  Yes, right.

KONDRACKE:  ... last chance, you know.  Here's Bush trying to say that.


BUSH:  There are obviously folks who want to use the weapon of terror to derail peace, and Mr. Arafat must show leadership and bring those to justice who would use murder as a weapon to derail peace and to destroy innocent life.  He must show leadership.  Now's his time.


KONDRACKE:  Must, must, must.

BARNES:  Yes, right.

KONDRACKE:  But, you know, there is no or else, no ultimatum...

BARNES:  I know, I know, I know.

KONDRACKE:  ... here's what we're going to do if you don't do it.  I predict that Arafat will get by with the least...

BARNES:  Right, right.

KONDRACKE:  ... he can possibly do, arrest some people, let them back out on the street, terrorism will continue.

BARNES:  Yes, I agree, I think that's exactly what's happening.  Now, it will change for Arafat in a couple of years when you have an election in Israel and a new Knesset is elected to parliament. Remember, it was elected a couple years ago in the Barak landslide. It's much more dovish than the Israeli people are now.

Then you're going to have – then Israel, I think, will be agreed that they're going to have to take out the Palestinian Authority, exile Arafat, reoccupy the West Bank, unless miraculously a Palestinian leader emerges who says, “Look, we can't live like this, we can't just nurse our grievances, we want to have a country, an economy, a life. We have to make an agreement with Israel.”

But I'm not optimistic about that.

KONDRACKE:  I'm not either.

Up: Pashtun tribal leader Hamid Karzai

BARNES:  All right. Up, Pashtun tribal leader Hamid Karzai, the new interim prime minister of Afghanistan.  Karzai, respected by nearly all Afghan ethnic groups and a longtime ally of the U.S., negotiates the surrender at Kandahar and now says Taliban leader Mullah Omar must be captured and face trial.

Now, this guy is a good guy.  He's very Americanized, he speaks perfect English, he's got three brothers who live in the United States, though he was, I believe, educated in India.  He only made one little mistake, and that's initially he talked about perhaps Mullah Omar could get amnesty. But he corrected himself.

KONDRACKE:  Well, you talk about having a tough job.  I mean, trying to put together Afghanistan, where people fight for fun, you know...


KONDRACKE:  ... and, and they've – everybody's got a grievance against everybody else...


KONDRACKE:  ... and tribal differences...

BARNES:  That's...

KONDRACKE:  ... and all that.


KONDRACKE:  And even people within the anti-Taliban coalition, like Rabbani and Alsaya, you know, are practically Taliban...

BARNES:  Right.

KONDRACKE:  ... so he – you know, is putting this country together...

BARNES:  Right.

KONDRACKE:  ... the only way he – I can see that he can do it is with a lot of U.S. money dangled there as a carrot, you know, trying to buy support and buy peace...

BARNES:  You know, Mort...

KONDRACKE:  ... and buy rebuilding of the country.

BARNES:  You know, Mort, some people think that's we do, fight for fun.

KONDRACKE:  No, we don't. Well, some do. Politicians.

Down: the Democratic Leadership Council

KONDRACKE:  Down, the Democratic Leadership Council, the centrist organization of Democrats. President Bush got a narrow victory on trade negotiating authority, no thanks to DLC members of the House, who have been staunchly  pro-trade during the Clinton administration.  Only 21 Democrats voted for the measure, only 10 percent of the caucus.

Now, you know, free trade used to define what a new Democrat meant...

BARNES:  Yes, right.

KONDRACKE:  ... that and willingness to depart from...

BARNES:  Sure.

KONDRACKE:  ... the liberal AFL-CIO party line.


KONDRACKE:  But here, with a couple of exceptions – Cal Dooley...

BARNES:  Right.

KONDRACKE:  ... from California, Jim Moran of Virginia...

BARNES:  Right.

KONDRACKE:  ... Bill Jefferson and John Tanner, basically the DLC people said, We are free trade when somebody like Bill Clinton's in the White House.

BARNES:  Right.

KONDRACKE:  ... but when a Republican's in the White House, we're scattering to the hinterlands.

BARNES:  Yes, yes, you skewered them accurately.  It was the Blue Dogs, the more conservative Democrats in the House, who – many of them  voted with Bush, except one prominent Blue Dog, Gary Condit of California,  who voted against free trade in this example.

You know, but he did announce Friday, announce that he is running for re-election.  This worries Democrats, because it's a Democratic district.  But if he wins the primary, their concern is that a Republican could knock him off.  Indeed, it could happen.

Up: Hollywood

BARNES:  All right. Up, Hollywood. The Federal Trade Commission says it's made progress in its efforts to curtail marketing adult and violent material to kids and, according to the White House, is proving to be a key ally in the war on terrorism on the home front.

Well, look, I think on the war on terrorism, Hollywood has yet to prove itself.  It's not enough just to have some USO shows and a few trailers that'll be on in movie theaters before the movies.  I want to see some movies and TV shows, and not just ones where – about some heroic dissenter on a college campus, some college professor who's going against  the government.

KONDRACKE:  Anti-Ashcroft, or something like that, right.

BARNES:  Yes, exactly.

KONDRACKE:  Or Muslims being victimized or something like that.

BARNES:  Yes, exactly, yes.

KONDRACKE:  I know what you mean.  But the White House is pretty upbeat about this, and they say that the – that Hollywood, especially the networks, are come – are coming forward with some pretty good ideas.  One of them that they mentioned was the Four Freedoms, another one a remake of Frank Capra's classic series during World War II, Why We Fight.

You know, if that kind of stuff comes forward, I think it will contribute to patriotism.  And, you know – and Hollywood has a financial incentive.  It now knows that patriotism and good war fighting will make money.  And we witnessed Behind Enemy Lines

BARNES:  Right.

KONDRACKE:  ... this new movie out...


BARNES:  ... which is packing the theaters...

BARNES:  Right...

KONDRACKE:  ... I mean, people like that stuff.

BARNES:  It's a pre-Sept. 11 movie.  It was in the can, but a very patriotic, terrific movie.  I recommend it.  I want to see...

KONDRACKE:  You haven't seen it yet.

BARNES:  ... a post-September 11 movie like that.

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