updated 10/20/2006 12:48:32 PM ET 2006-10-20T16:48:32

Guests: Roger Stone, Ron Freeman, Max Boot, Frank Donatelli, Peter Beinart,

James Campbell

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Welcome to the show.  I‘m Tucker Carlson.

We‘ve got a lot to get to today, including nine former Republicans who have gone over to the other side and decided to run as Democrats in next month‘s election. 

And the Ivy League university that is still apologizing for slavery 149 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. 

But first, the top story of today, the dismal state of the Republican Party.  The news has been unrelentingly bad for the GOP. 

The House Ethics Committee continued closed-door testimony into the investigation into former congressman Mark Foley‘s relationships with teenaged pages.  Meanwhile, an elderly priest admitted that he had an intimate two-year relationship with the teenaged Foley, but he says it wasn‘t sexual.  Whatever that means. 

And just when you think it can‘t get any worse for the Republican Party, it does.  The Republican-controlled Congress‘ approval ratings have plummeted to just 16 percent, according to the latest NBC-“Wall Street Journal” poll.  That‘s the latest point in 17 years. 

How low are those numbers?  Well, to put it into perspective, according to salon.com more Americans believe they can communicate with the dead then approve of the job Republicans are doing in Congress. 

Has the party hit rock bottom?  Can it go lower?

Joining me now from Cleveland to answer those questions, Republican strategist and longtime campaign consultant Roger Stone.

Roger, welcome.

Can they go lower? 

ROGER STONE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  It would be very hard to go much lower than they are now.  I mean, if you‘re communicating with the Republican Party, you may be communicating with the dead as of this exact moment. 

CARLSON:  I mean, is this good news then?  I mean, we‘re still, you know, more than two weeks out from the election.  Is there time for them to turn it around to some extent? 

STONE:  Well, two weeks is a lifetime in American politics, and there could be a cataclysmic event between now and this election, another scandal that splashes on the Democrats, or an international incident, or a terrorist attack some place.  But absent all of those things, I think the Republican Party is in deep trouble.

As I talk to conservatives, evangelicals, libertarians, supply siders (ph), there‘s not much enthusiasm for these elections.  A Republican turnout I think is going to be depressed over a cross-section of issues. 

The Republican Party has a good machine to get out the votes, but the

voters have to come out and want to vote.  And I think that‘s a problem

CARLSON:  Is this—I mean, it seems, like there is pretty much a unanimous view here that the Republicans are in deep trouble.  But there is a division as to how much trouble.  Is this 1994?  Is this one of those years where Republicans are going to get beaten, or is it one of these years that even, you know, candidates who have got nothing going for them who are Democrats are going to win? 

Is it just going to be a tidal wave?

STONE:  I don‘t think it will be a tidal wave.  I think a week ago I said it might be a tsunami.

But I think if the election were held today, the Democrats would probably fairly narrowly carry both houses.  What that means, of course, is that both houses will be in play in the—in the next election. 

I think you have to step back and take the long view here.  Remember, only six years after Richard Nixon designed—resigned in disgrace and brought his party to its knees, we elected Ronald Reagan president of the United States and we took the U.S. Senate. 

So these things are cyclical.  I think it‘s going to be a relatively close election in terms of the swinging of both houses.  I don‘t see the kind of 47 seat pick-up the Republicans had in 1966 or the kind of sweeping pick-ups the Democrats had in 1974.

CARLSON:  In the—in the last election cycle in 2004, the House of Representatives, more than 99 percent of incumbents, were re-elected.  Once you get a seat it‘s pretty hard to shake you loose from that seat.  So if we see Democrats take control of the House, it could be a decade or more until the Republicans take it over again, don‘t you think? 

STONE:  Well, it depends on how many seats they took control by.  If they took control by two or three seats in the House, which is conceivable, if they took control by one seat in the Senate, the chances of Republicans picking one seat in the following election I think would be fairly considerable considering how many incumbent we have, how many incumbents they have. 

You know, we are in a place now where the parties are getting into parity.  You‘re seeing the lowest number of people identifying themselves as Republicans in a long time, and you‘re seeing a surge in those self-identified Democrats out there. 

Look, it‘s going to be a Democratic year.  The question is just how big. 

CARLSON:  You‘ve been involved in some noble but doomed campaigns over the years, so you know what it‘s like to be an underdog.  In you were in charge, if you were Karl Rove, what would you do right now? 

STONE:  I‘d do exactly what they are doing now, which is to—is to making sure that they can motivate their base, to continuing to exude confidence regardless of what the poll numbers may say, and to try to pull it out.  I mean, the one thing you don‘t do as a party leader—and I‘m not a party leader—I‘m an analyst and a consultant, but I‘m not a Republican Party official—is go around and say, well, we‘re going to lose, we‘re going to lose, we‘re going to lose.  Nothing is definite in American politics.  This election is not over. 

For example, many people have said that the—that the House campaign committee chairman, Tom Reynolds of Buffalo, is going to be defeated by his challenger over the Foley matter.  I think that‘s wrong.  I think Reynolds is on his way back, I think he‘s going to beat his opponent in Buffalo. 

You know, politics is a very strange and unscientific business at the end, and I think these elections are not yet over.  On the other hand, today‘s trends would be troubling for anybody in the GOP. 

CARLSON:  Is—and very quickly, can you give us the one Senate race you think will surprise us? 

STONE:  I think that the Republicans will lose Missouri, which they shouldn‘t do, but I think our candidate has gotten on the wrong side of a stem cell initiative that‘s on the ballot there, and I think it has hurt them.  That is one that we did not think was in play earlier that I think is now endangered. 

If I had to pick another one, it is, frankly, that Mike DeWine, who had a pretty healthy lead in the early polls and looked like he could hold his own, has a big financial advantage over his opponent, Sherrod Brown.  It now looks like he will also be defeated.

And I don‘t know why the White House threw him under the bus last week, but they essentially announced that they had given up on him...

CARLSON:  They did.

STONE:  ... given up on him for dead and were shifting the money to other states. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  It was humiliated and it can‘t have helped him.  I don‘t know why they did that either. 

STONE:  Yes.  A total lack of political discipline. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  Well—Roger Stone, thank you.  I appreciate it. 

STONE:  Tucker.

CARLSON:  It turns out the news can get worse for the Republican Party.  They‘re not just losing voters, in some places they‘re losing candidates. 

In Kansas, a state that went for President Bush by nearly two to one in 2004, nine former Republicans are running on the November ballot as Democrats.  Are things that bad in Kansas? 

Here now to answer that question, Ron Freeman.  He‘s the executive director of the Kansas Republican Party.  He joins us from Topeka.

Ron, thanks a lot for coming on. 

That‘s one of the worst things I‘ve ever heard.  I read this in “The Washington Post” last night and I couldn‘t believe the story was real. 

You‘ve had nine Republicans switch parties and run as Democrats.  What happened? 

RON FREEMAN, KANSAS REPUBLICAN PARTY:  Well, Tucker, thanks for having me on, first of all. 

CARLSON:  Of course.

FREEMAN:  But, you know, when you look at the nine people that switched, I mean, they left because—for personal reasons, really not political, I would say.  Well, personal political motives to be elected as Democrats when they couldn‘t win Republican primaries.

Mark Parkinson, who was the lieutenant governor candidate four years ago, said this, that any Republican who supported Kathleen Sebelius was either uniformed or insincere.  And I think he‘s being very insincere right now. 

BERMAN:  But he—OK, the man—Mr. Parkinson, who you‘re referring to, was the chairman, as I understand, of the Republican Party of your state.  In fact, you may have shared the same jobs. 

FREEMAN:  Right.

CARLSON:  So it‘s not as if he was—he was some random Republican who change his mind.  He was chairman of the party.  I mean, that‘s like George Bush switching sides.  It‘s a big deal. 

What is the explanation for that? 

FREEMAN:  Sure, you look at it this way—and I think it comes down to core principles.  Republicans basically believe that free and responsible citizens make a society strong and make a nation great.  Democrats believe if you can elect few leads (ph) they will make your life better and make our nation strong.  It‘s the fundamental difference.

And you have to ask, did that change in the Republican Party in Kansas?  No, it didn‘t.  The only thing that changed was Mark Parkinson saw a political opportunity, and some others likewise felt like they could get elected in a Democrat Party that didn‘t have candidates.  So they went over there where it would be easier to get elected, they think, but I think they‘re going to be surprised in November. 

CARLSON:  But it tells you something, regardless of what happens in November, it does tell you something, don‘t you think, about the state of the country right now, where clearly it‘s an advantage to be a Democrat, it‘s a hindrance to be a Republican.  And when did that happen, by the way?  And what‘s the cause of that? 

FREEMAN:  Sure.  I would disagree that—it‘s not an advantage to be a Democrat for this reason: what are they running on except they‘re saying they‘re not Republicans?  But when you look at Republican policy, in the state of Kansas, for example, where we passed a machine and equipment tax to help for businesses, where we passed school finance formula to help pay for education in our state, you have Republican initiatives that are making an impact to empower people at the local level. 

You know, our current government...

CARLSON:  Well, are people aware of that, though?  I mean, look, here‘s—here‘s the point. 

FREEMAN:  Sure.

CARLSON:  I know the days before an election is not the time for soul-searching or truth-telling, and this is an uncomfortable position to put you in to ask you to analyze this right now before an election.  On the other hand, don‘t Republicans need to kind of take a deep look at themselves and ask themselves honestly, what has gone wrong with the way we‘re behaving, with the way other people perceive our behavior?

I mean, something isn‘t working.  When are Republicans going to think through what it is? 

FREEMAN:  Well, I think here in Kansas, again, you have to realize, Tucker, that in the Kansas legislature you have 125 seats, 83 are held by Republicans, and it looks like all those are going to be held and we may pick up seats.  You also have in the Senate 40 seats, 30 of them are held by Republicans, and they‘re not on the ballot this year, but, you know, four years from now, we feel like our incumbents are in a very strong position.

So this decision by nine individuals to move really begs the question, what were their motives and why do they think it‘s going to be better to be a Democrat?  What is it that Democrats believe that these nine feel like they want to join their fray? 

CARLSON:  That‘s a good question. 

Ron Freeman, head of the Republican Party of Kansas. 

If two years from now we see you on the ballot as a Democrat, I hope you‘ll come back to explain why. 

FREEMAN:  That‘s not going to happen.  Not going to happen.

CARLSON:  Thanks for joining us, Ron.

FREEMAN:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Still to come, the battle of the lame ducks.  George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are hitting the campaign trail in Virginia.  Will either one of them do his party any good? 

And President Bush compares violence in Iraq to the Tet Offensive in Vietnam.  Is that any way to win public support? 

That story when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

My next guest has an interesting proposal: Why not give citizenship to

foreigners who fight in the U.S. military?  He says, “It is good for

immigrants to wish to pursue U.S. citizenship which they could not

otherwise obtain.  It is good for a beleaguered American military that is

simply too small for the task it has been handed.  And it‘s good for the

country, bringing more hardworking patriots to our shores”

Joining me now, the author of “War Made New: Technology Warfare in the Course of History, 1500 to Today,” Max Boot.  He‘s a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.  He joins us from New York.

Max, welcome.

MAX BOOT, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS:  Thanks very much, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Shouldn‘t we fight our own wars? 

BOOT:  Well, we are fighting our wars, but there is no reason why only native-born Americans have to fight our wars.  In fact, they never have going back to the days of Lafayette and Baron Von Steuben and the—and the War of Independence.

We‘ve always had people who were new to our shores fighting as part of our military.  And I don‘t see any reason why we couldn‘t have that today.  In fact, we have quite a few non-citizens today.  They just have to be green card holders. 

The proposal that Michael O‘Hanlon and I make is simply that you don‘t have to have a green card in order to sign up.  In fact, you can get citizenship by enlisting in the military. 

CARLSON:  Right.  So, in other—I mean, it‘s you‘re holding out citizenship as the bait for people to—“bait” may be the wrong word, but basically to entice people to join the military and to fight our wars.  But it seems to me the beauty of having an all-volunteer military is it really is democratic. 

If people support the policy, they‘ll sign up and fight for the policy.  And if they don‘t, they won‘t.  It does seem you‘re short-circuiting democracy to bringing in people and essentially bribing them to fight our wars. 

BOOT:  Well, I think you‘re using somewhat loaded terminology, Tucker, “bribe” and “bait” and so forth.  I don‘t know...

CARLSON:  Yes, I am.  I am, you‘re right.

BOOT:  There is nothing unusual—there is nothing unusual about having foreigners, non-citizens fight in the U.S. military.  In fact, a century ago we had a much higher percentage of foreigners than we do today.  And many countries use foreigners as well.

I mean, is it wrong for the British to use the Gurkhas?  They fight very well for the British, and the Gurkhas get a good deal out of it, the British people get a good deal out if it.  And likewise, we would get a good deal out of drawing more motivated immigrants to our shores who want to—who are willing to serve a four-year tour of duty in order to qualify for citizenship. 

I don‘t think there‘s anything wrong with that.

CARLSON:  But—well, because there is something morally fraught and there‘s something morally different about fighting wars than there is from, say, mowing lawns.  I mean, it‘s one thing to, you know, import people to do work in the famous phrase “Americans won‘t do,” something quite different, I think, about inviting people in to fight wars Americans won‘t fight. 

And again, to my question, shouldn‘t American—the American people, if they support the policy, be willing to fight for it?  And if they‘re not, doesn‘t that tell you something? 

BOOT:  Well, in the past we‘ve forced Americans to enlist via the draft...

CARLSON:  Right.

BOOT:  ... whether they like the policy or not.  So was that immoral?  That wasn‘t a referendum on whether they liked the wars.  They had to sign up whether they liked them or not.

To me, this is actually—this is actually more moral, because what you‘re doing here is you‘re making it totally voluntary for Americans who want to serve and non-Americans who want to serve.  And we‘re not going to be—it‘s not as if we‘re going to be turning over the entire defense of our country to foreigners, because, in fact, the proposal that Michael O‘Hanlon and I make is to recruit a relatively small number, maybe 50,000, 100,000, 150,000 at most...

CARLSON:  Right.

BOOT:  ... which is less than 10 percent of our entire military.  So it‘s not going to radically change the composition of our military.  It‘s not going to mean that we‘re suddenly outsourcing our defense or relying on foreigners or mercenaries. 

In fact, right now we rely on mercenaries, real mercenaries in places like Iraq, as you know perfectly well...

CARLSON:  Yes, we do.

BOOT:  ... where we have tens of thousands of these gun slingers running around with very little control over them.  And they would be a lot more useful if they were actually part of our military. 

CARLSON:  I wrote a long story about it for “Esquire”.

BOOT:  I know.  I enjoyed reading that.

CARLSON:  And most of them do a pretty good job, I think.  In their defense...

BOOT:  They do a good job, but there is very little coordination between...

CARLSON:  That‘s right...

BOOT:  ... between the private secretary guards and the U.S. military.

CARLSON:  That‘s absolutely right.

BOOT:  And if you actually enlisted some of these folks under military

discipline, I think they would be more useful and you would avoid some of

the problems that you have in Iraq today

CARLSON:  But you‘ve been a longtime supporter of the war.  What does it tell you that more Americans aren‘t willing to go fight this war?  I mean, does that tell you something? 

BOOT:  Oh, there is no question that the war is unpopular.  That‘s absolutely the case.  And the all-voluntary military has never had such an extended conflict. 

This is a real test of the all-voluntary military concept.  But look, we‘re not going to have a draft.  We‘re not going to be pull back substantially from all of our commitments around the world.  And if we want to expand the size of the military, I think we need to think about other options. 

CARLSON:  What do you make of—what do you  make of the president‘s comment to George Stephanopoulos that in fact this is like the Tet Offensive of 1968?  What the hell does that mean?  I mean—look, let me phrase it another way.

I actually think I understand what the president is saying.  Tet was a military defeat for the Vietcong.  So maybe that‘s what he‘s saying, but as a matter of public relations, that strikes me as almost demented to say something like that.

BOOT:  I agree.  It‘s not the right public relations message to send out.  I mean, I‘m not even sure if it‘s true analytically because the situation in Iraq today is so different from Vietnam in 1968, where, you know, we faced one insurgency, whereas in Iraq today, we don‘t have the luxury of concentrating on only one enemy. 

In fact, we have multiple enemies.  We have a civil war with people firing at us from all sides.  And that makes the situation much more complicated than—than Tet in 1968. 

CARLSON:  So why do you—I mean, do you have a quick theory about why the president would have said that? 

BOOT:  Well, you know, Tucker, we all say things that we may regret later.  And the president gets asked a million questions.

CARLSON:  Yes.

BOOT:  And I‘m sure he regrets the answer he gave to this one. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Fair enough.  That‘s a good as an answer as any. 

Max Boot, I appreciate it.  Thank you. 

BOOT:  Sure.

CARLSON:  Coming up, they said what happened to Steve Irwin was just a freak accident.  Well, they were wrong, because it happened again today.  The latest on the 81-year-old Florida man attacked on his boat by a stingray, believe it or not.

And it takes a special kind of mind to catch the craftiest criminals.  Someone like—well, that‘s right, Nancy Grace.  We‘ll tell you who she has caught red-handed this time. 

It‘s all on “Beat the Press” when we return. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Time now for “Beat the Press”.

First up, Nancy Grace on CNN.

This week, former  Enron chairman Ken Lay‘s conspiracy and fraud conviction was thrown out because he‘s dead.  That‘s what the corporate mainstream media wants you to think, anyway.  But Nancy Grace isn‘t buying it.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY GRACE, HOST, “NANCY GRACE”:  I‘m not sure Ken Lay is even dead. 

All right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, Nancy, I read the...

GRACE:  Died at a friend‘s house, cremated the body.  Shh. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Nancy, I read the autopsy report, and he appears to be very dead.

GRACE:  Autopsy report.  Yes, somebody‘s dead.  But how do we know it‘s him?  Do you think this guy doesn‘t have enough money to fake it all out and run to Cuba and live in a mansion? 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Boing.  Coo-coo. 

You know, someone ought to ask Nancy Grace about the Kennedy assassination.  I have the feeling, just a hunch that her explanation would say a lot about her. 

But here‘s the real point.  Ken Lay is dead.  We all know Ken Lay is dead.  But even though he‘s dead, he‘s crossed the threshold into the great beyond.

That does not protect him from the wrath of Nancy Grace, attacking him even into the grave.  That woman never stops. 

Next up, what could be bad news for television newsrooms across the country if the idea catches on.  WCVB in Vermont has banned all cursing in the newsroom after a producer‘s “F” bomb made it on to the air last week.  The station‘s spokeswoman said swearing is unacceptable in the workplace.  She said primly, “I wouldn‘t be surprised if they took it as an opportunity to remind staff to be aware of appropriate language.”

And with that she clicked her very high heels and walked of. 

Well, the anti-swearing lobby within the newsroom points to incidents like this one in which New York reporter Arthur Chi‘en lost his job with an ill-placed word or two.

Watch. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARTHUR CHI‘EN, REPORTER:  All one has to do is buy a couple—buy multiple metro cards, stand at the turnstile and just continuously swipe people in all day.  Police sources say these guys net a couple hundred dollars a day, and that‘s pure profit, but it‘s costing the TA a great deal, about $16 million a year.  And they‘re trying to put a stop to it. 

What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is your problem, man? 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  OK.  Thereby becoming my hero.  And I wish we didn‘t have to beep that. 

The point is, if you‘re offended by swearing in the newsroom, go sell insurance or manage a RadioShack, you uptight dork.  You don‘t belong in this business.

Second, if you don‘t let journalists swear, what are they going to say?  Not much. 

Still to come... Mr. President, meet Mr. President.  George W. Bush and Bill Clinton cross paths on the campaign trail.  Are they the best the parties can do? 

And is Donald Rumsfeld tired of being the fall guy for the White House?  Does he plan to resign? 

That story when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, the uproar over a radio ad that aims Martin Luther King was a Republican.  Not that there‘s anything wrong with that, or is there?

And our “Dancing With The Stars” pal Jerry Springer, more on his career in just a moment.

But right now, here‘s a look at your headlines. 

MARGARET BRENNAN, MSNBC ANCHOR:  I‘m Margaret Brennan with your CNBC market wrap.  For the first time in its history the Dow closing over the 12,000 mark, a 19 point gain giving the Dow a record close of 12,011.  The S&P 500 adding just a point there; the NASDAQ up 4. 

It was really strong earnings in certain sectors that gave those Blue Chips in the Dow a boost. 

Google just out now with third quarter earnings.  The online search giant says profits nearly doubled on a 77 percent jump in revenue, mostly from online advertising sales.  Google‘s shares up in after hours trading, up more than 7 percent on that news. 

Ex-New York Stock Exchange chief Richard Grasso says he‘ll appeal a New York State judge‘s ruling ordering him to give back more than $100 million from his $187 million pay package.  New York‘s attorney general challenged Grasso‘s pay, saying it was excessive for the then nonprofit company. 

Wal-Mart is expanding its $4.00 generic prescription drug program to 14 states.  The discount chain making that announcement just two weeks after rolling out that program across Florida. 

Now, back to Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Time now for three on three, where we welcome two of the sharpest people we know to discuss three of the most interesting stories. 

Joining us from Washington, DC, Republican strategist Frank Donatelli and Peter Beinart, editor at large of the “New Republic,” also the author of “The Good Fight by Liberals,” and “Only Liberals Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again.” 

Welcome to you both.  President Bush and former President Bill Clinton are both in Virginia today, campaigning for their party‘s candidates in the U.S. Senate race there.  Both incumbent Republican George Allen and Democratic challenger Jim Webb have called in their party‘s top fund-raisers to help boost their campaigns. 

Allen and Webb are neck and neck in the polls.  It does make you wonder, Frank, how long the total domination of national politics by the Bushes and the Clintons is going to continue.  If you are going to be 49 years old this next election cycle, that means that you have never seen a presidential ballot, or voted on a presidential ballot that did not have a Clinton or a Bush on it; 28 years you‘ve had a Clinton or a Bush a the presidential ballot.  Are people going to tire of this after a while? 

FRANK DONATELLI, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Well, I think 2006 -- this 2006 election will turn the page Tucker, and we‘ll be into 2008 election and there will be a lot of new candidates that people can get excited about.  It does interest me, you know, Bill Clinton injects himself into the political debate again.  He‘s the Terrell Owens of American politicians, in the sense that it‘s always about him. 

There is no immediate need why he needed to get involved in this election.  He‘s lost Virginia twice, number one.  And number two, Democrats are already more excited about this election than are Republicans.  So I think what he does more than anything else is remind Republicans why they need to get out and vote. 

CARLSON:  He certainly reminded me what a sanctimonious jerk he is, Peter, I have to say.  I mean Clinton, sort of, gets—the farther away you get from him the more you like him and then you hear him speak.  Here‘s what he said yesterday at Georgetown.  First he contrasted his party, the Democratic Party, with the Republican party by saying that we‘re the party of the common good.  They‘re the party of evil. 

Then he said, quote, the more ideological right wing element of the Republican party has been building strength, partly in reaction to things that happened 40 years ago.  He‘s basically saying segregation created the Republican—or the end of it, rather, created the Republican party and they‘re riding racism to success. 

That‘s such an awful, unfair, stupid and wrong thing to say.  Why does he get away with that and does it help Democrats when he says stuff like that? 

PETER BEINART, “THE NEW REPUBLIC”:  Well, as a historical matter, the fact that the Republican party benefited immensely from the Democratic party‘s embrace of civil rights, I think, is virtually incontrovertible fact.  And the fact that the Republican party used coded, racial language in a whole series of races in the late 1960‘s, early 1970‘s. 

Ronald Reagan kicked off his campaign and, you know, famously in Mississippi, in the town where the three civil rights workers were killed.  There is no question historically that‘s a fact.  I think the Republican party, to its credit, has been much less crude in its use of racial symbolism and imagery today than it was, for instance, in George W. Bush‘s father elections in 1988 against Michael Dukakis. 

CARLSON:  I just couldn‘t disagree more with that characterization of that campaign as racist.  But look, the Democratic party for, you know, 60 years didn‘t use coded racial language, it used racial language.  I mean both parties have a history of racism, but to say that -- 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  The current Republican party owes its prominense, its control of Congress and the White House to racism in 2006, that is just a deeply unfair—that‘s out of bounds, I think, political to say something like that.

BEINART:  I think it would be unfair to say that the Bush administration today is using racism to win elections.  But the truth is that you can‘t explain how the Republican party became the dominant party in the south without understanding that it was tapping into a lot of racial hostility amongst whites, in response to civil rights. 

CARLSON:  Frank. 

DONATELLI:  Well, in fact, yes, in fact what happened in the late 1960‘s was the rise of the business class in the south, which tended to be Republican, which tended to replace the segregationist Democrats that had been entrenched all these years.  So it was actually the growth of the Republican party and business in the once solid Democratic south that now accounts for the fact that there is tremendous diversity of opinion down there. 

So I think your facts are wrong.  It‘s just interesting about Bill Clinton, you know, Peter, just one more thing, it‘s interesting what Bill Clinton says about the common good.  You know, when he was president for eight years, the only thing he did was for the common good was raise everybody‘s taxes, but he was also known primarily as the president of triangulation, which meant that he had no governing philosophy.  He was the most puny two-term president we ever had because he would never use his reputation and his popularity to accomplish great things. 

BEINART:  That‘s really, really, not true at all, with respect to Bill Clinton.  Clinton had a very coherent philosophy in 1992.  It was called the politics of reciprocal responsibility.  It means government helps you more than Republicans would help you, but government demands responsible behavior.  That‘s what the Earned Income Tax Credit was about, which lifted a lot of people out of poverty.  It‘s what welfare reform was about.  It‘s what being tough on crime was about and it‘s the reason that poverty rates declined dramatically in Clinton‘s administration. 

CARLSON:  That‘s one interpretation.  I want to get your take, Peter, on something going on in the current administration that has to do with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who, in addition to being the secretary, has another tough role in the city, that of being the perfect scapegoat.  In a column by Sally Quinn (ph) in today‘s “Washington Post,” Rumsfeld is described as the, quote, “the shrewdest person in Washington, who understands better than anyone that someone has to be in the line to take the blame when things go wrong.” 

It‘s an interesting point that she makes, that Sally Quinn makes, Peter, that basically Rumsfeld has taken all the heat for this war, I think, personally unfairly.  I think it‘s Bush‘s fault, not Rumsfeld.  But if Rumsfeld leaves after this election, as she predicts he will, then the whole weight this comes down on the president.  Do you buy that? 

BEINART:  Yes, I do buy that actually.  I think it makes a lot of sense, but if you believe the Bush spin, which is that he doesn‘t care about the polls and his popularity.  All he wants to do is win in Iraq, then he would have gotten rid of Donald Rumsfeld a long time ago, because no one in America is listening to Don Rumsfeld.  He is tuned—The country has tuned him out and he‘s made disastrous choices militarily. 

(CROSSTALK)

BEINART:  Well, in fact, they do because the country is more and more moving towards supporting withdrawal.  If we‘re going to stay there longer, it‘s going to be because we have spokesman in the administration who can make the case that we‘re actually doing—we can actually win and no one believes that from Rumsfeld anymore.

CARLSON:  That‘s actually—I think that‘s a completely fair point.  I mean Frank, think about that for a minute.  Don‘t you have to have, not just an admirable, effective strategy, but someone who can articulate that and convince the public that you‘ve got an admirable, effective strategy? 

And Rumsfeld, I think, is very good at that, which is why I don‘t think the president is anxious to ask him to leave.  I do find it interesting Tucker, you know, on Monday night football the Arizona Cardinals blew a 20-0 lead to the Chicago Bears and what happened the next day?  The cardinals coach fired his assistant coach.  He didn‘t take the blame.  He fired his assistant coach. 

I mean that is one thing that White House aids and cabinet members,

frankly, do from time to time, cover for the boss if it‘s absolutely

necessary, but I just don‘t see any evidence right now that the president -

I think the president is comfortable with Don Rumsfeld and probably is not going to ask him to leave. 

CARLSON:  It‘s just amazing how everybody despises the guy, everybody.  I mean, the neo-cons blame all the failures of the war on him because they don‘t want to reexamine their flawed assumptions.  The left blames him;

Democrats do because they don‘t want to have explain their own votes in favor of the war.  I mean, everybody blames the guy, and he‘s not the one who sent us to war, it seems to me—

BEINART:  It‘s true, but the reason that everyone agrees on blaming him is that, whether you were for the war or against the war, it is now a virtual consensus that we didn‘t have enough troops and that falls on Donald Rumsfeld‘s head above, more than anyone else.  All of the books say that, that the, by and large, military wanted more troops and he was relentless in pushing the number of troops down.  It‘s virtually—I mean virtually no one disputes that anymore.

CARLSON:  Well, here‘s an ad—of all of the ads that are running in preparatory to this midterm election, here‘s one that‘s making people the maddest.  It‘s a radio spot, produced by a group of Black conservatives, that says that reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican. 

A group called the National Black Republican Association developed the ad, which also points out that the Democrats founded the KKK, which they did, but here‘s what interests mean Frank, is the response to this ad—has been—I mean I don‘t even know where it‘s running, probably on some, you know, short wave station, I mean probably nowhere.  But, you‘ve had all these Democrats, these relics of civil rights era and more modern Democrats come out and say there‘s nothing more offensive than this.  Martin Luther King a Republican, I mean, that‘s like calling him a Satanist.  What do you think of that?

DONATELLI:  Well, look if people want to be offended, they will be offended.  Here‘s a couple of things, just for the record.  Number one, Martin Luther King Sr., supported Richard Nixon.

CARLSON:  Yes, I knew that.

DONATELLI:  Number two, when Martin Luther King said I have a dream that one day all of gods‘ children will be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character, you could make an argument that a conservative would be more comfortable saying that than a liberal.  Nevertheless, I think it‘s a bad thing to go back, for Republicans, to go back to the civil rights era.  I think, if you want to get more black Republicans, which I do, you should focus on future-oriented issues, like entrepreneurship, school choice and things like that. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  First, let me correct the record and say that my producers told me in my ear that I‘m being way cynical and, in fact, that ad is running in seven states.  And so it actually is on the air.  I‘m sorry, Peter. 

BEINART:  Martin Luther King‘s father originally supported Richard Nixon in 1960, mostly because he identified with him as a Protestant, was uncomfortable voting for a Catholic.  But John F. Kennedy won Martin Luther King‘s father‘s support because Kennedy intervened very dramatically during the 1960 campaign to get King out of jail when he was in a very precarious situation and Richard Nixon would not. 

Richard Nixon did not have a bad record on civil rights up to that point, but that was actually a really critical shift, as Republicans moved from the party of Lincoln to the party of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. 

CARLSON:  Right, and in fact, I believe Martin Luther King Sr. pledged in public to turn out the vote for Kennedy in that election.  But look—it‘s the false piety and the hyperventilating you hear from the left that is so important to claim that Martin Luther King was a Democrat.  I mean, actually, I don‘t care one way or the other. 

It‘s totally irrelevant to me and I agree with Frank.  The ad is kind of dumb.  But it‘s amazing how much they have invested in this, that the civil rights movement was, you know, a product of the Democratic party and the Republican party is, you know, evil and racist.  It‘s just not true.  It‘s much more complicated than that.

(CROSSTALK)

DONATELLI:  I was going to say really quickly, for some of the civil rights establishment, it‘s important to identify only the Democratic party with black aspirations because that‘s their path to power.  In point of fact, it would be much better for blacks if they had an input into both parties.  

BEINART:  It would be—but for that—Absolutely, it would be.  And those Republicans who have really done things to address, particularly the interest of the working class and poor, tend to do better amongst Republicans.  You know, if the Bush administration were to do something significantly about the uninsured in this country, health care, white and black, I think that would have helped among African-Americans. 

If they were better on bread and butter economic issues and not focusing so much, mostly on tax cuts, that go for the very wealthy, they would do better amongst African Americans.  It‘s not rocket science. 

DONATELLI:  Well, I think faith based institutions are very popular among African-Americans. 

CARLSON:    Churches love money just like everybody else, no doubt about it.  Frank Donatelli thank you.  Peter Beinart, thank you. 

An Ivy League University looks to clear its guilty conscience about slavery a couple hundred of years later. 

Plus the incredible story of a man stabbed in the chest by a stingray that hopped into his boat.  Hear the amazing details when we come right back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Attention college bound minority students.  Brown University wants you.  University leaders think it‘s time their school and other institutions held themselves accountable for the past.  they‘re referring to the crime of slavery.  After a three year study of the issue, Brown University has decided to make reparations for slavery by recruiting more minority students, particularly those from Africa. 

The plan includes the creation of an academic center to study slavery injustice.  As one of the nation‘s oldest schools, Brown feels committed to make reparations partly because the oldest building on campus was built with slave labor, with donations from slave owners.  Well James Campbell is a professor of African and American civilization studies at Brown.  He is also the chairman of the Committee on Slavery and Injustice there.  He joins me now from Providence.  Professor, thanks for coming on. 

JAMES CAMPBELL, COMMITTEE ON SLAVERY, BROWN UNIVERSITY:  Thanks for having me.

CARLSON:  I‘m not sure I understand the idea that because Brown participates indirectly in slavery that modern day 18-year-olds from Africa ought to get preference on admissions.  Explain that to me. 

CAMPBELL:  Well, that‘s kind of a simplification of what we said. 

Basically, what we are trying to do, primarily, is simply look at the

history of our institution

CARLSON:  Right.

CAMPBELL:  And what we were asked to do was look back through archives on our campus to simply answer the question of what the nature of our institutions relationship to slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade was. 

CARLSON:  Well, good, good for you.  That‘s great. 

CAMPBELL:  And so at the end of the process, we looked all, you know, at the experience of other institutions, societies around the world that had confronted these kind of legacies of historic injustice and tried to think about, you know, what can you do that‘s meaningful in the present.  As you know, you know, in this country right now, the issue is often immediately short circuited on to this question of monetary reparations, which gets very inflammatory very quickly. 

I‘ve heard your show talking about this.  And we didn‘t think that was a model.  On the other hand, we thought there were things that our institution meaningfully could do in the present to take—to basically be accountable for a legacy that we‘ve inherited. 

CARLSON:  OK, I understand all that.  I just don‘t understand—I mean, let‘s just get a lot more specific.  I‘ve never understand how: A, you can apologize for someone who is no longer here, who is dead, how you can apologize on behalf of someone else who is not here to account for his own behavior, and B, how you give things to people who weren‘t injured?  How do we find who is the grieved party exactly, and how are we making it better by giving him or her preferential treatment at Brown?  I just don‘t get that.  How is that justice? 

CAMPBELL:  Well, you know, there is a couple of things that I want to say about that.  First of all, we didn‘t advocate an apology.  One of the things that we looked at in great detail in the report was the history of apologies that have been given institutionally at different nations around the world to see how that works, when does it work and to ask exactly the questions that you‘re asking.  Who can give an apology, is it meaningful?  And a big part of what we‘re trying to do is to simply open up terrain for our students, and people in the nation as a whole, to talk about that in more thoughtful ways. 

CARLSON:  But, is anybody going to get preferential treatment as the result of your apologies and your efforts of, you know, saying your sorry for slavery? 

CAMPBELL:  Sure.  What we suggest in the report—I mean one of the things that came in from a lot of the people that wrote to us, was that the most obvious form of amends for Brown University to make was simply to offer scholarships to black students.  And, as we explain in the report, that‘s really not an option.  Brown is an institution that is need blind and need based.  We admit students irrespective of their ability to pay and we commit ourselves to providing whatever is necessary in loans or scholarships for people to come here. 

Now one of the things that‘s the case in the United States, or in, I‘m sorry, at Brown right now, is that you‘re only allowed to be need blind for students in the United States and what we advocate is that there should be more financial aid for students outside the United States as well.  And we mention in particular students from Africa and the West Indies.  And the reason is those are the places that were most affected by the Rhode Island slave trade. 

(CROSS TALK)

CARLSON:  I‘m more confused at the end of this interview than the beginning.  Can you sum it up for me.  The people you‘re giving preference to over presumably white American students, the people who are getting preference, are you demonstrating that they individually have been harmed by slavery and Brown University‘s role in slavery? 

CAMPBELL:  No, no, I don‘t think that‘s the case.  I mean I think that, you know, part of your—part of what you want to move this to immediately is this question of is this individual a victim, is the individual—

CARLSON:  Yes.  The individual is what matters in my mind.

CAMPBELL:  That‘s right.  And part of what I guess I would ask you to do is read the report, because part of what we‘ve tried to do is, in a sense, talk about the ways in which that conception of responsibility, which if we‘re talking about a court of law, obviously is what we‘re talking about.  You know, a person can‘t be guilty of something that they can‘t do and a person—or didn‘t do—and a person can‘t be, receive damages for something that they didn‘t suffer. 

On the other hand, if you‘re a member of an institution, particularly an institution like this one, which exists across time, you know, we are part of a procession that began hundreds of years ago on this campus and will continue hundreds of years after, and part of what it is to be a member of an institution like this is to accept the responsibility to those who came before and those who came after.  That‘s a deeply conservative idea. 

CARLSON:  I think we‘re going to need to continue this over dinner.  I‘m sorry Mr. Campbell.  We‘re out of time.  With all due respect, I think you‘re making a good faith effort to explain it.  I must be getting dumber.  I really don‘t understand.  But maybe you we can eat together and you can explain it to me in greater detail.  Yes, we‘re rubbing up against the limits of the meeting, but thank you. 

CAMPBELL:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Meanwhile Borat gets an invitation from the government of Kazakstan.  Will the intrepid fake reporter take the bait.  We‘ll tell you when we come right back.

Before we go to break, it‘s tonight‘s installment of the good, the bad and the ugly. 

We begin with Jerry, the good sport.  Springer seems a bit out of steps with fellow contestants on ABC‘s “Dancing With the Stars,” you have got to admit his resilience is impressive.  Who would have thought the 62-year-old tabloid talk show host could outlast the vivacious Vivica A. Fox and the sexy country singer Sarah Evans.  Who writes these scripts anyway.  Maybe fans want to see what musical instrument Jerry will destroy next week.  A great guy and a great sport. 

Next the bad is the reaction to a seemingly harmless dig by Senator John McCain when asked what he would do if Democrats took over the Senate. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA:  I think I would just commit suicide. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  It‘s a joke.  As you can tell people in the room got the joke, but some Democrats are not amused to be the butt of his dark humor.  They ought to get over it pronto. 

And finally an ugly near death experience off the coast of Florida.  This 81-year-old man is fighting for his life after a freak encounter with a way-ward stingray.  Witnesses say the three foot wide animal leaped into the boat and fired a barb into the man‘s chest.  Doctor‘s say a piece of that barb remains in his body.  This bizarre accident comes only six weeks after Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray stab to the heart in Australia.  Were they are accidents?  We‘ll be right back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  No matter what mood you are in, Willie Geist will make it all better.  That‘s a promise.  Here he is.

WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC ANCHOR:  I hope you‘re not in a bad mood, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  I‘m in a great mood.

GEIST:  I have—You know who might be in a bad mod?  The people looking for Wesley Snipes right about now.  Wesley owes the government $12 million in back taxes he didn‘t pay for six years and that was three days ago.  Still no sign of Wesley Snipes.  Again, if you have seen Wesley, tell him the government is looking for him and his $12 million.  I have a feeling he might not turn up or turn up the $12 million, actually. 

CARLSON:  Run Wesley, run. 

GEIST:  Right, that‘s your program. 

In other entertainment news, Tucker, Borat, the undeniably hilarious character created by comedian Sasha Barren Cohen, has been formally invited to visit his phony homeland of Kazakstan.  Borat is the anti-Semitic, misogynistic and all together fictitious television reporter who the government of Kazakstan believes reflects poorly on his country.  Officials there protested loudly about Borat and his upcoming movie, which comes out on November 3rd, see it. 

The deputy foreign minister of Kazakstan says he wants to show Cohen that, quote, women drive cars and Jews are free to go synagogues.  He also pointed out, Tucker, that people in Kazakstan drink wine made of grapes, not of fermented horse urine, as Borat has suggested in the past.  If you don‘t go to the theater on November 3rd, you‘ll hate yourself forever.  Go see this movie. 

CARLSON:  Women are now allowed to ride inside the bus.

GEIST:  Right, exactly, they don‘t have to hitch a ride.

Tucker, finally, the Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway opened an exhibit last week called “Against Nature.”  It details homosexual behavior of animals in the wild.  It‘s believed to be the first exhibit of its kind.  Flamingos and penguins are identified as being especially light in their flippers.  Organizers of the exhibit say homosexuality has been observed in some 1,500 species, Tucker. 

And I think nature—there was only one way to go for the flamingo.  I mean, you‘re wearing bright pink all the time.  You‘ve got those feathers that make you look like a Vegas show girl.  You can‘t help but be homosexual if you‘re a flamingo.  I‘ve always thought they were gay. 

CARLSON:  It‘s a very stylish, very dramatic bird. 

GEIST:  I like flamingos.  Plastic ones, particularly.

CARLSON:  Willie Geist.

GEIST:  All right Tucker.

CARLSON:  That‘s it for us today.  Thanks for watching.  Up next, HARDBALL with Chris Matthews.  We‘ll see you back here tomorrow. 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

END   

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