Guest: Shmuley Boteach, Bill Donahue, Ann Coulter, Robert Reich
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, “HARDBALL”: And then there were 10.
HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today I announce that I am running for the presidency of the United States of America.
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am a candidate for president of the United States.
AL SHARPTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We would not run if we were not going to run to win.
REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D-MO), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I announce my candidacy.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am running for president of the United States.
CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am officially declaring my candidate six.
SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I declare myself a candidate for president of the United States.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am a candidate for president of the United States of America.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I accept your nomination for president of the United States.
KERRY: I am John Kerry, and I‘m reporting for duty.
LESTER HOLT, NBC ANCHOR: Could we see history repeat itself this time around?
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC ANCHOR: The first presidential race since the September 11 attacks.
MATTHEWS: NBC News has assembled a team of powerfully equipped experts.
KERRY: This president has made a colossal error of judgment.
BUSH: Saddam would still be in power if he were the president of the United States.
MATTHEWS: Amazing moments in this debate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming to live from Democracy Plaza.
HOLT: Americans going to the polls right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Bush cast his ballot at the Crawford fire station.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator John Kerry casting his ballot.
JOE TRIPPI, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Across the Internet on the blogs, that‘s all they‘re talking about, is turnout, turnout, turnout.
KEITH OLBERMANN, NBC ANCHOR: All the races so far way too early to call.
DAN ABRAMS, NBC CHIEF LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: How many of these provisional ballots come in could determine whether there‘s going to be a five.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: It is amazing, the intensity on both sides of this election. And I think it comes down to Florida and Ohio.
EDWARDS: We‘ve waited four years for this victory. We can wait one more night.
KERRY: I spoke to President Bush and I offered him and Laura our congratulations on their victory.
BUSH: The campaign has ended, and the United States of America goes forward with confidence and faith.
I see a great day coming for our country and I am eager for the work ahead.
God bless you and may God bless America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Tonight‘s top headline, the Bush mandate. “The Real Deal,” the mainstream press didn‘t get their man.
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, where no passport is required and only common sense is allowed.
Blue state media says the nation‘s divided, but they‘ve got it wrong. I‘m going to tell you how President Bush has actually brought the country together and made America more united than it‘s been in 20 years.
Journalists and pundits aren‘t alone. How could professionally paid pollsters—see Zogby—have been so wrong about so much? The truth behind their confidence and their agenda.
And, just like Ronald Reagan, George Bush has consistently been underestimated by the mainstream media, from his time as a Texas governor, all the way to a second term in the White House.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, welcome to our show.
The Dems are down, the White House is digging in, and the media‘s still spinning about a divided nation. It‘s time for tonight‘s “Real Deal.”
Now, today, elite media outlets were filled with items trying to explain away George W. Bush‘s victory Tuesday in usual terms, proving once again that they just don‘t get it. These Manhattan media mavens tried to pass off the president‘s victory as a right-wing, evangelical, homophobic, militaristic, knuckle-dragging response to the challenges facing America.
You know, one columnist wrote an article explaining how best to pack up and move to Canada. And another suggested that the Democrats could actually start winning elections if they adopted a new focus on faith, so long as that faith had nothing, God forbid, to do with God.
CNN‘s chief political analyst grimly noted that America was more divided than ever, which is, of course, what reporters of blue states always say when Republicans from red states get elected to important positions. But, is America really so divided?
George W. Bush is the first presidential candidate in almost 20 years to get over 50 percent of the popular vote. Bush also received more votes than any presidential candidate in the history of the United States. He was also part of the first election where as many Republicans went out to vote as Democrats. He almost completely erased the gender gap. He had 45 percent of the Hispanic vote, and he increased his vote totals over four years in 45 of the 50 states in which he ran.
He also doubled Bill Clinton‘s reelection gains between 1992 and 1996. Now, for left-wing scribes and scrawlers of anti-Bush screeds, and you know who you are, let me give you some bad news. America has cast their votes, and they‘ve decided George W. Bush is a uniter and not a divider. Not only did they give him the most votes in American history. They also—and this is important for you to pay attention to, so listen up—they also gave you more Republican allies in the House and in the Senate.
And anybody like myself who knows anything about power politics in Washington knows that that almost never happens to an incumbent. Bill Clinton, like Ronald Reagan, saw his party‘s majorities evaporate, while they held on to their White House power. But George W. Bush, like no other president since FDR, has only seen his political party‘s power explode while holding on to the White House.
Michael Moore, “The New York Times” editorial page, and other assorted leftists who awoke this week found themselves horribly out of touch with Americans. And they can keep fighting the president‘s policies all they want. In fact, I think it would be un-American for them not to voice their dissent. But, if they care to be intellectually honest while they‘re doing it, “The New York Times” editorial page and Michael Moore have to be facing this sobering fact, that when it comes to American political life, it is they who are the extremists, not George W. Bush.
And that‘s tonight‘s “Real Deal.”
Hey, we got a great panel. Let‘s bring them in. We have Robert Reich. He of course is a former labor secretary under Bill Clinton. We have got Mike Barnicle, a great friend from “The Boston Herald.” We‘ve got Ann Coulter. She is the author of “How to Talk to a Liberal If You Must.” And we have MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan.
Pat, let me begin with you. You have been around for quite some time, been very involved in presidential campaigns. George Bush accomplished quite a few things this past election that presidents haven‘t accomplished in a long time. And it seems like he would be such an unlikely person to do that. How did he do it?
PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think, as the British say, he‘s punching above his weight, in a way.
But I was tremendously impressed with—the president‘s a great campaigner. He‘s proven that. He‘s a man of heart. He‘s a man of conviction. And he is a solid party man. But I think, in this campaign, despite the fact that he had an awful lot going against him, he came in with a fairly rough hand to play, lots of bad news coming out of Iraq. You have got the economy and the jobs picture did not look good.
And I think he just went out there and fought. He tried a new campaign strategy, going after his opponent virtually by name for six straight months. He has a real chance to make history, Joe. And I think, though, he has got a tremendous plate of problems this front of him, Iran, the situation in Iraq, the sinking dollar, a pretty huge deficit. But I think he‘s...
SCARBOROUGH: North Korea.
BUCHANAN: He‘s got North Korea.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m sorry. Yes, I didn‘t mean to interrupt you. North Korea. You‘re right. He‘s got so many challenges in front of him, Pat. And we‘re going to talk about that.
But talking about this election, though, Pat, we‘ve seen “The New York Times” and we‘ve seen the elite media bash this guy so much over the past four years, basically calling him an idiot, calling him incompetent. Think about this—and I‘m serious here. OK, like I‘ve said time and again, I read “The New York Times” every day. It‘s the paper I read. And yet, how does “The New York Times” editorial page feel when they wake up to a country that hands him a majority? They are clearly out of touch with mainstream America.
BUCHANAN: I will tell you how they feel, Joe. They feel like Dan Rather about one week after those memos...
BUCHANAN: ... he put out he said were authentic.
I think, listen, you know, that is one—there is a great line from Murray Kempton. He said this friend of his had reached that point in life where one‘s greatest pleasures lie in the misfortunes of others. And Michael Moore and George Soros and “The New York Times” and Dan Rather and Barbra Streisand, what they are experiencing today does make it worth it to come back and have endorsed George W. Bush.
SCARBOROUGH: Mike Barnicle, let me bring you in here, because there‘s so much talk about red states and blue states.
But it‘s not just about states. It‘s about culture. There are some guys in South Boston that wouldn‘t have a drink with Michael Moore if he was sitting next to them wearing a Red Sox cap. Talk about the cultural divide. Talk about how George W. Bush—forget politics for a second. Talk about how George W. Bush seemed to be a real guy, the same way that Ronald Reagan in 1984 campaigning in South Boston and holding up that beer mug was a real guy, in a way that John Kerry may not have been.
MIKE BARNICLE, NBC ANALYST: Well, Joe, it‘s interesting. I was listening to your opening monologue, your commentary up at the top of the show.
Well, first of all, George Bush is a real guy. I think people know that, and voters know that. But I can recall being with you early in September on a day when I had just seen the president of the United States campaigning up in southern New Hampshire, and I had seen John Kerry campaigning up there the day before, and I was struck just by the cosmetics of the two campaigns.
George Bush appeared in an open-collar blue shirt, sleeves rolled up, clearly enjoying being in the middle of the crowd, lunging for hands to shake, sweat staining the back of his shirt. John Kerry, the day after, was there in a Hermes pink tie. And that‘s who he is. And it doesn‘t make him a bad person, but he was a bit standoffish with a similar crowd.
The difference for the Democrats, Joe, off of your question, I think is more cultural than it is political. I think that it takes an understanding of human nature to relate to people. And, unfortunately, the Democratic candidates, or a lot of the Democratic candidates at the top of the Washington tier of the Democratic Party seem not to comprehend human nature.
And one element of human nature that I think is critical to being elected to anything, whether it‘s selectman, whether it‘s town council, Congress, or presidency of the United States, is, people don‘t like to feel as if they are being condescended to, that they‘re being looked down at, that they‘re laughed at, that they‘re being sneered at, that if they happen to be pro-life, that they‘re thought to be Neanderthals by a certain sect of people, that if they have trouble with the alteration of a word like marriage, the changing of a definition like marriage doesn‘t mean they‘re homophobic.
It means they have certain values, I think probably values that most Americans have. And, unfortunately, for the Democrats and for a lot of editorial page writers, what they don‘t seem to comprehend is that in states like New York or Massachusetts or Pennsylvania or California or anyplace else where the Democrats carry the state, there‘s a lot of red—or a lot of blue in those red states. And the blue people in those red states, to not mix metaphors, are not listened to or written about.
SCARBOROUGH: Ann Coulter, let me ask you about what happened this
week. Follow up on what Mike Barnicle‘s talking about, because the thing
that I was struck with when I was reading some editorials from blue states
· and we‘re going to read some of these editorials when we come back—but I was struck by how there was this constant hammering, that the Republicans won because they played to the homophobia.
Republicans won because they were anti-choice. Republicans won—it seems like somebody in the mainstream media in Manhattan can not understand how somebody like myself could actually believe that life begins at conception. Now, listen, if you‘re the editorial page editor of “The New York Times,” I can say, I understand how you disagree with me. Reasonable people can differ on this. But for me personally, I believe that life begins at conception.
And yet somehow for them that makes me, that makes you, that makes tens of millions of people Neanderthals, like Mike Barnicle said, Ann Coulter.
ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, “HOW TO TALK TO A LIBERAL IF YOU MUST”: Yes, you‘re an ignorant cracker, Joe.
COULTER: I have to say, when I was watching Kerry‘s concession speech, though I‘m glad he lost, for a moment, I did think it was an honorable speech, and I felt sorry for him, a little the way I feel about Yasser Arafat today. You know, in a person‘s defeat or demise, you feel warmly toward them.
And then I, too, read “The New York Times” op-ed page today, and, oh, the weeping, the gnashing of teeth, the lamentation. Bush‘s victory is really just the gift that keeps on giving.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, Ann, I‘ll tell you what. I want you and everybody to stick around.
We‘re going to come right back. We‘re going to have Robert Reich right after the break.
Stick around. We‘ve got a lot more, a big show tonight. You‘re not going to want to miss it. We‘re going to be looking at editorials coming out of red and blue states when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
BUCHANAN: Did George Bush use gay-baiting, guns and God to get elected? We‘ll talk about that with Robert Reich, Ann Coulter and much more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, welcome back to our show.
Now, there were different messages coming out of blue state media, as opposed to the red states.
In “San Francisco Chronicle,” “The Chronicle” wrote on blue Wednesday that, “It wasn‘t hard to find people around here half joking about seceding or leaving the country.”
“The Post-Intelligencer” in Seattle writes, “The crass Karl Rove-driven strategy of manufacturing an issue around gay marriage testifies to the Republicans‘ need to distract from the domestic, diplomatic and Iraq-occupation troubles.”
And “The New York Times” writes, “Tuesday‘s vote came as a particular shock in places like Europe, where much of the population simply couldn‘t conceive that people would want to keep Mr. Bush in power.”
But in the red states, “The Cleveland Plain Dealer” wrote, “President George W. Bush, having secured the highest popular vote count in the nation‘s history and strengthened his party‘s hold in both houses of Congress.”
“The South Florida Sun Sentinel” understands why Democrats lost big on Tuesday, writing, “The more Democrats are seen as ignoring or demeaning traditional values, the more they lose the American heartland.”
And in “The Las Vegas Review Journal”: “This election is a mandate.
It‘s a mandate for Iraq, the war on terror, and the economy.”
Let‘s go now back to the panel. And I want to go to Robert Reich. He, of course, is the author of “Reason” and the former labor secretary under President Clinton.
Thank you so much for being with us, Mr. Secretary.
ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: Well, Joe, how are you tonight?
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m doing fairly well, other than my back.
What‘s your response to those editorials coming out of the heartland that says this election is a mandate for George W. Bush?
REICH: I don‘t think it‘s a mandate, Joe.
Certainly, George Bush won and won handily. And it was a good, well-fought contest. He got 59 -- some 59 million votes. John Kerry got about 56 million. Well, let‘s look at both sides. It‘s clearly that George Bush won. There‘s no question about that, three million votes. But there were about 56 million Americans who voted for John Kerry. And I thought that both sides laid out their arguments.
I thought the debates were very good, in fact, some of the best presidential debates we‘ve seen. I don‘t think there‘s a huge mandate one way or the other. Quite frankly, I think that George Bush, clearly, is in control, and Republicans are in control of Congress. And we‘re probably going to have a Republican Supreme Court.
SCARBOROUGH: Why is that? Why do Democrats seem to keep losing? Under Terry McAuliffe, since 1992, 1993, the Democrats have been slaughtered in the House and in the Senate. Of course, George W. Bush barely won in 2000, but in 2002 Republicans won big. In 2004, Republicans won big.
Does this come down to values, like Mike Barnicle was talking about?
REICH: Joe, I think it does come down to values.
It also comes down to responding to the real problems of working-class America, of middle-class America. Everywhere I went—and I was mostly in battleground states—people talked about jobs and wages and health care again and again and again. I think John Kerry had good plans, but I think people wanted to hear more than plans and policies. They wanted a kind of value and passionate conviction.
And George Bush, even though I happen to believe that his policies are ill-founded, I disagree with him in terms of foreign policy—I also disagree with the economic policies—at least he had passionate conviction. He kind of put his policies in a context of strong moral values. And I think the Democrats, if they‘re going to reach the heartland and reach Americans and reach the working class, have got to do exactly the same thing two years from now and four years from now.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, breaking down the country, we want to go county by county and show our viewers how this election went. County by county, the United States was washed in red.
The president did much better than his 2000 victory margin, when he carried 2,439 counties, compared to Al Gore‘s 674. Bush lost the popular votes, but of course won the election.
Ann Coulter, though, you look at that map. It seems to be washed in red. I‘m looking and I‘m listening to some Democrats that, again, still don‘t seem to get it. We‘re hearing that Hillary Clinton already is, you know, may be the choice four years from now. Obviously, it‘s way too early, but this seems to be a party, Ann Coulter, that‘s afraid to talk about God, that‘s afraid to talk about faith.
When I heard John Kerry—and I‘m not knocking him, but when I heard John Kerry try to talk about his faith, he talked about how he was an altar boy when he was young. Well, those of us in red state America know that the preacher tells you every week, it ain‘t whether you go to church or not that matters. It‘s your relationship with God. And I just—it just doesn‘t seem that many Democratic candidates get that, do they, Ann?
COULTER: As my friend Joe Sobran said after hearing Kerry‘s constant references to being an altar boy, while coming out for federal financing of partial-birth abortion, Sobran demanded a group, Former Altar Boys For Truth.
COULTER: No, I mean, I think—well, for one thing, Pat Buchanan made this point long ago in Houston, the cultural war that liberals are now discovering. And I think you saw it in the second and third debates. Bush absolutely wiped the floor with Kerry on the social issues, on the questions, on abortion, on God, on what you‘ve learned from the women in your life.
It was—I think that had a lot to do with his win on the moral values. When Kerry talks about God—I mean, Bush had just given an incredibly genuine description of what he prays for, his belief in God, his tolerance toward nonbelievers, and he said that it affected his foreign policy, that he believes freedom is a gift from God.
Then Kerry, trying to out-God Bush, comes back with, well, everything‘s a gift from God.
Well, no, it‘s not. No one who believes in God thinks that. Slavery isn‘t a gift from God. Oppression isn‘t a gift from God. I think that is a big problem for the Democrats. They keep trying to fake out the American people by pretending to believe in God and pretending to love their country, but the truth slips through now and then, like with the global test.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan, in 1992, you talked about America being on the cusp of a cultural war.
And two years later, because of that speech, Pat, I had the Republican Party working night and day to get me to feed it, because they thought I was too conservative to be elected. They blamed you for the 1992 loss of George Bush Sr. They said the Republican Party was filled with right-wing religious extremists. The irony of it is, I don‘t think I‘d even call myself an evangelical.
And, like a lot of people, I have got a faith in God, a deep faith in God, but, you know, I keep that inside. And it‘s a personal thing, for the most part. But Democrats don‘t seem to get that. And Republicans in 1992 didn‘t seem to get that, but you seem to get it. You talked about this cultural war. And now, if you read all the blogs today, if you read the newspapers today, if you look at the results today, it appears that George Bush Jr. listened to you, and it looks like, at least electorally, he‘s won that cultural war that you were talking about.
BUCHANAN: You know, I just wrote in a column today that George W. Bush was reelected president of the United States because he ran on the cultural, social, moral issues from which his father ran away in 1992.
In 1992, the foreign policy was off the table. President Bush‘s economic policy was supported by 16 percent of the public. So I urged him in that speech that night to take up the issue of a culture war, which at its root is about religious differences among us. That‘s exactly right. Bill Clinton, in his memoirs, said the Republicans would have done much better if they‘d done that.
But let me say about—these issues have really come to the fore now.
And, quite frankly, as Ann Coulter wrote today, I believe, in a column, Mr. Rove and Mr. Bush did not really hammer the marriage issue or these others hard as they might have done and done even better.
But when those folks out there in Seattle say that what happened here is that Karl Rove exploited the gay marriage issue, the person that put that on the table is the chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court that imposed gay marriage on the state of Massachusetts, and so states all over the country immediately put this on the ballot in 11 states, one of them being Ohio, and folks came out to express their revulsion, not only at the whole idea of gay marriage, but at the idea of a judicial dictatorship in this country, which is imposing a social revolution on this country and has been doing it for 50 years.
And this is the great battle of the future, the recapture of the United States Supreme Court for constitutionalism.
SCARBOROUGH: And, Mike, I wanted to ask you, Mike Barnicle—and we only have 15 seconds—I‘ll get more on the other side—there are a lot of people out there, though, that may not be religious, may not have a great faith in God, that are simply offended by the junk their kids watch on television every night.
BARNICLE: Well, let‘s wait until the other side for that, because all I‘ll tell you on this side of the commercial break, Joe, is, I don‘t know what God is driving up there, but I don‘t think he has bumper stickers on it.
SCARBOROUGH: I agree.
All right, Pat, Mike, the rest of you, stick around for a minute.
We have got a lot more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns, including whether the media missed the importance of the religious vote.
SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY is going to be right back in a second.
SCARBOROUGH: Coming up on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, are we in the middle of a cultural and a religious war, and is it a war that George W. Bush won on Tuesday? We‘re going to be talking about that when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, welcome back to our show.
Of course, we heard in the news break about Elizabeth Edwards. Certainly, all of our thoughts and prayers are with Elizabeth and her family as she goes through her battle with breast cancer. And at times like these, we certainly find out that there are things a lot more important than politics.
But, Mike Barnicle, I want to go back to you.
I started talking about my faith. And I think, like a lot of people, I start talking about it, and I stammer around about it. It‘s not that I‘m embarrassed of it. It‘s just I don‘t wear it on my sleeve. I never have. But I also think that Americans don‘t want politicians running around talking about how they love Jesus. I don‘t think it‘s about that so much as it is about they don‘t want their 14-year-old kids to turn on NFL football games watching Coors commercials about twins and beer and sex and this and that and the other.
SCARBOROUGH: And, you know, Janet Jackson, that whole halftime thing, every said, oh, it‘s just a breast. What‘s the big deal? You know what? For the red states, it was a big deal.
I‘m sitting there with my kids. I don‘t want to see it, OK? It doesn‘t mean I‘m a prude. It doesn‘t mean I haven‘t seen it before. But that‘s something that Democrats and liberals and elitists just don‘t seem to get, that we people in the red states, we don‘t want you wearing a halo. We just want you to understand the problems that we face raising our kids.
BARNICLE: Joe, I think that‘s a technicolor deal. That‘s red states and blue states.
And the problem I think for the Democrats, or at least some Democrats, not all Democrats, but if you could tonight—you have children. I have children. And if you‘re out there watching, if you could shut your eyes and imagine in your mind‘s eye both candidates who just ran for president, George Bush and John Kerry, and think of your children and the things that you cope with each and every day, with, say, a 14-year-old daughter or a 12-year-old boy.
The Internet, they‘re surfing on the Internet. Do you watch them every minute? Do you worry about it? Sure, you do. The cable TV that you have access to, it has 612 channels. Do you have parent locks? Because a lot of stuff that‘s on cable TV, you wouldn‘t want a 14-year-old or a 12-year-old to be watching. The promotions for some TV shows.
Let‘s take one, not to pick out any single network, but “Desperate Housewives,” just the promos. Would you want your 14-year-old daughter and your 12-year-old boy to be watching it? I wouldn‘t think so. Would you want a candidate running for office that you might think of voting for who would be in favor of not having parental consent or parental knowledge for the 14-year-old perhaps having to get an abortion? Which of those candidates, John Kerry or George Bush, do you think best represents your mood, your feeling on those items I just mentioned with regard to your family?
Joe, I think the problem with the Democrats is that it‘s pretty easy to figure out which candidate in the voter‘s minds eye they thought would.
SCARBOROUGH: And, Robert Reich, let me give you an example of something that happened over the summer. And, again, I thought it was very telling.
There was that Radio City Music event for John Kerry. Hollywood celebrities lined up. They supported him. A lot of people went on stage and made some very off-color jokes, again, Robert, nothing that would offend me. I‘m a grownup. Nothing that would offend you. You‘re a grownup, OK? But, again, talking about kids and everything else, they were bashing George Bush. They made a lot of crude, off-color jokes.
John Kerry then got up and said, these people represent the greatest in America. And it took a while for him to back off. Now, Democrats, for so long, have sort of sighed and rolled their eyes and say, oh, gee, you don‘t get it. They were just joking around, but I don‘t think it‘s us that don‘t get it. I think it‘s the John Kerrys out there that are running for office that don‘t get it, that sometimes it‘s OK to say, enough‘s enough. Let‘s have some decency out there. Let‘s draw lines. Let‘s understand that the First Amendment is a great right, but responsibility comes with it.
Am I off base to you and others in blue America?
REICH: Joe, I don‘t think you‘re off base, but I don‘t quite understand why you are blaming Democrats for what big corporations, including, let‘s say, NBC and a lot of big corporations, big advertisers and marketers, what they want to put on the air.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m not blaming them.
SCARBOROUGH: You‘re off point.
REICH: Look, I think corporations do have responsibilities.
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on. You‘re off point. Robert Reich, Robert Reich, Robert, Robert, Robert, we‘re getting nowhere because you‘re off point.
I‘m not blaming Democrats for putting it on the air. I‘m saying, they ought to stand up more. Their leaders ought to stand up more and say, like Pat Buchanan did in ‘92, there‘s a cultural war. We need to protect our kids. And then you don‘t.
REICH: Well, there‘s no question. Look, I agree with you.
That‘s why Bill Clinton in 1996 called on every television manufacturer to put V-chips in the television, so that parents could have some control. All I‘m saying is that I don‘t think this is a Democrat or Republican issue. I think this issue is about corporate responsibility. And I think, if you ask which party and which candidate has been talking about the responsibility of corporations, basically, it‘s been Pat Buchanan, but it‘s also been Democrats for years, corporations that basically don‘t care about what—not only what‘s on the air or what they‘re advertising and how they‘re manipulating people and the decency or indecency that they‘re exposing children to.
They‘re also corporations that are putting jobs abroad and paying their executives $20 billion a year. That‘s a moral issue, too, isn‘t it?
REICH: Democrats talk about that. I haven‘t heard a single Republican talk about the immorality of what‘s going on in corporate America.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I‘m a Republican. And I‘ve certainly talked about it.
But, Pat Buchanan, let‘s talk about it.
BUCHANAN: All right.
SCARBOROUGH: That doesn‘t move votes as much as George Bush talking -
· listen, I will tell you what. A parent in Topeka, Kansas, is a lot more concerned about what their 14-year-old daughter is seeing on the Internet than what job is outsourced over to India in Pennsylvania.
SCARBOROUGH: What Robert Reich is talking about is true, but, again, that‘s not driving the votes as much this year, is it?
BUCHANAN: Well, in terms of the job issue and the economy, if you take that issue alone and separate out taxes, Kerry beat Bush 3-1 on the issue of jobs and the economy.
And in a place like Ohio, were it not for the cultural, social issues, I think the president would have lost Ohio and lost the election. But to your point, Joe, I really believe this. The culture, just like the environment, has been severely polluted. Now, we all agree you have got to clean up the water and you have got to clean up the air. We don‘t want to breathe in these poisons and all this stuff that we used to breathe in when we were behind a bus in the 1950s in a car.
But the toxicity of the culture is extraordinary when you see the change from the 1950s. And a lot of parents, decent folks, they may be religious. They may not be religious. They see this as poisoning the hearts and minds and souls of their children, corrupting their souls and corrupting their lives.
And the Christian community, the evangelical community, they have seceded from this culture. They have got their own TV stations, their own radio stations, their own bookstores and all the rest of it. That is part of the whole two-Americas thing. Frankly, it‘s one of the problems we have abroad in societies like Islamic societies.
If we Americans, who are very modern, very progressive, are revolted by this sort of material pouring out this filth in the advertising—you‘re right. I think Robert Reich is right. In the ads put out by big corporations and run by big networks and things like that, if we are revolted by it, think about the conservative, traditionalist people in Muslim countries who may not hate America and who get this stuff fed to their children. What do they think?
SCARBOROUGH: Ann Coulter, you know what I think is so interesting is, we talk about the red state-blue state divide and how George W. Bush, a lot of the coastal elites just don‘t get Bush and his faith.
But I‘ll tell you who else doesn‘t get it. And you can read it by looking at the editorials,. The Europeans, the French, the Germans, the people that Rummy mock as old Europe, almost seem to have contempt for George W. Bush‘s brand of Christianity.
COULTER: Contempt for Christianity. We‘re talking about Europe here, right?
SCARBOROUGH: Go ahead. We‘re talking about old Europe.
COULTER: They have contempt for Christianity. They have contempt for God.
“The Guardian”‘s front page headline today was, “Oh God,” in response to Bush‘s election, marking the first time “The Guardian” has mentioned God. And, by the way, this idea of trying to slip in American corporations, as if they‘re all run by right-wing Republicans, you know, like Michael Eisner and Harvey Weinstein, this is absurd.
This is not something both conservatives and liberals are out fighting, or there would not be so much smut on newsstands, on TV, coming out of Hollywood. This is absolutely something conservatives complain about and liberals get snippy and look down their noses and call us ignorant crackers for complaining about it.
The one Democrat who actually tried to make an issue of the smut coming across on C.D.s and movies was Joe Lieberman, a position he had to withdraw when he was running for vice president of the United States, along with Al Gore. Oh, and Al Gore‘s wife, Tipper. And they had to apologize, go out to Hollywood and say, no, no, give us more smut. This is the Democratic Party. This is absolutely is a left-right issue.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I‘ll tell you what, Ann. You bring up two great points here, because, as we go forward, the Democrats are going to have to remember how they made Joe Lieberman apologize for doing that and how they basically made Tipper Gore in 2000 crawl on her hands and knees out in California in the L.A. community and apologize for telling them to put some sort of warning stickers on those C.D.s that were going into their kids‘ C.D. players.
SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY has a lot more coming up. We‘re talking about George W. Bush‘s election and what it‘s going to mean for your life over the next four years when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
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BUSH: I will be your president regardless of your faith. And I don‘t expect you to agree with me, necessarily, on religion. As a matter of fact, no president should ever try to impose religion on our society. The great tradition of America is one where people can worship the way they want to worship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, welcome back.
Now joining our panel, we have the president of the Catholic League, Bill Donahue. And we also have radio talk show host and good friend Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.
Let‘s go to you first, Bill Donahue.
What did you make of the elections? Do you think it was a rejection of a cultural decay?
WILLIAM DONAHUE, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: It certainly was a rejection. It was a rejection of the cultural elite. This has been a bad year for them.
First, they got their butt kicked when they tried to censor the movie by Mel Gibson “The Passion of the Christ.” Then they lost here again. They lost in Florida with parental control on abortion. They lost in 11 states on the question of two men getting married, one of the most bizarre ideas ever entertained by any person in the history of the world.
They also lost on civil unions. Outside of stem cell research, they lost on virtually everything. No, I think the message has been received in part. I say in part because if you listen to what‘s going on, on the part of some of these people, it‘s clear that some of them belong in the asylum. They don‘t really get it. I think we need to bring out the straitjackets, because these elites somehow think that we‘re the problem, that we‘re the Neanderthals.
I‘ll just give you something very quickly, what happened. Two years ago, the Catholic League would try to be even to Republicans and Democrats. I‘ve gone after Republicans before, including this year. Two years ago, we found out that Catholics For Free Choice, the nation‘s largest anti-Catholic organization, is in bed with the Democrats. They have a link on the Democratic National Committee Web site.
We spent over $100,000 to get the DNC to stop having this link. Finally in April, they redid their Web site. I thought everything was fine. Then we found out that Mara Vanderslice, a 29-year-old Marxist who runs in anti-Catholic circles, is chosen by the DNC to be their religious outreach person. We exposed her. So what did they do? They muzzled her. She wasn‘t allowed to speak to the press.
Then we found out two months later that Brenda Bartella Peterson, a clergy member, a Protestant minister, had gone into the Supreme Court to get the words “under God” banned from the Pledge of Allegiance. We exposed her, and three days later, she caved.
Now, I think that there‘s something in the Democratic Party. There‘s an absolute animus, an hostility to people who hold religion seriously. Either that or they were delirious, in which case, you have got to get the straitjackets. Put them in the asylum.
SCARBOROUGH: Rabbi, let me—we‘ve been talking about evangelical Christians. Bill Donahue obviously a Catholic. But this isn‘t just about being a Christian, is it? I mean, it goes beyond that.
RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH, SPIRITUAL ADVISER: No, not at all. It‘s a universal question of faith.
But let‘s be honest. And without giving offense, Robert Reich is being totally disingenuous when he blames the corporations, rather than the Democrats, for the smut in the culture. Who elevated these celebrities and made them into heroes? Did you see Bush taking Eminem out on his campaign trail? Do you see him running around with Bruce Springsteen or Whoopi Goldberg?
The Democrats have held these people before our kids and said, they are king makers, not just court jesters, but king makers. It was degrading for John Kerry to be seen with Ben Affleck, a miscreant loser who treats women like garbage, the day after his Democratic Convention as a king maker. Vote for me because of Ben Affleck. This is degrading. It pulled the whole Democratic Party down. It‘s shows they‘re not serious people.
Then we have the whole issue of a moral focus, Joe, in foreign policy. Guys like me are sick and tired of the Democratic Party being apologists for tyrants. What do you mean it was the wrong war? Wrong for who, the 300,000 Kurds that were gassed to death, the 800,000 Arabs who were slaughtered? Do you know how they felt when they heard this stuff?
We‘re tired of Bill Clinton overlooking the genocide of Rwanda and 333 blacks killed every minutes for three months, 800,000 dead. Didn‘t even meet with his senior staff through all that time. We‘re tired of them. We‘re tired of Jimmy Carter meeting with Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, with Fidel Castro. There‘s no morality there at all. Human life is precious.
Even if we don‘t agree on the abortion issue, living people, we agree on, right? And we see the Democrats always serving as apologists for these animals. And, by the way, even for Ann Coulter to come along and say, with all due respect—and I love Ann—to say that she has sympathy for Yasser Arafat?
COULTER: He‘s dying.
BOTEACH: Yasser Arafat can have a slow, agonizing, painful death and roast on a spit for hell forever and ever with all terrorists. I have no sympathy.
REICH: Can I just say something, please, Joe?
SCARBOROUGH: All right.
Robert Reich, jump in. We‘ve got 30 seconds. Go.
As I count them, there are six guests on this show. I am the only person on the show who is even defending the Democrats. Let me just say this. Everybody is in favor of decency.
SCARBOROUGH: You‘re doing a good job.
REICH: Everybody is in favor of decency with regard to our culture, our morality. When the vice president goes down and calls Senator Pat Leahy and tells him to go “blank” himself, that is indecent.
Nobody approves of that kind of behavior in our politics, in our culture. There are big issues facing this country having to do with the economy and foreign policy. Our culture wars, yes, they‘re real, but let‘s not have a religious war. If we have a religious war, we are really in trouble in this country.
SCARBOROUGH: All right.
Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
Rabbi, Bill, Pat, Robert, Ann, Mike, thank you all for being with us tonight. We greatly appreciate it.
And, Robert Reich, you did a great job holding up your side.
SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY will be right back in a second.
SCARBOROUGH: Tomorrow night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, the Hitch. Is it all right to call him the Hitch? I think it is. Christopher Hitchens is going to be here for the great neocon debate. Do they have too much influence over the White House and are they going to lead us to World War III? That‘s tomorrow night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
But stick around. We‘ll be right back in a second.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, thanks a lot for joining us in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY tonight, a very interesting conversation and debate.
Again, I want to remind you and your family to keep Elizabeth Edwards in your prayers tonight.
We‘ll see you tomorrow, same time, on MSNBC. Good night.
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