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'Scarborough Country' for Jan. 20

Read the transcript to the 10 p.m. ET show

Guest: Sam Seder, Joe Pantoliano, Janeane Garofalo, Hilary Rosen, Andrew Sullivan, Julia Reed

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Welcome to a special edition of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, live from the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

President Bush sworn in for his second term.  The 55th inauguration is almost in the books.  And the president used the occasion to cement his place in history, telling men, women, and children around the world, if they are on the side of freedom, America will stand next to them.  Our 43rd president declared freedom the right of all humanity, to be enjoyed even in the darkest corners of the globe.  His challenge the next four years, can he lead our nation, Republicans, Democrats, and independents to deliver his vision of a truly liberated globe? 


CHIEF JUSTICE WILLIAM REHNQUIST, U.S. SUPREME COURT:  The office of president of the United States. 

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  The office of president of the United States. 

America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world and to all the inhabitants thereof. 

Renewed in our strength, tested but not weary, we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom. 



SCARBOROUGH:  On this historic day in our nation‘s capital, partisans from both sides of the aisle came together to witness a cornerstone event of the world‘s oldest constitutional democracy. 

The Cabinet members who defined the first Bush administration were in attendance, as were those responsible for delivering on the promises of the president‘s address.  An estimated 100,000 people braved the frigid weather and surrounded the Capitol steps to watch the swearing-in; 10,000 members of the United States military took part in the ceremony, and their former commander in chief witnessed it as well. 

But if you were listening closely, you could almost hear strains of Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan, when President Bush said we have brought freedom to millions of people, and he added this. 


G.W. BUSH:  By our efforts we have lit a fire as well; a fire in the minds of men.  It warms those who feel its power.  It burns those who fight its progress.  And one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners of our world. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Now, nine official inaugural balls are taking place tonight—Julia has I think been to eight of them—to celebrate the beginning of the second term for President Bush.

“HARDBALL”‘s David Shuster is keeping up to date with all of the parties.  And he joins us now from the Commander in Chief‘s Ball, which is under way at the National Building Museum. 

David, what do you got? 

DAVID SHUSTER, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, Joe, the vanguard of that effort to bring freedom around the world, of course, is the U.S. military.  And this is their ball.  And the president will be here, capping off his night within the next hour; 2,000 men and women who have served in Iraq or will be serving in Iraq or Afghanistan over the next couple of months, they started arriving a couple of hours ago, dressed in their formal dress blues, looking very snappy, very happy of course to have something free in their honor, a party for them, although the money of course coming some of from those donations that GOP fund raisers made over the last couple of weeks. 

There have been some very high-profile arrivals already.  Vice President Cheney, who, for some of these soldiers said they were less than 10 years old when he was last secretary of defense, Vice President Cheney was first here tonight.  The vice president was followed by Bush 41, President George H.W. Bush, the president‘s father.  He actually signed some autographs and posed for pictures with some of the military personnel when he was here.

And then, not too long ago, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was visiting the service men and women, thanking them for their service, talking about their courage, both in Iraq and Afghanistan.  But, again, in less than an hour, Joe, President Bush will be here to talk about the troops, to thank them personally and to talk again about his cause for freedom—Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thanks so much, David Shuster.

We will be getting back with you soon, but, right now, let‘s bring in our panel. 

With me now, Pat Buchanan, former presidential candidate and MSNBC political analyst, Julia Reed from “Vogue” magazine, author of “Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena,” and Andrew Sullivan, formerly of “The New Republic” and, of which I contribute, and in Boston, Mike Barnicle of “The Boston Herald.”  I don‘t contribute to Mike.  His wife does that. 

Pat Buchanan, let‘s start with you. 


SCARBOROUGH:  You had to love this.  It was Woodrow Wilson, everything but the League of Nations thrown in there.  You are not a neocon.  Unlike me, you‘re a bit more skeptical of what the president has been doing over the past few years.  Were you alarmed by the scale and the sweep of this speech? 

BUCHANAN:  No.  Frankly, I expected it.  I expected him to put Iraq into a much larger context, Iraq being very problematic right now, with the bloodshed and the suicide bombings.  So he has put it into a larger context. 

What he is saying, Joe, is this.  Just as FDR‘s generation, the greatest generation, liberated the world from fascism, the Cold War generation of Reagan liberated the world from communism in Europe, I am basically the leader who is going to help bring liberty to the entire world.  And we are going to remove tyranny from the world.  We‘re going to keep up this conflict for generations until it succeeds.  It is a vaulting vision he has, but I think, like Wilson‘s, it‘s going to confront reality. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you know, Andrew Sullivan, I pulled a couple of inaugurations, past inaugurations.  This sounded an awful like John Kennedy‘s in 1961 and also FDR‘s in ‘45. 

Listen to this language and the similarities between the president today.  I think Matt Gerson probably read these once or twice.  “We have learned that we cannot live alone at peace, that our own well-being is dependent on the well-being of other nations far away.  We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community.  The almighty God has blessed our land in many ways.  He‘s given our people stout hearts and strong arms to strike mighty blows for freedom and truth.”

But Republicans aren‘t supposed to talk that way. 


SCARBOROUGH:  This is, again, almost Wilsonian, isn‘t it? 

SULLIVAN:  Well, I think he tried something a little bit more sophisticated than that. 

What he was saying was saying that liberty, the expansion of freedom, is actually the key to security.  He was trying to, I think, mesh both the sort of idealistic liberalism of Wilson with conservative realistic politics.  He is saying, unless we spread liberty, we are going to be insecure.  We are going to be hurt.  These terrorists are going to get us. 

In other words, this whole idea that you can either be a realist or an idealist, he was saying in the speech, is a false choice.  You have to be an idealist to be a realist.  That was the ambition of the speech. 


SCARBOROUGH:  That really was, Andrew.  And you touched on it.  Reading this speech, listening to the speech, there was the one line at the top where George Bush finally did what I always thought Tony Blair was so, so adept at doing, and that is explaining why we are in Iraq, something the president really hasn‘t done, but he‘s basically he said unless we spread freedom across the globe, we will never be secure at home. 

SULLIVAN:  If the first part of the war was, we have got to be safe from nightmares, this part of the war, this way of selling the war is that we are going to make the world a better place.  And that‘s the strategy he is building. 

Now, I think Pat is right.  I think there are enormous complications in this.  There‘s a great distinction between what he is saying and the reality on the ground. 

BUCHANAN:  It‘s the defiance of the farewell address totally of George Washington about foreign entanglements, all the rest of it.  John Quincy Adams said we go not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.  We are the champions of freedom everywhere, but we are the vindicators only of our own.  This is thrown in the trash can.


BUCHANAN:  He‘s going to liberate mankind.

SULLIVAN:  It was stake in the heart of your philosophy. 

BUCHANAN:  Well, there‘ no doubt it‘s the utter contradiction of those of us who sort of believe in an old George Washington...


BUCHANAN:  ... 19th, early 20th century. 

SULLIVAN:  Look at his government moments.  He is citing the G.I. Bill and the Homestead Act and the Social Security Act?


BUCHANAN:  You‘re exactly right.

He‘s saying that the liberation of Americans, here‘s what government did with the Social Security, the Homestead Act, the...

SULLIVAN:  What is this, LBJ?

BUCHANAN:  ... G.I. Bill.  Exactly.  Government is the liberator of mankind.  Ronald Reagan would be sitting here looking, just a minute. 


SULLIVAN:  This was the opposite of Reagan. 


BUCHANAN:  It is exactly. 

SULLIVAN:  He called it a broader definition of freedom, which is, the government gives you. 

BUCHANAN:  Exactly—exactly right. 

SULLIVAN:  The is the end of small government conservatism, the end of that kind of... 


BUCHANAN:  It is government is the liberator. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I actually—and I wrote a book.  And when I wrote a book, I basically lifted an entire column you wrote for “TIME” magazine about the nanny state. 


SCARBOROUGH:  I credited you. 



SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  Exactly.  So it‘s OK. 

But, at the same time, though, I think when it comes to domestic spending, I think this is a lot of rhetoric, because I have talked to some of his people that I knew that I other conservatives have been very angry, and they said, you are going to like this budget.  It‘s going to be a tough budget. 

Julia, I want to move from talking about neocons to talking about style. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Something that I noticed about George W. Bush‘s style today, both he and his wife seemed to be more relaxed, more at ease in their own skin than I have seen them, at least in the past four years. 

JULIA REED, “VOGUE”:  Well, I think you are right.  He makes much still, maybe too much, of the fact that, you know, I really won this election, for one thing. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I won this one.

REED:  You know, but he did—when I interviewed him in the Oval Office like seven days after the election, he said that to me about three times.  You know, the people have spoken this time, blah, blah, blah, and I think he does feel like that. 

Just on “HARDBALL” right before this show, somebody made the point that this is like his first term, because he is sort of coming in not in that edgy kind of way.  But, also, I think that he has grown comfortable, a little bit more comfortable in his own skin.  And I think she has grown into her role a lot more. 

You said that she looked more comfortable in the photographs.  I think she certainly looks more comfortable when she‘s walking around these events.  I have been watching her in 10, 12 places a day.


REED:  And she‘s moving through there less like—it‘s hard to know what Laura Bush feels.  Somebody said, either she is on thorazine or she has the richest inner life of anybody on the planet.



REED:  Again, I hope it‘s the latter.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you have spent time with her friends.  You know she is a very down-to-earth person.  You know that...

REED:  And she is.  And has just taken this on.

I think the reason that she is so popular is because we haven‘t watched her go through 30,000 transformations.  She was always comfortable in her own skin.  I don‘t think her life‘s goal was to be first lady. 

BUCHANAN:  But doesn‘t she look more regal?  I think she does.

REED:  She has got on more expensive clothes, Pat. 

BUCHANAN:  When she first came in she was—well, OK.




BUCHANAN:  No, I think her appearance and carriage and everything.  I think the point you made that they have won it, it is over, as far as running again and campaigning again, and they have succeeded. 

REED:  Well, I don‘t think that she has all of a sudden adopted regal airs because she can act like the first lady. 


BUCHANAN:  Oh, I don‘t mean that in a negative way.  I mean just her appearance and her carriage. 


BUCHANAN:  I‘m very impressed with...

REED:  Listen, it happens every single election, every single administration I have seen.  The first time, they come in and they‘re dressed in their local designers and they look a little like country come to town, whether it‘s Rosalynn Carter making a big point of wearing the same dress she wore when he was inaugurated as governor. 

And then—but then they have to go out in public like 100 times a day, so you got to get the wardrobe together, and you also need as a first lady to sort of be ambassador for American fashion or whatever.  And you have got Oscar de la Renta dressing you instead of the dude from Dallas. 

SULLIVAN:  She is an almost perfect lady, isn‘t she?  Whatever you think about the president...

REED:  Most popular first lady of our time, ever.

SULLIVAN:  She is defining this role.  I think she is both a person of extraordinary obviously intelligence and subtlety, but she also manages this femininity.  She manages to square that circle somehow.  I don‘t know how she does it, but she does it brilliantly. 


SCARBOROUGH:  And she holds him in line, too.


REED:  Well, that‘s the thing. 

SULLIVAN:  I have no idea.

REED:  She gives the impression...


SULLIVAN:  I wish she would, though. 


REED:  No, but are you going to go—Bushie and that kind of stuff. 

We all hear those stories.  But she does it...

SCARBOROUGH:  The woman, dead or alive...


REED:  Yes.  She does it in a way that‘s not like Nancy Reagan saying, you have got to fire so and so or Hillary Clinton throwing a lamp, or whatever.  The way that she keeps him in line, if that‘s even true, is this sort of funny way that most people sort of admire.  And I mean, she is...

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  It‘s kind of like when I started the show and I would raise my voice, I would come home. 


SCARBOROUGH:  My wife would be standing at the back door.  She would stare at me for a second.  She would shake her head, turn around, and walk away. 


SCARBOROUGH:  But I won‘t be doing that tomorrow night. 

BUCHANAN:  I know the feeling, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  That happens a couple times, you get the message. 

So, anyway, listen, we are just getting started here.  Not going to be talking about my problems.  We are going to be talking about the president, his speech today, with our all-star panel.  We are going to be with you tonight until midnight with our SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY inaugural special live from the National Mall.  You are not going to want to miss a minute of it, so stick around.  We‘ll be right back. 


SCARBOROUGH:  President Bush‘s second Inauguration Day comes to a close, but Washington and Julia continue to celebrate.  We‘re going to take you inside more of the exclusive inaugural parties and take a look at what is ahead and what the president faces as he enters his second term in just a second. 




UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Ladies and gentlemen, the 39th president of the United States, Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Rosalynn Carter. 

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  What a nice welcome.  Excuse the gloved hand. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  George Bush and Barbara Bush. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Ladies and gentlemen, the 42nd president of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton and Senator Clinton. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back to this SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY inaugural special, as we celebrate 55th inaugural.  And it continues in Washington tonight.

We are here with our panel, Pat Buchanan, MSNBC political analyst, Andrew Sullivan, formerly of “The New Republic,” Julia Reed from “Vogue” and Mike Barnicle from “The Boston Herald.” 

And what are you going to be writing tomorrow morning on  Are you going to be talking about the number of times that George Bush hammered on the points of freedom and liberty and, as you pointed out, this is the same man that brought us the Patriot Act? 

SULLIVAN:  Well, there is something a little strange.  There‘s definitely—the people of Afghanistan and Iraq are freer today than they were four years ago, but it‘s not—that is absolutely not true.  The people of America are not freer. 

REED:  Sixty thousand cops on the streets today. 

SULLIVAN:  They live under the Patriot Act.  You live under a brutal war on drugs.  He is a social conservative.  He doesn‘t want people enjoying their own freedoms in their own homes, or he‘s anti-gay marriage.  All these things, he is restricting freedom at home, while talking about expanding it abroad. 

I thought the speech was a good speech, but not a great one.  When he mentioned the same word, freedom, 37 times and liberty 20 times and that‘s your one point, you should do it in 10 minutes, not 20 minutes, I think, and I think it would have been better to have been shorter and crisper. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, the president did say that history is on the side of freedom. 

Let‘s take a listen. 


G.W. BUSH:  There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment and expose the pretensions of tyrants and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Buchanan, I know, again, there are concerns you and other conservatives have about this Wilsonian vision, but there‘s something Reaganesque about it too, also, isn‘t it?  Ronald Reagan said, to hell with detente.  I am going to take the Soviet Union head on.  I‘m not going to do what Kissinger, Nixon, all these others say is the smart thing to do.  I am going to follow my inner voice.  I‘m going to call evil, evil.


BUCHANAN:  Well, Ronald Reagan used phrase evil empire and axis—or focus of evil once in one speech, and Ronald Reagan did use a rhetorical offensive against the Soviet Union, but he was a man of prudence. 

Let me quote you this line again.  “The survival of liberty in our land increasingly the depends on the success of liberty in other lands.”

Now, to Andrew‘s point, the founding fathers always believed the great threat to human liberty and freedom was government, the power of government, giving power to the government right here in the United States of America.  Now, comrade Bob Mugabe dreadful creature in Rhodesia—or in Zimbabwe, but he‘s not a threat to the freedom of the American people. 

We have always looked on our government with skepticism.  What Bush is saying in this speech again and again is that the American government is the great agent of empowerment and freedom for American citizens. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But, Patrick...

BUCHANAN:  It is an unbelievable philosophical contradiction. 

SULLIVAN:  And it‘s been consistent in practice. 


SULLIVAN:  If you look at what they have done to homeland defense. 


SULLIVAN:  If you‘ve look what they‘ve done in public spending, if you look at the federal power grab in No Child Left Behind, in which the long tradition, bipartisan traditional, of letting the states and localities govern has been destroyed by this president. 

BUCHANAN:  Joe, we will bring the highest standards to our school.  Who is we?  The government of the United States.  That wasn‘t the way this country was formed.  It was local schools and people in their own communities and towns first, and maybe state government.  We will bring.  He is talking about the federal government. 


SULLIVAN:  ... states.  Sorry.  Go ahead. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I was just going to say, let‘s expand this out a little bit.  We can talk about George Bush.  But other than John McCain, I haven‘t heard a lot of Republicans on Capitol Hill over the past four years cross this guy.  They are either scared of him or Karl Rove. 


SCARBOROUGH:  I don‘t think there‘s a conservative...


SCARBOROUGH:  ... party right now in America.

SULLIVAN:  Not only that, but—there isn‘t.  Even the pundits, even the commentators, you and I have been criticizing this from different perspectives.  Some people have.

But I am amazed at how lockstep this Republican Party and the Republican pundits have all become on this, even though much of this is a betrayal of fundamental conservative principles. 

BUCHANAN:  There is no conservative party in America today.  That was not a conservative speech.  He is talking about government empowering people here and government leading this great crusade abroad to bring freedom and liberty to the whole world, assault tyrannies. 

SULLIVAN:  And this is a man that also created first major government entitlement in Medicare since LBJ.


SULLIVAN:  The man who has increased government spending at a faster rate than anybody since LBJ.  Whatever he is, he is not conservative in the traditional sense of the word. 



REED:  But, Pat, when you attack him for saying—you talked about Mugabe.  We are not going after Mugabe.

And he‘s saying, this is a different world.  You keep talking about the founding fathers.  The founding fathers weren‘t dealing with what—nobody was flying a plane into a building, because that wasn‘t one that tall, for one thing.  It‘s a whole different—I don‘t see how you can sit here and criticize the president for not following the principles of the founding fathers because of what he is trying to do now in Iraq and in other parts of the Middle East. 


BUCHANAN:  Let me say, I‘m not...

REED:  Because what he is saying is, this is remedy for terrorism. 

Have you got a better idea? 

BUCHANAN:  Well, listen, the reason the terrorists are over here is because we are over there. 


SCARBOROUGH:  No, no, no. 


BUCHANAN:  It is silly to believe that the terrorists came over here because they can‘t stand the Bill of Rights. 


SCARBOROUGH:  The Palestinians supported Nazis during World War II,. 

They have not been our friends.  The Middle East has not been our friends.

BUCHANAN:  No, I don‘t say they‘re our friends.  Listen, when has America ever been attacked?  Why do you think bin Laden attacked us?  Because we are free? 



SCARBOROUGH:  You sound like Susan Sontag.  It‘s our fault.  It is our fault. 



SCARBOROUGH:  By the way...


REED:  You are.  There‘s no other way...


SCARBOROUGH:  Patrick‘s Buchanan next column will be in “The New Yorker.”  Get it on newsstands. 

Now, the president often says, because I want to play this. 

BUCHANAN:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  The president always talks about how he is never going forget the lessons of September 11.  That‘s what we are talking about right now. 

REED:  Yes. 


SCARBOROUGH:  That was clear in the address.  This is what Julia is talking about and this is what the president talked about earlier today. 


G.W. BUSH:  My most solemn duty is to protect this nation and its people from further attacks and emerging threats.  Some have unwisely chosen to test America‘s resolve and have found it firm. 


SCARBOROUGH:  We will talk about that and also how Patrick Buchanan blames America for Osama bin Laden‘s attacks on 9/11 up next.


SCARBOROUGH:  The president sworn in for second term and he vows to bring freedom to the world.  Our panel is going to talk about it in just a minute. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Today was history in the making for President Bush.  We are going to get right back with our all-star panel for a discussion you are not going to want to miss. 

But, first, let‘s get you up to date with the latest news. 



G.W. BUSH:  I, George Walker Bush. 

The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. 

So help me God.

So help me God. 



SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, welcome back.  We are live from the National Mall in Washington.  Cold weather and a little snow did little to dampen patriotic spirit of the day. 

Still with me, Pat Buchanan, MSNBC political analyst and author of “Where the Right Went Wrong,” Julia Reed of “Vogue” and author of “Queen of the Turtle Derby,” and Andrew Sullivan of and “The New Republic.”

Andrew, we were talking before about how 9/11, how it changed people‘s outlook, also talking about the strategy of the president.  I believe you are like me.  We disagree with the president on domestic issues, but the general thrust of his foreign policy is a sound one. 

SULLIVAN:  Yes.  And I think that the thing that has changed, Pat, since the time of Washington, since the times of the 19th century is that we are connected and that weaponry, namely weapons of mass destruction, the potential of technological damage, has made the possibility of staying away from the world impossible, even if it ever was possible.

And what 9/11 showed us is that we are that vulnerable.  And what he is doing, which is the right thing to do, is say, we are not just going to do superficial response to this.  We are going to try and get at the root of it.  If you do not create some sort of democratic space in the Arab Middle East, if you do not create a viable Islamic democracy, then the rest of that world is going to fester and resentment is going to grow and we are going to have more attacks.  That‘s what this is about. 

And I think it‘s the only way to do it.  Now, I think he has made many, many errors in the occupation of Iraq.  And I think—and some of those errors have been really catastrophic, but we have no choice but to continue, and the strategy itself is in my view absolutely right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Patrick, look at when this guy got into office, wasn‘t expected to be an internationalist, talked about a humble foreign policy.

BUCHANAN:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But we had 9/11.  You smirk as if you didn‘t believe it. 


SCARBOROUGH:  We had 9/11.  Look at what he did with Afghanistan, went in there, the first democratically elected president, an inauguration, remarkable in a post-Taliban era, and I believe he is going to do the same thing in Iraq right now.  What is wrong with that? 

BUCHANAN:  Well, I think what we did in Afghanistan was correct in taking down the Taliban.  We had to go after the people that attacked us.

But if you think Afghanistan is going to survive when they triple the number of acreage for poppy heroin in the last year, you start shutting down the heroin trade there, and that government won‘t survive.  Joe, my point is this.  Look, my argument is, did they attack us because of who we are, we are free and rich and prosperous and democratic?  No, we have always been that. 

We were attacked because of what we do.  It is the United States policy in the Middle East and in that part of the world that has enraged and antagonized these evil people.  They are coming over here because they want us...

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, let‘s be specific. 

BUCHANAN:  ... out of that part of the world. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Be specific.   

BUCHANAN:  Osama bin Laden. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Osama bin Laden was upset because we had American troops in Saudi Arabia in 1991.  What were we to do? 

BUCHANAN:  He has three reasons he gives in the fatwa for the war.  I am not saying he is right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It sounds like you are, Pat.  I‘m a little concerned, buddy. 


BUCHANAN:  You know, look, when the Japanese, if they attacked Pearl Harbor and someone got up and said we were attacked because we were free and good and we got a Bill of Rights, he would be laughed out of court, Joe. 

Those people are over here.  They hate us. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Germany didn‘t attack us.

BUCHANAN:  Of course they didn‘t—Germany did not attack. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We declared war on Germany. 

BUCHANAN:  They declared war on us first, on December 11, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Listen, do not tie me down with facts and dates, Pat Buchanan. 


SCARBOROUGH:  No, go ahead.

BUCHANAN:  The whole thing I am getting at is, I disagree with Andrew here.  I agree you have a terrible problem over there.  But if your solution is to plunge into that world and Iraq, as we did in Iraq and other places, where we have lost 1,300 people, 10,000 dead, killed 20,000 people, created a terrorist haven where one did not exist, if you replicate that in Iran and Syria, you will solve nothing. 


SCARBOROUGH:  That is the Epicenter, Pat.


REED:  ... antagonize them?

BUCHANAN:  Why do thank you they‘re...

REED:  What is your solution, don‘t do anything to antagonize them? 


BUCHANAN:  No.  You should take down the Taliban and get out. 


REED:  You‘ve already pronounced... 


REED:  ... dead.

BUCHANAN:  Here‘s the thing.  If you had not gone into Iraq, you wouldn‘t have all those dead Americans and those dead Iraqis.  You‘d have a thug in power.

SULLIVAN:  Every death in a war is an awful thing, and Iraqis and so on. 

But, look, we now have polls showing 80 percent of these people in Iraq really eager to vote.  For the first time, we are going to have an amazing experiment of election in the middle of the Arab Middle East.  That is going to transform the culture of that entire society.  And we just have to hang in there, try to undo some of the damage we have done, and try and be a little smarter about the way we have occupied, and I believe if we hang in there 5, 10 years, this will be regarded as a very bold thing. 


BUCHANAN:  You think the American people are going to hang in there five or 10 years?

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second, Pat.  I want to do a Tim Russert thing.  Can you see this right here?  Get me on this.  Get me on this.  Here we go. 


SCARBOROUGH:  All right, now, the press doesn‘t tell you this.  You are going to hear this.  I actually spoke at a conference where I had a very distinguished journalist who was lecturing me about how the Sunnis were the majority over in Iraq. 

Actually, 60 percent of Iraqis—and here I am pointing—take it down -- 60 percent of Iraqis are Shia.  Their Grand Ayatollah Sistani has said voting in these elections is the equivalent of fasting during Ramadan. 

BUCHANAN:  You know why he says it.  Why does he say it?

BUCHANAN:  They are going to go out and vote.  Let me finish.

The Kurds, 20 percent of the population.  The Kurds not only fought alongside our troops.  The Kurds fought in front of our troops in this war.  They are going to go out and vote.  Little known fact, a poll taken two weeks ago in the Sunni Triangle, 85 percent of the residents polled in the Sunni Triangle supporting these American-backed elections.  That means 97 percent of the people in Iraq, if this is to be believed...

SULLIVAN:  A poll that is in “The Washington Post” tomorrow morning, the latest poll, which shows that those numbers have held up remarkably well.

And one of these international observers says, anonymously, because he doesn‘t want to be threatened, people are going to be shocked.  They are going to be shocked because they haven‘t seen what‘s going on under the radar.  I believe, as a matter of faith, actually, that people, given a chance to vote, will vote for a sane future.  They are not going to vote for Zarqawi and they‘re not going to vote for civil war. 


REED:  The fact that that election is going to happen is going to change the world. 


And, also, Julia, you know what I think is so interesting is, we heard before Bush decided to go into Fallujah and basically flatten it, if that‘s what it took, that the Arab street was going to rise, that the people of Iraq were not going to put up with it.  You know what?  We went in.  The Marines did an incredible job.  We did flatten parts of it.  Nobody said a word.  You know why?  Because they have lost the battle, the insurgents, the terrorists, I call them, have lost the battle for the hearts and the souls of the Iraqi people, because they are the ones that are killing them indiscriminately. 

SULLIVAN:  But, Joe, what they haven‘t done is, they haven‘t lost the hearts and souls of people who had power under Saddam.


SULLIVAN:  The Sunni minority that has run that country for years. 

Those people are still going to fight. 


SULLIVAN:  One of the things we underestimated—and it was a serious underestimation—that those—how—remember, what we are fighting now is what we were fighting two years ago.  It‘s the same people.  They weren‘t going to fight us head on.  They sank away.  And now they‘re fighting back.  And they are not going to give in.  And it‘s going to be a 10-year fight. 


BUCHANAN:  I thought it was going to be a cakewalk. 

SULLIVAN:  It was a cakewalk to actually topple... 


BUCHANAN:  Joe, look, let‘s take Ali Sistani.  Why does he want free elections?  Because they have been out of power.  They‘ve been repressed.  It‘s terrible.  They want free elections. 


SCARBOROUGH:  They‘re a majority.  It‘s the same reason why red state America wants a majority, because 20 percent of the population has had the boot on their throats since 1934.  What is wrong with that, Pat Buchanan? 


BUCHANAN:  Nothing is wrong with that.  They are going to win the election.  The Kurds are going to get autonomy.  The Sunnis are opposing it because they are going to be dispossessed.  People will go for...

SCARBOROUGH:  You know what that is called?  That‘s called democracy. 



SCARBOROUGH:  I know that you think that just because you won New Hampshire, you should have been elected president of the United States. 

BUCHANAN:  Would you let America, let‘s say all of the people of the world vote to how the wealth of the world should be distributed in a worldwide democracy?  Of course not. 


BUCHANAN:  Of course not, because they would take what we got.

SULLIVAN:  You actually support the British imperial notion? 


SULLIVAN:  We‘ll find a few Sunnis and a few Hashemites and we will get them to run the entire—I have longed to hear the day when Pat Buchanan defended the British empire.

BUCHANAN:  I will defend the British empire in—you think the people of Zimbabwe are better off now that the British empire is gone?  The people in some of those African countries who are brutalized, in Rwanda, you think they are better off now that colonialism is gone?

SULLIVAN:  I am talking about the British empire in the Middle East, Pat, as you well know.  And the British empire strategy was precisely to empower small minorities who were...


SULLIVAN:  ... to oppress people like the Shia.

BUCHANAN:  I think the British empire seizing that after World War I was straight, flat-out imperialism.  I agree with you.  It was a mistake. 


SULLIVAN:  ... the undemocratic nature of it.  Look, there‘s no reason why the Arab world can‘t be democratic.  I think this is where we disagree. 


BUCHANAN:  I am not a democracy worshiper. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We are going continue this.  You know what? 




SCARBOROUGH:  Hayek, you are not, my man.  Hayek, you are not.


SCARBOROUGH:  I am, though.  And I am very excited about this.  I think the chance for 60 percent of the country to actually be possessed of a little bit of power, instead of letting Pat Buchanan‘s 20 percent rule Iraq, I think that is a good thing. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Listen, now, when we come back, we‘re going to talk about a lot more.  We‘re going to show you Vice President Dick Cheney‘s comments made today on “Imus” regarding a possible invasion of Iran.

And I am going to ask Julia Reed what makes George W. Bush tick and why he is willing to stand up to people like Pat Buchanan every day. 




G.W. BUSH:  From the viewpoint of centuries, the questions that come to us are narrowed and few.  Did our generation advance the cause of freedom?  And did our character bring credit to that cause? 




SCARBOROUGH:  We are back with our guests, Pat Buchanan, Julia Reed, and Andrew Sullivan. 

Julia, one of the things that I found in Washington when I was in Congress was that most politicians run scared most of the time, that they will stand on principle until the phones start ringing in their office, until the e-mails start coming in, until the constituents start grabbing them in town hall meetings.  But George W. Bush seems oblivious to such outside pressures. 

REED:  Remarkable or scary, depending on your point of view. 


SCARBOROUGH:  And, you know, I was about to say, like Ronald Reagan, but even Ronald Reagan always checked.  When there was a bombing in Beirut and the Marines were killed Lebanon, he brought them home.  When he had other failings on domestic policy, he pulled back. 

George W. Bush, tax increases.  George W. Bush doesn‘t do that.  Tell me why. 

REED:  Hey, listen, Dr. Freud, I am not. 

But, I mean, it is remarkable.  And I remember the election rhetoric sort of in the first election, when they were pooh-poohing the reliance of the Clinton administration on polls.  And, admittedly, that was probably the most that we have ever seen.

But these guys, I am not even sure they take internal polls.  Or, if they do, they sure as heck don‘t listen to it. 

SULLIVAN:  Oh, goodness, they do all the time. 

REED:  No, I mean, I am kidding.  But they sure don‘t listen to them. 

SULLIVAN:  I would suggest—we‘re all—this is psychobabble at some level.  Here‘s my feeling. 

Bush put his life together around a very simple proposition:  I will never drink again and I will believe in God.  And if I ever deviate an inch from that position, my life will unravel and everything will disappear. 

So he takes a position and he is unable psychologically to adjust it, maneuver it, reverse it, because he is scared that, if he ever deviates, the whole thing will come tumbling down.  Now, that‘s your psychological...


REED:  A shrink could make a good case for that, but I do think it‘s -

·         and I think, if you told him that, he would laugh in your face, because I am sure he has not thought about it that much.  But I...

BUCHANAN:  What gets me, Joe, is, you sort of disparage Ronald Reagan. 

Now, Ronald Reagan put the Marines in Lebanon. 

REED:  Oh, settle down.



BUCHANAN:  He made a mistake putting them in. 

REED:  George Washington and Ronald Reagan... 


REED:  ... nobody.

BUCHANAN:  They got killed, and Reagan had the courage to pull them out and say, I have made a mistake.  He was a big enough president, so that, when he made a major mistake that cost lives, he said we are going to have to pull him out, and I have got to admit it and I‘ve got stand up to it, because that is my duty. 


SCARBOROUGH:  He was pragmatic.


SCARBOROUGH:  I said he was pragmatic.

BUCHANAN:  It wasn‘t simply pragmatism.  It‘s the largeness of someone to admit a mistake, reverse it, take responsibility. 


SULLIVAN:  It‘s a very bad example. 

BUCHANAN:  You think he should have sent more Marines into Lebanon?

SCARBOROUGH:  You know I love Ronald Reagan.

BUCHANAN:  Should he have sent more Marines in?

SCARBOROUGH:  But I also know that, three days later, he invaded Grenada. 

BUCHANAN:  Should he have sent more Marines in?


REED:  Grenada was a terrible threat to us, Pat. 

BUCHANAN:  What was?

REED:  Grenada was a terrible threat to us. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Which he invaded three days after the bombing. 

Go ahead, Andrew.


BUCHANAN:  ... those medical students, that‘s why he did it. 


SULLIVAN:  Reagan‘s withdrawal of Marines from Beirut was not unnoticed by the forces of Islamic fundamentalism. 

BUCHANAN:  What do you think he should have done? 

SULLIVAN:  And I think he should have stuck to the game in that country. 

BUCHANAN:  And what was the game?


SULLIVAN:  Well, I am not going to go over all that.  I‘m just saying...

BUCHANAN:  Well, he did.  And that‘s why...


SCARBOROUGH:  We can‘t refight that.

SULLIVAN:  I am saying that appeasing these people over the long run made it worse in the long run. 


SCARBOROUGH:  I will tell you this, Patrick Buchanan.  Osama bin Laden saw our retreat from there after a truck bombing, and he saw Bill Clinton‘s retreat in Somalia in 1993, and he concluded we were a paper tiger. 


BUCHANAN:  ... troops into Lebanon and troops into Somalia? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Dick Cheney this morning on “Imus,” as I segue, said we may need to send troops into Iraq—take a listen. 

BUCHANAN:  No, we‘re not.


Take a listen.


DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  If the Iranians don‘t live up to their commitments, the next step would be to take it to the U.N. Security Council and seek the imposition of international sanctions to force them to live up to the commitments and obligations they have signed up to under the nonproliferation treaty.

But you look around the world at potential trouble spots, Iran is right at the top of the list. 


SCARBOROUGH:  You know, what a life Imus has.  He calls a sitting vice president pork chop and he gets him on his show. 

Now, President Bush also had this to say about Iran earlier this week. 


G.W. BUSH:  Our policy in Iran is to solve this issue diplomatically.  I hope we can solve it diplomatically, but I will never take any option off the table. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Andrew, sounds like a possibility of military action in Iran? 


SCARBOROUGH:  Talk about it. 

SULLIVAN:  And can you imagine the U.N. Security Council‘s reaction to United States now, after the debacle, of going to the U.N. Security Council, putting all our cards on the table, putting all our prestige on the table for something that wasn‘t true, that we said was a fact? 

The trouble with what happened in Iraq and the way it happened is that our credibility is zero with the rest of the world. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Everybody knows that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. 

SULLIVAN:  Well, everybody knew that Iraq was.  We don‘t. 

I am saying simply this, that the consequences of the errors in Iraq will come back to haunt us in Iran.  But Iran is a different case.  Iran is clearly a very pro-American country.  Its population want to get rid of these people who are ruling them.  And I don‘t believe that a military intervention is the right way to go, but I do think we have to do something. 


SCARBOROUGH:  We have got to go to break right now. 

BUCHANAN:  The president is right to keep the option on the table. 

He‘s got to.

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘ve got to keep it on the table.

But, like Andrew says, a lot of people don‘t realize 70 percent of that population under 30, pro-Western.  Don‘t know if that‘s exactly who we want to be invading next. 

Now, President Bush begins his new term today and vows to end tyranny in one of the more sweeping speeches in recent history.  We‘re going to talk more about it when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.


SCARBOROUGH:  Washington parties late into the night, celebrating the second inauguration of George W. Bush.  We are going to be taking you to some of the live inaugural balls, so don‘t go away. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Andrew Sullivan, democracy, rate it one to 10. 


SCARBOROUGH:  No McLaughlin. 

Tell us what we should expect from George Bush term two. 

SULLIVAN:  You know, I have no idea.  And I think that is part of the interesting thing. 

I mean, if we had been told at the last inaugural what was going to happen, we would never have believed it.  He reversed himself on so many issues.  My own feeling is that we can‘t get out of Iraq.  That‘s going to be the major issue.  Will we turn this around?  Can we?  If he does, then he‘s destined for history.


REED:  No, I agree with Andrew.  If he does, he‘s destined for history.

It‘s been breathtaking in Washington.  Whether you agree, whether you hate him, whether you love him, it‘s been breathtaking watching this guy, because, as you say, it‘s just like full speed ahead, no looking back.  And so it is going to be interesting. 


SULLIVAN:  I don‘t think he is going to get the Social Security reform. 



SULLIVAN:  I don‘t think those things are that important.  I think that Iraq and this war is the most important thing. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I think Social Security, we have heard, is already a dead horse on the Hill.  I think he is going to get federal judges he wants, and I think he‘s going to win his war in Iraq. 

REED:  I think it will be interesting to see Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state.  We haven‘t even talked about that.

SULLIVAN:  It‘s not—it‘s all of our war at this point. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Right.  Oh, no doubt about it. 

SULLIVAN:  Even those people who criticize it now know that we have to win. 

SCARBOROUGH:  That is actually—that is the challenge. 

SULLIVAN:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Just like Truman started the Cold War, Reagan ended it. 

We need a Republican president to bring Democrats and others...

SULLIVAN:  And we need that—I‘m sorry, but the Democrats have to say that, too.  The people who oppose this president have to get behind this war, because we have to win it, because the alternative is too awful to contemplate. 

SCARBOROUGH:  They need to read Peter Beinart‘s article and take it to heart. 

Well, Andrew Sullivan, thanks so much for being here. 

SULLIVAN:  You‘re very welcome.

SCARBOROUGH:  Great honor.

Julia, thank you so much.

REED:  Thank you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  No more balls for you tonight? 

REED:  I‘m going home. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

Pat Buchanan is going to stick around with us, says he is going to clean up a lot of the mess we caused in the first hour. 

That‘s when a second full hour of up-to-the-minute coverage from Washington, D.C., continues.  We are going to also look ahead to how President Bush is going to fulfill the promises he made in today‘s stirring speech.  Don‘t go away.

We‘ll be back in just a minute.


SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back to this special presidential inauguration edition of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  There‘s only one hour left in the day at the nation‘s capital.  And if you stick around through midnight, you are not going to want to miss a minute of the action.

Now, across our nation‘s capital tonight, some 50,000 people are expected to attend the nine presidential balls.

And HARDBALL‘s David Shuster is at the Ronald Reagan Building, the site of one of the evening‘s most popular events, and not just because David Shuster is there. 


SCARBOROUGH:  David, what have you got, buddy? 

SHUSTER:  Well, I want to start with somebody—well, first of all, we have seen very few stars and we‘ve seen very few Heinekens.  But we did see one of your friends, Joe Scarborough.  Take a look at this guy. 

Congressman Mark—famous for Washington—Foley, handicapping the food tonight.  Watch this. 


REP. MARK FOLEY ®, FLORIDA:  A little Perrier Jouet.

SHUSTER:  Wow.  Very nice.

FOLEY:  Nice champagne.  Then a little bit of beef (INAUDIBLE) as well. 

SHUSTER:  And hors d‘oeuvres? 

FOLEY:  We‘ve have a lot of hors d‘oeuvres.  We went to the Florida Ball, the Liberty Ball.  And then we‘ve been to several events so far. 

SHUSTER:  Who had the best hors d‘oeuvres? 

FOLEY:  Well, there was a little lobster on—I guess it‘s brioche, a little piece of toast, something we would serve in Palm Beach, but it was outstanding. 


SHUSTER:  How about that, your friend, Congressman Foley, Joe?

But we have got another friend of NBC, Joey Pants. 

Joey, the suit, tell us about the suit.  What is going on here? 

JOE PANTOLIANO, ACTOR:  My friend Alexander Julian designed it for me. 

And hey, Scarborough, how are you doing, brother?  Everything all right? 


SHUSTER:  Joe, tell us about the Creative Coalition and Heineken.  What is the purpose of tonight?  It seems like sort of a strange time for a party for you guys.  But what‘s...

PANTOLIANO:  What we are basically doing is congratulating all the winners.  We are nonpartisan, arts advocacy group.  And we thought it was a great opportunity for us to introduce ourselves to the new members of Congress and Senate and to let them know what our agenda is and just have a really good time. 

SHUSTER:  Joey Pants, you have a great time tonight.  Thanks for talking with us on Joe Scarborough‘s hour.

PANTOLIANO:  Thank you. 

SHUSTER:  And, Joe, back to you from the Creative Coalition here at the Ronald Reagan Building. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thanks so much, David Shuster.  Keep the party going. 

I will tell you what.  We have got a big show in front of us. 

The events of the president‘s first term not only defined the administration, but also they changed the world.  So what is in store for the second term? 

Here to talk about that are four political vets.  We‘ve got Lawrence Ludlow from CNBC‘s “Kudlow & Cramer,” still in party attire, a real SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY looking guy.  We also have MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan.  He‘s still with us.  We have Democratic strategist and CNBC political analyst Hilary Rosen here as well. 

Hilary, let‘s start with you. 

HILARY ROSEN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  My good friend Giorgio Armani. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  Exactly.  Who—I was going to say, who designed the suit for you? 

I will ask you the same question David asked Joe.  Why are you here? 

ROSEN:  I am here to be the one person at this table providing some reality to these proceedings today. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Patrick is providing something over here.  

ROSEN:  Although Patrick has done an amazing job tonight.  I have been totally impressed. 

SCARBOROUGH:  He‘s in the Michael Moore, blame-America-first crowd.  In the first hour, he blamed us for 9/11.  I think actually it‘s going to be Kudlow and me against you two. 


ROSEN:  I‘m proud to have Pat on my team.  


SCARBOROUGH:  I think Pat carried Hollywood, actually, in ‘92 and ‘96. 

As you looked at George W. Bush today, as you heard the speech, I will be honest with you.  Obviously, the guy is not Kennedyesque.  He‘s not a great orator, but I read the words, and they moved me.  They moved me as an American.  They moved me as somebody that believes in freedom.  I have drunk the Kool-Aid on this stuff.  I don‘t know that I would call myself a neocon, but I really believe that.

For somebody that didn‘t support the president, for somebody that has serious concerns about the way he has conducted this war, the way he has conducted domestic policy at home since 9/11, how did the speech strike you? 

ROSEN:  Well, I think that it struck me as very George Bush, which is, he comes up at the right time with eloquent words, and he has the right concepts. 

I think the problem that some of us feel is that occasionally his deeds don‘t exactly match his words.  And so when you talk about freedom and liberty over and over and over again, it is exactly the ideals we should be portraying around the world.  I believe that liberty around the world provides safety at home. 

But what some of us think is that that liberty and freedom at home for, whether it‘s never enforcing civil rights bills, whether it‘s never wanting women to have the freedom to choose, that sort of we are picking and choosing what liberty and freedom means, and I think that that‘s the discrepancy that some of us feel. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And when we come back, because we have got to go to a break, but when we come back, we will also talk about Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib.

ROSEN:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  The Patriot Act, and let Larry Ludlow explain how George Bush speaking about freedom doesn‘t ring true to about 48 percent of Americans. 

Larry, you are in a tux.  You‘re up to it.  I think we also have Janeane Garofalo on the other side. 

So, Larry, we are actually going to be outnumbered 3-2 here. 

Janeane, looking forward to talking to you in just a second.

Hey, and Pat Buchanan is on your side tonight.  Good God.  Things are getting crazy, cats sleeping with dogs. 

Pat Buchanan, Janeane Garofalo, Hilary Rosen against Larry Kudlow and myself.

That‘s when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.


G.W. BUSH:  We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom.  Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events.  Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as he wills. 

We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Today, President Bush lays out a broad agenda for his second term.  It‘s a strong message to Americans, but will all Americans accept it? 

We‘ll talk about that when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, welcome back to our special edition of SCARBOROUGH


Larry Kudlow, I want to go to you right now and let you respond to what Hilary said, but also respond to something Pat Buchanan said the last hour.  He said, if you follow what George Bush said today, we are going to be fighting wars on every continent in every country over the next century.  I mean, the president has basically said, wherever freedom is challenged, American troops are going in.  That‘s a very dangerous, radical concept, isn‘t it? 

LAWRENCE KUDLOW, CO-HOST, “KUDLOW & CRAMER”:  I actually don‘t think that is what he said. 

I think he did put Iran on notice today, as did Dick Cheney when he talked to Imus this morning.  But I think Bush‘s message is much more sophisticated than that, organized around these principles of freedom and democracy and liberty.  He said not necessarily militarily.  There are other weapons, like diplomacy and economic sanctions, which is where they are going to go with Iran in the first instance.

But I totally agree with his basic vision here, absolutely agree.  And I think, in the long run, the freedom of the United States does depend on draining these swamps overseas and creating some form of freedom and democracy there.  If I had one wish, though, in 33 paragraphs, there was only one paragraph that hinted about domestic policy and economic policy. 

And I feel that, to use Norman Podhoretz‘s term, OK, we are in World War IV.  World War III was the Cold War, II and I and so forth.  But we need to emphasize domestic prosperity, which is on the rise.  But Bush did not mention economic incentives.  He didn‘t mention taxes.  He didn‘t mention Social Security.  He didn‘t mention tort reform.  He has got an agenda.  He didn‘t push it today; 33 paragraphs, only one really talk about... 


KUDLOW:  And I think that was a mistake. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Some people would say that‘s confidence, bordering on arrogance.  Not a lot of presidents would go up, deliver an inaugural address to the country and not talk about domestic issues. 

Now, let‘s go to a couple of radio talk show hosts who may not have voted for President Bush.  We are not sure.  We‘ve got Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder, both of Air America.  I want to welcome both of you back. 

And, Janeane, last time we talked I think was at the Republican National Convention.  What was your take on George Bush‘s speech today, not only the way he delivered the speech, but also the content of it? 

JANEANE GAROFALO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well, you know, I guess it‘s as good as it‘s written.  He doesn‘t seem to have an authentic connection to the words that he is saying.  He is, as you said, not a good orator. 

And there are some phrases that—of course, who can be against freedom, liberty?  We are against tyranny.  Anybody can say anything.  Anybody can read a well-written script.  His actions don‘t back up anything he says.  The last four years have been a failure in many, many ways.  I am not encouraged by the talk about Iran and also Sy Hersh‘s article about the covert ops that may be going on in Iran already. 

The domestic agenda was ignored, as it usually is.  And also, when people talk about him being so brave and ignoring focus groups, ignoring his constituency, well, that is basically taxation without representation.  Yes, well, so if this is democracy, what are we bragging about that he ignores the will of the people? 

And he doesn‘t have a mandate, by the way.  That‘s also just more propaganda perpetuated.  Like when you say Michael Moore‘s blame-America-first crowd, why do you say divisive things like that?  It‘s not a blame-America-first to examine your government.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, actually, actually, I was just joking, because I had accused Pat Buchanan of being Susan Sontag. 


GAROFALO:  See, that is a compliment.  Susan Sontag is a great person. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on, Janeane.  Let me finish my joke. 

GAROFALO:  Hilarious. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And then Pat said—in the break, he said, people in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY don‘t know who Susan Sontag is.  You better talk about Michael Moore. 

It all comes out, Buchanan. 


SCARBOROUGH:  You better say Michael Moore‘s blame-America-first crowd.

And so that‘s why I said it.  I apologize.  I wasn‘t trying to be divisive, just a little inside chuckle. 



SCARBOROUGH:  Want to go to you now. 

Let‘s talk about the disconnect for a lot of Americans when George Bush talks about freedom, when he talks about liberty.  There‘s certainly a lot of self-proclaimed liberals and also libertarians who say, well, you know, this is also the same administration that brought us the Patriot Act.  Talk about that. 

SEDER:  Well, I mean, yes.  It‘s the administration that has no real regard for people‘s freedom. 

And this is the same administration who told us we better watch what we say as to whether or not—following 9/11.  Honestly, you know, it was President Adams who I think said America should not be going out into these foreign wars to export freedoms.  We should be a beacon and a light and an example, but we shouldn‘t be getting involved in these type of wars.  It just doesn‘t work that way. 

And I think the Iraq debacle has shown that.  I don‘t know if it‘s still considered a catastrophic success, but I think it can be considered a catastrophe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, I love that, catastrophic success sounds an awful lot like the opposite of Elvis Costello‘s brilliant mistake.  I am not exactly sure if the person that wrote that line was a Costello fan or not.

But when we come back, I want to follow up on this.  And I am going to ask you, Larry Kudlow, to respond. 


KUDLOW:  What does President Adams have to do with bombing the World Trade Center? 



SEDER:  What does Iraq have to do with bombing the World Trade Center? 


SCARBOROUGH:  We are going to debate this on the other side of it. 

Pat Buchanan brought it up last hour.  And so you can take on Sam.  You can take on Pat.  And then we will get their response.  And Hilary and I will just sit back have a cup of tea. 






G.W. BUSH:  The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. 

So help me God. 

So help me God.

REHNQUIST:  Congratulations.


SCARBOROUGH:  Larry Kudlow from CNBC‘s “Kudlow & Cramer,” Pat Buchanan, former presidential candidate and MSNBC political analyst.  We‘ve got CNBC political analyst Hilary Rosen here, and also, from Air America, talk show hosts Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder.

Now, Sam brought up a point earlier, very concerned in this post 9/11 world that George W. Bush is not being conservative, he is being radical.  He wants to take us across the world fighting war after war after war, again, not exactly consistent with what Washington said in his farewell address. 

KUDLOW:  Well, with respect to Washington, who I adore intellectually and morally, Washington, Adams, Jefferson and so forth weren‘t faced with jet fighters use as homicide bombers in a world of weapons of mass destruction. 

I mean, citing John Adams to me is an extreme example of pre-9/11 thinking.  And I can‘t help but go back to what Peter Beinart has written in “The New Republic,” because I think it‘s quite sensible.

The Democratic Party will never recover politically until they develop post-9/11 thinking and get the kind of strong anti-terrorism that, for example, Arthur Schlesinger and other liberals had against communism in the ‘50s and ‘60s that made them so strong. 

SEDER:  Joe, but here‘s the point. 


KUDLOW:  So, that‘s my disagreement.  It‘s a completely different world. 



SEDER:  Listen, here‘s the point, that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, had nothing to do with it.  And the American public now realizes that we are over there for no reason at all.  Condi Rice in her testimony said that we are now there to make a democracy.  It has nothing to do with terrorism. 

In fact, if we really wanted to go after the people who did 9/11, we should have stayed in Afghanistan, instead of pulling our forces and our resources for an invasion of Iraq. 

KUDLOW:  We never pulled our resources. 

SEDER:  Yes, we did.  Yes, we did. 


KUDLOW:  We never pulled our forces out. 



GAROFALO:  Larry...

SEDER:  We know that the administration funneled $700 million out of money that was supposed to go to Afghanistan and put it into their plans in Iraq.  We know this, and you know this. 

KUDLOW:  Saddam Hussein had violated one of George Bush‘s major precepts, which is simply this, that those who safe-harbor terrorists are our enemies. 

SEDER:  Which Iraq did not do. 

KUDLOW:  And we had plenty examples of that. 

SEDER:  Which Iraq did not do. 

KUDLOW:  And, by the way, regarding the issue weapons of mass destruction, in my view, that is still open-ended question, because they may well be in Syria.  They may well be in Iraq.

SEDER:  In your view, it will always be an open question.


KUDLOW:  But even if they‘re not, getting rid of Saddam Hussein made the whole world and this country a safer place. 

GAROFALO:  Oh, my God.  Can I break in here? 


SCARBOROUGH:  You just did. 

GAROFALO:  First of all, Larry, Mr. Cramer, you know...


KUDLOW:  No, I‘m Kudlow.  I‘m Kudlow. 

GAROFALO:  Kudlow.  Sorry. 


KUDLOW:  I am Kudlow.  My partner is Cramer.  And he is a good man, by the way.

GAROFALO:  I want to talk to Cramer. 


GAROFALO:  No, Kudlow, Larry, right? 

KUDLOW:  Yes, sir.  Yes, ma‘am.  Sorry. 

GAROFALO:  Now, -- you are talking about the Beinart article, which I know you guys love to do.  Pre-9/11 thinking, are you talking about Condi Rice ignoring the PDBs?  Are you talking about the Cold War mind-set?

Are you talking about people ignoring Richard Clarke?  It is ridiculous that you just give these sweeping statements that somehow Democrats, liberals, however you want to label people, are responsible for ignoring the warnings of 9/11, the way that the Bush administration was when Bush was in Crawford. 

KUDLOW:  Well, I am only quoting.  I mean, Peter Beinart is one. 

There are other voices among the Democratic Party who have made this case.  I happen to be quite sympathetic, because I would like to see a coalition, frankly, which draws the middle together on this very point. 


SEDER:  Well, you and Zell Miller can go challenge some people to a duel. 



SCARBOROUGH:  Hilary Rosen.

ROSEN:  I think this is exactly the problem, which is this rationale for why we are in Iraq keeps becoming this moving target.  And there are many Republicans and many conservatives who believe that we are wasting resources and not dealing with the priorities of terrorism as we might.  The 9/11 Commission outlined a series of things that we are not doing in this country alone to protect our own borders and to do more to make ourselves more secure. 

The—Senator Lugar, Senator McCain, Senator Hagel, people with expertise in the Republican Party in the Congress have looked at these issues.  They are concerned, too.  So this isn‘t about Democrats and liberals.  This is about, do we have a rationale or do we, as Condi Rice said last week, and then Richard Armitage, deputy secretary of state, said yesterday, keep having a moving target for what our goal in Iraq is? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Buchanan? 

ROSEN:  That‘s the accountability that this administration is not dealing with. 


BUCHANAN:  The question is a simple one. 

We have a threat of terrorism from that part of the world.  Is the best way to deal with that threat to send an American army of 150,000 to occupy a country, to reform it, at a cost of 1,300 dead, 10,000 wounded, tens of thousands of Iraqis dead?  Is that solving the problem of terror, or has it created what the CIA and others have said, Defense Intelligence Agency, a new haven for terrorists? 

This is my problem, Joe.  We all agree that we got a problem over there.  What I am saying is, this intervention, this hectoring of everybody, it is almost Carterism.  He got rid of a dictator, the shah, got rid of Somoza.  In their place, we got the ayatollah.  In their place, we got the Sandinistas.  Use some thought. 


BUCHANAN:  The way Washington—the earlier years, Washington and all those great men said, the way to keep us secure and safe is not to go intervene.  It‘s to not entangle ourselves in foreign wars, to stay strong, and when they attack us, punish them.  Now, you say it‘s irrelevant what‘s happening here.  Let me tell you, 1814...

KUDLOW:  What is irrelevant?

BUCHANAN:  You said John Quincy Adams irrelevant; 1814, they burned that Capitol.  They burned the White House. 

KUDLOW:  And we fought.  And we fought. 

BUCHANAN:  No, they were over here.  It is like 9/11, OK?


KUDLOW:  And that was the greatness of Andrew Jackson.  So to say that we avoid all entanglements in some isolationist sense. 

BUCHANAN:  He was fighting on our soil.  He was fighting on our soil. 

KUDLOW:  But that is precisely...


BUCHANAN:  Not in Fallujah. 

KUDLOW:  Unfortunately, Pat, the world has changed now.  With airplanes, you can move back and forth.  The territorial boundaries don‘t hold.

But you are quite right on your 1812 analogy in this respect. 


BUCHANAN:  Thank you. 

KUDLOW:  The United States fought hard.  They fought hard.  And that‘s why George Bush is fighting hard today, though the geography and the territorial lines have been blurred. 


BUCHANAN:  ... never have declared war on the Brits. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, good God.  Now we are debating 1800 politics. 

I will tell you what. 


KUDLOW:  ... point from Bush‘s speech today.


KUDLOW:  Look, it‘s so important.  He says this is not primarily the task of arms.  He said that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

KUDLOW:  He wants to see local citizens...

SEDER:  You want us to list off things that George Bush has said that he hasn‘t...


SCARBOROUGH:  I‘ll tell you what.  We got to go to a break right now. 

And when we come right back, we are going to be talking about what the Democrats need to do over the next two to four years to stop the plans that the president laid out earlier today. 

That‘s when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.


SCARBOROUGH:  Today, the president laid out an ambitious plan, but does he have the political capital to achieve it?  And does he have a mandate?  We‘re going to be talking about that.

But, first, let‘s get you up to date on the latest news. 



G.W. BUSH:  I, George Walker Bush. 

The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. 

So help me God.

So help me God. 



SCARBOROUGH:  Panel, have another half hour. 

I want to go back to Janeane. 

Janeane, you know, for the past, well, actually, not the past four years, but since George Bush got into public life, he has been underestimated by his opponents.  And I want you to take a listen to a “David Letterman” clip on President Bush a few nights ago. 


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST:  It‘s time now for a segment called George W.

Bush, economic expert.  Watch this. 


G.W. BUSH:  A personal savings account which can‘t be used to bet on the lottery or on a dice game or the track. 


G.W. BUSH:  In other words, there will be guidelines.  There will be certain...


G.W. BUSH:  You won‘t be allowed just to take that money and dump it somewhere. 



LETTERMAN:  A regular Alan Greenspan, isn‘t he? 



SCARBOROUGH:  A regular Alan Greenspan. 


SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  So here‘s the question.  Is that a part of an act that this guy does to lull Democrats into underestimating him, or do Democrats just put up really, really bad candidates against this guy every four years? 

GAROFALO:  Well, I don‘t recognize that as a valid question. 

First of all, George Bush is a bad candidate.


GAROFALO:  George Bush is unelectable, in my opinion. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, why does he keep winning? 

GAROFALO:  I don‘t know, voter fraud?  A failed mainstream media that fails to inform electorate about what their government is doing, ignorance, apathy.  I don‘t know.

But for you to say that he is a great president, a great—and the thing is, I don‘t think he is stupid.  I know you want to go from the premise of why do people keep saying he is stupid, but he keeps succeeding.  That‘s the premise you‘re going after.  First of all, I don‘t think he is stupid.  He‘s not intellectually curious and he‘s not articulate. 

Now, succeeding at what?  What are his successes, Joe? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Hilary, he has been elected president of the United States, got the largest vote ever. 

Again, the point I am trying to make—and I think everybody recognizes...

ROSEN:  Well, more people voted.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... what that point is.  Yes.  He got a bigger turnout than anybody else.  He drove up his base. 

And the thing is, every night, David Letterman can find a clip every night. 

ROSEN:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And I laugh harder than anybody else, saying, my gosh, this guy can‘t speak.  And yet he is.  He is always underestimated by his opponents.  What is it about this guy? 

ROSEN:  Well, I actually don‘t think he was underestimated this year.  I think he makes really great late-night fodder, but so did Jerry Ford, but nobody thought he was stupid. 

I think that this is the issue, is that what people don‘t care about is, they don‘t really care whether or not he can speak.  They actually care what he says.  And what this guy does not do is penetrate any substantive question with real answers.  So when Democrats say, well, you want to talk about the economy, how come you have driven up deficits more than any Democrat in history?

SCARBOROUGH:  But do you really think that Americans are that stupid?

ROSEN:  And his answer is, well, we have got a terror problem.  He does not deal with the problems that he is talking about. 


SCARBOROUGH:  He got 51 percent of the vote, the first president to get a majority since 1988.  Are we supposing that Americans are that stupid that they are going to vote for a guy that doesn‘t answer any questions? 

ROSEN:  I think that Americans this year voted out of fear.  And I think that those extra two or three points that came there came because there was legitimate rationale that they kept putting out—an illegitimate rationale that they kept putting out that we needed to be afraid and to change horses in the middle of this fear factor was a mistake. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Buchanan, as Nixon said, people vote their fears. 

Is that the playbook?  Is it the Nixon playbook he used?

BUCHANAN:  Well, let me say this.  Let me say this on behalf of the president. 

He is a terrific candidate. 

ROSEN:  That‘s true.  He‘s a great campaigner.

BUCHANAN:  He‘s energetic.  He‘s a battler.  He‘s an engaging guy.  He is not articulate. 

And I think that is one of the reasons I laugh at him, but I laugh in a way I like the guy.  You know, he bumbles around on a lot of these things, his words.  You know it, the misunderestimated line.  Those things endear him to most Americans.  But what comes through is, you sense that the guy knows what he believes.  He has got convictions.  He knows where he is going, but he‘s not a terribly articulate guy.

A lot of these people, sort of the John Lindsay liberal types that deal in all these abstracts, people—that doesn‘t come through to them. 

ROSEN:  Well, let‘s go one more place about my party. 


BUCHANAN:  Kerry is a better debater.  It doesn‘t come through. 

ROSEN:  Democrats this year did not do a fundamentally important thing, which is, they did not actually give people a reason to vote for Democrats. 

KUDLOW:  Right.  Right. 


ROSEN:  What Democrats consistently did running this year was talk about how they believed in what the president was doing.  They would just keep doing it differently. 

And what people really need to hear is why the president is wrong on many of these issues, why poor people are getting poorer and rich people are getting richer and that the divide is going ever far greater, that the education system in this country is so bad for a majority of young people that they don‘t have a chance to go to college. 


KUDLOW:  I mean, look, in fairness, Bush is trying to change the education through performance testing.  He is not getting a lot of help. 


ROSEN:  He‘s trying to change education...


ROSEN:  ... through sheer browbeating and will, not through actual policy. 


KUDLOW:  And, I think in terms of what his achievements are, I just—it won‘t—there‘s no Taliban.  There‘s no Saddam.  We just...


GAROFALO:  Wait.  Oh, my God. 


KUDLOW:  ... changed Pakistan. 

GAROFALO:  Oh, my God. 

KUDLOW:  Let me also say, we have not attacked on our homeland grounds in three years.  Let me also say the economy has turned in back-to-back 4 percent economic growth rates, with a 5.4 percent unemployment rate.  The guy has a record, and that‘s among many reasons why people voted for his message. 


GAROFALO:  Hang on.  There is no Taliban?  There is no Taliban?  We are safer now that there‘s no Saddam?

KUDLOW:  There is no Taliban.  There were free elections in Afghanistan. 

GAROFALO:  Oh, my God.  So, what—you are saying there‘s not a narco economy in Afghanistan?  You‘re saying there‘s not warlords carving up areas of Afghanistan  You‘re saying that Hamid Karzai doesn‘t need to have five bodyguards around him all the time? 

KUDLOW:  I am—well, no different than the Secret Service of any head of state in this world. 

But the fact of the matter is...

GAROFALO:  He‘s had three assassination attempts.

KUDLOW:  From a dictatorship, we have turned it into a free election and a democracy.  The seeds are planted.

And, by the way, you are going to have a hard time with this, but on January 30, they are going to make enormous progress in the same democracy and free elections in Iraq. 

GAROFALO:  Your level of denial is shocking. 


GAROFALO:  You want—Sam, go ahead.  Go ahead.

SEDER:  It‘s a delusion. 

We have talked on our show to many people who have been in Afghanistan.  We are talking to Western journalists who were handed half a dozen ballots to vote for their favorite warlord.  It‘s absurd.  This is all just a delusion. 

KUDLOW:  The warlords lost.

SEDER:  This January 30 -- the January 30 election in Iraq....

KUDLOW:  They were on the ballot. 

SEDER:  The candidates can‘t even state who they were.

KUDLOW:  The warlords were on the ballot.  And they lost.  They lost. 


ROSEN:  Afghanistan is a military state.  We have gone from danger to military. 


SCARBOROUGH:  You know what. 


ROSEN:  So, there‘s no big benefit.

SCARBOROUGH:  So, we have decided tonight that Afghanistan is still an ambiguous proposition. 

Let‘s talk about the Democratic Party, also an ambiguous proposition. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Hilary Rosen, let‘s talk about another Hillary.  I

believe she is the political figure to watch over the next two years.  You

look at her on national defense, she has moved to the center.  Last night,

she gave a speech in Boston where she talked about faith in the public

square.  She is moving to the center.  I believe Hillary Clinton is going -

·         the same Hillary Clinton who was derided as a leftist in 1993 and 1994, I think this is the Hillary Clinton that is going to bring the Democratic Party back to where her husband had it. 

What do you think?

ROSEN:  Well, you know, I have gone on record in “The New York Times” and elsewhere saying that I don‘t think Hillary Clinton is a liberal and never has been that everybody claims her to be. 

SCARBOROUGH:  She‘s not acting like it now. 

ROSEN:  So, I think that she is clearly a leader in the Senate and she is going to be a leader across the country. 

It is true that Democrats have to redefine in a much more effective way how we will deal with the war on terror effectively and how those spending priorities will be dealt with differently and how priorities at home can be managed with more grace than giving all the money to the fat cats.  That is clear.  And that has not happened. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Wait, hold on.  Can we get a picture of Kudlow right here in his monocle and top hat?  Because he‘s offended by that. 


SCARBOROUGH:  That was a personal, vicious attack. 


KUDLOW:  Anybody ever looked at the tables, they will see that the middle class got the largest percentage tax cuts.  The tax cuts worked.  The economy is recovering.  And that is why Democrats have a problem with this issue. 

ROSEN:  That is absolutely not true. 

KUDLOW:  Because the facts, once again, as was the case under JFK and Reagan and Clinton and Bush, lower tax rates promote employment and investment. 


ROSEN:  And jobs are down.

SCARBOROUGH:  Larry Kudlow, your monocle is fogging up. 

We will be right back in a second.

I want to go to Sam and Janeane and ask them the question I asked Hilary about possibly the next president of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

That‘s when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.


SEN. TRENT LOTT ®, MISSISSIPPI:  At this time I‘d like to present a very unique performance, combining the United States Marine Band, the Navy Sea Chanters and the Army Herald Trumpets performing God of our Fathers. 




SCARBOROUGH:  When we return, we are going to be talking about the Democratic Party, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and what her party can do to stop the Bush juggernaut.

That‘s when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.




SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, you know, we are back with our panel.  Actually, we were talking about Larry Summers and women and engineering, Hilary Rosen just biting her tongue until it bleeds. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Letting the men on the panel talk about the difference. 

ROSEN:  Just dig your own graves. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, exactly, exactly.  I am sure it‘s on satellite, Buchanan, you have been picked up by Michael Moore. 


SCARBOROUGH:  I want to go to Janeane Garofalo. 

Janeane, you know, been talking a lot about George W. Bush, the speech he gave today.  But the big question for the Democrats is, who is going to stop Bush?  Who is going to stop the Republicans like Frist in the Senate?  Who is going to stop the Denny Hasterts and Tom DeLays of the House?  Do you think Hillary Clinton is going to step forward and be that leader in Washington, D.C., that can do that? 

GAROFALO:  I don‘t know.  It‘s going to take a lot of Democrats to stop the type of bullying and ethically challenged characters like Tom DeLay and others in the Republican Party, who are very arrogant and very aggressive in the way that they dominate Capitol Hill. 

It‘s also going to take from the public sector better information, because, unfortunately, the mainstream media is dominated by propagandists like you, Joe, and like Mr. Kudlow, who continually disinform and misinform us.

SCARBOROUGH:  Janeane, you hurt me.  I keep trying to reach out to you, because I‘m such a fan.


GAROFALO:  I do not accept your olive branch, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You hurt me.

GAROFALO:  You threw the gauntlet down a long time ago.  You will get no detente from me.

SCARBOROUGH:  You break my heart, Janeane.  I‘m here.  I weep. 


ROSEN:  I will tell you this.  I think that...

SCARBOROUGH:  Hilary, do you forgive me for any past sins I may have committed against you or any other Democrat? 

ROSEN:  Umm...

SCARBOROUGH:  Don‘t answer that question. 

Answer my Hillary question. 


But this is the issue, I think, that the—it‘s sort of well known around town that Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton and several of their allies do not want to see Howard Dean become chairman of the Democratic National Committee.  I predict this.  I predict he will become the chairman, and I will predict he will act as an effective meat tenderizer against President Bush and the Republicans, and that the Clintons and everybody else will be grateful by 2008 that Dean has been there. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So you think Howard Dean wins?  Really?

ROSEN:  I think Howard Dean wins, and I think he is going to be an effective spokesperson.  He‘s going to call it like it is.  And I think he will not worry about the constituency that Capitol Hill has to worry about. 

BUCHANAN:  I am on the right.  I am on the right. 

ROSEN:  To be too politically correct. 

BUCHANAN:  I am on the right.  I know, in the Goldwater years, when we were younger, we wanted somebody to really speak up and say what he believed and say the truth 100 percent.  And Martin Frost, I am sure he is a good guy, but he‘s not charismatic.  I don‘t think he‘s articulate.  He won‘t do that job...

SCARBOROUGH:  But he‘s also...

BUCHANAN:  But there‘s no doubt, Howard Dean, they‘re not going to have him down there in Virginia.


SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, yes.  He‘s a Washington insider.  Howard Dean is not a Washington insider.  If I am on the...

SEDER:  That‘s exactly the point, though.


SCARBOROUGH:  Sam, Sam—let me go to you, Sam.  If I am on the outside, if I‘m a Democrat right now, I stay as far away from a Washington insider as I can. 

SEDER:  Absolutely. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I get Howard Dean and I say, buddy, your job is to do to the Republicans what the Republicans did to Clinton in ‘93 and ‘94. 

SEDER:  Yes. 


SEDER:  I have got to say that the whole Hillary Clinton thing I think is a red herring.  The success of the Democrats is not going to come from tacking to the right. 

Martin Frost may be a good guy, but he tacked to the right and he lost in his race.  The bottom line is, the future of the Democratic Party is to start talking about how this administration and how the Republicans now basically are robber barons, and they want to start a society only for the owners, one which devalues work and only rewards people who have money to save and invest. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And Howard Dean is that guy, right? 


SEDER:  Well, I believe Howard Dean is certainly somebody who is going to come in and reform the party and is going to not pull punches.  And that‘s what we need.


SEDER:  And Harry Reid is doing a great job, I think, of right now of telling the Democrats—the Republicans—we are not going to go along with your plan to hijack Social Security.  We are not going to let you destroy it.  Be truthful with the American public. 

If you want to get rid of the most successful program that the American society has developed over the past 70 years...

KUDLOW:  Which is going bankrupt. 

SEDER:  It is not going bankrupt.  You know that‘s a lie.


SEDER:  That‘s an absolute, total fabrication. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Larry Kudlow, Larry, I want you to respond, OK?  But...

SEDER:  With no lies, though, Larry.

SCARBOROUGH:  I want you to admit, though, that the Democrats—

Republicans have fed on Democrats over the past 10, 15 years because they haven‘t had a fighter like Howard Dean that is going to say, no, we are not going to be Republican-light.  We are going to take you head on, on Social Security.  We are going to take you head on, on Iraq.  We are going to take you head on, on tax cuts. 

I mean, John Kerry was afraid to do that. 

KUDLOW:  I think that‘s a prescription for political disaster, because they will lose the South and they will lose the West. 


SEDER:  We‘ve already lost the South. 

KUDLOW:  They have got to move in a more centrist direction.  I think that is a given. 

I don‘t think the party chairman has a thing to do with who the next president is going to be.  I don‘t think the party chairman really has an important voice in policy.  When you talk about beating Bill Clinton in ‘93 and ‘94, he beat himself with a huge tax hike and an attempt with his wife to nationalize health care.  That‘s what gave the Republicans...


SCARBOROUGH:  You know what, though, Larry Kudlow? 


SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on.  But you know what, though?  No, no, let me tell you something, because I remember it.  It was right before I ran.

Why the Republicans got in power, it‘s because you had people like John Kasich that said, not only are those bad ideas, but here‘s our alternative.  Here‘s our budget. 


KUDLOW:  Listen, I agree with that.  But that didn‘t come out of the


SCARBOROUGH:  Well, no, no, I‘m just saying, though, Republicans laid out an alternative.

KUDLOW:  Oh, I agree with that.

SCARBOROUGH:  Democrats need to do the same.  And I think they are going to do it on Social Security.  And if Republicans follow the president, he‘s going to be in—they are going to be in trouble. 

BUCHANAN:  The myth...


SCARBOROUGH:  All right, we‘ve got myths.  We‘ve got people yelling. 

We‘ll be right back when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.


SCARBOROUGH:  Now let‘s go to final thoughts and predictions.

Let‘s start with you, Sam. 

SEDER:  I think that Bush is going to lose this battle to destroy Social Security.  You‘ve already got Republicans Grassley and English already admitting that there is no crisis.  Even your guest there, Mr.  Kudlow, knows that he‘s using bankruptcy...

GAROFALO:  Cramer.  Oh, no, Kudlow, Kudlow, Kudlow.



SEDER:  He‘s using bankruptcy in a very, very loose way.  The partisan Social Security Administration says that, even after 2042, it is going to be pay out more than Bush‘s plan to fix it would.  And if you...

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

SEDER:  And March 30, when the new numbers come out, we will see that their predictions have been suspiciously low. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Janeane?  What‘s your prediction, Janeane?

GAROFALO:  I predict that the Bush administration will continue to have a very casual relationship towards the truth. 

And I believe that they will continue to politicize science and to deregulate the corporatocracy, if you will.  And there will probably be more FCC consolidation and consistency of failure on the Bush administration‘s part. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Larry Kudlow, from behind that monocle and top hat, what‘s your predictions?

KUDLOW:  Let me just say, I think businesses are great.  They are what create jobs in America.  Without business, we wouldn‘t have jobs. 

My prediction is twofold, real fast.  No. 1, the elections in Iraq go better than anyone thinks possible.  And that creates a lot of momentum to successful democratization in that country.  No. 2, despite the conventional wisdom in the beltway and Joe Scarborough, Bush is going to get tax reform and Social Security reform combined in one bill produced by Bill Thomas. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 


ROSEN:  Well, I was going to say that I think Social Security will be Bush‘s undoing as a domestic agenda. 

Today was about talking to the world.  He‘s going to—in his State of the Union, he is going to lay out a domestic agenda that I believe will not succeed.  And I make one more prediction.  They will declare victory after the elections are over in Iraq, but we will still have a mess there and it will still be costing Americans billions of dollars for years to come. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Buchanan, predictions. 

BUCHANAN:  Bush is not going to go into Syria.  He is not going to attack Iran.  He is not going to attack North Korea. 

I think, after the elections, he and Cheney and Rumsfeld will be looking for some kind of occasion where they can give a date certain to draw down and take out American troops, because I don‘t think any of those three wants to go into the 2006 elections with the kind of situation in Iraq that we‘ve got going on today.  I think we‘re headed for the exit ramp. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, my predictions, I‘ve talked to too many people on the Hill that tell me, Larry Kudlow, Social Security is dead, as proposed by George W. Bush.  I don‘t think he‘s going to get Social Security.  I don‘t think he‘s going to get more tax cuts. 

KUDLOW:  I take the challenge. 

SCARBOROUGH:  He loses on those two items. 

KUDLOW:  Take the challenge. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I think on Iraq, “The Washington Post” poll that is out tomorrow morning shows 80 percent of Iraqis are excited about voting in this election.  Iraq is going to shock people, a lot of people. 

KUDLOW:  So, we agree on that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We agree on that one.  So we are 1-3. 


SCARBOROUGH:  And 2-4, Bush is going to get what he wants on federal judges, not because he got a mandate, but because a lot of Democrats from red states saw the mandate that John Thune got against his opponent, the former minority leader. 

BUCHANAN:  Obstructionist.

KUDLOW:  But on taxes and Social Security...

SEDER:  Tom Daschle.

BUCHANAN:  Daschle.

KUDLOW:  But on taxes and Social Security, you‘ll agree with me, it‘s early in the game. 




SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s not early in the game. 

When you have a chairman of the Ways and Means Committee saying that Bush‘s proposal is a dead horse on the eve of his inauguration? 

KUDLOW:  That isn‘t what he said. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Actually, it is what he said. 

That‘s what “The Washington Post” said. 

KUDLOW:  I know.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know what?  We‘re going to bring Sam, Janeane and everybody else back. 

ROSEN:  Some things don‘t change in Washington.

KUDLOW:  He was misquoted out of context. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Misquoted out of context.

ROSEN:  Some things don‘t change in Washington.

SCARBOROUGH:  Misquoted, out of context, inside...


KUDLOW:  He‘s in favor of private accounts.  He‘s in favor of private accounts. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  Anyway, he was not misquoted, but we will talk about this later on. 

Thanks so much for being with us, Pat Buchanan. 

BUCHANAN:  Pleasure always, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, you sounded dangerous tonight.  Thank you for being with us. 

Thank you so much, Hilary. 

Thank you, Larry. 


KUDLOW:  Let‘s party. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s do it. 

Janeane, thank you so much.  Sam, thank you.  Want to invite you all back to talk about Social Security with Mr. Kudlow or Cramer or something. 

ROSEN:  They both could talk about it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  They could.  They really could. 

What a great day in our nation‘s capital, and what a panel. 

We‘ll see you tomorrow night.  Have a great night.



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