Sunday Show Wrap-Up
Meet Mike Huckabee.
7:52 PM, Jan 28, 2007 • By SONNY BUNCH
On the roundtable, Brit Hume made a point that is worth quoting at length; when asked about his view of Congress's recent actions in relation to Iraq, Hume pulled no punches. "It's Congress at its least inspiring I think. You have a combination of Democrats who oppose the war looking for a way to say so, and you have Republicans terrified by what happened in the last election looking for a place to hide, and some cover. So you see this combination of voting for a resolution to disapprove it, and then whooping through unanimously the person who helped draft it, and whose theory about the war is the one being put into effect. It's obviously a contradiction. I would say there's one exception to that, and that's poor Chuck Hagel, who is getting grandiloquent about voting for a legislative meaningless sense of the Senate resolution, and calling it courage. That makes you kind of sad."
Bill Kristol seconded the point, adding this point on the Senate's drive to score political points off of the Iraq war: "This is the Congress at its worst. John Warner, there's a great puff piece about my senator from Virginia on the front page of the Washington Post, saying 'what do they want us to do in the senate, do nothing?' Absolutely right. Absolutely right. Support the troops, appropriate the funds, encourage them, let Dave Petraeus have a chance to win this war. Don't pass a meaningless resolution." Juan Williams defended Senator John Kerry who, at the Davos conference in Switzerland, referred to the United States as an international "pariah." "The esteem that we are held in overseas has gone down markedly. I don't think there's any question about that: It's a fact," Williams said.
On This Week, two members of the Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations appeared. Republican Richard Lugar said "I've indicated in my testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee that I have doubts about the surge situation. . . . On the other hand, Gen. Petraeus, if anyone can pull it off, he's the man. . . . I would like not to get bogged down into the referendum on where we all stand." Sunday regular, Joe Biden, was asked by George Stephanopoulos to say, in 25 words or less, why he would make a good president. "Because I think the president's dug us in a deep hole, the president's foreign policy has made us more vulnerable. His economic policy has made the middle class more vulnerable. My life story, my record best prepares me to deal with those issues," responded Biden. (For those of you keeping score at home, that's 43 words, not bad for Biden.)
Duncan Hunter, the California congressman who is also running for president, was given some air time by This Week as well. He pointed to the rising threat of China and this country's porous borders. "China is now acquiring the capability . . . and they're going at our strengths, in terms of stealth, and intelligence, and our ability to penetrate enemy airspace. So China is building a war machine, we see that with our intelligence. They're building it with American trade dollars. That doesn't make sense." On immigration: "We have to have enforceable borders. . . . Since 9/11, border security is not just an immigration issue now, it's primarily a security issue. . . . We built that double fence [in San Diego], and that meant a smuggler had to cross that first fence, cross a high speed border patrol road, then he had to sit down with his welding gear and cut a hole through that second fence. . . . We have reduced smuggling of people and narcotics by 90 percent."
The roundtable featured an interesting discussion of President Bush's healthcare proposal first announced in his State of the Union address. George Will (who the other panelists admitted was the first, and probably only, of the group to really understand what the president was getting at) passed his knowledge on to the group. "The conservative view is that the way you reduce the supply of government is to reduce the demand for it. The way you reduce the demand for government is to empower people to make them feel socially competent," said Will. "This would be a step in that direction. Look at the two reasons, aside from the fact that Bush favors it, that Democrats oppose it. . . . By empowering people through the tax code, to buy their own health insurance, you are reducing the number of people dependent on government, and modern liberalism exists to promote equality understood as the equal dependence on government for more things."