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THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP

HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN

PANEL: PATRICK BUCHANAN, MSNBC; ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK; TONY BLANKLEY, THE WASHINGTON TIMES; MORT ZUCKERMAN, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT

TAPED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 2005
BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF AUGUST 20-21, 2005

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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Gaza Stripped.

On day two of the Gaza withdrawal Thursday, events turned violent between Israeli police and uprooted Jewish settlers. The police clashed with mostly younger ultranationalists, one group on the roof of a synagogue.

Despite such resistance, Israeli officials declared the withdrawal ahead of schedule and will likely be finished early in the coming week. Then the governance of the 25-mile-long, five-mile-wide Gaza Strip will revert to Palestinian rule.

Is Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas strong enough to prevent a Hamas takeover of Gaza? As dramatic as the settler exodus has been, many believe the most dramatic stage of the Gaza transition is about to begin. Hamas, the ultra Palestinian ultramilitant, some would say terrorist organization, wants to operate Gaza as a semiautonomous state within the Palestinian Authority. This is a direct challenge to Abbas. If Abbas cannot prevent Hamas from taking over Gaza, Benjamin Netanyahu, who predicted that Gaza will become a mecca for terrorists, will look like a prophet.

But for now there is cautious hope for Gaza among the Israelis.

DANIEL AYALON (ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES): (From videotape.) Abbas told the Palestinians that the violence, this onslaught of Palestinian terror in the last four or five years, was detrimental to the Palestinian national cause. They lost a lot from it. So they support him. And also they are fatigued. They are tired. They don't want to see bloodshed. They don't want to see violence. They would like to have normal lives, as we do.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Also, cautious hope for Gaza among the Palestinians. "We have to celebrate at least once so we can have hope coming into our souls and in the souls of our children. Our children are coming out of a really serious and dark tunnel. We have to tell them, 'This is your life. Take it. You don't have to die as a suicide bomber.' Once you instill hope into the hearts of our young children, you have a different nation. You have a different determination. You have a different Middle East." So says Palestinian doctor Eyad Sarraj.

On Friday morning, Palestinian President Abbas offered a message of cautious hope to a crowd of supporters.

Question: What signal does the Gaza withdrawal send to the Israelis? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, it sends several signals. The bad signals are that Sharon was run out of Gaza by Hamas. The second bad signal is Netanyahu may be right; it could turn into a base camp for terror.

The good news for Sharon is they're well rid of a bleeding wound. They were in there, and those settlements are against international law, against Security Council resolutions. It is bleeding them money. It is bleeding them prestige. It is bleeding them treasure. So they're well rid of it.

Now, on the Palestinian side, the one good news is this is a hopeful opportunity. The Israelis are gone. They have a chance, with elections and with aid, to show that they can handle self-government, that they're not interested simply in going to war and fighting Israelis, and they can begin to build -- even if Hamas is elected, they can begin to build something. Very much they've got to be held accountable now, John, because they're out of there. I mean, the Israelis are gone and they're going to be helped. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Well, these settlements were not popular in Israel proper. They were islands of luxury, heavily guarded by the Israeli military. Israeli young men and women lost their lives protecting these settlers, just under 9,000 of them on 33 percent of the land, the best beachfront land.

And so it is popular in Israel to withdraw from Gaza. And it's also a recognition of reality that Israel cannot be a democracy and a Jewish state if it holds on to the West Bank and Gaza, because they will be demographically overwhelmed. And so I think this is progress, but it's only a first step.

And as far as the Palestinians, I agree with Pat. This is an opportunity. But they're going to need help, because a lot of promises have been made with very little aid delivered. And Hamas may be a terrorist organization, but it also delivers social services. And so now Abbas has to demonstrate that he can deliver, too, and he can deliver a better life.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Israeli government encouraged settlement in Gaza, and it did so through inducements. And what this indicates, I think, is the end of expansionist Israel. And it indicates that to its people, and it's also indicating the end of dominance. Is that true?

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, I've always -- I don't know about dominance. I've always thought that this plan reflected an old general, Sharon's sense of contracting to more defensible lines, so pulling back from Gaza, pulling back from the outlying territorial sites in the West Bank, to a place where he can actually defend a fortress Israel.

Now, the question is whether Netanyahu is right that, in fact, Gaza is going to become simply a launching pad for rockets and other terrorism back in Israel. If that's the case, then this will have been a false judgment. But I think there's almost no expectation of peace, and what you're probably going to get is some form of warlordism in Gaza.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: To pick that point up, Israel and Sharon have to be concerned about his radicals. We've already seen that. The religious radicals have killed some Palestinians recently, and Rabin's death was owing to a religious zealot, Israeli.

Also, on the other side, Abbas has to be concerned about his radicals, Hamas, et cetera, and the pessimists over there.

So will that, in a certain sense, do the exact opposite of what the general has described? Will it actually pull these partners, who are together, insofar as they're fighting radicals, into a defense of the center, and therefore create a curious (warped?) partnership?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I mean, that is wishful thinking, John. The difference is that in Israel, the government is opposed to the terrorists and the few extremists that are there, and in the Palestinian community they have not opposed them. He, Abbas, has refused to either confront or dismantle Hamas. He has promised them he will not take away their guns. He hasn't taken away a single gun from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, even the Al-Asqa Martyrs Brigade, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fatah. So you have a very different approach. Now, the question is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But he's got to preserve his government. Hamas is a direct challenge to his government.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely. But we are now in the throes of the dangers of democracy. In the elections in Gaza, Hamas got 60 percent of the vote and Fatah got 40 percent. It's what Eleanor says. Not only do they deliver services, but Fatah is considered to be a totally corrupt administration. Abu Mazen himself has a huge villa in Gaza. They know what has happened. The Palestinians --

MR. BUCHANAN: But Hamas is also --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Let me just finish.

MR. BUCHANAN: Hamas is seen like Hezbollah, as having driven Sharon and the Israelis out, as Hezbollah drove them out of Lebanon. They're going to win the election, Mort. And the question is, will they lay down their guns and work peacefully?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: If you see what they've said or listened to what they've said, Hamas, the leaders of Hamas, what they have said is "We're not giving up our guns and we're not stopping" what they call the resistance. "We're not stopping the military campaign and terrorist campaign against the Israelis," and not just in the West Bank, but they want to -- MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is Hamas big enough and strong enough to create a civil war in Palestine?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely, they're big enough and strong enough. In fact, it's Abu Mazen who is the weaker party here. He has no control over any of the security services. He might mean well, but he is an empty suit at this stage of the game.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, why did Sharon unleash this incendiary situation on his doorstep?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: You mean, in terms of withdrawing from Gaza and disengaging from Gaza?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Because he had several reasons for it. You will recall that he did this in negotiations really with the American administration. Last April the 14th, Bush and he stood there and made a public statement about this withdrawal and what came out of it, okay. What came out of it --

MR. BUCHANAN: That's the statement whereby they're going to put the peace process --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: What came out of it --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let him finish.

MR. BUCHANAN: They're going to put the peace process on hold, John.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: They're not putting the peace process on hold.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible.)

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's just nonsense. I read that word. If you read the whole thing, he didn't say they're putting that on hold. What they're saying is -- and they have agreed to go ahead --

MR. BUCHANAN: When the Palestinians turn into Finns, then we'll negotiate.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, what the --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Wait a minute. Let Mort finish.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: The whole obligation -- and it's right into the road map -- the first thing the Palestinians have to do is to dismantle the terrorist organizations. Nothing of that has happened yet. MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible) -- Israelis saying it's (kept?), and there's no capital in East Jerusalem. That's not doable, Mort.

MS. CLIFT: First of all, it has been the position of every American president since Jimmy Carter that these settlements are illegal. So let's start there.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That is not the --

MS. CLIFT: Secondly, Ambassador Ayalon, I think, had the correct prism to look at this through, and that is that the Palestinian people are exhausted. They want peace. And since Arafat died, the terror factor has been relatively low. So there is hope here.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Could we put this off for just a minute? Let's cool it off and watch some beach video of Gaza.

(Videotape of Gaza beachfront.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that's developable, Mort?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes. Sure.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: As New York City's real estate tycoon, you can speak authoritatively on that.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.) (Inaudible.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Could you do something with that? Have you swum over there?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, I haven't swum exactly there, but --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Have you swum in Tel Aviv?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes, I have.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's up the coast.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes. No, it's a beautiful beach.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I've swum in Tel Aviv.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: And if you had a secure environment, just as in the Sinai, in Sharm el-Sheikh, where the Egyptians developed 20,000 hotel rooms in a matter of years, this could also be developed. But the security situation there is dramatically dangerous, and that's why nothing has happened there.

What you have to hope for is there will be an economic development. But you just look at what happened with the greenhouses, and the Palestinians are not willing to do any of it. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me give you another improbable convergence that is taking place.

Let's say that the essential motivation of Sharon was strategic containment of Gaza, and the worst interpretation is that the Palestinians are now successfully caged and we have a clear line of where our population is.

Let's suppose that's his dominant reason. Don't you think there was a force in Israel that says, by reason of this and by seeing that their boys come home and we've gone through step one, that he's faced with an irresistible tide, as is his opposite number among the Palestinians? In other words, the whole movement is on the side of continuing and crushing the radicals by the population themselves.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In other words, the population will cement and funnel into a one-way street going in the direction of the road map.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: From your lips to (Allah's?) ears. I mean, I wish that were the case. We're going to find out what happens in Gaza. As Pat says, that is going to be a template for what may happen in the future. If Gaza turns out to be the first occasion where the Palestinians focus on developing their own state instead of destroying the Israeli state, you will have a transformation. We do not know. And if you read what they say to their own people in Arabic, you can't believe that that's going to be the case. It may happen. Bibi Netanyahu doesn't believe it will happen.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I want to hear from Tony.

MR. BLANKLEY: Look, unfortunately, a whole generation of young Palestinian boys have been raised to be very motivated to kill the Jews. And the idea that suddenly they're all going to turn peaceful and become businessmen is, I think, just a sad, forlorn hope.

MR. BUCHANAN: What radicalized these kids?

MR. BLANKLEY: They're going to be --

MR. BUCHANAN: What radicalized these kids? This is the point. The horrible situation in Gaza is in part because the Israelis came in. They colonized the place. They brought in those settlements. One-third of the land they took for -- MR. BLANKLEY: Pat, whatever the reason --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, can we --

MR. BLANKLEY: Whatever the reason -- that may well be. Whatever the reason, the fact is you've got a whole generation of people --

MR. BUCHANAN: If you continue that --

MR. BLANKLEY: -- who are not conditioned for peace.

MR. BUCHANAN: If you continue that on the West Bank, you will never have peace.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's get out. I want a quick question, a couple of quick questions. Will Gaza backfire? Pat Buchanan, yes or no.

MR. BUCHANAN: No, I think Israel will be glad -- whatever happens, they're glad they're out of there.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will it backfire on them?

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, I agree with Pat.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?

MR. BLANKLEY: I think it's probably going to be a base of military operations against Israel. Nonetheless, it's probably better for there to be a fortress Israel than an extended Israel.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I think it will backfire.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I don't think it'll backfire at all.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I hope you're right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think there's going to be a popular uprising on the side of peace in both nations.

Another exit question -- I guess you've answered it: Will the Gaza withdrawal revive the moribund peace process? Can I speak to a point there? The first point is the status of Jerusalem. Unfortunately, the Israelis now are building a fence right through the Arab -- well, containing or moving out the Arabs so that they're outside Jerusalem.

MR. BUCHANAN: John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's not very nice, is it? Fifty thousand Arabs are going to be moved outside of Jerusalem. MR. BUCHANAN: John, you're just going to --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let him respond.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: John, that fence has a major purpose. It is to prevent terrorists from coming in and blowing up Israelis in Jerusalem. That's where it all started. The only thing that has stopped the suicide bombers is that security fence.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did Hadrian's Wall come down -- (inaudible)?

MR. BUCHANAN: It should never have been built. Look, let me answer your question.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The China Wall stands. What other wall came down?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The wall the Mexicans --

MR. BLANKLEY: Berlin Wall.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Berlin Wall.

(Cross-talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's move on.

MR. BUCHANAN: Let me answer your question. Let me answer your question, John. The peace process is going to be stopped cold for a number of reasons. One, it's not the wall. The wall is in Palestinian territory. They will not give the Palestinians a capital in Jerusalem and they will not get off the West Bank. This is a game the Israelis are playing.

They gave up Gaza, and now it's going to stop cold. And Bush --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: They also gave up some settlements in the West Bank as a part of this --

MR. BUCHANAN: Bush will not push them --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: -- which is a larger area than Gaza, as a down payment on what they're continuing to do --

MR. BUCHANAN: You know as well as I do, Mort, George Bush --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: -- in the West Bank.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let Mort talk, will you, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: George Bush will not push Sharon, and Sharon won't move.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Make your final point here. Make it good.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: The Israelis have already taken four settlements out of the West Bank as a down payment on the rest of their withdrawals from the West Bank. It will not be 100 percent withdrawal from the West Bank. They have made it very clear that they are prepared to do that if they have a partner for peace on the other side.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you encourage Sharon to go ahead?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Did I? Yes. I supported the withdrawal from --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Despite this tide of pessimism that is emerging from your mouth?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Because you have to take the chance here that it'll work. Do I believe it'll work? I'd say the odds are 10 to one against. But you have to take the chance it'll work.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think you are underrecognizing, you're underidentifying the dynamism of this process. MR. ZUCKERMAN: It's possible you may be right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Because it's reaching down to the people level.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, Gaza --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: (Inaudible) -- see what's happening in Gaza.

MS. CLIFT: Gaza was the easy part because it has no religious significance. Jerusalem will be hard. But Israel recognizes that if they hold on to the West Bank, they cannot be a Jewish state. And that is what's --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is there a connection between Hamas -- did you finish? Is there a connection between Hamas and al Qaeda?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Not to my knowledge. I don't know if there's any connection. It is, however -- there are a lot of patterns, similar patterns, in terms of the way they operate. But I don't think --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, the reason why we're spending a lot of time on this, besides its intrinsic justification, is also because it is a trigger, doubtless unfortunately a positive trigger, for the recruitment of al Qaeda.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: (No doubt?).

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Israel is; I mean, the Israel-Palestine conflict. It has been. If this is resolved and if they see the resolution of it, I believe and Mubarak believes that 50 percent of the power of terrorism will disappear.

Issue Two: Run, Pirro, Run.

JEANINE PIRRO (NEW YORK REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL CANDIDATE): (From videotape.) When I was a young prosecutor, they said women couldn't try murder cases because they couldn't go for the jugular. And when I ran for county judge, they said women weren't tough enough. And when I ran for DA, they said it was a man's job. So it certainly is a daunting challenge, but I'm really up for it and up to it. And I intend to run this race in a way where I end up winning it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro says she's the candidate to unseat Hillary Clinton in next year's Senate race when Hillary's seat is up. But the announcement of her candidacy and the first two weeks of her campaign have been plagued with troubles.

First, Pirro made an embarrassing gaffe in her kickoff speech when she lost her place --

MS. PIRRO: (From videotape.) Do I have page 10? MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- then fumbled for about 30 seconds. Then a story about her husband, Albert Pirro, and his love child resurfaced. The New York Post charged that Albert seldom sees the daughter except when wife Jeanine runs for office. And this political go-round for Jeanine, Albert buys his daughter a new Chrysler PT Cruiser, whereupon the daughter, 22 years old and a new mother herself, called the New York Times and earnestly praised her dad for his continued attentions to her.

Republican leaders wonder to what extent the Albert publicity is a political liability. After all, when Albert was sentenced to a year in jail for tax fraud in 2001, within months Jeanine ran for DA re- election and won. Albert is barred for three years from practicing law and currently heads a lobbying firm. The Pirros have been married for 30 years.

For the Senate run, Jeanine's agenda is sweeping and her attack is head-on.

MS. PIRRO: (From videotape.) The people of New York are concerned about the economy. They're concerned about Social Security, education, terrorism, public safety, issues that affect the ordinary New Yorker every day. It will be a race about what the candidate brings to New York and whether or not Senator Clinton intends to be a full-time senator as she pursues her race to run for president.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Pirros have two children. And in her professional life, for over a decade of prosecutions, she has never lost a single case. So this prosecutor will be at work on Hillary and her performance over the years.

Given the scandals in both women's backgrounds, with all things being equal, are Jeanine and Hillary well-matched contestants? Eleanor Clift.

MS. CLIFT: Well, first of all, I want to watch all the Republicans who got so upset about Hillary's husband, I want to see how they're going to finesse Jeanine's situation. But that aside, I think these are two smart, talented women. They're both progressives. Pirro is pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and she's an old-style New York Republican before the party was captured by the right. And I think --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is her nomination secure?

MS. CLIFT: Probably.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: She's running against -- the principal contender is Ed --

MS. CLIFT: Eddie Cox from the Nixon administration.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: She can take Cox out, right? MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Please continue, Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah. So I think this is a win-win situation for both these women. And I hope we banish the phrase "cat fight" from our vocabulary. But for Hillary, if she wins, which is likely, it becomes a real victory and she gets battle-ready if she wants to run for president.

And Pirro wants to run for governor. She gets better-known. And she's got a television career that could use a boost. I mean, I think it's good all around.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean, it's --

MS. CLIFT: It's good for the voters, too.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is this an Arianna Huffington phenomenon, running against Schwarzenegger?

MR. BLANKLEY: No, Arianna was a vanity campaign. This is a semi-serious campaign. It starts off Pirro is behind 61-28 or 29. So Hillary probably -- it's going to tighten. If Pirro can get some launch and have enough money, she could bring Hillary down to the 55- 57 zone and have a win that will not be really exciting for Hillary going into her presidential bid.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: As a New Yorker, what are you hearing?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, I think that it makes sense for Jeanine Pirro to run. As Eleanor is saying, it'll give her statewide attention and publicity and recognition. She's a very attractive candidate. However, I think she's going to lose big-time to Hillary. The issue is -- her only issue against Hillary is that Hillary may have national ambitions. And I will tell you, in New York this is not considered a negative. Hillary is very strong in the state, and including in upstate New York. She's worked very hard as a senator and has established herself as a much more popular candidate than she did when she ran the first time.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hillary has the Democratic strongholds in an iron grip. She's competitive in Long Island, which leans somewhat Republican.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: She's competitive in red-state upstate New York.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Correct? MR. BUCHANAN: I think Mort is exactly right. I think Hillary Clinton is an extremely strong candidate for the state of New York. Again, Eleanor is correct. There's not that great a difference between them on the issues, although Pirro is a wonderful candidate. She's articulate. She's tough. I think she'll win the debates. I don't know that she's going to go as far as --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How do you rate her chances, zero to 10?

MR. BUCHANAN: I think this is a kamikaze run. I think what's going to happen is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Kamikaze.

MR. BUCHANAN: -- the Republicans are going to feed her --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean, she's a sacrificial lamb?

MR. BUCHANAN: The Republicans will feed her raw, tough stuff to go after Hillary and cut her up and bleed her for the year 2008.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Aha! Aha! What do you think?

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, that's the purpose. She wants to bloody up Hillary.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think? Will they give her $30 million, however, as they --

MS. CLIFT: Oh, Hillary is a great fund-raiser for the Republicans.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly.

MR. BLANKLEY: There's already a group out there that's raised $10 million and the campaign hasn't started outside of her own campaign. There will be plenty of money to hit Hillary.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah, the money --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is she a sacrificial lamb?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: As a practical matter, yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you give her -- a zero, a one?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I'd give her somewhere between zero and .5. That's it. I mean, it's 95 percent a Hillary landslide, not just a victory.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'll give her a two. Issue Three: What's in a Name?

"Hostile and abusive." That's what the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the NCAA, has labeled the Florida State Seminoles athletic teams. Reason: Florida State University teams are named after Native Americans indigenous to the Florida area, i.e., the Seminole Indian tribe. The Seminole name used as a moniker, the Seminoles, and any mascot or even symbol associated with any Native Americans are offensive to that ethnic group. That's the NCAA creed. "Ridiculous," says Florida's governor, Jeb Bush. The Seminole Indians themselves support the use of their name by the team.

SEMINOLE INDIAN: (From videotape.) From the Seminole Tribe of Florida to you, you honor us by using the name Seminole.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Further, they say that no one from the NCAA ever asked them what their views were about the alleged issue. Governor Bush says that the Florida Seminoles know that they don't need the NCAA to protect them.

FLORIDA GOVERNOR JEB BUSH (R): (From videotape.) They insult those people by telling them, "No, no, you're not smart enough to understand this. You should be feeling really horrible about it." It's ridiculous.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: NCAA officials are unyielding. They have given Florida State and 17 other, quote/unquote, "offensive schools" until February of 2006 to clean up their act or be barred from postseason championship play.

Question: Who will back off first, the NCAA or Jeb Bush? I ask you, Tony.

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, I hope the NCAA backs off. This is idiotic. Look, you've got the USC Trojans. You've got the New England Patriots. Here in Virginia near Washington you've got the Langley High School Saxons.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about the Beavers?

MR. BLANKLEY: There's nothing wrong -- there's everything right about having your race or ethnicity used as a mascot for a team. And the Indians don't mind. This is simply political correctness run amok.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, I think it's not so much the name. It's the caricatures and the war paint and sort of the way the Native Americans are depicted.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: A major antiwar movement will coalesce this September and October. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: The Roberts nomination will not restore the Democratic Party to its former glory. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony.

MR. BLANKLEY: A major antiwar effort will not coalesce in the fall.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: And every Democratic presidential candidate will vote against -- in the Senate will vote against the Roberts nomination.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No U.N. sanctions against Iran. Bye bye.

END.