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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Tired, Poor, Huddled Masses.

The immigration battle reached the Senate floor this week, and the argument has been fierce. In 1965, the U.S. had 30,000 immigrants a year. That was about 40 years ago. Today there are more than 1 million legal immigrants a year and another 1 million illegal immigrants a year.

Thirty-three million people in the U.S. today are foreign-born. America is being swamped in a tide of legal and illegal immigrants, many believe. And public opinion polls of every stripe show that Americans today have immigration fatigue. They want dramatically lower levels of both legal and illegal immigration. The country splits either for Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado or for Republican President George W. Bush.

REP. TOM TANCREDO (R-CO): (From videotape.) We want to secure the border and we want to go after the people who are hiring people who are here illegally.

PRESIDENT BUSH: (From videotape.) We don't want people sneaking into our country who are going to do jobs Americans won't do. We want them coming in in an orderly way.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tancredo is the view of Main Street. Bush is the view of Wall Street. Tancredo wants curbs on both legal and illegal immigration. Bush wants an open-door policy. Tancredo is red state. Bush is blue state. Red and blue states are reconciled by having one belief in common -- namely, ratchet up border enforcement, especially cross-border Mexico-U.S. illicit entry enforcement.

But the biggest illegals problem is the number of resident aliens living within the United States -- 12 million. What's the best way to handle this complicated, polarizing and refractory issue? Answer: To let it resolve itself by eliminating benefits given to illegal aliens. Without those benefits as incentives, and with a full-scale border- crossing crackdown, the problem of 12 million resident illegals will solve itself over time by attrition, many say. Many say that, Pat.

Question: The Senate committee that took the lead on this issue is the Senate Judiciary Committee. Is that the right committee?

MR. BUCHANAN: No, it probably should be the Armed Services, John, for this reason. (Laughter.) This is not Ellis Island immigration. This is an invasion of the United States, when every single year more people come across our border and succeed, one in 12 of them with a criminal record, than the entire Army of the United States of America. This is a border security, a national security, a national survival issue.

The Democratic Party, incidentally, is selling out black people and union people because of the enormous competition for workers. And the Republican Party is fundamentally selling out the country. There is no constituency for amnesty or guest workers outside ethnic lobbies and special interests that dominate and own the Republican Party.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, that's well-stated and a passionate statement. But what I'm getting at is, should this be in the foreign affairs committee? Where's the Mexican government in the control of these outgoing illegals? Does it have a responsibility to do so? Is it complicit in the illegality of their status in the United States?

MS. CLIFT: Well, maybe it should be in the Mexican foreign affairs committee. I don't know care which committee it's in. First of all, our relationship with Mexico -- Mexico used to be -- the whole western part of this country used to be Mexico. There are strong --

MR. BUCHANAN: (It will be again ?).

MS. CLIFT: There are strong ties. And there are many people in this country, Pat, who enjoy the infusion of new blood, other cultures. And the Spanish culture is rich and diverse in this country. And, yes, they are on their way to becoming a major force in politics and everything else. And if you take the position you're taking, you're going to do for the Republican Party what Pete Wilson, former governor of California, did for the Republican Party in California, making it safe for Democrats for a generation to come.

We need to figure out a rational way to deal with the 11 million people, 12 million people who are here, who are contributing, who take care of our children; a critical part of the work force. And we do need to shut down the flow across the borders and figure out a rational way, but --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Not only is the Mexican government --

MS. CLIFT: -- not with the -- (word inaudible) -- you have.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Not only is the Mexican government not inhibiting the flow, as far as we can see, but it's actually promoting it in the sense that it puts out a Mexican manual that gives guidance on how to -- how illegals can elude attacks on their personal security.

So why -- again, I go to my question. Why are we tearing ourselves apart in the United States Senate, and especially the Judiciary Committee, when this is a Foreign Affairs problem because it relates to the government of Mexico getting control of their citizenry? Why is it that it becomes our burden?

MR. BLANKLEY: Not that it matters, but the Judiciary Committee is the traditional committee. It's in the House as well.

Look, Mexico has an overt policy of -- they have a great policy on their southern border of keeping out the Central Americans. And they have a wonderful policy, from their point of view, on their northern border.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean because of the dollar reparations, $20 billion a year, that are sent back to Mexico by illegals?

MR. BLANKLEY: They don't want to compete internally in Mexico with cheap Central American labor, and they want to get as much of their Mexican laborers up into America. So they have a policy, a very good policy from their point of view, of a frozen border on the south and an open border on the north. But the fact is that, whether we like it or not, it's the president and Congress's responsibility to manage our border. If there's a foreign-policy component, there obviously is. But our responsibility is on our side of the border, which is why it's the Judiciary Committee.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why don't we have leadership in the White House that will exert pressure on Mexico, tighten up the winch on Mexico? Mexico now feeds off the United States.

MR. BLANKLEY: Take pressure.

You know, there's only so much pressure a country can put. Also, Mexico is going through an election cycle, so there's no possible way that Fox can agree to anything meaningful that would undercut his party in the next election that's coming up soon.

But I want to just take this quick opportunity to say an extraordinary thing happened last week. The senior economic correspondents for The Washington Post, Robert Samuelson, and for The New York Times, Paul Krugman, both came out with columns in which they argued analytically, on an economic basis, that the argument of Bush and the senators and the people who want work doesn't cut it. Now, to have the two --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What does that mean?

MR. BLANKLEY: They say that immigrants currently, the poor immigrants, uneducated, take more in benefits than they produce, that we don't need that labor to maintain our work force, and they're not going to help the resolution of our retirees because they're going to create competition for benefits between boomers --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean, they're a drain on the economy.

MR. BLANKLEY: My point is, different people will argue different things. You might expect that from Pat or me. But --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, that Mexican laborers take jobs Americans won't take -- that's the cliche.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah. But what's fascinating is that the New York Times -- the two leading liberal papers in the country, New York Times and Washington Post, their leading economic correspondents agree with Pat.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Two days in March, Mort -- and welcome, by the way -- more than 800,000 Latinos protested in key U.S. cities. They argued that entering the United States illegally and staying here legally is their right. Here's what they looked like.

(Videotape clip of protest.) MR. MCLAUGHLIN: My question is, what's the reaction of the American people to the spectacle of masses of foreigners protesting in our streets against restrictions on immigration lawbreakers?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, I think, you know, they're another protest group, another lobbying group, another interest group. I think that's accepted, by and large. But there are a lot of people who are opposed to that idea.

I will say, I mean, having spent one night flying over that border with the Border Patrol, we have a 2,000-mile border with Mexico. There is no way that we're going to be able to stop that unless we and Mexico --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat wants to build up 700 miles of fences.

MR. BUCHANAN: No, I want 2,000 miles of fences. Look --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You want how many --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Just a minute. Just a minute. Let me just say one thing.

MR. BUCHANAN: The problem is not the ability.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let Pat finish.

MR. BUCHANAN: The problem is the lack of will. We could stop this cold if you had a president and a Congress that wanted to stop it. We defend borders all over the world.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat, do you realize what a statement that makes to the world? You haven't seen the Israeli fence. I have.

MR. BUCHANAN: I don't want --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It is really a forbidding structure. I'm not faulting the Israelis on this because it appears to have worked. But it is a forbidding structure.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, you are talking --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you want to present to the world 700 miles of fence on our southern border as an example for our democracy?

MR. BUCHANAN: John, if you have two cultures, two languages, two peoples, you're going to wind up with two countries. This is about the survival of the United States of America. It's not economics.

MS. CLIFT: No, no. We're doing --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I'm sorry, that is absolutely untrue. The Spanish communities of this country are learning to speak English just slightly slower than everybody else. They own as many homes. They're going back to school. So they are merging, just as every other immigrant group did, to this country.

MR. BUCHANAN: Do you know the policy of the Mexican government?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Just a minute. And let me just say one other thing. You talk about replacing jobs. We have a 4.8 percent unemployment rate. So somebody is working everywhere they are working. And that doesn't count a lot of the illegals who aren't -- so it is not affecting the job market in this country at this stage of the game.

MR. BUCHANAN: It is driving down the wages of working people 8 percent. Talk to Borjas up there at Harvard.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: He is a total --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What follows upon that? Americans won't take the jobs, right?

MR. BUCHANAN: John, this is crazy. Americans (have ?) the majority of all these jobs.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So the lawbreakers come and they change -- (cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let Mort in.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Ninety percent of the American males graduate high school, and half of them go on to college. They don't want to take these jobs anymore. These are jobs that are for basically unskilled people. And we do not produce an unskilled labor force.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The wage scale is driven down by reason of the illegals taking the jobs. So when the scale goes down, Americans don't want to take it. So it continues to be further repressed by the phenomenon. What are you prepared to do, to let it continue to drop?


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And if it were to go away, then it presumably would return to a level that's consistent with --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: This reminds me of the two Indians standing behind the bush when they see the Mayflower coming in. One turns to the other and he says, "Hey, we need an immigration policy." We do not have an immigration policy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, I want to ask --

MS. CLIFT: I want to make a few quick points. You introduced those crowds as foreigners in the streets. A lot of those people are the children of undocumented parents and grandparents. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What I mean is foreign-born, foreign-born.

MS. CLIFT: Well, no, they're not even foreign-born. They're born here. They're American children. And second of all, I want to defend Paul Krugman and Bob Samuelson. They don't, quote, "agree with Pat." They have presented the fact that this is a much more complicated argument than round 'em up and toss 'em up and build a fence, and there are --

MR. BUCHANAN: But they're --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Just a moment.

MS. CLIFT: Excuse me. I get to finish --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Just a moment. I want to change the subject.

MS. CLIFT: -- that there are economic repercussions. And corporate America is benefiting by this.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can I get --

MS. CLIFT: And unskilled workers are getting paid less in this country because of the flow of cheap labor. That is a legitimate argument that should be taken as a concern.

MR. BLANKLEY: I only said they agreed with the economic analysis.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me quote the president this week in Cancun, okay? He said this. Quote: "The Mexican government understands it has a responsibility as well to protect the borders. It is a nation of law."

MR. BUCHANAN: That is nonsense.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Just let me finish. Then it goes on to say, "I also believe strongly that an important part of securing the border and enforcing our laws is to recognize that there are people in our country doing work that Americans will not do, and those people ought to be given a chance to have a tamper-proof card that enables them to work in our country legally for a period of time."

MR. BUCHANAN: (Off mike.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Just a moment. Now, on the one hand, he provides a disincentive -- namely, the Mexican government, that will presumably disincentivize Mexicans from coming over. On the other hand, he says, "If you do come, we'll see to it that you get a job. It'll be tamper-proof." You can't have it both ways.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This is what Tancredo says. What about that?

MR. BUCHANAN: Let me say this. The Mexican government -- Fox, Deberz, the whole gang -- has a deliberate policy of pushing their poor across the border into the United States because they get remittances back. They get them off their back. They come into the United States. The president doesn't -- President Bush doesn't know what he's talking about if he thinks Mr. Fox is helping him on this thing.

Secondarily, on the whole -- there is no occupation in America where illegal aliens are a majority. Who do you think are the other workers against whom they're competing? Black Americans, Americans who drop out of high school. They're driving down the wages of working people in this country. They don't compete with Mort and me or you.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me get one thing straight with you. You're not opposed to legal immigration, are you?

MR. BUCHANAN: Legal immigration should be rolled back to where Jack Kennedy wanted it in --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, but you are now prepared to say that Mexicans can come here as long as they play by the rules. Correct?

MR. BUCHANAN: What I'm saying is the whole -- look, the Mexicans who come in, 50 percent of them are poor and on welfare. Other groups come in -- Italians, 2 percent are on welfare. You've got to pick and choose who comes.

MS. CLIFT: Italians have been coming here for 100 years.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm saying to you that if they can secure, through rightful ways, according to regulation, legal status in the United States as citizens, that it's okay.

MR. BUCHANAN: If they -- look, people should come in according to what they can bring to America.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We've got to get out.

MS. CLIFT: And they bring a lot. And we have looked the other way for --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: (Inaudible.)

MS. CLIFT: Excuse me. We have looked the other way for 40 years, and now we want to change the rules.


MS. CLIFT: They are not bad people. They are people coming here for economic -- (cross talk).

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Let me say one thing.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Wait a minute. Let Eleanor finish! Have you finished, Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: I'm now done, but I doubt anybody heard me. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Restate it, Eleanor. I'll give you the time. What did you say, in a nutshell? MS. CLIFT: I just said we're about to change the rules because we've now decided that this flow of immigration no longer suits us. But we're the ones to blame for not enforcing the rules, not the Mexicans who come across here looking for economic opportunities, like every other immigrant.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What we're concluding is that immigration is a national security issue. It is no longer an economic and social issue primarily. It's a national security --

MS. CLIFT: Show me the Mexican terrorists. Where are the Mexican terrorists?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That means we take the game seriously and we take the 12 million illegals seriously.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: One thing we have to say. At the upper end of the scale, the highly-educated people, the Ph.D.'s and the M.A.'s in computer sciences and engineering, we are not allowing enough of those people in this country.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean the A1B (sic).


MR. ZUCKERMAN: H1B. They only allow -- we should open the gates to those people.

MR. BUCHANAN: No, we shouldn't either. Listen, take care of your own people. Kids are going to school. They're coming out. They're not getting jobs because they're hiring foreigners.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's not true that they aren't getting jobs.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question --

MR. BUCHANAN: They aren't getting them.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will there be legislation out of Congress on immigration before the November elections, seven months away? Yes or no.

MR. BUCHANAN: It is a tough call. I'm going to say no.


MS. CLIFT: There's a really nasty racist tinge to this debate, and I think there will be a tightening of enforcement measures coming out of the Congress.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And that's all?

MS. CLIFT: That's all. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean, just stop them at the border.

MS. CLIFT: Maybe a fig leaf on some future promise of something else, but I don't --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No amnesty, no work force program.

MS. CLIFT: No amnesty. No.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?

MR. BLANKLEY: I think it's too soon to have a clue whether we're going to get legislation or not.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, are you playing by the rules of our game here or are you now acting like an illegal alien on this set? (Laughter.)

MR. BLANKLEY: Look, I just don't have a clue. I've talked to the --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you mean, you don't have a clue? You must have some reasonable -- (inaudible) -- in your mind?

MR. BLANKLEY: I don't think that the leadership in the House --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's your intuition?

MR. BLANKLEY: I don't have an intuition on this yet, because the leadership in the Congress -- (cross talk and laughter). MR. ZUCKERMAN: It'll be passed in the Senate and it'll never get out of committee, so there'll be no legislation.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I agree with you and Pat -- no legislation before November.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No legislation, absolutely.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: Iraq and Jill.

JILL CARROLL (freelance journalist): (From videotape.) I was treated very well. It's important people know that I was not harmed. They never said they would hit me, never threatened me in any way.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: American reporter Jill Carroll was set free this week. The 28-year-old reporter was kidnapped and held for 82 days. Question: What's the larger story?

I ask you, Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, I don't think anybody knows. Clearly she was not treated the way anybody else was treated who was captured by the terrorists. I suspect that --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What was her secret?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I suspect that she was captured by kidnappers looking for money and that they got paid, somehow or other.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How come she was set free?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Because the kidnappers got the money. That's a very widespread activity.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, Mort, she speaks Arabic. She knows the customs. And the family used Arabic media to get through. That softened up the kidnappers, right?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: It's money that finally turned it over. That's my judgment. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You think so. You know the Christian Science Monitor and who else -- somebody else has also declared -- oh, our American ambassador in Iraq. He said we didn't pay any money.

MR. BUCHANAN: There's something fishy here, because this young lady, when she first went in there, the pictures we saw of her was someone in stark terror. And then to say she was, you know, taken nice, good care of all along -- something doesn't fit here.

MS. CLIFT: Well, first of all, when she was speaking here, she was in a Sunni official's office. She wasn't in the American embassy. So she was not, quote, "free" just yet. And I must say, I'm really uncomfortable by this notion that's arising that seems to turn her into some sort of a partisan pawn here, suggesting that there's something not quite right with the way this was handled. I think this is a very brave woman who went over there to do journalism. And what happened after that, we've got a lot to learn.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony, I think these insights --

MR. BUCHANAN: There's more to the story, though.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but it's not what a lot of the right wing is trying to make it out to be.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think the insights are valid, but I think they're rather obvious. What's missing?

MR. BLANKLEY: I don't know what's missing. Look, I'm glad she's alive.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you going to redeem yourself, or what?

MR. BLANKLEY: (Inaudible.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No redemption for you?

MR. BLANKLEY: No redemption. Look, I think -- I'm glad she's alive. I'm dubious about the explanation.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'll tell you what the other part of the --

MR. BLANKLEY: But she's very friendly to the cause of --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Besides her speaking Arabic and knowing Islamic customs was invaluable. That's the real reason. But what is at play here is that it was an inside story. Who knew what her identity was? Someone inside of the community that was living with her that fed it out, because they had to pick her out, a woman, because, remember, they wanted the release of women. Remember that?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah. MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah, but she was moving out all the time. She was a very bold young woman.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: There's an inside story here.

MR. BUCHANAN: She was going out and traveling in a burka.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: She's got to figure out who ratted on her before -- you know, to lead to her seizure.

MR. BUCHANAN: But her driver was murdered.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Three: Kadima Lives.

EHUD OLMERT (Israeli acting prime minister): (From videotape.) We are prepared to compromise, give up parts of our beloved land of Israel, painfully remove Jews who live there, to allow you the conditions to achieve your hope and to live in a state in peace and quiet.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Israel's Ehud Olmert used his first remarks as Israel's incoming prime minister to speak of compromise and willingness to surrender land for Palestinians to live in peace.

Question: Mort, were you surprised by this expression of willingness to negotiate with the Palestinians, given that Hamas is the government of the Palestinians?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: He didn't say he would negotiate with the Palestinians. What he said -- and he said it during the campaign, which was really extraordinary, with great precision, which a lot of people in his own camp disagreed with, that he would basically withdraw Israeli civilians from the West Bank to virtually where the security fence is.

But it doesn't mean he -- what he also said is that "If we can't find a partner to negotiate with" -- and right now Hamas is not a partner -- they were going to do it unilaterally.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right. Now, this is what he said. I just want to give you the -- (inaudible) -- of this. And if you look at the screen, you can see it on the Chyron. "We are prepared to compromise, give up parts of our beloved land of Israel, painfully remove Jews who live there to allow you" -- you, meaning the Palestinians -- "the conditions to achieve your hopes and to live in a state of peace and quiet." I think that's somewhat -- that's quite concessionary for his very --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: He is at the cutting edge of those people who want to make a deal with the Palestinians. I will tell you, because I can say this from direct conversations with him, this is a long- standing position on his part. He also recognizes at this point he has no partner to deal with. So they will -- if they find they do not have a partner to deal with, they'll do it unilaterally.

MS. CLIFT: Well, it also appears as though the Israeli people are accepting the separation and the --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely.

MS. CLIFT: -- way that's (gone around ?). They voted more their economic concerns in this election than security concerns, which is quite a turn.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, they voted for political accommodation. If you add up the Labor vote and you add up the Kadima vote, you've got, what -- you've got 48 votes, do you not?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Forty-eight.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Forty-eight. And he needs 61, so he needs 13 more.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah, he'll be able to form a coalition. The question is how strong the coalition will be. But anybody who joins that coalition will agree with him on this.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think you find this very surprising because, as I read you in recent weeks, you're very negative on the future of this situation.

MR. BUCHANAN: Look, what Kadima is going to do is what Mort says. They're going to take what they want of the West Bank. They're going to pull some settlers back. They're going to build a big wall around it. They're going to annex it unilaterally. They're going to get the Americans to recognize it and nobody else in the world. And then we can get ready for Intifada III.

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me get in. Eleanor is exactly right on this. I get to say this once every seven months.

MS. CLIFT: Music. Music. (Laughter.)

MR. BLANKLEY: Because there's a unanimity now --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't do it too much.

MR. BLANKLEY: Because there's a big consensus of the inevitability of this policy. This election was much more about pensions and about social welfare and a movement away from market forces in the Israeli government; the rise of domestic issues, because it's no longer a dispute. The people who wanted the entire West Bank for Israel are going to realize they can't get it. The people who want negotiations realize they can't get it. So there is no longer a dispute domestically regarding their foreign policy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quick yes or no answer: Does Kadima have the power to negotiate with the Palestinians? Yes or no.

MR. BUCHANAN: There's not going to be any negotiations.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes or no?

MS. CLIFT: It depends on how you define negotiation. I think there will be contacts.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They don't have the power to do it? MR. ZUCKERMAN: Oh, no. They have the power. They just don't have the partner.

MR. BUCHANAN: They're not going to do it.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: There's no way they're going to negotiate Hamas, and Hamas is not making --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hamas will figure out a way to meet a requirement of sufficient recognition without actually saying certain words, but make it clear enough. And they're already doing that, because they're going along with number one of the road map --

MR. BUCHANAN: They're going to starve them to death, John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- which kind of says, in effect, that they recognize the legitimacy of Israel as the governing power in the state.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: They have not recognized the legitimacy of Israel.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They're going to come around, Mort. They all come around.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Syria didn't come around. The Iraqis and the Iranians didn't come around.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, but they had --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Hezbollah didn't come around.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They had a developed economic structure. The Palestinians don't. I was in Ramallah and I saw what they have. They don't have it. They can't survive.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That I agree with.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Four: Big Love.

(Videotaped excerpt of HBO's "Big Love.")

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Polygamy -- one man, several wives, a practice outlawed in the United States in the 19th century and brought to life by the HBO series "Big Love." Forty (thousand) to 50,000 practicing polygamists live in the U.S. today.

Question: Can it be said that either polygamy or polyandry -- you know what that is; that's many husbands, one wife -- is better than divorce and remarriage, so-called serial monogamy? Polygamy and polyandry are better than that kind of serial monogamy. Do you follow me? MR. BUCHANAN: Are you talking to me? (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm talking to you, pal.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, look, polyandry is against natural law, with one woman and many men. But in the Old Testament --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Natural law. What's natural law?

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, I've explained it to you. You were Jesuit for about 20 years and you don't understand what natural law is. But as for polygamy, there's no doubt that in the olden days and stuff like that, it was permitted in the Bible. But I'll tell you, John, the Supreme Court decision, which is basically that people have a constitutional right to have sex in any manner they wish with regard to homosexuals, I don't see how you continue to outlaw polygamy in this country.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Interesting. What do you think? Quickly.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Oscar Wilde said bigamy is having one wife too many and monogamy is also having one wife too many. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you want to get in here?

MR. BLANKLEY: I agree with Oscar Wilde.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you want to get in here, quickly?

MS. CLIFT: I think --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You think it should be made lawful.

MR. BLANKLEY: No, I think one marriage --

MS. CLIFT: No, but people who argue against gay marriage by saying marriage has always been one man and one woman are clearly wrong. It's been defined in a variety of ways in different cultures.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Almost out of time. Are Russia and the United States going back to Cold War status? Next week.