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All-Star Panel Implements GOP Plan, Dismisses Democrats as Do-Nothing Party

Reported by Marie Therese - July 25, 2007 -

As predicted, the right-wing noise machine has begun its late summer campaign to paint the Democrats as a "do nothing" Congress. This theme was taken up during yesterday's panel discussion on Special Report by the "FOX News All Stars" - Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke and Charles Krauthammer. In a rare break with the majority, Mort Kondracke argued that the Democrats' inability to get anything passed was a function of two things - obstruction by the Republican minority in the Senate and the President's sudden willingness to use the veto. With video.

"They've done badly," said Charles Krauthammer. "And, I think this will give the Republicans the one opening they're gonna have in '08. Everything is running against the Republicans but I think they have a chance if they argue that the Democrats have been in charge and they are the do-nothing Congress." He went on to say that the GOP's second argument should be stating that the Democratic "has actually impeded our attempts to win" in Iraq.

Kondracke immediately noted that the promises to work together, made by both sides in January 2007, have not been followed. He noted that the Democrats will get a "lobbying and ethics reform done before they go home for the August recess. ... They might get an SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) children's health bill passed which the President is vowing to veto." (See The Washington Post for more information on Bush's vow to veto legislation designed to extend health care benefits to poor children on the grounds that it would be competition to private health insurance carriers.)

"I think that works against the Republicans, actually," Kondracke noted. "If the President vetoes children's health, after the Congress had approved $400 billion over a five-year period for seniors' prescription drugs, if they don't approve $50 billion for children's health ... and it's the President's veto that blocks it, I think that hurts the Republicans."

Barnes raised some incoherent objections and he and Kondracke got into a little tiff about the bill's provisions. Barnes heatedly argued that "it would attract an awful lot of people who are on private insurance, just to take a government handout insurance - that's what it would do." He then launched into what sounded like the talking points du jour, bad-mouthing Harry Reid, even at one point saying the Democrats in the Senate would prefer it if Republican Mitch McConnell were their leader in preference to Reid. However, in his eagerness to sound off, he said that the Democrats "just haven't accepted the fact" that there are 49 Republicans in the Senate. In other words, Barnes himself admitted that the Republicans were the ones impeding the passage of legislation.

In an all-too-infrequent "gotcha" moment, Mort Kondracke used Barnes' own words against him, then went on to say that the Republicans have not upheld their earlier commitment to work across the aisle.

Kudos to Kondracke for finally showing some spunk and not letting himself be bullied by pompous know-it-all Fred Barnes.