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Both Sides Now w/ Huffington & Matalin: On Kagan, Gay Marriage, Birthers, Spitzer

08/08/2010 10:27 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

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In keeping with our efforts to "clarify or bridge differences," Arianna and Mary alternately clashed and agreed [listen to the highlights version of the Aug.7 show below].

On Kagan and California:
there was a beyond left-right moment when both would have voted for Elena Kagan because she was qualified, smart, funny, uncontroversial - and, they agreed, "elections have consequences."

But they sharply disagreed on chief federal Judge Vaughn Walker's monumental ruling striking down Prop 8 because it violates the 14th Amendment Equal Protetion Clause. Mary concluded that the judge shouldn't have implied that all opponents were bigots and instead left it up to the states -- and she hoped that the decision wouldn't start a culture war distracting the public from the economy. Arianna thought that people losing their jobs and homes wouldn't chase the rabbit of a culture clash; and she went on to surmise that the Supreme Court would eventually uphold the district court opinion in part because a majorty, perhaps including even Justice Roberts, "wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of history."

Obama v. Bush:
Obviously neither are on the ballot this fall, but their ideas are. What of Obama's chiding W by name when he mocked the GOP for having no new ideas -- "not one" -- to help revive the economy? Coming at it from different angles, the women concurred that was unseemly if not "desperate" (AH) for Obama to blame his predecessor at this point [for another side, the host wondered why Obama shouldn't observe that the economy started tanking under the president who had served 96 months, not the one now in office 18 months -- and comparing supply-side & demand-side economics was fair and smart].

On "Anchor Babies" and the 14th Amendment: Mary saw nothing wrong with Sen. Lindsay Graham's denunciation of immigrants who come here to "dump and leave" babies and called for hearings into whether thte 14th Amendment should be changed to prohibit automatic citienship for babies born here, as has been the law since 1870. Arianna expressed dismay at both the idea and that it was being pushed by Graham, who earlier had been the only GOP Senator to support the Schumer "path to citizenship" bill.

On 41% of Republicans saying that Obama wasn't born in America: Mary agreed that while that belief was "insane," it was just another way people were objecting to Obama; and,what about the "Bush derangement syndrome" that had led Democrats to question whether a) W was lawfully elected president and b) had "lied" about going to war in Iraq? Arianna strongly disagreed, noting that there was an "order of magnitude difference" between the provable location of Obama's birth and the policy argument that W misled America into the war.

On Spitzer getting a show on CNN:
The women might not have agreed about Obama and Bush but -- consensus alert! -- both expressed admiration for Eliot Spitzer. Mary found him "smart and charming" while Arianna considered Spitzer brillant in his television analyses on what ails the economy.

Mark Green is the Host of "Both Sides Now".

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