By Mark Green
Reflecting the "both sides" co-governance now beginning in Washington, the two women
energetically disagreed on congressional priorities in the Lame Duck session but then
concurred both on Sen. McCain's intolerant/intolerable approach to Don't Ask-Don't Tell
and on the T.S.A.'s balancing act on security vs. privacy. (Listen to entire program below.)
*On WikiLeaks Week. Mary argued vehemently that Julian Assange was a "terrorist" who
was endangering our troops and deserved to be prosecuted. Arianna, however, just as ardently
dismissed the "hyperbole and hysteria" that confused revealing secrets and killing Americans.
So the former chastised the New York Times for the "hypocrisy" of publishing these confidential materials while earlier largely ignoring the so-called Climate-gate memos -- and the latter concluded that she would have done what the Times did, which included review and redactions, on the Huffington Post.
*On GOP Putting Party before Country. Many liberals -- such as Senators Sherrod Brown and
Claire McCaskill -- and columnists such as Dionne and Krugman -- believe that congressional Republicans are refusing to consider essential policies largely to politically undermine Obama and Democrats. Like stalling on START and extending a bonus for billionaires before extending benefits for the unemployed. Mary replied that "Brown should be ashamed of himself" and that empirical evidence showed that cutting taxes for "job-creators" worked and that we shouldn't increase taxes in a recession.
Then your humble host intervened to ask why such tax cuts for the wealthiest produced such anemic growth under Bush and whether at the least they should end when the recession did; Mary exonerated Bushonomics and replied that taxes on the rich should stay low in bad and good times. After Arianna returned to why the priority should instead be helping 2 million long-term jobless keep their benefits, Mary lauded her as "the Queen of staying-on-message."
*On Gays and Pat-downs. Both thought that McCain's anti-gay arguments were weak and goal-post shifting, as Secretary Gates pointed out in the Senate Armed Services hearings. (Jon Stewart compared him to a defeated Japanese general living in a cave decades later and still swinging his sword against old enemies.)
What about the right balance in the terrorism vs. privacy debate and the hypocrisy of critics attacking the Administration after the "underwear bomber" but now indignantly attacking T.S.A. scanners and pat-downs? Both women thought that these precautions had touched a real nerve among some of the flying public, though Arianna preferred patdowns which Mary dismissed as "security theater."
*On "Quick Takes". They then discussed the risk of war in the Koreas, gene research against aging, Twain's auto-biography 100 years after his death and the anti-Sharia referendum in Oklahoma later overruled by a federal court decision.
Mary referred to an (also overturned) New Jersey lower court decision that had cited the religious views of a Muslim man who had attacked his wife while Arianna warned that America had to be careful to convince moderate Muslims around the world that we were not their enemies. So bad law, good decision.
Again, on "Both Sides Now," a civil war.
Mark Green is the creator and host of Both Sides Now, which is powered by the American Federation of Teachers.
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