08/23/2010 11:03 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Both Sides Now w/ Huffington & Matalin -- on GOP, "Mosque," Murdoch and Blago


Consensus alert -- there was next to no consensus on this week's hot potato topics in the radio highlights below.

Last week Arianna and Mary analyzed the state of Obama. In a bow to the late Fairness Doctrine,
this week Mary and Joan Walsh assessed the state of the GOP -- its prospects and problems.

Will a sputtering economy politically trump everything else for the Republicans? What is their plan
now for jobs? Might "fringe" GOP candidates -- like Sharon's Angles favoring the first commandment and second amendment -- create a general election problem? And does the reality that half of all Republicans belief Obama to be an alien, socialist or Muslim -- or all three -- mean that the party is more extreme than mainstream?

While those questions provoked strong disagreements, their views diverged as sharply on the
proposed Muslim Cultural Center and Mosque near Ground Zero. Mary emphasized that planners
had a right to build but it wasn't the right judgment to build there because of 9/11 sensitivities. Joan argued that those families shouldn't have a veto over religious tolerance and, if they did, ti would set a terrible precedent.

The two did, however, agree that President Obama's on-the-one-hand and on-the-other
statements showed a lack of leadership, though the Host incredulously asked whether it was not per se courageous for a president named "Barack Hussein Obama" to have weighed in on the unpopular side on an issue involving Muslims at all. (And isn't everyone interested in what George W. Bush says on the subject once his book is published mid-November, since he was clear as President that America had attacked al Qaeda, not Islam, in Afghanistan and Iraq?)

Finally, the two women again came out on opposite sides on whether former Governor Rod Blogoveich should be retried on the 23 counts with no verdict (Joan ok, Mary no) and whether Rupert Murdoch's $1 million donation to the GOP governors -- and employment of three potential Republican presidential candidates, in Palin, Gingrich, Huckabee -- showed that Fox News was an extension of the GOP (Mary no; Joan you betcha).

Last, as Germany weighs a "Fat-Tax" to reduce obesity (really), should states consider a tax on sugar products to reduce such health care costs? With plenty of qualifications, the libertarian Joan Walsh said no and social engineer Mary Matalin said yes! Both sides switched sides.

Mark Green is the Host of Both Sides Now w/ Huffington & Matalin.

Send all comments to, where you can also listen to the full program this week and any earlier ones.

Mark Green is the host "Both Sides Now."

Send any comments to, where you can listen to the full show this week as well as prior shows.