Sunday Talk Buzz:
Face the Nation:
Not much here except for a blistering confrontation between GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer. Schieffer was pressing them on a variety of issues, but it really got heated when they went at it over the November elections. Mitch seemed almost nonchalant in his confidence concerning a Republican landslide this fall, and blasted the Dems for "block and stall" tactics on the Senate immigration legislation. Um, Mitch, it's the Republicans that are blocking immigration reform in the House, remember that? Apparently not. McConnell also made this astounding statement, revealing his ignorance of the pulse of the American people:
"I don't think that the war (in Iraq) is going to be a factor in the upcoming 2006 elections..."
What!!?? Where has he been for the last year? Not talking to his constituents, that's for sure. Schumer repeated the tired Democratic line of "we'll do it better" - without telling us what they would exactly do.
At least Mitch admitted that W's poll numbers were actually low, and not some giant "liberal media conspiracy" like the BA and Fox News suggest:
"We would certainly like for the president to be in better shape."
But McConnell sealed his fat with an overzealous defense of President Bush and the GOP in general, going on about "patriotism" and that the country will vote for them because "we have to remember that no terrorist attack has happened in America since 9/11" and that "we realize that we're over fighting them over there (Iraq) instead of fighting them in New York and Washington D.C." Will conservatives ever stop using the 9/11 excuse? It's a general catch-all for anything. Just like the Doonesbury strip. Man, that was funny.....
Meet the Press:
This continues to provide some serious entertainment on Sunday morning. Today was great. GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel vs. GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner. What a showdown. Maybe it would have degenerated into fisticuffs if Sensenbrenner was in studio. He was not. The billing for the appearances was that it would be all about immigration, and it was, to some extent. Some great debate ensued, with Jimmy S. looking ever more foolish going on about his "grand plan" for "illegals". Since running into serious opposition from members of Congress and Americans in general regarding his "get draconian" immigration bill - ignoring citizenship and focusing on busing millions of illegal immigrants to Mexico - by changing the tone of his pitch. Now it's a "business-friendly" House bill, even though nothing ahs changed with the bill.
Sensenbrenner: "My goal is to make illegal workers legal workers..."
How would this bill do that? It wouldn't, unless he's talking about them becoming legal workers in Mexico. He would round up workers, put them in detention camps, then bus 'em off to Mexico. Sensenbrenner also continued his complaints about the Senate bill being "amnesty". Chuck Hagel quickly trashed that accusation. Anyhow, the immigration talk was fine, but the main attraction of today's MTP was a comment by Chuckie Hagel on the general mess that is Iraq.
Tim Russert posed the usual Iraq/Iran question - "Why should we invade Iran on skimpy intel - look at what transpired in Iraq"- and Hagel answered with a mini-bombshell.
"I think you could make a pretty strong case that things are worse off in the Middle East today than they were three years ago. By measurement of Iraq, by Iran, by the Palestinian-Israeli issue, whatÂs going on in Egypt. And, I think the United States must use its force of diplomacy to engage Iran."
Big props to Hagel for this stunning quip, but will he actually do anything on this? Probably not, unless hewantss to solidify himself as the new GOP maverick in the 2008 presidential race, replacing John McCain. Interesting.