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June 10, 2005



PAUL GIGOT: Winner and losers, picks and pans. Tony or Tacky -- our way of calling attention to the best and worst of the week. Democratic party leader and former presidential candidate Howard Dean has been at it again, describing the Republican Party as "white and Christian." Bret, a tacky, I presume?

BRET STEPHENS: Yes. He also described the Republicans as "evil" and "people who had never done an honest day's work in their lives." Now this is from a boy who grew up on Park Avenue, so I think there's an aspect of projection here.

But look, we've always known that Howard Dean is sort of the Freudian id of the Democratic party. We also knew that parties that try to win elections by hating the other guy don't do very well. And frankly, Republicans tried to do this in the 1990s, and it was a strategy that didn't work. And Republicans came up with a different message. Now, I would have thought that after the 2004 election, where the Democrats tried to win on hating Bush and lost, they would be trying for a different strategy. But it seems that so long as Howard Dean is going to be their chairman, that's not the way it's going to be. And I don't think it portends very well for them for the next couple of elections.

PAUL GIGOT: I think a lot of Democrats agree with you, Bret, because some of his most vociferous critics this week have been fellow Democrats. Thanks.

American treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay was in the news again. Former President Carter said this week we should close the prison. Kim, tony or tacky?

KIM STRASSEL: Tacky, tacky, tacky. You know, if President Carter is ever sitting around wondering why he was a one-term president, he might consider it's because Americans are tired of this sort of un-serious approach to serious questions. If there's anything you would have hoped that President Carter learned in his time in office, it's that his foreign policy in particular -- especially with the Soviet Union and Iran -- is that you do not win over thugs which appeasement. And yet, in subsequent years what we've had from President Carter is him basically enabling North Korea to begin their nuclear program again, criticizing President Bush for even thinking of going to war with Iraq, and now calling for the closure of Guantanamo.

Guantanamo was set up to deal with a very specific issue, which are non-uniformed combatants whose only goal is mass murder of civilians. It was a difficult decision to set it up, and one that we'll probably scrutinize more. But one of the reasons why President Bush is in a second term is because Americans appreciate the fact that he was willing to make tough calls like that.

PAUL GIGOT: All right, Kim. Thanks.

And finally, Dan Henninger takes note of a TV movie which aired this week in Germany, seen by seven million viewers. The premise of the movie was that the Bush administration ordered the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. Dan?

DAN HENNINGER: Well, at the risk of actually criticizing another country's television programming, this is last Sunday night. It was a detective series that's popular in Germany, and it's put on German state television, and it involved a woman who was investigated for harboring one of the would-be pilots of the planes that flew into the World Trade Center on 9/11. And her defense to the German police was that actually it was the Bush family that had initiated 9/11 for oil and power and wealth. And so the show unfolds, and by the end of it the German detectives basically agree with her, and she escapes to an unnamed Arab country just ahead of the CIA hitmen.

Now as I understand it, this is one of the two countries that the United States is supposed to consult with about serious things. And I think about the best that can be said of it is that it does prove the pleasures of paranoia.

PAUL GIGOT: Wow, okay Dan, thanks.

That's it for this edition of THE JOURNAL EDITORIAL REPORT. Thank you from all of us. We'll be back next week and we hope you'll join us then.