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Hardball with Chris Matthewsí for June 30
 
Bylines: Chris Matthews, Frank Luntz, David Shuster
Guests: Ann Coulter, Howard Fineman, John Lott, Carol Lear, Willie Brown, Bob Dornan
       
       CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Iím Chris Matthews. Letís play HARDBALL.
       The ďBig StoryĒ tonight, best selling author, Ann Coulter, her new book is called ďTreasonĒ, and in it she says liberals are unpatriotic. Sheíll be here to tell us why...
       
       MATTHEWS: Letís talk about the question of your book ďTreasonĒ. What do you mean by treason? Talk about the word treason? I mean, Iíve looked it up in the dictionary the other night, it has a couple of meanings. One is, treason. I mean, you turned over of the documents to the enemy. You are Alger Hiss, someone like that. Thatís treason.
       COULTER: Right.
       MATTHEWS: What do you mean by-in terms of this cover of this book?
       COULTER: What I mean is that the Democratic Party, as an entity, has become functionally treasonable, including what youíre talking about, turning over documents to the enemy...
       (CROSSTALK)
       MATTHEWS: Well, should they be prosecuted? Should anybody in the party be prosecuted either today, or should have been prosecuted in the past? I mean, itís a criminal charge of treason. Should anybody be charged with it?
       COULTER: I wish it were that easy a problem, but that trivializes the point...
       MATTHEWS: No, itís a crime.
       COULTER: ... of my book, which is not that there are just a few dozen traitors out there. It is that the entire party cannot root for a America.
       MATTHEWS: Well, letís talk about the leaders of the Democratic Party over the years. It-was Jack Kennedy a traitor, was he guilty of treason?
       COULTER: He was not as strong a president...
       (CROSSTALK)
       MATTHEWS: But was he guilty of treason. That is what you are saying about him. I read the book.
       COULTER: ... as a Republican would have been. But Iím referring, as I say again, Iím referring to a party that is functionality treasonable.
       MATTHEWS: Well, let me get to the bottom line here...
       COULTER: No, he shouldnít have been tried.
       MATTHEWS: I just want to know who you mean, because I think it is a very well written book, but I find it hard for you to step back from the strength of this book on television. Was Jack Kennedy a traitor?
       COULTER: No, he was not a traitor.
       MATTHEWS: Was he guilty of treason?
       COULTER: His heart was in the right place but he was surrounded by bad policymakers...
       (CROSSTALK)
       MATTHEWS: Was he guilty of treason...
       COULTER: ... and he harms the country and its national security. No. Iíve said he is not guilty of treason. I am speaking of a party. If there were just a few...
       (CROSSTALK)
       MATTHEWS: OK. I am just going to go through the leaders of the Democratic Party, because you are talking about a party. So I am trying to be fair with you. Was Harry Truman a traitor?
       COULTER: He promoted a known soviet spy, Harry Dexter White, after the FBI told him that. After Winston Churchill gave his iron curtain speech, he invited Stalin to come give a rebuttal speech. Truman and Kennedy were far better than todayís Democrats were, but this is a party that has been creeping toward a refusal to defend America.
       MATTHEWS: Has Harry Truman...
       (CROSSTALK)
       COULTER: Iím not talking about individuals.
       MATTHEWS: ... Republicans, I am going to keep doing this. I am trying to nail down so that people can decide whether to read a book or not. Was Harry Truman guilty of treason?
       COULTER: I think itís a more important indictment and you can keep asking me to say this is an entire party that cannot be trusted.
       (CROSSTALK)
       MATTHEWS: You say the Democratic Party is guilty of treason. I just want you to tell me which of the top Democrats, not go into details-I agree with you by the way about Harry Dexter White. I agree with you about Alger Hiss. There is a lot of these people guilty of treason,...
       COULTER: But you are asking me...
       MATTHEWS: ... but which Democratic Party official-which official of the Democratic Party, or its leadership...
       COULTER: Iíll give you my thesis again. My thesis is, that the entire Democratic Party cannot be trusted with the defense of the nation.
       MATTHEWS: Start with a name, please.
       COULTER: It is not to start trying a few individuals. I wouldnít...
       (CROSSTALK)
       MATTHEWS: OK. Weíre not getting anywhere here because you donít want to give me any names.
       COULTER: That is because I am talking about the Democratic Party.
       That is the name I am trying to give you.
       MATTHEWS: OK. Half the American people, roughly, in most elections averaged over the last 50 years have voted Democrat, letís face it, for president. Those people who vote for Democratic candidates for president after hearing their case with regard to foreign policy, why would they vote for someone who you say is a traitor?
       COULTER: Because this story has not been told, because I have what has been systemically excluded from history books in high school and college, and that is why I wrote this book, to prove to Democrats, as Joe McCarthy said...
       MATTHEWS: But half the people in the U.S. Army are probably Democrats. You say they vote for Democrats out of treasonable reasons?
       COULTER: I am saying, as Joe McCarthy said, the loyal Democrats of this party no longer-or of this country no longer have a party. This is a party that cannot defend America, that loses wars, that loses continents to communism-that nay say Ronald Reaganís response to the Soviet Union, and then they keep turning around and say, oh, it was inevitable. No one lost China. Anyone would have lost Vietnam. It was...
       (CROSSTALK)
       MATTHEWS: Do you think if you oppose the war, youíre a treasonist for opposing the war?
       COULTER: No, but thatís why I have 50 years. At some point itís not a mistake. It is not an error of judgment...
       (CROSSTALK)
       MATTHEWS: For example, was it wrong for Pat Buchanan to oppose this war in Iraq? Was he treasonous for doing it?
       COULTER: I think Iíve answered that. No. A single ó Look, Pat Buchanan has shown his bona fides in a million other areas.
       MATTHEWS: Then Jack Kemp is not a traitor for opposing the war...
       COULTER: These are patriotic Americans. They do not oppose the Strategic Defense Initiative. They did not oppose Ronald Reagan...
       (CROSSTALK)
       MATTHEWS: But they opposed-but all these top conservatives who opposed the war, were they wrong? Were they treasonist to do so? But with liberals oppose the war, they are treasonists. I am just trying to figure out what the difference is.
       COULTER: Iím just trying to answer. No, with someone like-are you
       Ē can I finish?
       MATTHEWS: Yes.
       COULTER: No. When someone like Pat Buchanan or Robert Novak say theyíre against the war in Iraq, no, that gives someone like me pause, and thinks, I just disagree with them on this issue. But as I say, they do not scream that the country is in the middle of a civil liberties crisis every time Ashcroft talks to a Muslim. They do not ...
       (CROSSTALK)
       MATTHEWS: Yes, but the problem I have is that a lot of Republicans...
       COULTER: They do not oppose...
       MATTHEWS: ... in fact, most Republicans in the country opposed the Second World War...
       COULTER: Let met finish...
       MATTHEWS: No. I want to make a point in response to that, because I think a lot of Republicans have opposed a lot of wars over time, and you havenít called them traitors. Why do you call Democrats traitors when they oppose a war?
       COULTER: To get back to this point. Once you have an entire series of incidents-why is it that the Democratic Party keeps consistently taking the position that is most contrary to this countryís national interest? When you have someone like Pat Buchanan or Novak, you say, well, we disagree on this issue. The Democrats fight unwinable wars. They lose continents to communism. Theyíve consistently been on the wrong side of every issue.
       MATTHEWS: Was World War II a Democrat war?
       COULTER: Thatís why itís 50 years and not 60.
       MATTHEWS: Were the Republicans willing to oppose World War II before Pearl Harbor right? And they vigorously opposed getting involved in the war in Europe.
       COULTER: As I describe in my book, they were wrong and I have to describe this...
       MATTHEWS: The Republicans were wrong?
       COULTER: Yes, they were.
       MATTHEWS: Were they traitors?
       COULTER: No. They came around...
       MATTHEWS: But when liberals oppose wars, they are treasonists.
       Weíll be right back with Ann Coulter. Iím trying to get these definitions down and being nice to this brilliant writer.
       COULTER: Then next time let me answer.
       MATTHEWS: Back with more to talk about-plenty of opportunity to answer. You wouldnít believe how much time I give you. Anyway, thank you.
       We are going to be back and talk with Ann about her opponent on the bookshelves, Hillary Clinton, when we return.
       And by the way, ďDecision 2004Ē is coming up, and Howard Dean, by the way, is raising more money than the moderates. We are going to talk about that when we come back-with Howard Fineman.
       (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
       MATTHEWS: Weíre back with Ann Coulter, having an interesting discussion about what constitutes treason. I just think-I think that the constitution-respond to this statement, I want to ask you a question. The constitution left the issue of peace and war basically in the hands of Congress in the terms of big decisions about declarations of war, and in this case, we had a debate about going to war with Iraq and the president won his case. But I think the right of an American to argue whether we go to war or not is basic, and you, I think, argue that when someone opposes a war action, they are somehow is treasonist. I think thatís a broad brush, and I think it makes a lot of very good people, including me, feel very angry.
       COULTER: No. I...
       (CROSSTALK)
       MATTHEWS: Because I disagree in Americaís interest with a lot of these wars. I donít think thereís good for us.
       COULTER: Yes. From what I hear, dissenting from the nationís war aims is the more patriotic act, but the one thing youíre not allowed to say is to call someone unpatriotic. You can say itís unpatriotic to stop us from protesting, but you canít say burning a flag is unpatriotic.
       MATTHEWS: No. I just think people should be free to express their views on a matter so important as war, and if a person...
       COULTER: They clearly are.
       (CROSSTALK)
       MATTHEWS: ... opposes a war, they shouldnít be called a traitor because they disagree with the current war policy.
       COULTER: Well, donít worry. Iím the only one doing it.
       MATTHEWS: Youíre doing it here.
       COULTER: Thatís right.
       MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clintonís book, how is it doing compared to yours?
       COULTER: Well, she has many advantages over me.
       MATTHEWS: You said she weighed more than you the other day. Was that the case?
       COULTER: She had a 3 to 1 pound advantage. Her book is also three times as large as mine.
       (CROSSTALK)
       MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about this book. This book is very interesting, and I am not going to comment. I am going to let you comment on it. The principal difference between fifth columnists and the cold war versus the war on terrorism is that you could sit next to a communist in a subway without asphyxiating. What does that mean? I just want to know. What does that mean? I want to know.
       (CROSSTALK)
       COULTER: It means what it says. The second difference is, that in far more time the enemy that weíre up against now has killed far fewer people.
       MATTHEWS: So, but the enemy smells. Is that your knock against Arabs? I mean, thatís your point here. You sit next to them and you are asphyxiated while sitting next to them.
       COULTER: Iím just drawing the differences between the old war and the currents war.
       MATTHEWS: Is that a way to win friends in the Arab and Islamic world
       by saying they stink.
       COULTER: I think it is a way to get people...
       MATTHEWS: Is that deep?
       COULTER: ... to read my book, so I thank you.
       MATTHEWS: Well, I tell you. If you want it at that level, you got it right here. Anyway, sheís a great writer. I donít agree with her, but sheís a hell of a writer. And thank you very much for coming on. Sheís a real charmer. Ann Coulter. The last book was called ďSlander.Ē Maybe this one should have been called that too.
 

 

 
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