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From last night’s Special Report with Brit Hume:

On Iraq

FRED BARNES: There is no third way. Look, you’re going to have a democracy or not, Mara. You can’t tell them well you’ve had these three elections, but now you’re not going to have a democracy, you’re either going to have a democracy that’s reasonably stable or you’re going to have chaos. We’re going to either win or lose. I don think there’s a third way. . . .

MARA LIASSON: You don’t think you can have something stable that’s not a democracy?

BARNES: Yeah, how are you going to do that? What are you going to do, sponsor a coup? The U.S. tried that in Vietnam, didn’t work too well.

On Murtha as Majority Leader

JIM ANGLE: John Murtha ultimately was not prosecuted [in the Abscam investigation], he cooperated with officials and testified against some of his colleagues. It does raise a question, Mara. Nancy Pelosi has made a lot out of the fact that it’s going to be the most ethical Congress ever, and she has just embraced John Murtha as majority leader . . .

MORT KONDRACKE: So, Murtha does not take the money, but he says “Now, I want to do business with you. I want to get the [a few] jobs in my area, get a few bank deposits at banks in my district and we might change our mind. We want to do more business with you sometime later.” Now, he was a member of the House Ethics Committee. He did not report the transactions to the . . . House Ethics Committee; he did not call the FBI. . . . this is not what somebody who’s totally on the ethical up and up does in this case. I mean, if it happened to you, you’d call your local cop, I would think.

BARNES: You know . . . this is something Republicans will charge and make hypocrisy. . . . It shouldn’t be left to Republicans. Where is the press? Are they going to ask Murtha about this? Are they going to ask Nancy Pelosi about it? Are they going to — look, believe me, if this were a Republican with that background, the press would be all over it, as they should. So, I think at the very least, that should happen. And it’s a very questionable appointment purely on ethics grounds.

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