Bill Kristol: Kagan Would Be Respectable Choice For Supreme Court, But Republicans Should Oppose Her

Well folks, here's some of the rhetoric we're going to be hearing from the GOP on this upcoming Supreme Court nomination. Bill Kristol talks out of bo
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Well folks, here's some of the rhetoric we're going to be hearing from the GOP on this upcoming Supreme Court nomination. Bill Kristol talks out of both sides of his mouth and while saying that Elena Kagan would be a "very respectable choice" with "impressive academic credentials", Republican should still oppose her. Why? Basically it comes down to she's a liberal and Barack Obama and Joe Biden voted against Bush's nominees. Forget all the harping they were doing at Fox repeating Bill Frist's "up or down vote" nonsense.

And this statement by Kristol after the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have the same rights to free speech as people is pretty astounding.

Kristol: And I think having a -- one thing that motivates conservatives today is the sense that the Constitution has become a nothing. I mean, it's no - - there's no constraint on government. It's just -- government does whatever it does.

Sorry Bill, but the ones that need a constraint put on them is big business, not government. It really would be nice to see conservatives hold off on their attacks until they at least find out who the nominee is going to be. They're showing themselves to be happy to politicize this right off the bat with their filibuster threats before someone is named.

If Obama picks someone from another minority group as he did with Sotomayor, I guess we'll find out how willing the Republicans are to alienate another voting block just before the mid-term elections.

(Update, typo in the title corrected.)

Transcript below the fold via Nexis Lexis.

WALLACE: Bill, your thoughts about because there -- it's not only a choice for the president as to whether he wants to pick a more liberal candidate who would create more of a political dust-up. What about for Republicans and their decision as to how much of a fight they want to make of it? Obviously, to some degree, it depends on who the president chooses.

KRISTOL: Not that much, because I think, for example, Kagan would be a very respectable choice. But nonetheless, I think most Republicans would oppose her and, honestly, should oppose her, with respect and with deference to her, you know, impressive academic credentials, because she will be a reliable liberal vote, and I think Republicans should want to have a serious debate on the Constitution.

I'm struck when you listen to the Tea Party activists. They often talk about we need to be constitutionalists, we need to be constitutional conservatives. I think Michele Bachmann used that phrase in talking with you just a couple of minutes ago.

And I think having a -- one thing that motivates conservatives today is the sense that the Constitution has become a nothing. I mean, it's no - - there's no constraint on government. It's just -- government does whatever it does.

And I think the notion that there's a kind of constitutionalist agenda on the right to oppose the progressive agenda on the left has actually gone further down into the populace, you know, than constitutional-type issues normally do.

So I think a big debate on the Constitution, a serious debate, actually, in the Senate this year would be good for Republicans, good for conservatives. I think the nominee would most likely get confirmed in any case.

But as I say, it's striking when you look at these polls. I mean, I was very struck on the Fox News poll. It was 39-25, would you prefer a conservative to a liberal justice four years ago. There have been three confirmation debates since then. Nothing much has happened. The court hasn't done any great liberal things in the last four years. Nonetheless, now it's not 39-25, 52-29, would you prefer a conservative justice. So I think debating...

WILLIAMS: So the way this is going to work, then, Bill...

KRISTOL: ... debating the Constitution...

WILLIAMS: Hang on.

KRISTOL: ... is good for conservatives.

WILLIAMS: But, Bill, so the way this works is conservatives nominate very conservative people to the court...

KRISTOL: Right.

WILLIAMS: ... like the chief justice, Scalia, Thomas, et cetera. Oh, but then when a liberal president...

KRISTOL: No.

WILLIAMS: ... comes, oh, no, he can't nominate liberals.

KRISTOL: He can nominate them.

WILLIAMS: You want Merrick Garland, who...

KRISTOL: He can...

(CROSSTALK)

KRISTOL: I endorse Elena Kagan.

WILLIAMS: Even Elena Kagan...

KRISTOL: Can I say something?

WALLACE: Wait, wait, wait, wait. You...

KRISTOL: Who voted...

WALLACE: .. raised a thing, now let...

WILLIAMS: Wait, let me...

WALLACE: One at a time.

WILLIAMS: Who voted against....

KRISTOL: He can nominate whoever he wants. He's probably going to get whoever he wants to nominate confirmed. Who voted against Justice Roberts and Justice Alito? A senator from Illinois named Barack Obama...

WILLIAMS: Yeah.

KRISTOL: Also a Senator from Delaware named Joe Biden. I don't think Barack Obama and Joe Biden can very well say about these two extremely well qualified nominees they voted against that Republicans in the Senate and conservatives in the country aren't entitled to say, "We respect Elena Kagan," or, "We respect Diane Wood..."

WALLACE: But, Mara, doesn't it...

KRISTOL: "... but her view of the Constitution..."

WALLACE: Doesn't this get...

KRISTOL: "... isn't the view we want?"

WALLACE: Doesn't this all end up getting fuzzed up? Because you end up when you have the Senate hearing...

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