—On the Partial Birth Abortion Decision—
MARA LIASSON: I don’t think it’s going to change the number of abortions that are performed or not performed in this country. But it did open up a new chapter in the debate. . . . I do think that state legislatures around the country are going to be sending more and more abortion restrictions to the court. And this court has certainly showed that it’s open to deeming them constitutional.
BILL KRISTOL: [T]he big fact, of course, is that these justices, the current justices on the court, won’t be justices forever. Assuming President Bush does not get any appointments in the next year and a half, the next president will certainly have one and quite likely, I would say, two or three appointments to the Supreme Court. It looks, just looking at the actuarial tables, that one or two of them will come from the pro–Roe v. Wade wing of the court. And so I do think the 2008 election, more than any in, really, 30 years, 40 years, I would say — the Supreme Court will be a central issue.
[W]e have a court that’s pretty much balanced on a ton of these issues 5–4 one way or the other. And the next president will tip the balance.
—On the Attorney General—
BRIT HUME: So it seems to me that if the president wants to stand by him, he can probably sit there indefinitely. And plus you have this issue . . . with Senator Schumer about what sort of roadblocks would be thrown in the way of a successor. That is not an incentive to get rid of the guy.
KRISTOL: [T]he White House is not functioning at top efficiency. I think most friends and defenders of this White House would say that. I think Gonzales will leave. I think he’ll leave in days, if not weeks. . . . I think the president does not want to fire him, but I think he’ll leave.
—On the Democrats and Iraq—
LIASSON: I just think that the dirty little secret of this is that there are no good options in Iraq, and any Democrat who is president right now would be faced with the mess that Iraq is right now and not be able to just pull us out.
KRISTOL: If [Senator Reid] believes it is lost, he has an absolute responsibility to cut off that funding and bring those troops home as soon as possible — three months, six months, maybe, not 15 months, which is the appropriations bill that he just supported with this gradual withdrawal. I really think it’s a disgrace. And Trent Lott, who was Senate majority leader in December 2002, was forced to resign by a rebellion within his own party because he had praised Strom Thurmond at a 100th birthday dinner for him. [Lott] had made it seem that the country would have been better off if we had followed segregationist policies back 40 years ago. What Harry Reid said is much more disgraceful than anything Trent Lott said. And I do think Democrats should ask Harry Reid step down.