Dickerson on 'This Week': GOP Opposition To Obama Sup. Ct. Nominee Would Be 'Fake Fight'

December 28th, 2008 12:54 PM

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer are "moderate" liberals.  And GOP opposition to Obama Supreme Court nominees would constitute a "fake fight" demonstrating that Republicans remain mired in the culture wars.  Such was the collective wisdom of two of the roundtable members on ABC's "This Week" today.

Before moving to the substance, a word about the roundtable's lopsided composition, which resembled nothing more than Homecoming for public radio types.  To "balance" David Brody of CBN, ABC chose Kurt Andersen of Public Radio International, Alison Stewart of NPR, and John Dickerson of Slate and . . . NPR.  Andersen kicked off the Supreme Court segment with his "moderate" liberal comment.  Dickerson followed with his pre-emptive warning about that potential Republican "fake fight."

With Jake Tapper hosting in place of George Stephanopoulos, the panelists made their predictions for the coming year.

KURT ANDERSEN: The Supreme Court did not play a big role in this campaign and I think we're going to see it sooner rather than later. I think in this term President Obama is probably going to get three, maybe four appointments and I think sooner rather than later. Justice Souter has talked about wanting to go back to New England before -- as soon as he can, and Justice Stevens I think is 88 years old. The other three moderate liberals are all in their 70s so I would be very surprised if we didn't get a couple Supreme Court nominations this year.

JAKE TAPPER: Do you think they'll be huge battles or is it going to be --

ANDERSEN: I'd be very surprised if there're huge battles. I think Obama, by all evidence will choose people who would not engender enormous battles and you know I think he's shown also in what he's done and the trouble he caused himself with the Rick Warren invitation at the inauguration that he is not a litmus-test kind of guy and I think he will probably observe that in his Supreme Court appointments as well.

JOHN DICKERSON: We'll see if Republicans use it as a moment to define themselves and how much cultural issues are still a part of that core Republican message. Do they create a fake fight essentially over one of these Supreme Court nominees in order to say here's what our party really stands for, or blow off that fake fight and say we stand for something else and not the culture wars anymore?

In Dickerson's mind, there's apparently no place for principled opposition to an Obama nominee.   Raising a voice to question someone in the mold of Justice Bader Ginsburg, a former ACLU general counsel, is nothing more than posturing for purposes of fanning the flames of the culture wars.  Republicans should just join hands with Harry Reid and agree that Obama knows best.

Just wondering: did Dickerson condemn as a "fake fight" the kind of posturing seen below, as Joe Biden literally points an accusing finger at Clarence Thomas during the latter's Supreme Court confirmation hearings?