DOWD: I agree it's a smart move. I also think it has a much bigger profound effect. The Republicans are in disarray, and they can't seem to settle on any leader, any issue, have become a minority party in this country, really, truly a minority party at this time. That it is not what the American politics needs. We need two vibrant political parties that are able to present competing visions and then fight it out over with the American public.
Right now, we have one vibrant party that is very strong and one party that's in total disarray, as I say. And so there's not this conflict of ideas that has enabled the American public to sort of see out there so they can pick and choose from it. That's a huge problem.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One place it might come up, though -- and I just -- we only have a second on this, but I wanted to show something that came up this morning on health care. The president gave a speech on health care yesterday from Europe, his radio address, where he said, you know, we've got to get to work on health care.
That drew a pretty angry response from the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. By Twitter today, he said, "President Obama, you've got nerve, while sight-seeing in Paris to tell us time to deliver on health care. When you are a hammer, you think everything is a nail. I'm no nail."
I'm not sure what that means for health care, but there's a vibrant Republican Party right there.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The Republicans also trying to figure out how to deal with Judge Sotomayor. She had her first meetings on the Senate this week. She released her questionnaire, and she got this kind of response from Republicans Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins after their meetings. They were talking about her wise Latina comment, which has gotten so much attention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: It's not exactly makes me feel good to hear a sitting judge say that. But do I think in her heart that she hates white people? No.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, R-MAINE: I'm still uncomfortable that she made the statement, particularly as a sitting judge. I can understand her explanation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, George, at the same time, Newt Gingrich, who had called those comments racist, he called her a racist for saying them, stepped back from that, trying to focus on this issue of judicial impartiality. I think that's where the senators were going as well. That seems to be the ground they want to stand on with Sotomayor.
WILL: I think they know they're standing on ground that is going to be in the end lost. She's going to be confirmed. And therefore, quite legitimately, they want to use these hearings as a teaching moment for the American people and say this is what we believe, this is what they believe. That's fine, but lowering the decibel matters.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Clearly, Matthew, they're lowering the decibel, but I wonder on the politics of the vote on this one. Obviously, you could say a yes vote for Sotomayor if they can bring themselves around to that would show this openness to Latinos and Hispanics. On the other hand, a yes vote gives up some ground for the next Obama appointments that are going to come down. They're going to have narrower ground on which to fight whoever he comes up with next.