But I think, at the end of the day, you know, when we look back on all this, and we're talking about the filibuster and the Democrats successfully filibustering during President Bush's tenure, all these nominees like you talked about, Miguel Estrada, Republicans have only themselves to blame -- not only for the Miguel Estrada filibuster, but for Sonia Sotomayor, because it was failures -- and I covered all this at the time -- complete failures of leadership in the Republican Senate, led by Bill Frist, that allowed Democrats to start off these historic filibusters in the first place, back in '02 and '03, which then led, of course, to, you know, as we saw, Miguel being -- Estrada being blocked. He would be the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice if Democrats hadn't prevailed.
GILLESPIE: That's an interesting take to blame Republicans for Democrats filibustering nominees for the first time...
... and especially when the memos came out that showed it was a conscious effort to block minority nominees, particularly in Miguel Estrada's case, for fear that President Bush would then make him the first Hispanic nominee to the Supreme Court, very crass political maneuver.
GREENBURG: But Democrats -- right. Democrats knew that. And they recognized it was a lot easier to block these guys when...
GILLESPIE: It's very much easier to block it, so I don't think it's fair to blame Republicans for Democrats blocking it.
And I do think, though, going back to the point, look -- to Paul's point -- 35 out of 44 Republicans in the Senate voted for Justice Breyer; 40 out of 43 who were present at the time voted for Justice Ginsburg.
The Democrats are the ones, if Republicans vote against this nominee on philosophical grounds, as President Obama, then Senator Obama laid out his rationale for opposing; he didn't agree with the values of that person -- not didn't agree with the temperament or the intellect or the experience. They have set that standard. And I think, unless -- if Republicans don't, we're sending up an inexorable move to the left on the Supreme Court, and I think that's a very serious consequence.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to have to end on that note, right now. We're going to come back in just a minute. We're going to have more roundtable after the break.
Big question: Is "Government Motors" good for America?
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OBAMA: The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works.
OBAMA: I know that if the Japanese can design an affordable, well-designed hybrid, then doggone it, the American people should be able to do the same. So my job is to ask the auto industry, why is it you guys can't do this?
OBAMA: We want to get out of the business of helping auto companies as quickly as we can. I got more than enough to do without that.
OBAMA: Just last week, "Car and Driver" named me auto executive of the year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Who knows, by next year, that may actually be true. Let me bring our roundtable back in. George Will, Jan Crawford Greenburg, Ed Gillespie, Paul Krugman, and Gwen Ifill.