'This Week' Transcript: Obama Adviser David Axelrod and Sens. Jim DeMint and Robert Menendez

WILL: We have. What the -- what -- what some people want up there is the equivalent of the base closing commission. When the Cold War ended, they had to close 300 and some bases. No one could do it politically, so they had a commission make a recommendation, up-or-down vote, no amendments. That won't happen.

ROBERTS: But that -- that's the only one that's worked, is the base closing commission.

WILL: That's right.

ROBERTS: And the Social Security commission in 1982, because there was a crisis looming. We've had since then Social Security commissions. We've had Medicare commissions. We've had budget commissions. And they've all just sort of fizzled out because...


ROBERTS: ... nobody had the political will to do what the commission said.

DONALDSON: He has -- he's the president. He has to be the leader. Now, he may go down again, but he has got to say, "Here's my plan." And you're right: He has to herd the Democrats, first of all.

ROBERTS: But I don't think that they're so upset about the deficit.

DOWD: Well, actually -- actually...

ROBERTS: I think they're much more upset about jobs.

DOWD: Actually, I think the best thing to do -- for him to do is get in a fight with the Democrats right away, get in a fight with the Democrats, because the Democrats right now are as less liked as the Republicans are in Congress. And so if he demonstrates, "Listen, I got elected because I was going to be a post-partisan president. That's why I got elected. I was going to bring the country together. I was going to stop the dysfunction up the -- up the street. I was going to stop that. And the dysfunction belongs in both political parties, and I'm going to take on the Democrats on something big and get it done and work with the Republicans to do it." I think that's what the country wants.

MORAN: Triangulate?


DONALDSON: Clinton -- Clinton signed the welfare reform bill, and Mario Cuomo and all the good Democratic liberals said that's the end of the country almost, and, of course, it wasn't. He has to do something like that.

ROBERTS: A place he could do it is education, and he does have a very interesting education proposal that's running into problems with Democrats.

MORAN: Let's -- let's go across the street from the Congress for a moment. There was a historic decision this week out of the Supreme Court of the United States on the First Amendment, the court holding that the campaign finance reform prohibition on corporations and unions using the money from their general funds to support or oppose candidates, that's a violation of free speech. So is this a vindication of the First Amendment, or is this a surrender to the plutocracy?

WILL: Vindication, because the court recognized the obvious, which is that you cannot disseminate political speech without money. And, therefore, to restrict money is to restrict the dissemination of speech. To that end, they have freed up the amount of money that will be spent.

Now, some people are saying, oh, corporations, that means Microsoft will be buying ads. Microsoft's trying to sell software. They're not interested in getting into political fights.

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