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Transcript: Dr. James Dobson

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," May 24, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: First, our top story tonight is the deal that averted nuclear war in the U.S. Senate, and some conservatives are outraged. Some liberals are outraged. But the folks in the middle, they seem really seem pretty happy tonight.

Joining us now in an exclusive interview, the author of the "The New Strong-Willed Child," the founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, (search) Dr. James Dobson.

You have been critical, Dr. Dobson, of the Republicans who participated in making this deal. Why?

DR. JAMES DOBSON, FOUNDER/CHAIRMAN, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY: Well, I'm critical of the Republicans and the Democrats who cut this deal. You know, you used the word outrage. I suppose that's appropriate.

The word sad might better characterize the way I feel. It's a sad moment for the country. Because we had one fleeting opportunity to bring some balance into the judiciary, and seven Republicans and Democrats frittered it away. And I think that's a very sad moment.

COLMES: You say balanced, most of the judiciary is Republican. In fact it represents, the judiciary does, the other branches of government. Senator Trent Lott ,(search) you criticized him and said he sabotaged this. And I want to show — put up on the screen, in fact, what Trent Lott said about you in response to get your reaction.

He said, "Who does James Dobson think he is, questioning my conservative credentials? Some of his language and conduct is quite un- Christian, and I don't appreciate it."

What's your reaction to Trent Lott's reaction to your statement about him?

DOBSON: Alan, it's one of about a hundred examples of name-calling that's gone on. People don't deal with the substance of what we and other conservatives are saying. Instead, they resort to, really, schoolyard tactics.

I mean, Senator Salazar called me the anti-Christ of the world. And the alliance — there's a Christian organization, Interfaith Alliance, that said I was like the Gestapo and the — and the Taliban.

So what does — what does Senator Lott know about my relationship with God? I mean, that's a classic example. Why didn't he answer me? Why does he just call me names?

COLMES: Did you question his conservative credentials?

DOBSON: I didn't question his conservative credentials, but I did say what he was doing was a bail-out, and I think an abdication of his responsibility to those conservative voters who sent him to the Senate to represent the things that they believe. They're out there by the millions, and he was about to participate in what I consider to be this very unfortunate agreement.

COLMES: Who would you like to see on the Supreme Court? (search)

DOBSON: I have no idea, Alan. I have not gone there. I don't have any responsibility for that. When the president makes his appointments, I will certainly be — of great interest, that will be of great interest to me, but I'm not campaigning for somebody.

COLMES: There's no judge in your mind or somebody you think should be elevated to that position?

DOBSON: No, but I can tell you this. You've already mentioned in this program at the top there, Clarence Thomas (search) and Antonin Scalia (search) and of course, Rehnquist.

You do realize with this agreement that was just cut, none of those three justices, whom I consider to be the best on the court, would have had an opportunity to serve. They would never have been confirmed.

And that's our concern. There was an opportunity to give a fair up or down vote to those kinds of nominees. The president has that constitutional right, and it was it frittered away by John McCain (search) and company.

COLMES: How can you say those who you just mentioned wouldn't be able to serve, when those who now will get through the Senate are pretty much in the same camp, if not more extreme in some ways? When you have one of the judges calling Social Security (search) part socialism. I mean, you — these are not people who are less conservative than the people who are already on the court.

DOBSON: Well, you used — you know, you're name-calling again, calling them extreme. That's the favorite pejorative of the left, to call people extreme.

These people are not extreme. They're right in the mainstream, and they've been elected by 70 to 80 percent by the people of their states. And then, you know, they come up to the Senate, and they're put through this horrible experience. I'm surprised anybody would want to even allow their name to come up.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Dr. Dobson, thanks for being with us. You have been attacked personally on this. You mentioned this group from Interfaith Alliance (search) that compared you and Focus on the Family to the Gestapo.

Vice President Al Gore, (search) former vice president, referred to you as part of an aggressive new strain of virulent faction of fundamentalists.

DOBSON: Yes, Sean, those...

HANNITY: You've been called a half nut, a jerk, a pinhead. You even pointed this out in your own column. I mean, why the hostility towards you when all you're saying is you want to keep in place a 214-year tradition and not change the tradition or the rules that have been in place?

DOBSON: A virulent new strain, Al Gore said. Those are the words you use for disease-carrying bacteria or viruses.

It is part of the effort to vilify. It is part of the name-calling that goes on when they've run out of intellectual ideas, and so they begin ad homonym attacks on the people. That's what is happening, because the court is the last liberal playground. And they are determined to protect it at all costs.

And if anybody speaks to that issue, especially if you are a Christian, you get subjected to this kind of vicious stuff.

HANNITY: I spoke earlier, Dr. Dobson, with two people, Senator Frist, who I think did the courageous thing, and I also spoke with Senator Lindsey Graham, (search) who was part of the seven Republicans.

Senator Graham, to my surprise, recognizes that this is an unconstitutional filibuster. And I pointed out to him, as a result of that, people are not going to get their up or down vote, that in essence, he's supporting a system that he, by his own words, admits is unconstitutional. I don't understand why.

DOBSON: I think Senator Graham made a big mistake, and I hope the people of South Carolina tell him that. You know, this tells a lot about him. It looks like he's trying to be the next John McCain. I don't know.

But this was a very bad political decision, and I think it will come back to haunt him. The same for Senator Dewine. You know, for them to be used by the Democrats.

And by the way, Sean, you know this, but the word inside the Senate is that Senator Frist had enough votes to pass that change in the rules. And it was those two senators who made it possible for the Democrats to win this great victory.

HANNITY: Right. What are — what are the Republicans to do now? I mean, here you have the head of the Democrat Party say he hates Republicans, that that Democrats are good, Republicans are evil, that Republicans are brain dead.

You have Harry Reid who says Justice Brown is a woman who wants to take us back to Civil War days, names like Neanderthal for the nominees have been used. What should Republicans now do when they only have the 48 votes?

DOBSON: It's name-calling, again, that's taking place. I want to say to your viewers that this is not the end. I mean, this is not the end. Because Democrats will be what Democrats are, which means that when these judges come up and when the Supreme Court nominees are put forward, they will filibuster. And when they do this constitutional option, I think, will come about.

COLMES: We're going to come right back with Dr. Dobson. More after the break.

Still to come, is the battle over judges, is it over or has it just begun. We'll tell you how this new deal could impact a new Supreme Court nominee.

And then PBS veteran Bill Moyers took his fight against conservatives to Capitol Hill today. We'll show you his controversial comments and get reaction from Ann Coulter, coming up on "Hannity & Colmes."

(NEWSBREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: As we continue on "Hannity & Colmes," I'm Sean Hannity. Earlier today, Bill Moyers took another shot at little old me. Now, why would he do that? Anyway, we're going to — I know, can you believe it? We're going to show you the tape. And we're going to get reaction tonight from Ann Coulter, who will be joining us.

And also coming up tonight, have moderate Republicans ruined the president's chance to secure any future Supreme Court nominees that are originalists like Scalia and Thomas and Rehnquist? And what does the mean for these other justices? We'll tell you about that.

But first we continue now with the founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson is with us.

You know, Dr. Dobson, one of the things that bothered me more than anything else in this thing, this was a planned strategy of the Democrats. You go back to these e-mails that went back and forth, including the one that said, "Miguel Estrada (search) is dangerous. He has a minimal paper trail. He is a Latino. And the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment."

This has always been about the Democrats not wanting strict constructionists, originalists on the Supreme Court. Isn't that what this is about?

DOBSON: It is. And somebody said today — it may have been you, because I was listening to you on the radio. But someone said what a terrible message that this is giving to the Democrats. It's saying if you throw enough temper tantrums, if you call enough names, if you threaten to shut down the Senate and you do all those things, eventually, at least a minority of Republicans...

HANNITY: Absolutely.

DOBSON: ... will join with you and do what you want.

I think it was Laura Ingraham that said that. It's like a toddler. You treat a toddler that way and what happens?

HANNITY: What it does, Dr. Dobson, is it emboldens these guys. If they can change a 214-year tradition and get Republicans to go along and support them in that effort, it would only embolden them.

Let me ask you this one question. I haven't asked you about the specificity of the so-called memorandum of understanding on this. But the talks about nominees should only be filibustered under extraordinary circumstances. Don't the Democrats think Scalia is extreme, Thomas is extreme, Rehnquist is extreme? Didn't they want Cheney fired, Rummy fired, Condi fired, Ashcroft out?

They don't like any Republican. They don't like any conservative. So won't they — doesn't that just leave the opening, they'll find any excuse they want to filibuster again?

DOBSON: Of course they will. "Extraordinary" can mean anything, even in the statement of understanding. They said it's up to the individual senator to define that.

And so we know what is going to happen. They're going to filibuster again.

But I believe Senator Frist has got the moxie to go back to the constitutional option if they do. I believe that. He has stood firm. I admire that man and he deserves lot of credit for what he has done.

COLMES: Dr. Dobson, they approved 207 judges that — Democrats have, that Bush has pointed.

I want — you talk a lot about name-calling. I want to put up something that you said on your radio show when you interviewed Mark Levin. That's a great friend of ours here.

HANNITY: A great one.

COLMES: And Sean happens to like him a lot. Here's what you said. He wrote a book against the Supreme Court. You said this,

HANNITY: Not against it.

COLMES: You said this, "I heard a minister the other day talking about the great injustice and evil of the men in white robes, the Ku Klux Klan, that roamed the country in the South. And they did great wrong to civil rights and to morality. And now we have black-robed men, and that's what you're talking about."

Are you comparing men and women — you didn't mention the women — in black robes to those who wore white robes in the Klan? Is that an analogy you're making there?

DOBSON: No. No, Alan, I'm on the radio three hours a week. That should have been fleshed out more if I was going to say that.

The whole story there is, I heard this minister talk about when he was young, and he grew up in the South. And there was tremendous discrimination there and he saw the Ku Klux Klan and what they did. And he fought against it, at personal sacrifice.

But now that he is older, he sees wrongs being done by the court. And he went back to the 1858 decision of Dread Scott, which declared black people not fully human. That was another form of evil. And he was saying evil comes in either black or white, comparing black robes or white robes.

COLMES: But you're comparing those in black robes to those in white robes, and you're comparing the Klan to judges on the court.

DOBSON: I certainly would compare the court that made the decision in Dread Scott (search) to be tantamount to the Ku Klux Klan. (search) They did as much damage.

HANNITY: Hey, Dr. Dobson, Mark does point out in his book that there were former Klansmen that ended up on the bench. That were appointed. I think you guys were referring to, too.

DOBSON: One of them is in the Senate.

HANNITY: Well, former. You're absolutely right. Good to see you, Dr. Dobson. Thank you for being with us.

DOBSON: Good to see you guys.

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