Friday, July 24, 2009

Lindsey Graham and the Blind Ideologues

Politico has a great interview with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who, after getting scorched on the Right for his support of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination, hits back at the ideological purists of his party:

If only more members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, would take the same attitude, much more could be accomplished to actually address the serious problems of the country. As the article points out, Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsberg were overwhelmingly approved by the Senate: 98-0 and 96-3 respectively. At that time, Senators who opposed these nominees on the basis of ideology nevertheless realized that they were highly qualified for the bench and that it was the president's prerogative to nominate qualified people to the highest court in the land.

Does the fact that Graham is looking beyond politics and ideology a worm? Hardly. I'd call him a statesman.


msteven said...

You are so right. The attitude that you cannot support a qualified judicial nominee because you don’t agree with their opinions is … the word is sad.. Those who will vote against her with some level of pride are not examples of thinkers, leaders or statesman. What they exemplify is what is WROING with today’s political process where partisanship rules over common sense and working together. I’ve heard criticism that she didn’t specifically respond to direct questions about how she would rule in specific cases (i.e.: abortion). In this case, it was conservatives that criticized. When Alito & Roberts were being questioned, it was the liberals criticizing the same thing while conservatives screamed ‘foul’. I don’t recall what the approval votes were for them but it was certainly not near unanimous as I recall some big name Senators such as Clinton voting against them. I had thought that all judicial nominations went like this since the Clarence Thomas hearings but you rightfully mention how easily Ginsberg went through. The irony is that Lindsay Graham is well known as a conservative if for nothing else his role in impeachment trial of President Clinton. His actions here shows him to be a lower case (r)epublican. I hope Mr. Graham is proud of being ridiculed by the likes of Mark Levin and Glenn Beck. It shows him to be above the fray of partisan politics and truly interested in representing what is best for the country.

Again, thanks for the post. More people need to read it.

DC said...

msteven--I couldn't agree more. Democrats voted/acted the same way Republicans are now when the GOP was in control & a conservative justice was nominated (though the rhetoric wasn't as over-the-top & shrill as it is now coming from Right Wing talk radio).

You have spurred me to write another post on the subject.

thecampaignjunkie said...

Graham, McCain, Lieberman, and the like get skewed for playing nice with others. Elections have consequences and the Senate's role in the case of judicial appointments is advise and confirm.

These three stopped the nuclear option; an option that would have made 200 years of Senate rules almost as worthless as toilet paper. For that, they got killed on the right. Um, we lost five judges, I was not even excited about getting at the bench, at the expense of getting the hundreds of others confirmed?

I call that a win.

msm3567 said...

Both left and right skewered those three. They were skewered by anyone who believes that being in politics could possibly involve 'playing nice' with others who you oppose in certain issues. Remember the flak on both sides when Obama worked on some project with Rev. Rick Warren? Sadly, the new political theme is "my way or the highway". I believe it is those who say it with pride are the same who should be looking for the highway.

DC said...

All--centrists and those seeking to take a middle-of-the-road posture get run over in our political system. The irony is that the bulk of the American public is in the middle of the political spectrum. However, because of closed primaries and apathy, the ideolgoues often prevail in the primary season leaving us with candidates that lean more towards the wings than the center.

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