Graham no hypocrite on Kagan vote

Contributed by Shell Suber

Beginning when Democrats murdered Robert Bork’s career and reputation in cold blood before of a worldwide television audience, Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees have descended into an unseemly circus of revenge killings from one party/president to the next. “Advise & Consent” has come to mean “Search & Destroy” for whichever party is out of the White House.

Judiciary Committee members, journalists and scholars have all condemned this trend as destructive to our nation’s political health and justice system. There have been widespread cries for a return of civility and, well, manners. 

US Senator Lindsey Graham has led this campaign, reminding voters constantly in his speeches that, unless a president nominates someone who is either unqualified by experience or morally unfit to serve, it is the obligation of the Judiciary Committee to confirm that appointment. After all, appointing judges is the privilege of the executive branch, period.

During the 2008 campaign, Republicans – Graham most notably – tried repeatedly to warn voters that if Barack Obama were elected, liberal nominees would follow. And, sure enough, in only the first half of his first term, Obama has gotten two bites at the SCOTUS apple. In both of those bites, Obama dug deep to find liberal nominees – Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – who could not be turned away for want of a worthy résumé or moral failings. Could MORE worthy nominees have been found? Sure. But in both cases, these two liberal jurists passed the smell test.

So, what then was Lindsey Graham to do? Should he practice what he preached and give the president his nominee? Or should he hypocritically vote against a qualified nominee to merely because said nominee was a liberal? Should he perpetuate the blood sport that judicial nominations have become, despite his own cries to end it?

Thankfully Graham did the right thing. He bowed his head, cringed, and voted to approve a liberal nominee. Why? Because, in his own words, “elections have consequences.” Obama won so he gets to name Justices to the Supreme Court. That’s it.

Even if Kagan / Sotomayor could have been blocked from the bench on legitimate (or illegitimate) grounds, it’s not as if those seats on the court would have gone unfilled. Any conservative victory would have been short-lived as Obama would simply nominate another liberal. He has scores to pick from.

Republicans can only hope that when the shoe is on the other foot and a Republican President forces Democrats to vote to approve a conservative-as-heck nominee, they follow Graham’s example.

But even if they don’t, Graham did the honorable thing.

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23 Comments to “Graham no hypocrite on Kagan vote”

  1. In an earlier time, the idea of restoring the air of civility and decorum to this process would be considered a noble and honorable path to choose but now we find ourselves in the battle to save our Nation. Sen. Graham has developed a pattern over the years of being the one to reach over the aisle to compromise with the liberals on various large pieces of legislation, immigration, energy, and now Kagan in the Senate. Every time this happens conservative values are whittled away, that is the very nature of a compromise, a slice at a time. The lose is so slight at each concession that it is not missed until you look for the whole loaf and find that it was negotiated away. Now is the time to hold the line, vote in the Senate in the vein of your speeches you give to South Carolinians.

  2. Don’t hold your breath waiting on the Democrats to return the “honorable” favor…..

  3. What are conservative values? I am a “liberal” and I believe I have values.
    The country was founded on liberal principles. Thus, if a conservative believes in the values upon which the country was founded, he has to be a liberal. Labels only tend to divide us and we sure don’t need more division.
    Lets talk about history. Thomas Jeffeson was not a christian and neither were many of the founding fathers. They believed in separation of church and state and I hope you do too.
    The so called* conservatives” are the ones attacking our freedom. Why can’t I gamble in this state? The only gambling I can do here is the lottery where the state wins and bingo. We raise race horses here but have to go somewhere else to bet on them.
    Why are 18 year old adults not free to drink a beer? theye can get shot in Iraq but when they come home they can’t have a budweiser. Freedom? Equality? I think not.
    If my daughter gets pregnant, I dont want the state telling my family what to do about it. I want a choice. Its a family matter.
    The conservatives want to take state money and use it to establish so called christian schools. I don’t want my tax money supporting that brand of christianity. And I have taught sunday school 35 years.
    I dont want the government telling me what I can watch or read or dictating my entertainment. I don’t want the government telling me what I can do on sunday.By the way, according to the 10 commandments, the sabbath is on saturday, not sunday.
    I dont’ care about our senator’s sexuality nor do I care what he does with it on his private time. I dont’ care if he is gay, catholic, jewish or muslim.
    The conservatives rail against reactionary judges. Who has been more reactionary and activists than Roberts, Thomas and Alito?
    There is an old saying that it is a very narrow thing which does not have two sides.The so called conservatives speak of values. When they do they dont’ sound like american values to me.
    I say this honestly with no ill will: The conservative movement here looks alot to me like Germany in 1939. Ya’ll scare me.
    A famous Republican I respect very much once said “a house divided will not long stand”. He was right.
    We are a divided house. We see politics as them against us. Its more like rival football teams than an intelligent way to discuss the pressing issues of government.
    I disagree with our senator about alot of things but he is one of the few statesmen we have in washington. He has done nothing other than to try to find an honest middle ground and to be civil. If he is gay, he has kept it to himself and I dont care. I never will understand why our conservative friends seem to hate our gay brothers and sisters. If he is gay, that fact doesn’t embarass me. Does it bother you?
    Peace

  4. With all due respect, Mr. Moore, I think you have just demonstrated that “liberalism is a mental disorder.” Your “fear” of conservatives is laughable in light of what the liberals who are presently in power are accomplishing in record time. Tyranny comes from the left, my friend, not the right. Obama just took over the banks, the car companies, student loans and your health care, yet you are more concerned about conservatives attacking your rights to gamble and drink beer. God forbid we should be concerned with morality in this state. And don’t give me the old “separation of church and state” line; that twisted phrase has been invoked more than the false accusation of racism, and they are both phony liberal tactics used to turn an argument. I say if conservatism scares you, it is because your view of conservatism is skewed and incorrect. Your insult that “the conservative movement looks a lot like Germany in 1939” is a perfect example of the “divided house” of which you speak, and the “incendiary hatespeech” liberals are always attributing to the right, yet you were the one who used the analogy. Why all the hate? I think the “divisiveness” is on your side of the aisle. “Peace”

  5. Uh oh, Jake. You stepped in it that time. Moral of the story: Don’t mess with the misplacedmtnman.

  6. Some of you seem to think this is Lindsey Graham’s fault. Like it was his responsibly to do whatever it took to somehow block this nomination, no matter the consequences. If he could have blocked her on legal grounds, he would have. But that wasn’t going to happen. Not even close. If you are looking to blame someone, remember that the American people put her on the bench when they elected Obama and gave the Senate to the Democrats. It’s about time a few of you quit looking for excuses and take some responsibility and look in the mirror. America picked the government is has and got the government it deserved. Lindsey Graham busted his ass on the campaign trail trying to stop this 2 years ago when it mattered but not enough of us listened so this week – and for years to come – we get Soto and Kagan. He’s not going to twist the Constitution into a knot just to pander to an electorate that didn’t make the right decision in ’08 so don’t use him as an excuse. Want to do something useful? Send him more help in the form of more conservative colleagues and a president who won’t nominate leftist judges who just barely qualify.

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, and be honest as you consider this: If McCain had won but the Dems had kept the Senate, this week would have been the confirmation vote for some conservative nominee we would have all loved. If the Dems had used their superior numbers on the Judiciary committee to block his/her nomination, wouldn’t you be screaming your bloody head off about they have distorted the “advise and consent” clause and sought to replace the will of the American people with their own by blocking President McCain’s legitimate right to nominate Justices to the Supreme Court? Wouldn’t you? Be honest now. You would be going nuts. Flat out nuts with outrage over the injustice of it all. Don’t be such a hypocrite. We took our medicine this week. It sucks sometimes but we don’t get to hold ourselves up as defenders of the Constitution just when it suits us. Graham is a man of principle, convictions and true political courage. I know because if he weren’t, those same hypocrites would be loving him this week.

  7. Separation of church and state” is a common metaphor that is well recognized. Equally well recognized is the metaphorical meaning of the church staying out of the state’s business and the state staying out of the church’s business. Because of the very common usage of the “separation of church and state phrase,” most people incorrectly think the phrase is in the constitution. Thomas Jefferson originally coined the phrase “wall of separation between the church and the state” in a letter to the Danbury Baptists on January 1, 1802. His purpose in this letter was to assuage the fears of the Danbury, Connecticut Baptists, and so he told them that this wall had been erected to protect them. The metaphor was used exclusively to keep the state out of the church’s business, not to keep the church out of the state’s business.

    The constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Both the free exercise clause and the establishment clause place restrictions on the government concerning laws they pass or interfering with religion. No restrictions are placed on religions except perhaps that a religious denomination cannot become the state religion.

  8. This is what conservatives want; less government interface in our lives, liberals and progressives seem to want government in every aspect of our life, what we eat, what we drive, where our children go to school, how much you have to pay a high school kid to flip burgers, who gets our hard earned money and list is endless.

  9. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Hughey. This is what I meant when I referred to the clause as a “twisted phrase.” I just didn’t have time to go into the details. The “SoC&S” clause is a talking point that liberals use to attack Christianity exclusively when it makes them uncomfortable, or perhaps just decent, moral people in general. The phrase is almost always invoked in the incorrect way as you mentioned, in an effort to “keep the church out of the state’s business” when the original intent was to “keep the state out of the church’s business.” It always irks me when liberals haughtily quote Thomas Jefferson (or Thomas “Jeffeson” as Mr. Moore did above) and use his words in the complete opposite context from what they actually meant. Thank you for providing the historical background.

    Now if liberals would just learn that “Germany of 1939” was experiencing the rise of a LEFTIST, National Socialist party, maybe they would quit using this twisted analogy to try and insult conservatives…..but I doubt it. It shows how truly uninformed they are.

  10. The liberals play book is really a very simple document, label all opposition as raciest, homophobic, Nazi or right wing Christians. The amazing thing is it is always the leftist, progressives and liberals that bring up sex, race or religion, if they where the students of history that they portray they should be alarmed with the Parallels between now and “1939 Germany”.

  11. Here’s a great video of Jeff Sessions laying out the case against Kagan on the floor of the senate. I say required watching before anyone posts further on what they “think” Kagan stands for (without knowing anything about her judicial philosophy). Keep in mind the point of a judge is to be separated from politics…. apolitical. It’s completely obvious she has an agenda, and her agenda is more in line with Venuzuela’s view of government than the United States.

  12. OF COURSE Obama nominated a leftist activist judge. That’s what Democrats do. That is the judicial philosophy they advocate and, as misguided and dangerous as it is, it is a recognized interpretation of judicial responsibility. Naturally, leftist activist judges always claim they are “following the Constitution.” Conservative judges claim the same thing. Conservatives like us don’t agree with theirs but do agree with ours. None of that is up to debate.

    But is legal philosophy a reason to reject or vote for a nominee? Sure, it’s a reason to LIKE or DISLIKE a nominee, but is that reason for a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee reject a nominee? Until about 20 years ago, it would have been unheard of – completely outrageous to even suggest that was a good enough reason. But then things got nasty and political. Nominations became a blood sport with both parties using them a theater, playing to their outer wings and the TV cameras.

    Nearly all legal and constitutional scholars have warned this trend is harmful to the judiciary and the country. Lindsey Graham agrees and has said so many times to cheering crowds of Republicans who were thinking about the lame attempts to block Alito and Roberts they had just recently seen. But when the shoe is on the other foot and the Democrats control the White House and the Senate, some on the right want Graham to forget all that and vote against Obama’s nominee just to make a point. Screw the process and ignore the long term damage you cause, just score those political points, baby!

    If, as J.C. Watts said, “Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking,” then it must also be true that character is doing the right thing when EVERYONE is looking.

  13. Good stuff, Shell.

    However, while you say the left has a different legal philosophy, I say their philosophy involves ignoring and trashing the Constitution. Creating emanations of penumbras and whatnot isn’t simply “a difference of opinion,” it’s entirely alien and destructive to the Constitution. Graham took an oath as a military officer and as a Senator to defend the Constitution. Voting to support someone who explicitly and willfully violates the Constitution is a breaking of those oaths.

  14. Wes,
    You could have not expressed the feelings of many conservatives better, well done!

  15. Thanks, Win.

    I think it’s unfair of me to come into this blog the first day I read it and do nothing but disagree with Shell’s post. I see that I have inadvertently been rude by doing so.

    Although I don’t agree with Graham’s behavior, I really appreciate this blog and what Shell has done here. Thanks, my friend, and keep up the good work.

  16. Not at all Wes. These are the kinds of discussions I hoped would come about from this blog. In fact I am looking forward to your first post so I can agree with it… or not. 🙂

  17. I havent read for a while.
    I see activist judges on the right not on the left.
    I see an assault on our values from the right. you see the assault from the left.
    Maybe we dont know what we value as a nation.Maybe thats why we are divided.
    Do you believe in separation of church and state? Iraq is an example of what can happen when the two are mixed.
    Hitler arose from the right.He fought communists.
    The reactionary right I see as dangerous.
    I see your thought processes as dangerous.
    I wish you luck but Im wasting my time so im deleting this blog.
    Just know there are folks out there who are really concerned about folks who think like this. I think your side will ultimately win.
    I’ve said it before: America was a good idea. Too bad it didnt work.
    I doubt you hear from me again as I just dont have time for this. Jake

  18. Jake:

    It’s ashame you’re deleting this blog from your list, because you’ll remain ignorant and oblivious to your utter lack of understanding about the actual history of this country and the world. Where do you get your facts? You know, the problem with you and your liberal friends is that you know so much that is just simply not true. Seriously.

    Your claim that Hitler came from the right is completely wrong. Hitler’s Party was not a conservative pary. It was called “Nationalsozialismus” ~ which the term Nazi was melded for us (the same way we’ve renamed their cities. eg: ‘Munich’ to us, ‘Munchen’ to them). The things to observe are the term National and the term Socialism. Expanding on this point, to rescue Germany from the effects of the Great Depression, Nazism promoted an economic third position; a managed economy that was neither capitalist nor communist (but socialist). Germany declared support for a nationalist form of socialism that was to provide for the Aryan race and the German nation: economic security, social welfare programs for workers, a just wage, honour for workers’ importance to the nation, and protection from capitalist exploitation. This is straight off Wikipedia, and doesn’t it sound like the today’s Democratic Platform.

    Since you’re so disappointed with America, please email me, I will be glad to buy you and your family a one way ticket out of this country so that the rest of us don’t have to put up with your lack of appreciation for what you’ve been born into. You serve as an anchor around the necks of those who would overcome poverty on their own, but the liberals spend all their time justifying the plight of the poor (and encouraging them to wait for the compassionate liberals to help them out ~ which liberals never do ~ evidneced by the fact that the poor always seem to be needing more and more…. witness the recent growth of the Food Stamps program. After a multi million dollar advertizing campaign, nearly half the US population is on a food subsidy of some sort.

    The poorest of the poor in this country live like kings compared to most of the other countries in the world. Go down to Cuba, North Korea, Viet Nam, China (and any other worker’s paradise you can find) and compare. Count the number of welfare reciepants in this country with a bigger than 4 room home, 2 cars, multiple cell phones, a GPS, Color TV, iPod, Computer, etc. Then compare that to the middle class of Cuba, Haiti, etc.

    A product of the dumbing down of America ~ you are, but I do appreciate your input as it lets me know the extent of the problem we have in repairing this country from the inside.

  19. iplan,
    Thank you, your comments are spot on. Jake shows me that all he has is the old liberal play book; distort history, call names, smear, and retreat. Jake is correct on one point “I think your side will ultimately win.” That is because what we will win is some of our freedom back!
    Win

  20. Win thanks for your positive comments on my post. I felt good writing it, but then wondered if I may have come down a bit too hard on poor Jake. It would be better for Jake to repent from his condition than to send him to Cuba… and cheaper too.

    Hey Shell! Can we get an “edit” button ~ as I can’t seem to proof read anything until I see it posted? lol

    This was needing repair from my eariler post ~ which was the crux of the point I was trying to make, and I muffed it: “(Jake and all the other liberals among us) serve as an anchor around the necks of those who would overcome poverty on their own, but the liberals spend all their time justifying the plight of the poor (and encouraging them to wait for the compassionate liberals to help them out ~ which liverals never do ~ evidneced by the fact that the poor always seem to be needing more and more…. witness the recent growth of the Food Stamps program. After a multi million dollar advertizing campaign, nearly half the US population is on a food subsidy of some sort.

    Moving past Jake’s comments, and toward a more I’m reminded of a story about crabs ~ not the kind my brother got at The Citadel ~ which caused a serious trauma to everyone in 1st Battalion; but the things you catch in the marsh, throw in a box, cook, and eat. The story goes that if you put 10 crabs in a box, the strongest crab will try to escape ~ while the other nine do their best to stop him. Eventually, if he is strong enough, he overcomes the limitations placed on him by the box, and the obstacles placed on him by his “friends,” and gains his freedom by climbing out of the box ~ leaving 9 crabs left. At that point the strongest of the remaining 9 crabs will begin to try to get out while the remaining 8 try to stop him. Eventually, all the crabs will escape ~ though they all had to fight their friends in addition to the limitations of the box to do so.

    The problem with Jake and his ilk is that they have relatively strong hold over the mindless nitwits, and have convinced these crabs that they cannot get out of the box they find themselves in. Forget climbing over the box, the poor among us (who vote for Al Greene thinking he’s a soul singer) are so conditioned to be poor by Jake that they couldn’t walk out of poverty if you removed the walls. It reminds me of a period a few years ago when Bush 43 inacted Medicare Reform (a platform I completely disagreed with btw). In response, the Democrats marched all kinds of “crabs” up there to let them complain, “It’s too confusing.” “I don’t understand” , etc, but eventually, these lackies remembered that they were not idiots, and that they were capable of reading directions, Then there were no crabs left, and the Democrats moved on to another group to explot/ limit….

  21. iplan,
    I am deeply saddened by your story of the strongest crab. You have made me come to the realization that the lowly Blue Crab of the South Carolina low country is smarter and more determined than approximately 48% of the U.S. population.

    Win

  22. Sorry, iPlan. I don’t have time to proof and edit everyone’s work and that would defeat the purpose of the blog. I cut. I paste. That’s all. 🙂 – Shell (PS- I fixed it just this one time.)

  23. Professional Editing and Proofreading services by the misplacedmtnman are available for a nominal fee.

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