After I got done stewing about having screwed up on the Biden thing, I remembered that I owed Cindi Scoppe a phone call. Speaking to her reminded me that I meant to call your attention to The State‘s editorial yesterday, “Graham’s courageous stand for the republic.”
It was really, really good. So good that after I read it at breakfast yesterday, I e-mailed Cindi to say:
Excellent lede today. Did you write that, or did I?It needs to be said loudly and often.
OK, so maybe that wouldn’t be a compliment to you, but I think Cindi saw it as such. You know, knowing my ego as she does.
But it really did say pretty much everything I would have said — of course, one of the great things about working with Cindi over the years was that she could do that. There was a time when I felt like I had to write any important edit about state government or politics to get the message just right, and the right tone and feel into it (to please me, anyway). But I realized shortly after I brought Cindi up from the newsroom that if I just spent a few minutes explaining to her what I wanted, in a few minutes she’d turn it around into an edit that was everything I had wanted, and just as good as if I’d written it — and several hours faster.
The great thing about this was that I didn’t have occasion to tell her what I wanted (you may have heard, I don’t word there any more), and yet I got it anyway. But more important than it being what I wanted, it’s what South Carolina needed to hear about Graham’s decision to vote for Elena Kagan’s nomination, and his cogent explanation of his reasoning.
THROUGHOUT the first two centuries or so of our nation’s history, what Sen. Lindsay Graham did on Wednesday when he voted to confirm President Obama’s appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court would have been thoroughly unremarkable. What would have been remarkable would have been for a senator to do otherwise — to vote against confirming a nominee who did not have serious ethical, legal, mental or intellectual problems.
But as Sen. Graham told the Judiciary Committee, things are changing…. What matters today are individual agendas, and punishing anyone who doesn’t agree with their every opinion.
That’s a threat not just to the independence of the judiciary but to the republic itself…
As when he voted to confirm Mr. Obama’s first Supreme Court appointment a year ago, Sen. Graham said Wednesday that Ms. Kagan was not someone he would have appointed, but Mr. Obama won the election; the job of the Senate is merely to stop a president from appointing people who are objectively unfit to be judges.
Will Ms. Kagan join the liberal wing of the court? Probably. Just as President Bush’s appointments joined the conservative wing. We wish there weren’t such clearly defined wings…. But that’s a political preference we have; not a constitutional standard appropriate for senators to consider. As far as confirmation goes, there’s nothing wrong with Ms. Kagan. Just as there was nothing wrong with Sonia Sotomayor. Or with John Roberts. Or with Samuel Alito. And any senator who votes or voted against any of them was simply wrong.
But go read the whole thing. And share it with every South Carolinian you know.