So many people were better people before 2016. Lindsey Graham is one of our country’s more dramatic and tragic examples.
Especially with regard to judicial confirmations. Before Donald Trump and his supports assumed total control of the Republican Party, our senior senator was one of the few senators of either party who could be relied upon to support qualified candidates nominated by presidents of the opposite party.
It was what he was known for. He was more likely than anyone to say “elections have consequences” and vote to confirm, say, Elena Kagan or Sonia Sotomayor.
Although he let his country down, bigtime, in failing to fight his leadership over Merrick Garland, the fact is that he stood out among senators in supporting the Democratic nominees he did support.
For years — including before Trumpism — Graham has walked a tightrope as a Republican from South Carolina. He took brave stands on court nominations and immigration, while at the same time trying to signal that he could be as big a yahoo as anybody. Sometimes, the attacks on “Grahamnesty” caused him to back down, but he was known for the times he stood his ground as one of the Gang of 14.
That fell apart when he decided that his political path forward involved developing a national reputation as Trump’s best buddy and most loyal toady. But he would still occasionally take a stand against the insanity, such as when Trump betrayed our allies in Syria.
So when he did something like trying to be the biggest, loudest clown in the room in giving Ketanji Brown Jackson a hard time during the recent hearings, I would wonder how much of it was just an act to give himself cover before quietly acting like Lindsey Graham and voting for her — since there was no legitimate reason not to.
But today we found out he didn’t have the guts to do that:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Thursday that he will oppose Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court, marking the first time the GOP senator will vote against a nominee for the high court since joining the Senate.
“I will oppose her and I will vote no,” Graham said from the Senate floor.
So the madness that has gripped our country just took another step deeper into the abyss…