Lindsey Graham & the Liberal Ethos

The Senate Judiciary Committee just voted for the Elena Kagan nomination for the Supreme Court to go before the full Senate. Every Democrat on the committee voted in favor of her; every Republican—except one—voted against. That one was Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

I met Sen. Graham when he was still a congressman back in 2000. At the time, I was interviewing all the congressmen who had taken on the responsibility as House Managers to get the Senate to vote for the removal of President Clinton from office. The result of those interviews was my book Mission: Impeachable. Lindsey Graham was a House Manager.

We sat in his House office talking about the failed impeachment proceedings while I recorded his answers to my questions. I liked him very much. He was personable, with a good sense of humor. One of the chapters in my book was devoted to his involvement in the impeachment. Even at the time, though, some of the other Managers were not pleased with his actions as part of the team. He never seemed to have the same depth of commitment to the cause nor as strong a commitment to the rule of law.

Graham’s notoriety as a House Manager probably helped him win the Senate seat later. As a senator, he has been just as unpredictable as he was while serving as a Manager. He’s still folksy and likeable, but his views are not always in sync with the majority in the Republican party. Not too long ago, he declared that the Tea Party movement would soon fade away. Needless to say, that did not endear him to those who are seeking real change.

Now he has voted in favor of Kagan. This vote may lead to a primary challenge for him within the party when he is up for reelection in 2014. What was his rationale for the vote? He said, in effect, elections have consequences; since Obama won the presidency, he should get the nominees he wants.

I couldn’t disagree more. Senator Graham, your election should have consequences as well. People put you into office to counter the moves of a Democratic president who wants to foist another extremist upon the nation.

Republicans who just go along to get along will never make a dent in the dominant liberal/progressive agenda. They are in the establishment and are more concerned with being part of the liberal ethos that continues to rule within our government institutions and the culture of Washington politics. Sadly, Lindsey Graham appears to be one of those. It’s time for Republicans in South Carolina to hold him accountable and make sure they send someone to the Senate who will not kowtow to an agenda that is alien to our founding principles.