The Associated Press reports that Sen. Lindsay Graham is taking a lot of criticism in South Carolina over his role in the filibuster “compromise”: “Graham Faces Storm Over Filibuster Deal.” A primary challenge in 2008 is possible; the question, I suppose, is how long Republican voters’ memories will be.
Maybe everyone remembered this except me, but I hadn’t realized that Graham was a McCain supporter in 2000. This may help explain his participation in McCain’s ill-conceived agreement.
One thing is for sure: if Graham wants to be re-elected, he needs to stop talking about his fellow Republicans as “haters”:
“For some people in politics it’s not enough to agree with them on the issue, you have to hate the people they hate,” he said. “I’m not going to be a hater. I’m going to be a solid conservative and a reformer.”
I don’t understand that. How does believing that the President’s judicial nominees should be voted on make you a “hater”? At the moment, anyway, Graham is not showing the political skills that would make him a long-term Senator.
DEACON adds: South Carolina is one of our most pro-military states. One of the judicial nominees whose fate remains ambiguous after “the deal” is William James Haynes, the General Counsel of the Defense Department. The Democratic opposition to Haynes centers on his role as the top legal adviser to the military in the war on terrorism. I doubt that most South Carolinians share the Democratic party’s view that the military has been too aggressive in questioning terrorists. It will be interesting to see whether Graham allows the Democrats to claim Haynes’ scalp and, if he does, what the reaction in South Carolina will be.
SCOTT adds: Tony Snow writes:
You’re more on-point than you may realize on the Haynes nomination. Thanks for mentioning it; it will be an important fight, and it’s one on which several key Republicans are squishy — for reasons that have more to do with parochial politics than the nominee’s qualifications. (Full disclosure: Jim and I have been friends for 30 years; I’m not even remotely objective on this one.)