My least favorite Republican Senator

is Lindsey Graham, and by a decent margin. Today, the Senator told conservative critics of the Miers nomination to “shut up,” and claimed that their opposition has nothing to do with Miers, but is just an effort to obtain 15 minutes of fame. What nonsense. If the criticism is as Graham claims, why didn’t the Roberts nomination generate the same response? Graham seems oblivious to the long history of Republican presidents nominating liberal and centrist judges. Indeed, had Graham been in the Senate during the Bush-I era, he would have offered the same charming advice to conservatives who criticized the Souter nomination.
But how can you argue with a guy whose ability to reason is limited to ad hominem attacks? Graham seems to get off on “standing up to conservatives” but he’s unwilling or unable to engage their arguments. That’s what makes him worse for my money than the Republican Senators to his left.
And let’s not forget that Graham was a prime force behind the deal that snatched a draw from the jaws of victory. Had the Senate banned the filibuster of judicial nominees, President Bush could have nominated a Michael Luttig, an Edith Jones, or a Miguel Estrada without fear of losing a confirmation struggle (of course he might have nominated his crony anyway).
Miers will probably be confirmed and probably should be. But this process is going to hurt Republicans. The difference between a Miers nomination and, say, a Jones nomination could be one or two Senate seats come January 2007, and it will be at least that if conservatives who don’t like the Miers nomination decide to “shut up” on election day 2006. Graham didn’t help with his cop-out deal, and he’s not helping with his ad hominen attacks on some conservatives.

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