Lindsey Graham — Arlen Specter with a sense of humor

The Senate Judiciary Committee, by a vote of 13 to 6, has sent Elena Kagan’s nomination to the full Senate for a vote by that body. Naturally, every Democrat on the Committee voted “yes,” and naturally Republican Lindsey Graham voted “yes” as well. Graham explained that Kagan is “funny” which “goes a long way in my book.”
President Obama praised the vote, calling Kagan “one of this country’s leading legal minds.” This claim is dubious, and not supported by her writings as an academic or by qualities displayed during her limited advocacy before courts.
Obama got to the heart of the matter when he added that Kagan’s work as a Justice would reflect that she “understands how decisions made by the Court affect the lives of everyday Americans.” This is Obama’s way of saying that Kagan’s decisions will be just as expansively leftist as Obama’s vision of what’s good for “everyday Americans.”
I’m pretty sure Obama is right. And, given Kagan’s sense of humor, that seems to be just fine with Lindsey Graham, who once again earned his title, “the Arlen Specter of the South.”
Graham is up for re-election in 2014. By then Elena Kagan (and for that matter Sonia Sotomayor) will have a substantial record through which South Carolina Republicans can assess the judgment of their senior Senator, assuming he runs for re-election. In the meantime, let’s hope that Kagan includes some good one-liners in her left-wing opinions.
But perhaps Graham is right in predicting that this whole Tea Party thing will blow over. Perhaps in 2014 South Carolina will return Graham to Washington because he too is funny and the Washington Post likes him.

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