Arlen Specter or Tom Daschle, take your pick

This lead in today’s Post story by Chris Cillizza about Sen. Lindsey Graham is priceless:

No longer content with bashing Democrats for their obstruction of President Bush’s judicial nominees, a coalition of conservative groups is now turning its attention to a prominent Republican — Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.).

Give that liberal a blog!

The story is great news, though. I’ve referred to Senator Graham as “the Arlen Specter of the south.” In same ways, though, the better comparison is to Tom Daschle. As with Daschle, the voters in Graham’s conservative home state probably have little idea of Graham’s true ideological stance. Sean Rushton makes this point when he says:

A key reason why Lindsey Graham is Senator Graham is because he ran as opposed to the obstruction of the president’s judicial nominees. We hope he’ll remember that.

Graham is widely thought (along with Senator McCain) to be obstructing the nomination of Jim Haynes, the general counsel of the defense department. Graham apparently has tight connections with military lawyers who disliked the Pentagon’s legal position on detainee interrogations. The Post quotes a spokesman for Graham who expresses concern that Haynes may not have been receptive enough to “advice from the military.” However, Haynes was obliged to take his legal advice (if that’s what the spokesman is referring to) from the Justice Department and the Office of White House Counsel, and he did so.

If Senator Graham nonetheless feels that Haynes is unfit to serve on the Fourth Circuit by virtue of his legal memos (or for any other reason) that’s fine. But let’s have the debate and the vote.


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