Is Lindsey Graham a victim of “McCarthyism”?

He seems to think so. Responding to criticism by opponents of the Loretta Lynch nomination, Sen. Graham complained:

Joe McCarthy said, if you don’t agree with me that that guy is a communist, then you’re a communist. I don’t buy that kind of logic. I don’t support the executive order.

I don’t know whether McCarthy made the argument Graham ascribes to him, but opponents of the Lynch nomination aren’t using that form of argument.

The complaint against Senators who support Lynch isn’t that, by doing so, they necessarily support Obama’s executive amnesty. Graham has proposed an amnesty more sweeping than Obama’s, but that doesn’t mean he favors amnesty through executive order, as opposed to legislation. I take him at his word that he doesn’t.

The problem is that supporting a nominee for Attorney General who doesn’t recognize Obama’s executive amnesty as an affront to our system of government fails to take the affront seriously. If confirmed, Lynch will become the nation’s chief law enforcement official. Many of us believe that it won’t do for the Senate to put its stamp of approval on a chief law enforcement official who doesn’t understand the clear limits of executive power in relation to Congress.

Graham’s answer is: “We’re never going to get a nominee from this president that says that [the executive amnesty is unlawful], so this is all about political posturing.” Again, Graham demonstrates that he doesn’t take Obama’s affront to our system of government seriously.

Yes, it is “posturing,” in a sense, to insist on an Attorney General who respects our system of government when we know Obama won’t nominate one. But it’s not political posturing.

There is no political gain in opposing the nomination of an African-American female who made an excellent impression during her hearing. Opposition to Lynch’s nomination is principled — indeed, it flows from adherence to first constitutional principles.

Oh well. At least Graham didn’t accuse Lynch’s opponents of preening. That truly would have been the pot calling the kettle black.

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