Graham protests GOP retreat into irrelevance, to little avail
After announcing his intention to vote in favor of the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court — the only Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee to take that step — Sen. Lindsey Graham took a lot of heat from conservatives angry that he had broken party ranks.
In an interview with Politico, Graham defended his decision and returned fire at his critics on the right:
“If we chase this attitude … that you have to say ‘no’ to every Democratic proposal, you can’t help the president ever, you can’t ever reach across the aisle, then I don’t want to be part of the movement because it’s a dead-end movement,” Graham said.
“I have no desire to be up here in an irrelevant status. I’m smart enough to know that this country doesn’t have a problem with conservatives. It has a problem with blind ideology. And those who are ideological-driven to a fault are never going to be able to take this party back into relevancy.”
That isn’t the view of people such as Brian Darling, director of Senate relations at the conservative Heritage Foundation. Darling claims that by supporting Sotomayor, Graham is signaling that President Obama is “free to nominate an individual with extreme views if that nominee has an Ivy League education and some experience on the federal bench.”
Just to add some context, a new Fox poll
puts the American populace at 40 percent Democratic, 34 percent Republican and 20 percent independent, with those independents overwhelmingly approving of Obama’s job performance (54 percent approve, 36 percent disapprove, an 18-point differential.)
Overall, Obama is viewed favorably by 62 percent, with only 33 percent disapproving. Fox’s numbers for Sarah Palin, by the way, are harsh. She draws approval from 38 percent, disapproval from 51 percent. I’m pretty sure she would disagree with Graham on the Sotomayor nomination, which is why that 38 percent still likes her.
Then again, I’m also pretty sure Palin will never be a position to vote on — or more importantly, to make — such a nomination.