Bench Memos

Graham: Of Edginess and Asses

Just one more thing about Lindsey Graham’s performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was calculated to lay the groundwork for today’s announcement that he is voting in favor of Judge Sotomayor: In one of his many cheap grabs for attention, Graham told firefighter Frank Ricci (after noting that Ricci was “poorly treated” but failing to say by whom, and noting that Ricci “did not get the day in court you deserve” but failing to say who tried to block his day in court):

“And I appreciate how difficult this must have been for you to bust your ass and to study so hard and — and to have it all stripped at the end.”

Charming. I’m not sure Frank Ricci and Ben Vargas, who were far more statesmanlike than Graham, appreciate that kind of empathy from the senator.

Like everything else that Graham said, this vulgar language on the dais of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee was clearly calculated to impress with its Coolness, its Informality, its Boldness, its . . . Edginess.

And now Graham is even trying to outdo His Coolness-In-Chief by voting for Sotomayor because she’s “bold” and “edgy.” Even his Coolness-In-Chief says he likes Sotomayor because she shares his liberal-activist view of the Constitution.

Graham says he disagrees with her views, but if she’s bold and edgy, put her on the Court! 

You be the judge: a responsible exercise of “advice and consent”?