South Carolina unhappy with Graham betrayel on judges

The State:

In Washington, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham is being lauded for helping pull the U.S. Senate back from the partisan brink of a filibuster crisis.

In South Carolina, the Seneca Republican is trying to control the damage.

“The calls won’t quit, and they’re almost all against Lindsey,” state Republican Party chairman Katon Dawson said.

Dawson counted more than 900 phone calls to party headquarters in 36 hours — mostly from people who helped elevate Graham from the House to the Senate in 2002.

Graham unleashed this anger Monday night, when, as part of a bipartisan group of senators, he announced a last-minute compromise to end the Senate’s filibuster crisis.

The deal — allowing some but not all of President Bush’s most conservative and controversial judicial nominees a vote on the Senate floor — was accepted by Senate leaders.

But Cheryl Dashnaw, a Summerville housewife and active Republican, is appalled by the senator she voted for two years ago.

“He’s helping the Democrats subvert the Constitution,” she said.

As for Graham’s next election, in 2008, Dashnaw said she will “look at other options who to vote for — but it won’t be him.”

But Graham said Tuesday he expects to regain his critics’ confidence when the compromise results in more of Bush’s conservative nominees winning spots in the federal judiciary.

Underscoring his “90 percent conservative voting record,” he said he disagrees with those who would have him spurn Democrats when the good of the country requires him to work with them.

“I will fight for the conservative cause, because I believe in it,” Graham said. “I will break away when I think the country needs me to break away to find a middle ground.

“But I will not use this job to hate people. There are some people on the right and the left, (who) expect you not only to vote with them, but to hate the people they hate. Count me out.”

What is this hate talk about? It would be understandable if he were talking about the Democrat's attitude toward conservatives Republican judges. Even Howard Dean admits he hates Republicans. Why make a deal with people who hate you that screws people who like you? As Byron York points out below, the best that can be said for this deal is that it is incoherent when it comes to "extreme circumstances." It is also becoming clear that some vote swapping on the confirmation itself was part of the deal judging by the vote on Owens, and not just on cloture. Vote swapping as contemplated by this deal is anti democratic and should be illegal. Selling ones vote for any reason is unethical.


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