Who's the big star of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court confirmation hearings? Not the judge herself, and not "the law" or "democracy." Nope, it's the humble Republican senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham. He distinguished himself with his raw candor, his enthusiastic deployment of several mild curse words, and his shrewd alliance with one of the most powerful members of his party: Meghan McCain.
In Thursday's New York Times, several respected legal scholars heaped praise on Senator Graham for his straight talk:
- Philip K. Howard, a lawyer and the founder of Common Good: "The one fresh note sounded in the hearings, at least that I’ve heard, was from Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina, who basically said: We lost the election, and President Obama gets to appoint any qualified person he wants. Sounds right to me."
- Tom Goldstein, founder of SCOTUSblog and professor at Stanford and Harvard Law Schools: "Lindsey Graham is fantastically candid. He’s honest about the conservative and liberal politics driving the process. He raises the genuine concerns conservatives have and gives Judge Sotomayor the chance to answer."
You know what else you can like about this guy? He is not afraid to say slightly naughty words in front of one his many esteemed colleagues and in fact the nation. See if you can pick out the bad word here:
"As Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein said, you have come a long way. You have worked very hard you have earned the respect of Ken Starr...and you have said some things that just bug the hell out of me," Graham declared.
The South Carolina Republican just cussed when addressing firefighter Frank Ricci. "I appreciate how difficult this must have been for you to bust your ass and study so hard" and still be turned down for a promotion, Graham said.
But if his honesty and his exciting vocabulary weren't enough to warm Americans to this folksy Southern gentleman's considerable charms, there's the fact that he's got a very important friend who will kick ... that thing Frank Ricci busted ... if anybody even thinks of messing with him. As the high-ranking Republican Meghan McCain recently tweeted, "anyone who is talking smack about Senator Lindsey Graham is going to have a problem with me as well, that man is family to me."
SO TAKE THAT, HATERS. Not that there are any Graham-haters left in America. He killed 90 percent of them with kindness, and Meghan McCain took care of the rest.