Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lindsey Graham Slanders Senate Democrats

Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat from Illinois, made an important distinction when he addressed Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch in yesterday's Judiciary Committee hearing.

"The Democrats of the Senate Judiciary Committee will extend to you a courtesy which Senate Republicans denied to Judge Garland, a respectful hearing and a vote," Durbin said.

Democrats are still fuming that the Supreme Court seat in question was "stolen" from President Obama and his nominee, Merrick Garland. Republicans refused to even meet with the centrist and unquestionably qualified Garland, let alone hold hearings on his nominationdespite there being nearly a year remaining in Obama's term when the vacancy occurred. In a maneuver without historical precedent, Mitch McConnell decided instead to bequeath the nomination "right" to the next president, not the one then holding office. Republicans, as is their wont, fell into line. So here we are.

On the matter of Obama, Garland, and, indeed, basic decency, Senator Lindsey Graham tellingly uttered that which should not be spoken in public.

"I have no doubt in my mind," said Graham, "if the shoe were on the other foot, the other side would have delayed the confirmation process until the next president were elected."

In other words, Graham justifies the McConnell maneuver by rhetorically dragging Democrats down to the of sleazy level of Republicans and sayingsee?we're all the same. But condemning Democrats thusly in his "mind" is not something the senator is allowed to do: they need to earn his condemnation, and they haven't.

Claiming on no evidence that your opponent is as despicable as you, in order to justify your own reprehensible behavior, is out of bounds.

And the Republicans' move was reprehensible; if it wasn't Graham could have just said so: no need to refer to the Democrats, and what he has "no doubt" they would do, at all. But Graham instead claimed equivalence, even though his is the only "side" that did, indeed ever did, the deed in question. Needless to say, claiming the other guys are just as bad as you are isn't something to put on your résumé.

Note that I have used derogatory words here such as "sleazy," "despicable," and "reprehensible." By contrast with the senator, my usage is quite proper, because I am referring to sleazy, despicable, and reprehensible behavior that actually did happen. See how it works?

Senator Graham and his party need to wear that despicable behavior exclusively, themselves. Leave the Democrats out of it.

Copyright (C) 2017 James Michael Brennan, All Rights Reserved

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