Lindsey Graham's depressing and disappointing admission about Thursday's Brett Kavanaugh hearing

Lindsey Graham is, to my mind, one of the five best senators in the world's greatest deliberative body. Agr...

Posted: Sep 26, 2018 12:49 PM
Updated: Sep 26, 2018 12:49 PM

Lindsey Graham is, to my mind, one of the five best senators in the world's greatest deliberative body. Agree or disagree with the South Carolina Republican, but he is transparent about his views, open to listening to views other than his, optimistic about what politics can and should do, and self aware enough to be able to laugh at himself.

Which is why what Graham said about the coming Senate Judiciary Committee hearing featuring Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school, is so disappointing.

Brett Kavanaugh

Lindsey Graham

Political Figures - US

Christine Blasey Ford

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

Misc people

Politics

Sex and gender issues

Sex crimes

Sexual assault

Society

US Congress

US Senate

Here's Graham talking to Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" about Ford and Kavanaugh:

"What am I supposed to do, go ahead and ruin this guy's life based on an accusation? I'm just being honest. Unless there's something more, no, I'm not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life over this. But she should come forward. She should have her say. She will be respectfully treated."

Just in case you wondered whether Graham might have misspoken, he emphasized that his mind was largely made up again. "I will listen, but I'm not going to play a game here and tell you this will wipe out his entire life," Graham noted. "'Cause if nothing changes, it won't with me."

Here's what Graham, one of the 11 Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee, is saying in both of those quotes: My mind is made up. Period. I'll listen to Ford tell of her alleged sexual assault but, unless she says something new about her experience with Kavanaugh, it's not going to change my mind.

That is, literally, the opposite of what we would want out of a senator sitting on the Judiciary Committee in a moment like this. Of course Graham has his views -- including a desire to help confirm the court pick of the president of his party. And, yes, there's no question that he is entitled to believe that Brett Kavanaugh -- based on his study of the judge's life and the conversations between the two men -- is not the sort of man who would do what Ford is alleging.

But, if the very people who hold in their hands -- and votes -- the power to make or break Kavanaugh's nomination are admitting publicly that almost nothing Ford says will change their mind, isn't that the sort of rank partisanship that has gotten us into this morass in the first place? Imagine if Graham had said this instead: I know Brett Kavanaugh personally and don't believe the man I know is capable of what is being alleged. That said, I will go into Thursday's hearing with an open mind. I will listen closely to what Professor Ford has to say, and I will ask questions where I deem it appropriate. Then I will make a decision about what my vote will be.

Or even if he had said exactly what Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker said to reporters on Tuesday: "I'm going to look at this openly minded on Thursday, but again, I go into it with positive feelings (toward Kavanaugh)."

The point here is this: Graham is not someone who has been an inflexible partisan in his time in the Senate. His willingness to speak out against his party (and its leaders) has repeatedly endangered him politically back home in South Carolina. But, his comments about Kavanaugh are a break from that reputation. To assume that nothing you hear -- especially when it comes to testimony from a woman speaking about an alleged sexual assault -- could possibly change your mind is the opposite of the person Graham has, largely, been in the Senate.

Which is surprising. And disappointing.

West Lafayette
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 43°
Kokomo
Overcast
42° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 37°
Rensselaer
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 32°
Fowler
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 32°
Williamsport
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 41°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
40° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 40°
Frankfort
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 41°
Delphi
Overcast
38° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 38°
Monticello
Overcast
38° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 38°
Logansport
Overcast
39° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 39°
Clearer Wednesday after some patchy morning fog
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 166564

Reported Deaths: 4194
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion26255795
Lake14627362
St. Joseph9725171
Elkhart9402142
Allen8741232
Hamilton6462117
Vanderburgh622464
Tippecanoe402416
Porter355450
Hendricks3442137
Monroe337538
Johnson3307131
Delaware314475
Clark308565
Vigo280641
Madison254796
LaPorte241464
Cass230125
Kosciusko210329
Warrick206865
Floyd188468
Howard170166
Bartholomew149058
Marshall149028
Dubois147926
Wayne145533
Grant135440
Henry134330
Boone131050
Hancock125044
Noble124535
Jackson122519
Dearborn103828
Morgan100440
Lawrence99238
Gibson95612
Clinton93516
Daviess93236
Shelby91835
Knox83910
LaGrange82815
Harrison80724
Fayette79021
Putnam78317
DeKalb78111
Posey7787
Jasper7075
Miami6905
Steuben6748
Montgomery64422
White63016
Greene58138
Adams5777
Scott55916
Decatur53339
Whitley4926
Ripley4888
Wells47311
Clay4697
Sullivan46714
Starke4608
Wabash4599
Huntington4545
Orange42525
Spencer4236
Randolph42110
Fulton3956
Washington3923
Jennings38813
Franklin38325
Perry37714
Jefferson3655
Pike36318
Jay3486
Carroll34713
Fountain3393
Tipton28523
Vermillion2761
Parke2604
Rush2544
Blackford2425
Newton24011
Owen2171
Martin2040
Pulaski1794
Crawford1651
Brown1503
Ohio1367
Union1180
Benton1110
Switzerland990
Warren921
Unassigned0236

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events