I hope with all my heart and soul that his colleagues in both chambers of Congress listened to and understood Senator Lindsey Graham’s thoughtful and measured words before the Judiciary Committee’s recent vote on Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court. I hope that they will recognize the statesmanlike tone and content of what Graham said. Much like Colin Powell’s brilliant remarks prior to his endorsement of Barack Obama in 2008, Graham laid out his case for confirming Kagan’s nomination in clear, precise language that few could disagree with.

But don’t think for a minute that Graham was or is throwing in the towel in opposing the president’s policies that he doesn’t agree with.  He said that except for John McCain, no one spent more time trying to beat President Obama than he did. He made it clear that Kagan was not someone he would have chosen.  But, there was meaning in Graham saying that “I’m going to vote for her because I believe the last election has consequences” that should resonate far beyond the walls of the room in which the Judiciary Committee met to question Kagan and vote on her nomination.

Graham was sending a message to his party that Democrats would be wise to heed as well. On one hand, he was merely stating the obvious fact that Republicans are the minority party. On the other, he was reminding them that the upcoming midterm elections are of paramount importance to their stated goal of overturning the policies and laws that the Obama administration has been able to implement.

Elections have consequences. Lindsey Graham clearly knows this and so should everyone else.


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