How Lindsey Graham Single-Handedly Saved Kavanaugh’s Confirmation

How Lindsey Graham Single-Handedly Saved Kavanaugh’s Confirmation

His powerhouse speech not only supported Kavanaugh and not only scolded Democrats; he rallied his Republican colleagues behind the nominee.
Joseph A. Wulfsohn
By

Most people who watched Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony last week were emotionally impacted. No matter where you fall on the political scale, she tugged at your heartstrings. She came off as compelling and authentic and you truly believe she went through a traumatic experience.

Although her allegation against Judge Brett Kavanaugh has no date, location, or corroborating witnesses, Ford controlled the narrative after her testimony with the help of Democrats, who have weaponized the #MeToo movement, and the media eager to prevent President Trump from filling the vacant Supreme Court seat.

Kavanaugh had the facts on his side, yet he still had an uphill battle to convince America that he didn’t sexually assault Ford in his testimony. His critics ripped him for being “angry.” Frankly, if you were wrongfully accused of being an attempted rapist, you’d probably be livid. Kavanaugh was clearly frustrated and distraught by the smear campaign that was orchestrated by the Democrats. And he too seemed believable.

However, was his testimony alone enough to save his confirmation? The jury is still out on that one.

Thankfully, he had one advocate in the Senate Judiciary Committee that perhaps did more to keep Kavanaugh’s confirmation alive than Kavanaugh himself: Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.

All of the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee were widely supportive of the nominee, but it was Graham who really gave a game-changing speech.

He began by calling out Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for announcing 23 minutes after Trump nominated Kavanaugh that he would oppose the nominee with “everything I have,” along with laying out the timeline of the Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who he pointed out sat on Ford’s letter for more than 20 days, and whose staff had recommended a lawyer to Ford before she interviewed Kavanaugh. Then Graham released the inner beast.

“If you wanted an FBI investigation, you could have come to us!” Graham told Democrats. “What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open and hope you win in 2020. You’ve said that, not me.”

It’s obvious that’s what their intention was. Why else would they harp on the scope of the FBI investigation Trump had ordered to look into Ford’s allegation?  They want to delay this confirmation long enough that if Democrats defy the odds and take both the House and the Senate, they will be able to block the president from filling the SCOTUS seat.

“When you see Sotomayor and Kagan, tell them that Lindsey said hello because I voted for them,” Graham said to Kavanaugh. He turned back to Democrats, “I would never do to them what you’ve done to this guy. This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics. And if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you’ve done to this guy.”

His shaming of Democrats continued.

“Boy, you all want power. God, I hope you never get it,” Graham scorned his liberal colleagues. “I hope the American people can see through this sham. That you knew about it and you held it. You had no intention of protecting Dr. Ford; none.”

Graham then delved into the absurdity that he was supposed to be Bill Cosby” when he was in high school and college and how he suddenly got “over it” as an adult.

He also offered kind words to Kavanaugh.

“Here’s my understanding, if you lived a good life people would recognize it, like the American Bar Association has, the gold standard. His integrity is absolutely unquestioned. He is very circumspect in his personal conduct, harbors no biases or prejudices. He’s entirely ethical, is a really decent person. He is warm, friendly, unassuming. He’s the nicest person — the ABA,” Graham continued. “The one thing I can tell you should be proud of — Ashley, you should be proud of this — that you raised a daughter who had the good character to pray for Dr. Ford.”

It wasn’t until the end where he really unleashed his anger. But it wasn’t aimed at Democrats or the media … it was aimed at Republicans. “To my Republican colleagues, if you vote no, you’re legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics,” Graham warned.

That was a message directed at the wildcards among the GOP; Sens. Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. It was meant to shame them for even considering voting with the Democrats to block Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Fortunately for Kavanaugh, he made it over the first hurdle with the committee vote.

There was obviously some ire expressed towards Flake for calling for a one-week delay on the Senate vote in order for the FBI to squeeze in its investigation. Some may say that allowing another delay and an investigation was “caving” to the Democrats, but perhaps Flake did Kavanaugh a favor by giving cover to not just Collins and Murkowski, who might have derailed the confirmation anyway. It also gives cover to red state Democrats like Sens. Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp, and maybe even Joe Donnelly.

If one more week guarantees at least 51 votes in the Senate, then perhaps this FBI probe is necessary. Because unless investigators uncover long-lost witnesses that can finally corroborate Ford’s allegation, Kavanaugh’s confirmation is inevitable.

Conservatives owe a debt of gratitude to Graham. His powerhouse speech not only supported Kavanaugh and not only scolded Democrats; he rallied his Republican colleagues behind the nominee. The case can be made that if it weren’t for Graham, Kavanaugh’s confirmation would have been in jeopardy.

Graham gave the speech of his career and will define his legacy among the American right. He will forever be known as the man who helped pave the way to a conservative-controlled Supreme Court for an entire generation.

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