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Lindsey Graham Statement on Senate Judiciary Committee Vote on John Roberts Nomination
Senator Graham's official website ^ | September 22, 2004 | Lindsey Graham

Posted on 09/23/2005 8:36:07 AM PDT by YaYa123

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. One, I hope Senator Feingold has a long life and he sees many Supreme Court justices come and go. If I can do what my predecessor did, Senator Feingold, I have 50 more years to serve. (LAUGHTER) So this court will flip over four or five times. And I'm going to miss most of you all, by the way. (LAUGHTER)

Senator Biden gave me some good advice when I first came to the Senate. He was gracious enough to come down and speak at Senator Thurmond's funeral upon his passing. And I really do like Senator Biden a lot. He said, "Don't ever question a senator's motive. You can argue with their result, you can disagree with how they vote, but don't question their motive." You know, that's great advice. I am going to adopt that advice. I think that if you vote differently than I do, I don't question your motives.

But I'll make an observation, too, for the long view of things, because I think Russ is on to something here. What we do here today is definitely going to affect the future.

Just for a point of observation, Breyer and Ginsburg and Scalia, I've been told, were reported out of the committee unanimously. Well, that's not going to happen today with Judge Roberts, but I'm not questioning anyone's motives. It's just a fact.

I think people have articulated very heart-felt reasons for voting no and yes. And we're already talking about the next nominee in code. Senator Kohl, who voted yes, is talking about the balance of the court with O'Connor. Senator Feingold has mentioned he may not be too receptive to Justice Brown. I can understand that; that's the way this situation is in 2005.

But this is my first -- hopefully of many -- Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Mr. Chairman, and I think you've done an excellent job.

Senator Leahy, I think you've done an excellent job as the ranking member. I've been very proud of the committee. I've at times refused to come over here because I hated to come, because we'd argue about what time it is. I think the committee distinguished itself very well, I really do. I think the questions were hard, they were probing. And, generally speaking, I think the committee did well.

The mystery is gone: I will vote for Judge Roberts. I'm sure everybody was hanging on whether that would happen. (LAUGHTER) But the reason I'm going to vote for him is because I believe that the president does enjoy some deference here. That's what this debate is about right now: the role of the president versus the Senate.

Senator Kennedy has articulated what he thought the central issue of the hearing was at the beginning and he concluded with his view of the central issue as whether or not the nominee would roll back certain progress that he's seen in the law.

I started out the central issue being whether or not the Senate will allow the president, President Bush, to fulfill a campaign promise he made to the American people, and that is to nominate a well-qualified strict constructionist to the court. Two different views of what the Senate should be doing.

He will get confirmed, thanks to people like Senator Kohl and Feingold and Senator Leahy and others. People who vote their conscience against him, they're doing what they think is right. But that is a basic issue the country needs to come to grips with.

Senator Reid, when he was indicating that he would vote no, made a statement: "The president is not entitled to very much deference in staffing the third branch of government, the judiciary." And The Washington Post wrote an editorial called, "Words That Will Haunt."

I just want to, if I can, in a few minutes, talk about where we're going from here. He's going to be confirmed but the vote totals are going to be fairly dramatically different than they were with Ginsburg, Scalia and Breyer.

If you get away from the qualifications, intelligence and character test, which I think had to be in play there, you're setting up a scenario that could haunt us all.

If we're going to start looking at people's hearts, that is a very subjective thing to do. Justice Ginsburg -- her writings, as Senator Grassley said, "I admire him for voting because she is qualified but from a conservative's point of view, her view of politics and her writings and the role she played in the law was very hard to swallow."

I would just say that one of the attacks on Judge Roberts was that he was a legal genius, well-qualified, intellectually gifted, but we didn't know if he had the worldness of judging others; that he was qualified to really sit in judgment at that level. We're questioning whether or not he's lived his life right.

Well, one could argue that if you're for a constitutional right of prostitution, those of us who have been in the criminal law as prosecutors and defense attorneys would probably come out different; that prostitution's not a good business endeavor, that those women who find themselves in the world of prostitution live in hell. We could start questioning whether or not someone who believed in that view of a constitutional right really was connected to the real world as I see it. But, you know, the real world as Lindsey Graham sees it is -- I'm glad you don't adopt it. It would be a very boring place for the country.

We all have different value systems and we all have different hot-button items. If we start judging the nominee on, "Will you show allegiance to what I think is most important in the country?" then we're going to politicize the process to the point that I think the role of the president has been dramatically changed and undermined. Woe be on to those judges who have to figure out how to navigate our value systems, our beliefs and show allegiance to our heart.

That is a standard I would not want to put on any of you. It's not a standard I want to put on anyone who's going to follow.

So there is a fundamental shift in this nomination to, I think, what the standard has been in the past to what it will be in the future. I have a little bit of concern about that. Actually, I have a lot of concern.

The reasons to vote no, while I respect those reasons, have been very subjective. They've been around a case or a concept that you find so important that that's going to be the end of the discussion.

I would just urge this committee, as we go to the next debate, to remember that Scalia was obviously conservative. There's no way Roberts is more conservative than Scalia. There's no way that Roberts is more challenging and in-you-face than Scalia in his writings. Scalia got 98 votes. Now what's happened? Ginsberg got 96 votes. What's going on?

I think Senator Grassley put his finger on it: There's a lot of pressure on us all. This is the easiest vote a Republican will ever make. This is so easy for us to vote for Roberts.

It is not easy for you, Russ. I know you are a prominent player in the Democratic Party. This is not easy for Senator Leahy. It is not easy for Senator Kohl. It will not be easy for those who choose to side with Roberts because they're trying to drive down the vote numbers because of the next person to come.

Senator Grassley, you're right: Politics is rearing its head like it has not done before. But here's what I worry about, sir: Our day will come. There will be a Democratic president, probably in my lifetime. (LAUGHTER) The pressure that they're feeling, we're going to feel.

The compromise -- Senator DeWine and I felt a little bit of pressure -- if we could look at the person before us based on qualifications, character and integrity and not require them to show an allegiance to a particular case or a cause, it would serve the country well. Because liberals and conservatives come and go, but the rule of law is bigger than all of our philosophies.

The rule of law is about the process. If you want the law to be outcome-determinative, then the process has been cheapened.

The good thing about the law, Mr. Chairman, is that the conservative and liberal philosophy and agenda is parked at the courthouse door and we're judged by facts and what people did before us.

There needs to be one place left in American discourse and politics for the quietness of the merits of individuals to trump the loudness of special interest groups. The last place I know of is the courtroom.

The reason that I think Justice Roberts will be a justice for the ages -- he's probably the most qualified guy, top two or three people in the history of the nation -- is that he believes beyond anything else that the rule of law is for the unpopular cause, is for the quiet discussion not the loud political campaign, and that he believes deep down and loves the law more than he loves politics.

That's all you can ask of anybody that comes through our gatekeeping here: Will you adhere to the law more than you'll adhere to anyone's political philosophy?

The president has chosen well.

Mr. President, you have done a good service to this nation by choosing someone of such intellect and character who will serve this nation for a long period of time.

You have another choice awaiting you. Listen to our Democratic colleagues. Listen to what we have to say. But at the end of the day, ask you to do one thing for the good of your presidency and all to follow: Fulfill your campaign promise of selecting a strict constructionist, well-qualified person who loves the law more than they love politics.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: South Carolina
KEYWORDS: 109th; judgeroberts; lindseygraham; nomination; robertshearings
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1 posted on 09/23/2005 8:36:09 AM PDT by YaYa123
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To: YaYa123

I heard it live.

This is one of the best speeches I've heard anyone make about this matter in a long time.


2 posted on 09/23/2005 8:37:36 AM PDT by nuffsenuff (Don't get stuck on Stupid - General Russ Honore Sept 21, 2005)
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To: YaYa123

Some people have been thrashing Lindsey because he goes off the reservation. I look for him to give big support to the next nominee.


3 posted on 09/23/2005 8:40:05 AM PDT by doug from upland (Doug from Upland - FR troublemaker since 5/97)
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To: nuffsenuff; TexasGreg; StarFan; McGruff; leadpenny; Howlin; Peach; meema; SuzanneC

nuffsenuff, I agree! Graham's speech was superb. He put the democrats to shame, he challenged the republicans, and it seemed to me, he spoke great truths about the process.

I hope folks who didn't get the chance to see Graham deliver his powerful speech, will take the time to read it.


4 posted on 09/23/2005 8:41:40 AM PDT by YaYa123 (@ God Bless President Bush As the MSM and Democrats Seek To Destroy Him.com)
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To: Carolinamom; Peach


Lindsey at his best!


5 posted on 09/23/2005 8:43:44 AM PDT by onyx ((Vicksburg, MS) North is a direction. South is a way of life.)
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To: doug from upland

I'm almost a perpetual Lindsey basher, that's why I wanted to be the one to post and praise his speech.


6 posted on 09/23/2005 8:43:45 AM PDT by YaYa123 (@ God Bless President Bush As the MSM and Democrats Seek To Destroy Him.com)
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To: YaYa123
And I really do like Senator Biden a lot. He said, "Don't ever question a senator's motive.

These are the type of words spoken by someone who has something to hide.

7 posted on 09/23/2005 8:45:00 AM PDT by TravisBickle
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To: YaYa123

Graham has innoculated himself for a future seat on the SCOTUS.


8 posted on 09/23/2005 8:50:09 AM PDT by CROSSHIGHWAYMAN
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To: YaYa123
I too have been a Lindsey detractor, after his speech and solid support, I feel humbled and a bit ashamed.

Lindsey, for what it is worth, I salute you.

9 posted on 09/23/2005 8:54:46 AM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: TravisBickle

I see you couldn't pass up an opportunity to trash Lindsey while all other posters are giving him praise for his remarks.


10 posted on 09/23/2005 9:08:20 AM PDT by GOP
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To: YaYa123

He just delivered a black eye and bloody nose to all of those that have already declared the would vote no.

Based on the principles of Law by voting no they have clearly made their motive known.

Without openly questioning their motives Lindsey Gram has exposed them for the world to see.

This process "Law" is greater than politics and those who would rule by politics rather than Law are not believers in our Constitution and what it represents.


11 posted on 09/23/2005 9:08:29 AM PDT by kentj
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To: GOP

No, I didn't mean Senator Graham's remarks. I meant the Biden quote.


12 posted on 09/23/2005 9:11:01 AM PDT by TravisBickle
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To: YaYa123
"That's all you can ask of anybody that comes through our gatekeeping here:.....................
Will you adhere to the law more than you'll adhere to anyone's political philosophy?"

13 posted on 09/23/2005 9:12:21 AM PDT by prognostigaator
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To: YaYa123

I join those on this thread who have bashed Lindsey Graham in the past (and may again), but he is very smart and very articulate, and this was an excellent speech. It should put people like Kennedy and Durbin and Schumer to shame (but that's impossible since they have no shame.)


14 posted on 09/23/2005 9:16:16 AM PDT by Malesherbes
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To: GOP

I had to go back and read the comment of TravisBickle to understand he was commenting on Biden's secrets, not Graham's.


15 posted on 09/23/2005 9:17:36 AM PDT by YaYa123 (@ God Bless President Bush As the MSM and Democrats Seek To Destroy Him.com)
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To: TravisBickle; YaYa123
And I really do like Senator Biden a lot. He said, "Don't ever question a senator's motive."

Can you question if the Senator actually said or wrote it? Or if he's PLAGARIZING again?

And if he's plagarizing again...can you question his motives THEN?!

16 posted on 09/23/2005 9:18:53 AM PDT by Itzlzha ("The avalanche has already started...it is too late for the pebbles to vote")
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To: YaYa123

Thank you Senator Graham.


17 posted on 09/23/2005 9:23:33 AM PDT by moose2004 (You Can Run But You Can't Hide!)
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To: YaYa123; Peach; Mo1
Senatorial rules of decorum aside, I sure as hell can question motives of how Senators vote and it's time the Pubs did too.

Politics is rearing its head like it has not done before. But here's what I worry about, sir: Our day will come. There will be a Democratic president, probably in my lifetime. (LAUGHTER) The pressure that they're feeling, we're going to feel

Unfortunately, Pubs have too often demonstrated their response to pressure is to roll over.

All that said, there are good things in this speech, so I'll give Graham hat-tips where deserved. ping.

18 posted on 09/23/2005 9:24:48 AM PDT by prairiebreeze (Judge Roberts will soon be Chief Justice Roberts. The RATS lose again.)
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To: YaYa123
There will be a Democratic president, probably in my lifetime. (LAUGHTER)

I fail to see the humor.

19 posted on 09/23/2005 9:25:05 AM PDT by Jim_Curtis (How do we prevent someone from torching his city if he will be rewarded as a lottery winner?)
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To: YaYa123
I guess it was awkward the way it was written. In fact, it looks like Graham has made kind of a gentle stab at the Democrats by throwing out Biden's quote.

But I think it also goes to show how the Senate has an inherent arrogance.

20 posted on 09/23/2005 9:25:24 AM PDT by TravisBickle
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To: TravisBickle

Then I am truly sorry.


21 posted on 09/23/2005 9:27:41 AM PDT by GOP
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To: YaYa123

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to read this speech. He makes his point well.


22 posted on 09/23/2005 10:06:43 AM PDT by SuzanneC
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To: YaYa123

If the Dems dare filabuster the next nominee..Graham will be the one leading the charge for the nuclear option..


23 posted on 09/23/2005 10:10:43 AM PDT by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to pass on her gene pool....any volunteers?)
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To: ken5050

I needed a Gang of 14 reminder:

Republicans
John McCain of Arizona,
Mike DeWine of Ohio,
John Warner of Virginia,
Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine,
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island;

Democrats
Robert Byrd of West Virginia,
Ken Salazar of Colorado,
Ben Nelson of Nebraska,
Mark Pryor of Arkansas,
Daniel Inouye of Hawaii,
Mary Landrieu of Louisiana
Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.


24 posted on 09/23/2005 10:34:54 AM PDT by YaYa123 (@ God Bless President Bush As the MSM and Democrats Seek To Destroy Him.com)
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To: YaYa123

Good point..remember..you'd need FIVE of the Dems to go against the filabuster..Pryor won't, nor Nelson..theyr'e from red states.. neither will Landrieu now, after the hurricane..and I don't think Sheets will now either..unless he decided NOT to run again..Inouye will vote to filabuster..so it comes down to Lieberman and/or Salazar...


25 posted on 09/23/2005 10:41:42 AM PDT by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to pass on her gene pool....any volunteers?)
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To: ken5050

Excellent! When Lindsey is not around John McCain, he's true to his SC roots and constituents. I hope he keeps on being this clear headed.


26 posted on 09/23/2005 10:46:00 AM PDT by Carolinamom (Life is a journey, not a destination.)
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To: YaYa123
My only problem with the senator's remarks;
I have 50 more years to serve.

This cuts across party lines.Do a few terms and let someone else take over.We need to eliminate the salaries,pensions,and benefits for our elected officials.Soon,older Americans will be getting their SS benefits reduced,but the ex-government officials will be living large,This is not right.

The argument about "recruiting qualified people",or "being competitive with the private sector" is hogwash.If there were anything to that argument,we would have an all-star government,instead of the malange of demogogues and pimps that current sit in congress.

Government service used to mean giving up some salary and benefits for job security(talking non-elected now).Anecdotally,I know a woman who serves on the local utility board,that pays $150/month.OK.But I Just found out that if she is elected for a second term,she gets health insurance for life.!

27 posted on 09/23/2005 10:49:12 AM PDT by kennyo
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This debate is about the role of the president versus the Senate.
Senator Kennedy['s] view of the central issue [is] whether or not the nominee would roll back certain progress that he's seen in the law.
[For me] the central issue [is] whether or not the Senate will allow the president to nominate a well-qualified strict constructionist to the court. Two different views of what the Senate should be doing.

If Uncle Teddy had a conscience, that would hurt.

The rule of law is about the process. If you want the law to be outcome-determinative, then the process has been cheapened.

There needs to be one place left in American discourse and politics for the quietness of the merits of individuals to trump the loudness of special interest groups. The last place I know of is the courtroom.

And even that isn't a sure thing by a long ways.

That's all you can ask of anybody that comes through our gatekeeping here: Will you adhere to the law more than you'll adhere to anyone's political philosophy?

Graham made some good remarks. I would disagree with his schmoozing about how well the Committee handled itself, however.

28 posted on 09/23/2005 10:54:30 AM PDT by GretchenM (Hooked on porn and hating it? Visit http://www.theophostic.com .)
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To: kennyo

The transcript didn't show it, but Graham started his speech with a really funny ad lib. One of the other senators had said something about not getting to make this important vote very often, and he wanted to get it right. Graham said something about South Carolina senators living a long time, (Strom Thurmond), then Graham said he hoped to pick many, many other supreme court justices, and he told the other senators, "and I'm going to miss you guys."


Just wanted you to know Graham wasn't making a serious comment about staying too long in the senate.


29 posted on 09/23/2005 11:41:04 AM PDT by YaYa123 (@ God Bless President Bush As the MSM and Democrats Seek To Destroy Him.com)
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To: kennyo

well, it did show the ad lib, just not the full flavor of Graham's good humor.


30 posted on 09/23/2005 11:43:25 AM PDT by YaYa123 (@ God Bless President Bush As the MSM and Democrats Seek To Destroy Him.com)
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To: Borax Queen; sweetliberty
Because liberals and conservatives come and go, but the rule of law is bigger than all of our philosophies. The rule of law is about the process. If you want the law to be outcome-determinative, then the process has been cheapened.

Great speech...I especially liked the above...it should apply to many other issues within America, as well.

31 posted on 09/23/2005 11:54:50 AM PDT by nicmarlo
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To: nicmarlo

ty! will read later :)


32 posted on 09/23/2005 11:56:02 AM PDT by Borax Queen
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To: Borax Queen

yw


33 posted on 09/23/2005 11:56:25 AM PDT by nicmarlo
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To: YaYa123
[ And I really do like Senator Biden a lot. He said, "Don't ever question a senator's motive. You can argue with their result, you can disagree with how they vote, but don't question their motive. ]

Linseys wrong... The Modus Operanti or motive.. is the lynch pin.. of a politicians character.. Judgeing character is not one of Linseys strong points.. Biden is a whore first, and a liar second.. Motive is very important..

34 posted on 09/23/2005 12:28:04 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been ok'ed by me to included some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: YaYa123

Was he reading a prepared speech or was he winging it?


35 posted on 09/23/2005 5:09:17 PM PDT by StarFan
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To: StarFan

Graham definitely has a special gift. He's reading a beautifully crafted speech, delivering it so naturally, so comfortably with ad libs and wry humor, you'd swear he was speaking off the cuff, from the heart.


36 posted on 09/23/2005 5:30:04 PM PDT by YaYa123 (@ God Bless President Bush As the MSM and Democrats Seek To Destroy Him.com)
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To: YaYa123; 2A Patriot; 2nd amendment mama; 4everontheRight; 77Jimmy; Abbeville Conservative; ...

South Carolina Ping

Add me to the ping list. Remove me from the ping list.

37 posted on 09/23/2005 6:29:56 PM PDT by SC Swamp Fox (Aim small, miss small.)
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To: SC Swamp Fox

He did good today.


38 posted on 09/23/2005 6:46:03 PM PDT by Howlin (Yeah, I'm a BushBot.....so what?)
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To: SC Swamp Fox

Thanks fox. Yes, Graham gave a great speech. Looking forward to one more good selection, and heck, the Dems can have the White House........just kidding.


39 posted on 09/23/2005 7:06:11 PM PDT by MACVSOG68
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To: ken5050
If the Dems dare filabuster the next nominee..Graham will be the one leading the charge for the nuclear option..

Graham is the one who led the compromise with the Dems. He is NOT a statesman. He is a lightweight trying to join the ranks of the heavyweights in the Senate. He is not going to make it with speeches like this one. His compromise with the Dems on the previous nominees still makes me sick, and I doubt very much he'll be a "leader" in fighting the filibuster that is sure to come on the next nominee.

The bottom line is the Republicans ARE going to shape this court to their philosophy. Thats what a majority does. The problem here is the Repubs haven't been a majority long enough to fight for their position. The Dems were the majority for a very long time, and they were so because they learned how to fight dirty to stay in power. These dipsh_t Republicans from the South, whose daddies were all Democrats, haven't really decided which party they want to be in.

40 posted on 09/23/2005 7:29:25 PM PDT by khenrich (Hillary is changing her colors. She's a chameleon. No, she's a liberal.)
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To: khenrich
These dipsh_t Republicans from the South, whose daddies were all Democrats, haven't really decided which party they want to be in.


41 posted on 09/23/2005 7:43:43 PM PDT by wimpycat (Hyperbole is the opiate of the activist wacko.)
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To: ncountylee
I too have been a Lindsey detractor, after his speech and solid support, I feel humbled and a bit ashamed.

Lindsey, for what it is worth, I salute you.


I too was very angry over the deal the "dirty" 14 made. However, about a month ago Hannity interviewed him on his radio show. Lindsey explained specifically that that deal made it impossible for the dims to filibuster any of the President's nominees for the SC. After that interview I was very insured that Lindsey had made a good choice to make sure no filibustering is possible without huge backlashes for the dims, and they know it!!!
42 posted on 09/23/2005 8:47:46 PM PDT by danamco
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To: YaYa123

That is an excellent statement by Senator Lindsey Graham.


43 posted on 09/23/2005 8:52:32 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Malesherbes
It should put people like Kennedy and Durbin and Schumer to shame (but that's impossible since they have no shame.)


Shame??? These kind of leftist have absolutely no shame. Durbin on the Senate floor comparing our troops with Nazis, etc. Kennedy after Chappaquiddick!??! Are you kidding???
44 posted on 09/23/2005 8:53:47 PM PDT by danamco
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To: khenrich

we shall see.....until then


45 posted on 09/24/2005 1:00:21 AM PDT by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to pass on her gene pool....any volunteers?)
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To: CROSSHIGHWAYMAN
Graham has innoculated himself for a future seat on the SCOTUS

SCOTUS isn't his element. He's a trial attorney and a showman, not a behind-the-scenes scholar. If he can't be president, he wants to be governor of South Carolina, where he can draw the media and crowds.

This is a vintage Lindsey Graham closing argument. I've heard him do it in court to great effect. He disarms his opponents, makes them feel at ease,then proceeds to eviscerate their points and leaves only his own standing. He's the best I have ever witnessed at it.

I don't know how many FReepers know it, but Lindsey is already a judge. He is reserve Air Force colonel assigned as a back-up judge on the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals. I think that probably about as much judging as he's ever going to want to do. That's my guess anyway.

46 posted on 09/24/2005 1:14:40 AM PDT by JCEccles
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To: ken5050

If the Dems dare filabuster the next nominee..Graham will be the one leading the charge for the nuclear option..


forgive the lack of caps but i'm typing in the dark while watching the rita news....

good speech...after all he is a politician, but i dont trust him after he joined mcblame and the gang of 14. mr bush's next pick will be to the right of roberts (i hope)lets see how Mr. Graham does when the going gets tough.

I doubt he will vote nuclear, perhaps?


47 posted on 09/24/2005 1:17:04 AM PDT by JohnD9207 (Lead...follow...or get the HELL out of the way!)
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To: YaYa123

bttt


48 posted on 09/24/2005 1:24:32 AM PDT by nopardons
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To: YaYa123
I hope folks who didn't get the chance to see Graham deliver his powerful speech, will take the time to read it.

I did not see Grahm's speech live. Thank you for posting it, I agree that it was superb. Everyone needs to read this in it's entirety. Should also be posted in all govenment classes.

49 posted on 09/24/2005 1:43:01 AM PDT by Irish Eyes
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To: YaYa123
I hope folks who didn't get the chance to see Graham
deliver his powerful speech, will take the time to read it.

Just did.

Outstanding!

Thanks.

50 posted on 09/24/2005 1:49:27 AM PDT by leadpenny
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