Lindsey Graham: We've Got the Votes to Confirm, and It's Happening Before the Election

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

 

Lindsey Graham put out a statement earlier regarding the open Supreme Court seat the Republicans are currently looking to fill. He cited the treatment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh back in 2018 while also confirming that he supports moving forward this time around. But it was later in the evening on Sean Hannity’s show that he really made news.

Graham announced not only that hearings will be held, but that the GOP already has the votes lined up to confirm whoever the nominee is.

This is big news which was largely confirmed by commitments made by Corey Gardner and Chuck Grassley that they support hearings and a vote. Given Gardner is in a tough election, there’s no doubt he’s ultimately going to vote to confirm. Grassley was never much of a question either, though it was good to see him put down the rumors early.

Surprisingly, Mitt Romney might even be on board.

If there’s any truth to that, this thing is over before it has even began. Yes, there’s still hearings to come up, and yes Democrats are going to smear whoever the nominee is, but it’s hard to imagine them landing enough shots on someone like Amy Coney Barrett to derail her confirmation. Romney, for all his flaws, will almost certainly not blow his entire political career up, including what legacy he may have left, just to side with Democrats here. Impeachment was a different situation, though no less inexcusable.

That Graham is willing to make this statement so soon bodes very well for the coming weeks. The fact that Trump is waiting until Friday to nominate also gives an air of confidence that this is going to happen, one way or the other.

Now, to be sure, Democrats are still going to throw everything they’ve got at the wall. There will be riots, there will be baseless accusations, and there will be lots of teeth gnashed. Republicans just need to ignore it and keep their eye on the ball. This time, they have more cushion compared to Kavanaugh’s confirmation. There is no Jeff Flake that can attempt to blow up everything after a tearful encounter in an elevator. Even if Romney flips, Republicans still have the votes because VP Mike Pence breaks the tie.

It is still disappointing that political cowards like Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins so quickly waved the white flag when the other side held zero leverage, but that’s par for the course for them. Whether Collins wins or loses in November is no longer a concern of mine. She’s gone too far this time, and I do not find the “but she votes with the GOP 70% of the time” talking point very persuasive anymore. On the biggest issues, she’s completely unreliable. At the very least, she could have just stayed quiet and let Mitch McConnell work here. Instead, she interjected herself before the nominee was even chosen.

In the end, if Trump gets this done, it’ll be an incredible capstone to his first term. If Graham is right, it’s going to happen.

(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)