Lindsey Graham: South Carolina’s Missing Senator

From the diaries by Erick.

Lindsey Graham is listed as on official member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to the Committee’s website, but when the Committee does business on Thursday mornings, Graham is conspicuously absent.  Insiders have indicated to me that this is beginning to aggravate the other Republicans on the Committee.

After Snarlin Arlen switched parties, the Democrats advantage on the Committee became overwhelming (12-7 margin), so Republicans need all the help they can get.  At least at the staff level, a number of Republicans believe that Graham needs to go.  One Committee Republican told me: “the Democrats have a dedicated group of true believers.  We have three Members heavily involved in health care and Graham is not one of them.  He could at least show up and pretend to be interested in helping Republicans.”

How bad is Graham’s attendance?  The Committee meets practically every Thursday morning.  Graham has attended only 5 meetings this year.  Al Franken, who joined the Committee in late July, has already attended 7 meetings.  Graham has attended only 2 meetings since Franken joined the Committee and he did not do Republicans any favors in one of those.  On July 28, he showed up to tell the other six Republicans that elections matter and that he was casting his vote for Sonya Sotomayor to be the next Justice on the United States Supreme Court.  If Graham had had the courage to vote no and had not basically gone down and kissed Sotomayor during her confirmation hearing, perhaps Republicans could have put up a better fight.

Republicans on the Committee refer to Graham as the “worthless” member.  One senior republican aide told me “his primary purpose appears to be cosponsoring democrat legislation that the rest of the Republicans oppose. Graham is the Ranking Member on the Crime and Drugs Subcommittee.  When the Subcommittee has hearings, Graham does not show up for those hearings and his staff is always asking for other members to serve as Ranking.”

In the environment Republicans are in, they could use some support.  They are apparently not getting any from Lindsey Graham.  The people of South Carolina deserve better.  Perhaps if the news gets out, they will call Graham and tell him to at least pretend to be interested in helping his fellow colleagues.  Graham certainly does not have a problem helping Obama.