While Republican Senator Lindsey Graham isn’t exactly a constant favorite among conservatives, there’s no doubt that when he gets angry during a Senate confirmation hearing, he is completely in his element.
And this was certainly the case during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Tuesday when Graham clashed with Democratic committee Chairman Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois over the recidivism rates of Guantanamo detainees.
While the last several years of left-wing insanity have rather clouded this point, the approach taken by Jackson’s radical supporters toward the military prison and its terrorist inmates serves as a stark reminder that even before the Barack Obama presidency, the left was dangerously sympathetic to murderous criminals who would probably be better off dead — which is precisely the point that Graham huffily made before storming out of the chamber in disgust.
On Tuesday morning, as the New York Post reported, Graham had questioned Jackson about her time representing Guantanamo detainees as a federal public defender in Washington, D.C., and noted that a disturbing number of those previously detained at the military base often ended up going right back to their radicalized terror cells — with some even ending up in high-ranking positions in the Taliban, as we witnessed in horror when Afghanistan fell to the terror group last year.
After questioning Jackson on her judicial philosophy and asking if she considered herself an activist judge — which she flatly denied — Graham also highlighted that she was a favorite of far-left groups who consider the current conservative-majority Supreme Court to be a bunch of “right-wing nuts” who are going to “destroy America.” (0:51).
“Every group that wants to pack the court, that believes this court is a bunch of right-wing nuts who are going to destroy America, that considered the Constitution trash, all wanted you picked,” he noted of those who preferred Jackson over his favorite among Biden’s prospective picks, his fellow South Carolinian, J. Michelle Childs.
“This is all I can say: Is the fact that so many of these left-wing radical groups who would destroy the law as we know it, declared war on Michelle Childs and supported you, is problematic for me,” he added, as Jackson listened placidly, making no reply.
Graham concluded his comments at this point, only to be fact-checked by Durbin, who dryly noted several points his colleague had made that he apparently took issue with, including the recidivism rates of the Gitmo detainees.
“On the issue of Guantanamo, there are currently 39 detainees remaining. The annual budget for Guantanamo is $549 million per year,” the chairman noted. “Which means each of these detainees is being held at the expense of $12 or $13 million per year. If they were to be incarcerated in Florence, Colorado, at the SuperMax prison, federal prison, the amount would be dramatically, dramatically less.”
“Since 2009, which was the beginning of the Obama administration, the recidivism rate of Guantanamo detainees released is 5 percent,” Durbin added.
Graham interjecting, noting that if Durbin was going to comment on what he’d said, he was certainly going to reply, shot back that, according to data from the Director of National Intelligence, the rate is 31 percent.
“Somebody is wrong here,” Graham said, going on to ask Durbin if he would support “indefinite detention under the law of war for these detainees.”
Before Durbin could offer a waffling answer, Graham pointedly replied, “the answer is no.”
”The system has failed miserably, and advocates to change the system — like [Jackson] was advocating — would destroy our ability to protect this country,” he said, referring to the SCOTUS nominee.
“We’re at war, we’re not fighting a crime!” he continued hotly, as the combative personality he has a habit of channeling during confirmation hearings began to emerge.
“This is not some passage-of-time event,” he stated. “As long as they’re dangerous, I hope they all die in jail, if they’re going back and kill Americans. It won’t bother me one bit if 39 of them die in prison. That’s a better outcome than letting them go. If it costs $500 million to keep ’em in jail, keep ’em in jail, because they’re going to go back to the fight.
“Look at the friggin’ Afghan government!” Graham continued angrily. “It’s made up of former detainees at Gitmo! This whole thing by the left about this war ain’t working!”
In lieu of a mic drop, the Republican senator switched his mic off, got up, grabbed his soda, and stormed out of the room.
Lindsey Graham is certainly a disappointing mainstay of the moderate wing of the Republican Party, and reminded us all of this fact by going full war hawk earlier this month on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but when he’s right on, he’s absolutely right on, and that was certainly the case in the Senate hearing on Tuesday.
Jackson is no safe, centrist, milquetoast judge; she’s a thinly veiled activist judge who is being supported by the furthest left factions of the Democratic Party for a reason.
She has a history of advocating for leniency towards sexual predators and child pornographers and a history of defending terrorists, the kind of terrorists that the leftist who emphatically support her have argued for years are being sorely mistreated in military prison.
This is more than just about how well she can make the case that she’s not an activist judge, this is about the underlying worldview of the people who have supported her nomination.
After all, President Joe Biden was clearest that he’d pick a candidate on the basis of her gender and skin color — remember, we’re talking about the modern-day, intersectional Democratic Party that not only promulgates racial discrimination, soft-on-crime policies, and the normalization of deviant sexual abuse. Democratic leaders will die on these hills ideologically because its part of their radical postmodern, humanistic worldview.
It’s refreshing to see Graham being blunt about how absurd it all is, even if he isn’t always representative of the interests of the modern conservative movement as a whole.
Will we see more of Graham’s combative nature as the hearing continues? We’ll have to wait and see.
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