Capping off a day of unusual candor, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) explained to right-wing affirmative action opponent Linda Chavez, a witness at today’s Sotomayor confirmation hearings, that Republicans routinely make hiring decisions on the basis of race. According to Graham, “politics is politics in the sense that I know that Republicans sit down and think, ‘ok, we’ve got some power now. Let’s make sure that we let the whole country know the Republican party is not just a party of short white guys.’” And then, in a comment perhaps reflecting why Graham is supporting Sotomayor, he added:
What I want to tell the country is that Republicans very much do sit down and think about political picks and appointments in a political sense to try to show that we’re a party that looks at all Americans and wants to give an opportunity. And that’s just life. And that’s not a bad thing.
Graham’s comments come after a surprisingly friendly exchange between himself and Sotomayor in which he told her that he believes that she is “not an activist.” In other words, it seems very likely that Graham will vote to put Sotomayor on the Supreme Court.