Drawing distinctions

DRAWING DISTINCTIONS…. As Hilzoy noted overnight, Eric Holder was confirmed late yesterday as the new Attorney General. We’d heard a lot of bluster from the right about this nomination since it was announced eight weeks ago, but in the end, the best Holder’s Republican detractors could come up with was his obviously accurate assessment that waterboarding is torture.

The final vote on Holder was 75 to 21, which isn’t especially close. Take a look at the breakdown and notice those who voted against confirmation — those are 21 conservative Republicans who are likely going to vote against the Obama administration on just about everything.

Meanwhile, Mark Nickolas raises an interesting observation. Most of the Obama cabinet officials who’ve already been confirmed have been approved by voice vote. Three — Holder, Hillary Clinton, and Tim Geithner — won roll-call votes with bipartisan majorities.

Six Republicans have voted for all three nominees, and two Republicans have voted against all three. Care to guess which members are in which group?

The answers after the jump.

Sens. Bob Corker (Tenn.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Judd Gregg (N.H.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Olympia Snowe (Maine), and George Voinovich (Ohio) voted for all three Obama nominees. Of the six, Snowe was probably the only obvious one, and a few of these are surprises, especially Corker, who’s pretty conservative.

And who’s voted against Holder, Clinton, and Geithner? Just Sens. David Vitter (La.) and Jim DeMint (S.C.).

Not too surprising.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.