CHENEY KEEPS LOSING FRIENDS…. The bipartisan pushback against Liz Cheney’s “Keep America Safe” latest smear campaign isn’t quite finished. Some unexpected conservatives continue to denounce the attacks against Justice Department attorneys.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a member of the Senate Armed Services and Judiciary Committees, told The Cable Tuesday that the Cheney-Kristol ad was inappropriate and unfairly demonized DOJ lawyers for doing a noble public service by defending unpopular suspects.

“I’ve been a military lawyer for almost 30 years, I represented people as a defense attorney in the military that were charged with some pretty horrific acts, and I gave them my all,” said Graham. “This system of justice that we’re so proud of in America requires the unpopular to have an advocate and every time a defense lawyer fights to make the government do their job, that defense lawyer has made us all safer.” […]

“I’m with Kenneth Starr on this one,” Graham added, referring to a letter signed by several GOP lawyers, many of whom defended Bush-era detainee policies, condemning the “al Qaeda 7” ad.

So, apparently, is former Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who blasted the Cheney smear campaign in a WSJ op-ed today.

This is all of a piece, and what it is a piece of is something both shoddy and dangerous. A lawyer who represents a party in a contested matter has an ethical obligation to make any and all tenable legal arguments that will help that party.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) called the Keep America Safe attack ad “over the top and unjustified.” University of Chicago law professor Richard Epstein, one of Liz Cheney’s former teachers, called the smear “appalling.”

We seem to be approaching the point of a mainstream consensus that Cheney and Keep America Safe crossed a line of American decency that responsible figures simply aren’t supposed to cross.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.