Thursday, November 12, 2009

Graham Crackers

It’s not often that I will sympathize with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); it’s hard to disassociate him from the image of the sycophantic toady to the higher powers in the GOP he created for himself when he was a Congressman and helped manage the impeachment of President Clinton, and last year during the presidential campaign he swooned over Sen. McCain like a gaga teen over the Jonas Brothers. But he’s also surprised us with his attempts to tamp down the crazier of the far-right base, including a notable confrontation with some at a town hall meeting last month, and his mockery of Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly. Now he’s in trouble with some of his fellow Republicans back home.

The Charleston County Republican Party’s executive committee took the unusual step Monday night of censuring U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham for stepping across the GOP party line.

County Chairwoman Lin Bennett said the unanimous vote “is an effort to get his attention. They (party leaders) are just fed up, and they want him to know they’re fed up.”

The resolution mentions Graham’s cooperation with U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., on a bipartisan energy bill, and his support for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program and the time he called some opponents of immigration reform “bigots.”

“U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham — in the name of bipartisanship — continues to weaken the Republican brand and tarnish the ideals of freedom, rule of law, and fiscal conservatism,” the resolution reads.

Bennett said the resolution passed unanimously by a voice vote among about 50 of the party’s 104 executive committee members.

She said party faithful have talked about the resolution for a while. “The feeling is if you’re not going to uphold the platform, then why bother to run as a Republican?” she said.

It kind of takes the wind out of the sails of those Republicans who have been weeping and crying about the lack of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill; look what happens when one of their own tries to make an attempt at it.

It’s also ironic that for all the carrying on about how much President Obama is a socialist dictator (or is it Fascist this week?), the Charleston County Republicans demand that Mr. Graham toe the party line with vitriolic language that sounds like it comes right out of the pages of Granma in Havana.

It must be lonely for Sen. Graham to be perceived as the voice of reason and bipartisanship in the GOP and get in trouble for it. Maybe he and Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA), the only Republican to vote for the healthcare bill in the House, could start a club after they get purged.