Gang of 14 still rides

Graham provides model of what
parties should be, but are not

By Brad Warthen
Editorial Page Editor
THERE’S something reassuring about sitting and talking with a U.S. senator and thinking, “This guy is smarter than I am.”
    Even better thoughts: “He’s smarter than most other senators, and the nation sees that. And he represents South Carolina.”
Lindsey1_1    Lindsey Graham makes us all look good up there. That’s a rare and welcome thing.
    It’s not just about being smart. Fritz Hollings was and is sharp as a razor, but in ways that turn a lot of people off. It’s sad to say, but too many voters would rather vote for “folks like me” than above-average intelligence. If you doubt this, let me introduce you to a few hundred office-holders.
    Mr. Graham actually manages to be humble and unassuming (which Fritz could never do) while being erudite. That’s a neat trick. It’s so neat in this case, I don’t even think it’s a trick. (To help you tell the difference, when John Edwards
does it, it’s a trick.)
    Remember my column last week, in which I wrote about the Emory University study that showed the brains of political partisans are wired to reinforce their prejudices — that their gray matter actually produces a big shot of pleasure when they refuse to see the other side’s point?
    We centrists must have a similar mechanism that kicks in when politicians do see the other side, and even work across the partisan divide. When somebody mentions fighting for a good cause alongside both John McCain and Joe Lieberman, a flood of endorphins breaches my levees ofLindsey2 cynicism, and I think, “What a smart guy.”
    But partisans should think the same thing — especially those Republicans who had such a fit when Sen. Graham joined the Gang of 14 to force a compromise that stopped the “nuclear option” from being dropped over filibusters and judicial nominees.
    Boy, were they ever wrong. And it was obvious at the time that they were wrong, even from their skewed, one-sided perspective. Sure, Democrats were high-fiving because the GOP hadn’t changed Senate rules to prevent filibusters, but they were just as blind. From the time the seven Republicans and seven Democrats made their deal, it was impossible for Democrats to carry off a successful filibuster of a qualified nominee. They couldn’t overcome cloture without the Democrats in the Gang, who had promised their colleagues — such things are taken seriously by senators — they wouldn’t back a filibuster in the absence of “extraordinary circumstances.”
    And there simply isn’t anything extraordinary about Bush nominees not seeing the world the way Democrats do. They would need something more substantial than a political difference over something like abortion.
    The practical upshot for Republicans? They gained two conservative Supreme Court justices.
“Nobody really got tricked,” Sen. Graham said. Each of the seven Democrats had a sound political reason to be there. Besides, at least six of them have constituencies closer to his than to Ted Kennedy’s.
    They came out of it fine, partly because “nobody on either leadership team wanted to take that vote.” As for Sen. Graham himself, “It helped me personally immensely within the body.” Contrary to what was being said publicly, “Everything about this deal was known to both leadership teams…. There was a big difference between the rhetoric in the morning and the negotiations in the afternoon.”
    The important things to him were that “The institution fared well; the president fared well,” and so did his nominees. Both John Roberts and Samuel Alito enjoyed relatively smooth roads to favorable up-or-down votes.
    But the fact that 14 senators had the common sense and guts to save the partisan majority from Lindsey3_3itself yielded benefits beyond that, and not just for Republicans.
    Once the Senate was “back in business,” National Guard and Reserve personnel got medical benefits. “There would be just no way we would have had Tricare by now” without the Gang’s deal.
    It also enabled Sen. Graham to play a key role in holding the Bush administration accountable for the way it treats captured enemy combatants. “We got the Congress off the sidelines and into the War on Terror,” he said. “We had been AWOL.”
    “I trust President Bush,” he said later. “I like President Bush.” But there’s just “no substitute for checks and balances.”
    He doesn’t let you forget he’s a Republican. When he speaks of his party’s recent troubles, he says, “The only thing we’ve got going for us is the Democrats, and don’t underestimate them.” Partisan or not, I did enjoy that one.
    What I really liked, though, was the soliloquy with which he ended the meeting, after being asked about the political dangers of his having been photographed with Hillary Clinton. It was a nice statement of what political parties ought to be, but are not. In fact, I’ll just turn the rest of the column over to him. Take it, Senator:

    “There are people on both sides that can’t be happy unless the other side’s disappointed. The way some people judge political success: Is my enemy unhappy? The way I judge political success: Is my country better off, and is my party on the right track?
    “My country is better off when the Guard and Reserve families and those who serve in the Guard and Reserve have health care they can count on. The country will be better off if a manufacturing company (he and Sen. Clinton have started and jointly lead a new Manufacturing Caucus) can stay and make a profit and not have to leave to go overseas….Hillary_claps
    “If she came here and said something nice about me, I would consider it a compliment. And I would return the compliment. And in the next sentence I would say… I like her, but I don’t want her to be president… because she’ll bring an agenda to the table that I don’t agree with in terms of, you know, the whole.
    “But I’m not going to say anything bad about her, because I do like her, I think she’s smart, I enjoy working with her, and… if … the only way I can win is to have to run down people I know, I mean, have to say things about people I know not to be true, I don’t want the job.
    “If that’s the kind of senator you want, I don’t want the job.”

    Well, it’s not the kind I want. So stick around.

42 thoughts on “Gang of 14 still rides

  1. Spencer Gantt

    Let me be the first to kick this one off, or “down the gutter” as it were. I see this one with the potential to have the life-span of “Column on taking sides” which is still perking along at 60+ comments.
    BW sees Graham as some sort of really good guy, but I see him as a slick politician trying to set himself up for a run for “higher office” in 2008. To me, what he and the gang of 14 did was no more than to preserve the status quo. We were on the verge of a showdown where the Senate had a chance to become an actual legislative body instead of the “molasses slow” and “high and mighty” Gang of 100 Pompous Blowhards that it actually is. ALL Senators see themselves as the Saviours of the American people; not just in their state but the entire country. They are the epitome of “legislative/governing” royalty in the US. Legends in their own minds.
    I’ve got more, but let’s start with this. Let’s see how two totally opposite and polar opinions can result from this BW post.
    Oh, yes, I voted for Graham and “may” again.

  2. Dave

    Brad, That is a good, no, even excellent analysis of Sen. Graham. His people skills in regard to negotiation and communications are truly proficient. I can admit I was dubious about the gang of 14 holding true to their pledges but they have. With his leadership, the senate avoided a bloody and contentious confrontation. Will that last, who knows? The minority Democrats seem to get more desparate in their pronouncements even as their approval levels sink lower than the president’s. If Lindsay can bring over 7 semi-conservative Dem. votes on tough issues, that is commendable. Othewise, the GOP has Chafee, Snow, and Collins in the question column on almost every issue. Bravo to the senator. He puts me in mind of an old baseball coach I had who, while he was ordering you to run extra laps as punishment for some small infraction, still had the wit and charm so that you liked him in spite of the order.

  3. Marshall

    Mr. Warthen:
    The Lindsey Graham you love and cherish is the same Lindsey Graham who abondonded his senatorial campaign promise of greater border security in favor of the McCain amnesty bill (ignored by The State Newspaper) that will legalize 11 to 20 million illegal aliens and their familes (estimated 45 million aliens)and does nothing to secure the Mexican border. Its a pure sell out to the illegal alien lobby and personal political ambition. Like you, the man cares nothing about the will or welfare of the American people regarding genuine immigration reform. You’re both perfectly willing to turn the U.S. into a third-tier nation with a perpectually exploding population as long as it serves your selfish interets. In your case, its ideology,readership, and a hatred for this state and nation. In his, its a vice presidential slot on John McCain’s ticket.
    No wonder you love our increasingly imperial senator, at least on the border crisis he’s becoming as dishonest and hypocritical as the editors of The State paper.

  4. Judith Kratochvil

    Mr. Warthen,
    Thanks for the sparkling insight on Sen. Graham. I am from illinois and have been watching him fore two years now and am very impressed. I think he is very intelligent and humble, the later which does not come easily to politicians or those in power.
    I really admire the Sen. becaue he tries to work out the best deal that works for both sides. I particularly was proud of his role in the Gang of 14 because it averted a bloody showdown that would have destroyed the Senate.
    I also understand that there are some voters who do not like his support for the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill, I am not completely likeing it either, but it is unrealisitc to get rid of all the illegals. I have looked at the bill and think it will prevent many from coming in becasue there are high fines. Coming out and signing up for a worker permit means admitting that you broke the law and this incurs fines for both the employer and employee. I think there will be many going back anyway becasue they will not beable to afford the fines imposed for breaking the law.
    I like his mature tack on this issue. I sympathize with the people who want to just send them back and not allow this, but realize that this is unrealistic. What we have to do is enforce the law so we do not end up here again in a few years.
    I do not think he is positioning himself for higher office in 2008. I think he enjoys being a Senator too much for that. I think he would be a remarkably talented leader and may beable to heal the gulf between people these days.

  5. Spencer Gantt

    He’s only been a senator for a few years. How can anyone know he enjoys being one so much that that’s all he ever wants to do. He used to be a Representative, ya know, and before that a JAG (I think) or some “local-yokel dumb suthnern state politician”. Dunno, the memory boggles on such issues, but look for a McCain/Graham ticket of some sort in 2008.
    “Imperial senator”!!? Is that good, or what? But that doesn’t make him unique. They ALL think they’re imperial. And, had the “showdown” come, the Senate as a legislative institution would have been the better for it as would the country.
    On ILLEGAL immigration, CLOSE the borders and give all those who stay a Guest Worker permit. Don’t deport any of them, don’t “sic” the law on any of them (we already don’t). Don’t punish any businesses which hire these folks (we already don’t). Just keep the current illegals (11-20mil?) as GW’s (don’t you just love it?), at the same low wages they’re currently getting and put them at the BACK OF THE LINE for acquiring citizenship BEHIND those who are trying to become US citizens LEGALLY. Now, does that hurt the poor things?

  6. Ready to Hurl

    One thing about Graham: he’s got at least two brain cells that can communicate.
    That automatically makes him the smartest senator from SC.

  7. Herb

    Hey Mark, were you trying to say something by duplicating my post? If so, you’ll have to do it plainer than that. You’re dealing with a dense Texan and evangelical, you know.

  8. Tom Ballou

    Setting aside my assessment of Graham as our US Senator (mixed at best but a heck of a lot better than our other Senator and most of the rest), your column shows how far to the right our country has gone. It is a pretty sad state of affairs when Graham is considered a centrist because he is between McCain and Lieberman.
    With regards to holding the President accountable, we all know what happened to McCains anti-torture bill (rendered useless by Bush’s signing statement). And where is Graham or any other “centrist” on the Adminstration’s ongoing illegal wiretapping?
    At least Graham had the decency to put Country before Party. That is one of the biggest problems facing our Nation today – too many elected officials that place Party first.

  9. Bruce

    It’s good to know we have a Senator
    who is so busy saving the country that
    he doesn’t have time to find a wife.

  10. Mark Whittington

    Hi Herb,

    Yes I was making a subtle statement. I only copied your e-mail because the opportunity presented itself. I just didn’t want to stir the pot today. You’re a nice guy and the new kid on the block. Let me translate Bradese for you since I have inveterate skill at deciphering what Brad really means. Brad is a self-avowed centrist (Republican) and he’s pushing a McCain/Graham presidential ticket against Hillary. He knows that the Republicans will win if the before mentioned Republicans run against Hillary because Hillary could never carry a Southern state. It’s his dream match up. Brad builds up Graham as being unassuming and erudite while implying that Edwards is incapable of being smart and earnest. Brad’s thinking right now of how to attack Edwards if he gets the nomination. Brad is probably going to paint Edwards as a slick (i.e., tricky) but smart trial attorney (or possibly as a country bumpkin) when the opportunity arises.

    The problem for McCain is that Republicans in the South don’t like him too much. After McCain won New Hampshire he said, “the rich don’t need a tax cut”, and then he made the mistake of coming to SC. The Republican smear machine here went into action and they freaking destroyed McCain. They started phone centers in the upstate (with the help of the religious right, by the way) and they started spreading lies about his daughter, among other things. McCain never recovered from this brutal verbal lynching from his own party.

    McCain can win against Hillary here, but not against Edwards, and Brad knows it (Brad ain’t dumb). You see, Brad made sure that during the last Democratic primary that The State endorsed Lieberman rather than Edwards when it was obvious that SC liked Edwards and hated Lieberman. Let me tell you that there were many upset Democrats after they learned that The State endorsed Lieberman rather than Edwards. Edwards handily won the primary here in SC despite The State’s ridiculous endorsement of Lieberman. Watch, now that I’ve said this, Brad will link you to the editorial board’s decision making process as to how they arrived at their endorsement (and I’ve got some land to sell you down in Florida too!).

    Given the populist sentiment running across the country right now, if McCain runs against Edwards, then Edwards will probably win half the Southern states and the election. If it is a McCain/Graham ticket however, then Edwards will probably win only a couple of Southern States and McCain will win the election if he can carry Ohio and Florida.

    Hence George Will’s op-ed in The State on Monday (I believe): Will attacked Edwards’ central theme of eliminating poverty. Republicans are really scared of this guy given current populist sentiment.

  11. Dave

    Mark, Edwards is a pretty boy ambulance chaser with a lot of ambition. Cheney blasted him, sans shotgun, in their VP debate way back. Edwards goes on and on, putting most to sleep, about the two Americas. Black/white, rich/poor, young/old, north/south, yada yada yada. He should spend some time talking about the America that pays taxes and those who dodge them like him. He avoided about $300,000 of income tax on some of his ambulance chaser settlements by incorporating himself and then instead of taking salary, he called it dividends, the same green dollars, and bypassed the medicare and ss taxes on millions in wages. He is the kind of rich you castigate routinely on this blog. All in all, he is a real lightweight, unable to pull North Carolina for his ticket.

    Hillary is polling very poorly outside of the extremely liberal bastions on the east and west coast. She lost the anti-war Sheehan wing of the party and in public comes across as shrewish and bitter. My favorite sound bite from her is the one where she says – “I am SICK and TIRED of blah blah blah” – almost straight out of an Andy Capp cartoon by the complaining wife. And she sits at the State of the Union with that grimace on her puss, with all of America watching. How about when the President, being the good sport that he is, invoked some humor about Bill Clinton, and all of Congress laughed, while she sat there as hateful and stone-faced as ever. Believe this, 99% of the GOP insiders are praying she gets the nomination in 08, because what sells in NY wont sell anywhere else.

    On Sen. Graham, as I have said before, I don’t support all of his efforts. He absolutely overdid the complaints on prisoner torture. But, I can forgive that since he is a former JAG lawyer at that. We need senators like him because we need to get things done, like confirming conservative Supreme Court nominees, and he has leadership skills to get things done. Simple as that, and he is a man of principle, and agree or disagree, you have to like that. Compare him to the principled stands of John Francois Kerry, funny, yes?
    Brad is right in that ALL of SC can be proud of Sen. Graham, and give Sen. DeMint a little time, and he will rise to the top also.

  12. Mark Whittington

    I wouldn’t mind a McCain/Graham ticket so much if the dems get control of the congress. No doubt, Graham is head and shoulders above people like DeMint and Wilson. I like Edwards’ ability to articulate the problem in a way that people can understand him. Dave does have a point about the dems weakness on being able to explain taxes (they should listen to me on this subject!). Don’t underestimate Edwards my friends-he’s probably the best orator in the US today, plus women like him. My dream match would be Frist vs. Edwards, or even better, Cheney vs. Edwards! OK, I’m just fantasizing here; please forgive my digression. As for Hillary, it’s just not going to happen because too many democrats are going to insist that it doesn’t happen.

    Anyway, I’m much more interested in the congressional elections right now.

  13. solid banana

    McClatchy to buy Knight-Ridder for $4.5B

    McClatchy plans to sell 12 of Knight Ridder’s 32 newspapers, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News and the San Jose Mercury News, saying that those papers don’t fit the company’s longstanding criteria of buying newspapers in growing markets.

  14. Lee

    Lindsay Graham seems to be more interested in getting along than in getting things done. He does bring a cooler head to some of the shrill chatter which passes for debate, but he has failed to touch some serious issues, which seems to be the GOP party line.
    * Social Security is bankrupt and needs replacing
    * Retirement for all Americans needs immediate reform. Defined benefits plans of state and big companies are hollow promises which threaten to bankrupt both the taxpayers and stockholders.
    * Illegal immigration is an epidemic that could be fixed in months, by a few leaders.
    * H1-B visa workers are not needed, but continue to pour in: 115,000 now, with the Senate Judiciary wanting to double it. Add in the 325,000 illegal L1 and other immigrant technical workers, plus the outsourcing to tax havens, and you have the root cause of 160,000 unemployed American software engineers, and 170,000 PhDs science and hard engineering.

  15. Diane

    I think Sen.Graham is doing a great job wish we could clone him. The others parrot the party line and don’t appear to think for themselves. To have someone who can participate fully in the committee work is truly great.

  16. Dave

    Lee, I agree that action is needed, and the sooner the better on all of the issues you listed. Add tax reform and the elimination of the IRS to that list. But we must recognize that Lindsey Graham is not king of the Senate. Moreso, the GOP has trouble putting a supermajority together because you have the RINO defectors who are really at best moderate democrats ready to derail any real change of consequence. So I would hesitate to beat up on Graham for not getting all conservative issues implemented. Remember, this group hasn’t even been able to cancel NEA spending as a starter. And that one is a true conservative no brainer.

  17. Dave

    Bill, how can we impeach a president who along with Ronald Reagan needs to be on Mt. Rushmore? Booming economy, taxes lowered, national security excellent status, superpower military matched by none, stock market near all time highs, low interest rates, housing ownership at all time highs, prescription drugs program helping seniors, God back in the oval office. Wow, can you believe it?

  18. David

    I agreed with your column.
    So glad to see a Senator that I can actually trust that he is telling me what he thinks – as opposed to the party line.
    It is so rare.

  19. Lee

    Career politicians would love to have use believe that they cannot get anything done until they have been in office for enough decades to run all the committees.
    What baloney! That is the excuse of cowards.
    If the mass of Congress or Senate want something, they can pass it. They can change the rules. They can remove the old mossbacks from committees altogether.
    No, if Graham doesn’t even sponsor legislation or talk about issues, it is because he does not know they are issues, or has sold out to some big monied interest over his constituents.

  20. Lee

    Whenever I encounter leftists proclaiming the Constitution, I apply a litmus test, such as:
    “What legal restrictions do you support on the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms?”

  21. Dave

    RTH – You saw how much support the constitution subverter Russ Feingold got from his Dem pals yesterday in attempting to censure Bush. Feingold led the attack on the First Amendment so the average person cannot participate in the electioneering, but bigshots like Soros with fat wallets can. Feingold is a joke in the making.

    Anyway, the reality is the American people think the economy is getting better and are happy (60% on latest poll). Come on, cheer up and think positive like us kool aid lovers. Make friends with Kool Aid, Kool Aid tastes great!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Phillip

    The measure to censure Bush is, at best, a waste of time and effort, and at worst, a move that could backfire politically. Since there is no realistic hope to impeach Bush (unless he and Cheney were to use a terrorist threat pretext to attempt to declare martial law in advance of the 2008 election–don’t laugh), the best thing is simply to allow him to continue to marginalize himself politically. RTH, Bill, Mark—I think we can all be confident in history’s ultimate assessment of this Presidency. Let’s move beyond Bush. As I’ve said before here, he really is merely a CEO public face of the real power brokers who are much more dangerous, and who do not rely on elections to obtain and retain power in this nation.

  23. Mark Whittington

    Hey Phillip,

    It wouldn’t surprise me though if Bush gets us into a war with Iran right before the congressional elections. Bush is a terrible president, but Clinton wasn’t that much better. When the dems do come back to power, I think we need to insist on publicly financed elections come hell or high water. This country is in serious trouble because both parties are beholden to special interest (mostly corporate) cash. The dems are the lesser of two evils, but how low can we go? It’s pretty bad when you can’t even consider impeaching an incompetent president because the veep is even worse.

    Instead of censuring Bush over wiretapping (which has no political support), Feingold should have done it over the Dubai ports deal. All the major political candidates in both parties support neo liberal policies, and that’s the problem. The real schism is between neo-liberal/neo-conservative ideology on the one hand vs. liberal/conservative ideology on the other. Corporate cash keeps the neos in control of both parties and it is killing the country.

  24. Mark Whittington

    Here is an issue that the dems should be talking about-minus the feminist vs. fundamentalist trappings:

    “If anyone is “ruining” the American family, it’s all the employers who refuse to recognize that their employees have family responsibilities, as well as jobs. I’m thinking of two categories of employers, which often overlap: 1) Those who don’t pay enough for their employees to live on, thus forcing them to work second jobs, and 2) those who abuse their salaried employees with expectations of ten or more hours of work per day. Apparently there are more and more such anti-family employers, as Americans now surpass even the famously workaholic Japanese in annual hours on the job. From 1979 to 2000, Japan reduced the average annual hours worked by 305, whereas the United States reduced its annual hours by a whopping total of four, according to The State of Working America, 2004-2005.

    All variety of things suffer when work expands to fill evenings and weekends-health, for example, and citizenly participation. How can you frame an opinion on the issues if you never get a chance to read or have long discussions with friends? But families-and especially children-take the worst hit. It’s just not possible to be a responsible and responsive parent or spouse if your work leaves you with barely enough time to shower.

    But to get back to Kate O’Beirne: Will you help me save the family by joining me in a campaign for adequate wages and a return to the concept of the eight-hour day?”

    Corporate Home Wreckers
    by Barbara Ehrenreich

  25. Lee

    I have to agree with the above. Not only do older managers often expect young people to pay their dues with outrageous overtime, but younger managers are often totally unsympathetic to older workers who have family responsibilities, even when they take their vacation time for it.
    The typical salaried design engineer in the US and Japan works 54 hours a week, 14 hours of unpaid overtime. By age 50, half of them have been permanently replaced with cheaper, less-skilled workers. That is one reason America has trouble competing in high technology sectors.

  26. Lee

    What is wrong with The State is exemplified in two current opinion pieces on immigration.
    Sunday’s piece by locals at the Chamber of Commerce was just a generalized list of what reform “must do”, to serve the narrow interest of businesses who only care about cheap labor. It gave no justifications for any of its shopping list items.
    Even worse is today’s piece by David Broder, which is riddled with inaccurate numbers. The editors routinely permit opinion pieces to be based on fictional data. One excuse is that Broder is “a respected journalist.” Why, when he is too lazy to check the figures fed to him by Microsoft?
    Will The State run pieces correcting these propaganda columns? Of course not.

  27. Mark Whittington


    You’re right on the money with your analysis. The State is the mouthpiece for the Chamber of Commerce. Obviously neo-liberal immigration, outsourcing, and trade policies have been a disaster for most Americans, yet The State to this day continues to promulgate this propaganda. Ordinary Americans always take a back seat to big money as far as The State editorial page is concerned-cheap labor rules.

  28. Lee

    Tell Your Senator to STOP the Kennedy Amnesty!
    Behind closed doors late last week, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee negotiated a plan to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens and import even more foreign workers to take American jobs! Over the past three weeks, the committee has been marking up Senator Specter’s bill, the Chairman’s Mark, which includes a massive guest worker program among weak border security measures.
    Facing pressure from Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to pass an immigration bill out of committee before his March 27 deadline and a committee deadlocked on controversial guest worker provisions, Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) began negotiating a behind closed doors compromise with Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA).
    Under the compromise, Senator Specter announced that Senators Cornyn (R-TX) and Kennedy had agreed to allow workers to stay for two years, go home for one year, and then return for six years, capping the number annually at 400,000, and allowing a path to permanent legal residence for the 12 million illegal aliens currently here.
    Even more baffling is that the details of this massive plan will not be worked out in front of the American public in the committee process, but in closed negotiating sessions between Senate staff. Senators will then return for one day of review and then vote the bill out on Monday, March 27.
    Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee should not put Sen. Kennedy in charge of immigration reform! The following Republican Judiciary Committee Senators are rumored to be supporting the Kennedy Amnesty: Brownback, Hatch, Cornyn, Kyl, DeWine, Graham.

  29. Lee

    Specter and Kennedy have their staffs writing the bill while the Senate is in recess. The other members of the committee have fled, in order to not have their fingerprints on the deal.
    I talked at length yesterday with a Senate staffer who said the plan was to have the bill dropped on the Senate for a vote with no debate or changes on the floor. Many Senators are fence straddling, afraid of voter backlash if they permit 11,000,000 amnesties, and afraid of corporate backlash if they don’t continue to depress wages with illegal workers.
    Lindsay Graham is AWOL on the issue.

  30. Lee

    Talked to Senator Graham’s today.
    They said he “is against amnesty but supports the McCain-Kennedy bill”, which grants amnesty to almost every illegal.
    Lindsay Graham has apparently written off SC and honest working people as his constituents. The vapors of DC have gotten to him.

  31. bill

    But Lee,
    What about the fantastic authentic Mexican food now available.I’m in West Columbia and have several 4 0r 5- star restaurants to choose from.The food is great the people are friendly and the price is right.

  32. Lee

    Are the 900,000 felons who are here illegally just the cost of having Mexican food?
    I’ll gladly eat something else.


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