You’ll recall Lindsey Graham’s rebuke to his old friend Mark Sanford last week over the governor’s continuing efforts to divide the Republican Party.
As you can see on the video, he was polite and used mild language, but the rebuke was fairly firm nonetheless. Obviously, the Senator had decided it was time for someone to act like a party leader rather than an insurgent.
Well, he’s done it again, this time over the South Carolina reaction to Real ID. This release came in late Monday:
March 31, 2008
Graham on REAL ID and South Carolina
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement on South Carolina and REAL ID.
“I am pleased South Carolina has been granted an extension by Secretary Chertoff regarding REAL ID compliance. The decision was more than justified.
“The Governor has done an excellent job in explaining his concerns to federal officials, many of which I share. Our state already meets 16 of the 18 compliance benchmarks – about 90 percent — called for in REAL ID. Governor Sanford’s efforts to reform our state drivers’ license program has made the system more secure and efficient.
“REAL ID grew out of recommendations made by the 9-11 Commission over the need for more secure forms of identification. It was viewed as an effective means of cracking down on the use of fraudulent documents like those used by the 9/11 hijackers. In addition, REAL ID would make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to obtain employment by tightening acceptable forms of identification.
“I will do my part to help ensure the federal government addresses the unfunded mandate burden imposed on the states by REAL ID. Governors and state legislatures across the country are rightfully concerned about these requirements.
“However, in this age of international terrorism we must secure the homeland. We need better identification to protect air travel, access to federal buildings, institutions, and other high value terrorist targets.
“I believe we can accommodate the legitimate national security needs of our nation with the concerns raised by Governor Sanford and the state legislature.”
As he said, there’s no excuse for unfunded mandates. At the same time, we need a better identification system for citizens, both for national security and immigration control reasons.
He points out that for all the hollering, South Carolina is already most of the way to compliance.
And as he concludes, we can address these important matters without all the ideological posturing and brinksmanship. We just have to act like grownups.