The wonderful Obama-Graham connection

You know that I've written and said a number of things since the election about how hopeful I am that Barack Obama can do exactly what he promised to do in terms of leading us past the stupid, pointless partisan bickering of the Clinton-Bush years. As you know, that was probably my biggest motivation for endorsing him in the primary here — and for endorsing McCain as well, as the one guy on the GOP side able to transcend the partisan garbage that has so sapped our nation's ability to cope with anything — from war to peace, from foreign to domestic — constructively.

So imagine my joy upon reading that story about Obama and Lindsey Graham in today's paper, the one by James Rosen on our front page.

Naysayers and cynics will dismiss it as feel-good rhetoric. The haters on the right will cite this as another example of Lindsey Graham selling out right-thinking (pun intended) folks everywhere to his own aggrandizement and greater glory. But they'll be wrong. The story is replete with evidence as to why they are wrong.

Barack Obama has no credible reason other than the reasons he claims for asking Lindsey Graham — best pal of John McCain, staunch advocate of our nation's mission in Iraq, most articulate proponent of the Surge strategy Obama himself had dismissed (he's the one who sold ME on it) — to accompany Joe Biden on his important mission to assure our allies in the region that the new administration is not a bunch of ideological crazies who are going to abandon them. He didn't have to do this, but it was absolutely the right thing to do.

And Graham didn't have to go along. He could have been a typical loser partisan plotting how he can tear the new guy down and get some of his own back. That would have been stupid, and Lindsey Graham isn't stupid, but it would have been typical. Yes, Graham sees the opportunity to stay at the center of power even though his guy lost. But he also sees the opportunity to have a constructive impact on our nation's ongoing strategy in the war on terror.

And Obama didn't have to say the things he said quite as strongly as he did. He didn't have to publicly thank Joe Biden "for having the wisdom and foresight to invite Lindsey Graham," or declare that he was "drafting" him "drafting as one of our counselors in dealing with foreign policy." He won the election. Graham lost. Usually, that's end of story.

In addition to the encouraging fact that we have such a good bipartisan vibe going, Obama's choice of Graham as the object of his bridge-building speaks to another good thing about the president-elect: He's smart. Graham has a masterful grasp of the policies he advocates, and you can get smarter just listening to him, even if you end up disagreeing with him. If you're going to have a guy with a different perspective to bounce ideas off of — a la Lincoln and his Team of Rivals — you couldn't choose better than Lindsey.

There's the additional fact that, since Graham has been, as much as any other Republican including John McCain, the conscience of his party on some of the nastier edges of fighting terrorism — such as torture and general treatment of detainees. So it's not like he's making a deal with the devil even by his own lights. He's looking to someone whose opinions differ from his own, but whom he knows he can respect.

This budding relationship — which the two men made a point of calling attention to, and I'm glad they did — bodes well for the future.

46 thoughts on “The wonderful Obama-Graham connection

  1. Doug Ross

    That’s the beauty of politics. You can call the other guy a liar, cheat, and thief. Then when he wins, you can go kiss his butt because everybody knows it’s all a game.
    It’s all a game. Lindsey wants to give amnesty to illegal immigrants and he needs to get Obama to do it for him.

  2. Rich

    I could not agree with you more. Graham is a voice of reason in the S.C. Republican Party, and I have a clue as to why.

  3. AAA

    We need to support Lindsey Graham, now more than ever, in this uphill battle to maintain the advantages he has brought us in the war on terror. His actions have always been honorable and I respect that he wants to remain in the frontlines. It would not do any good to any one if he were to waste time with petty partisonship. We have to play with the hand we were dealt in this last election. We don’t have to like it, but we can certainly do the very best to prevent a bad situation from getting worse. Senator Graham has the support of our military, especially in SC, and that is what really counts. They are the ones whose lives are on the line.

  4. Bart

    Please expound on your comment that, “…. Graham is a voice of reason in the S.C. Republican Party, and I have a clue as to why……” I would like your perspective.
    Side note: An article in the WSJ this morning was about wiretapping and FISA. An excerpt from the article as follows: “In a major August 2008 decision released yesterday in redacted form, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, the FISA appellate panel, affirmed the government’s Constitutional authority to collect national-security intelligence without judicial approval. The case was not made public before yesterday, and its details remain classified…..”
    Graham’s background is in legal and I suspect he may have a comment on this determination by an appellate panel not known for being “neo-con” influenced or controlled by the Bush administration. If anything, we are hearing more and more from the incoming administration about position changing on detainees, Iraq, and such. Once faced with reality and access to previously classified information, minds can be changed. Let’s give it a few months and see where Obama stands on some of his campaign rhetoric and stance on certain issues.

  5. Brad Warthen

    OK, I’ve just applied my new standard on comments, and unpublished every one on this post that contributed nothing beyond showing off how cynical and sarcastic the writer can be.
    I left only ONE such comment in place — Doug’s, because he is a made guy on the blog. But his comment serves as an example of what I DID cut out. Now I ask you: What does his comment accomplish? In what way does it further the public interest, or solve a problem, or increase understanding between people who disagree? I can’t see that it does anything good at all.
    You know why there is so much cynicism in this country about politics? Well, there are a lot of reasons. But one of them is that journalists such as myself don’t dare say anything positive about anybody in public life, because we know that we will INSTANTLY have a dumptruck-load of scorn and calumny heaped upon our heads, and nobody enjoys that. So we try to be hip and cool and ironic and trash everybody, and don’t ever take the risk of saying, “Here’s a good person doing something good.”
    I think it is very important to create, on this blog, a place where people whose hides aren’t nearly as thick as mine can have the courage to step out and say positive things. It’s not easy creating a space like that, but I’m going to try. We DO get helpful, thoughtful, constructive comments on this blog — sometimes from Doug, I might add — and I want to encourage that.
    Please, y’all: Help me do that. I’m sincerely asking you.
    And Doug, don’t be all obtuse and try to make like I’m trying to force you to agree with me. Read what you wrote. Don’t you think there is a more constructive, mature, helpful way that you could express what YOU think than to talk about butt-kissing? Seriously. Please. Try to engage constructively. Help us see your point of view. Don’t just lash out.

  6. Rich

    I am referring to Graham’s proven track record of constructive engagement with people of all political stripes. Rather than attacking his opponents stridently in the Rush Limbaugh vein or dogmatically insisting upon the absolute rectitude of his point of view, he works with people he disagrees with. Furthermore, I think Obama sees a considerable intelligence in Graham as well as genuine human warmth. As a Democrat, I would still vote against him because I disagree with his conservative orientation, but I cannot fault the man as a person.
    Graham could become one of the leading lights in a restored Republican Party that needs to cast aside its undemocratic right wing and rejoin the national mainstream–or it will be permanently marginalized.
    Everyone knows that we have had eight years of Republican rule with six of those years under a Republican Congress, and they made a complete mess of things!

  7. bud

    As a liberal I’m starting to get very upset with Obama’s overtures to the pro-war folks. Obama was elected largely because of his pragmatic stance on Iraq that stipulated he would have us out of there in 16 months. Sure Obama should listen to the other side but this issue doesn’t require additional input. We simply establish a timeline, as promised, then begin the process of bringing our troops home. Obama doesn’t need any advise from Lindsey Graham on that. This is disturbing, very disturbing.

  8. Doug Ross

    No, Brad, I don’t agree with you. I believe everyone should be held accountable for their words and deeds. The fact that you allow Lindsey Graham to be one person during a political campaign and another after the campaign is over is your issue, not mine. I find Graham’s lack of integrity appalling. I find his pandering disgusting.
    Lindsey Graham said that people who are opposed to his plan for amnesty for illegal immigrants are racists. I am not a racist. That statement alone was sufficient for me to have no respect for him.
    On September 4, 2008 this is what Senator Graham said about Obama:
    “ST. PAUL, Minn. – Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a close friend of Sen. John McCain of Arizona, took on the duty of going after Sen. Barack Obama in a speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention bristling with denunciations of McCain’s Democratic opponent as a man who “cannot appreciate that our troops are winning in Iraq” and “supported retreat and would have accepted our defeat. And I’m not alone in that opinion. Many people in his own party feel the same way. Maybe you should try and figure out why that is.”
    In August, he ridiculed Obama for missing too many Senate votes saying ““Sen. Obama’s been gone more than he’s been here.” ” At that time, Obama had missed 45% of the votes while McCain had missed 63%.
    In September, Graham accused people who were against Sarah Palin of being sexist.
    I guess it’s okay for him to throw labels around because he’s a Senator.
    In June, Graham got into a heated argument on the Senate floor with Obama over immigration. This is what Graham said to Obama: “It would undercut “everybody over here who’s walked the plank and told our base, ‘You’re wrong,'” Graham said. “So when you’re out on the campaign trail, my friend, tell them about why we can’t come together. This is why.”
    I don’t like the guy. I don’t like his politics. I don’t like his attitude. I don’t like his behavior. He’s an ass-kissing, spotlight-loving, let-me-show-you-how-smart-I-am politician. He’s the antithesis of Jim DeMint and he’s what is wrong with politics. He collected a $4 million dollar campaign fund for a race in which he barely had an opponent. Why do you think that is?

  9. Jason F. McBrayer

    The “stupid, pointless partisan bickering of the Clinton-Bush years” was especially stupid and pointless because the two establishment political parties share the same agenda: maintenance of class privilege at home, and maintenance of military hegemony abroad. Any other issues are marketing features for campaign time, and Democratic or Republican partisans who actually care about them are at best a distraction and at worst a disruptive influence. I think that Obama understands and accepts this, which is why he is so successful at “reaching across party lines”, and why he is distrusted by progressives who have any self-awareness. Presumably Graham does as well, which is why ideological conservatives hate him while Republican partisans love him.

  10. Dave

    By the way, Graham likes and supports Tim Geithner, Obamas’ appointee for Treasury. You know: The guy who couldn’t be bothered to pay his taxes.
    The fix is clearly in: Graham intends to continue being a lap poodle to the liberal left.
    Hope and change indeed.

  11. bud

    Bipartisanship is all fine and good. When Dems and the GOP work together they get legislation passed. The problem is that not all bipartisan legislation is good. Sometimes it’s a GOOD THING to be obstructionist. If a handful of Senators can block really, really bad legislation by being partisan isn’t that a good thing? Heck, if a few more senators had oppossed the Iraq war that particular “bi-partisan” disaster would not have occurred. Same thing for much of the regulatory legislation that led to the whole housing/financial industry debacle. If a few “partisan hacks” had blocked the worst of the legislation that led to the sub-prime disaster maybe the current recession would not be so severe.
    Brad, I’ll agree that at times it’s good for folks to work together to solve a particular problem in a bipartisan way (Pearl Harbor, 9-11, Katrina) but many times partisanship can head off bad policy. Logically it’s not sound thinking to simply push for folks to work together if the ultimate goal is a bad one. Let’s have a good old fashioned bit of partisan bickering on big issues before we make big decisions. To me that’s a good thing.

  12. p.m.

    Well, I accomplished something. Under an assumed name, I had a comment unpublished. What a thrill.
    I could lament that and wring my hands and scream about how I’ve spent two years blogging here only to be thrown under the bus like one of Spurrier’s assistant coaches or quarterbacks, but there’s no need. Brad never offered me a scholarship. I’m a walk-on. My contributions have been voluntary.
    So now I feel the pressure to make a constructive comment. But honestly, I’ve never been able to draw much of a conclusion about Lindsey Graham other than, “Hmm. Something there ain’t quite right.”
    And when I look at his stances on issues, and his associations, those don’t add up, either.
    So, honestly, when Brad offers up nine paragraphs of what I see as pure pie in the sky, pointing to a story “replete with evidence” as to why this is not politics as usual, when I could not find one shred of evidence in the story supporting that conclusion, I have no choice but to ask, “What evidence?”
    Is that a non-constructive comment? It’s an earnest question, but will it be excised?

  13. Lee Muller

    Lindsey Graham is in bed with the Democrats and crooked businesses who want unlimited importation of cheap labor from Mexico.
    What really galls most of us his their arrogant refusal to engage in open, complete, debate of all the issues. Instead, the supporters go to the voters and act concerned about saving American jobs and stopping the drug and prostitution trade from Mexico, then try to pass an amnesty bill without debate in the middle of the night. That is dishonest, and unAmerican.

  14. Doug Ross

    When Obama runs for re-election in 2012, do you think Lindsey Graham will talk about Obama in glowing terms or do you think he will return to being a partisan Republican who can only find nasty things to say about him? Want to take a bet on it?
    It truly is mind boggling that Brad allows all manner of partisan behavior during the election campaign and then goes back to being the Un-Party guy as soon as his guy pretends none of it happened.

  15. Lee Muller

    Brad gives Lindsey Graham a pass because he knows Graham is not a partisan Republican. Graham represents himself first, just like Obama and the Clintons – that’s what Brad likes.
    What Brad denounces as partisan, is really those who act on convictions and principles. Libertarians and strict Constitutional conservatives are especially disliked. Liberals and moderates, having no such principles, view each other as “flexible” and “pragmatic”.
    Hardcore socialists and communists would come in for some derision, but they just pretend to be liberals and “progressives”, while supplying the agenda to the liberals and moderates.

  16. KP

    I think I just had a comment unpublished too and I thought it was constructive. I’ll try again.
    I think it’s great that Obama is working with Graham and Graham is working with him. Who cares if they took potshots at each other in the last election? Who cares if they do it in the next election? If they work together in the meantime, it’s all good.
    And if Graham is the antithesis of Jim DeMint, that’s also all good. DeMint is Sanford in the Senate. Polarizing. Paralyzed by ideology. A voice in the wilderness, which is where he needs to stay.
    Is that constructive?

  17. KP

    “He’s an ass-kissing, spotlight-loving, let-me-show-you-how-smart-I-am politician.”
    So Doug, what did you think of Strom and Campbell? Here’s the thing: they got along in whatever environment they were in. When the Republicans were in, they were decent to the Democrats. When the Democrats were in, they were still able to get something done. I frequently think of the enduring friendship between Thurmond and Joe Biden. They served together on the Judiciary Committee for many years and traded chairmanship, but they were never anything other than completely respectful, but more than that, appreciative, of each other.
    I worked for both, and I always thought that Thurmond and Campbell gave a good name to the word “politician.” They were smart, diplomatic, principled, but also, unlike our current governor, practical.
    I think Graham is the closest thing we have to that tradition.

  18. Doug Ross

    Did you think Strom Thurmond was the best and brightest person to represent South Carolina during his last term? He should have retired at least one if not two terms sooner.
    Using Strom as an example of a “good” politician doesn’t win you much credibility with me. Maybe you had to grow up with him to get him. I just remember the man who said “Speak into the maching” at the Clarence Thomas hearings while everyone pretended he was in charge. Or the guy who couldn’t quite acknowledge his own daughter (Essie Mae Washington Williams) because it would not exactly be taken well in many parts of the state. Politics over flesh and blood. That’s the American way.
    It seems to be fairly common knowledge that his appetite for women would have made Bill Clinton blush. But that’s fine… we lower the bar for ethics and integrity when we’re talking about politicians.

  19. Brad Warthen

    Actually, I think this has been much better discussion than the messages I had unpublished. People are disagreeing, but trying harder to do so thoughtfully — and that’s what I’m shooting for. I think Doug could have thought a little harder to come up with better words than “ass-kissing,” but I think he DID make a good-faith effort to explain his position, rather than just be dismissive.
    So did others in this thread so far. I only unpublished one more comment, an anonymous race-baiting one that used the “n” word, and managed to misspell it.
    One difference between Doug and me is cognitive — he sees hypocrisy and inconsistencies when I don’t. And maybe it’s because I not only understand what Lindsey Graham said both DURING and AFTER the election, but have agreed with him all along. Since he’s made sense to me all along, I don’t see him as a hyprocrite. I agreed with him when he was making the case as well as he could that McCain was the better candidate. And I agree with him now that he’s trying to work with the new president — and still trying to further the same goals and policies. Before, he was trying to put McCain in position to implement these policies. Now that Obama’s the guy, he wants to help Obama do the same things. I don’t see the inconsistency.
    Of course, bud — who expresses himself quite well above — and I disagree as to what Obama should be doing, especially on Iraq. But I am very, very gratified at the approach that the president-elect is taking, and it’s what I had always hoped he would do.
    Back at the time of the S.C. primaries, I had only one qualm about Barack Obama. I like everything about him except for the fact that he had positioned himself as THE most anti-involvement in Iraq in the field. (A result really of the accident of history — he wasn’t in the Senate at the time the war resolution was passed, and spoke against it, which was an easy thing to do for him at the time since he didn’t have the responsibility that Clinton and Biden had. Not being implicated, he could embody the hopes and dreams of the most anti-war elements of the party.) But even then, he said things that indicated to me that he was more pragmatic and responsible about our obligations not to abandon Iraq than a lot of his most ardent supporters thought he was. I sort of clung to that pragmatism I thought I saw in reassuring myself that our endorsement of Obama in the primary was the right thing to do.
    Now that he’s about to have the actual responsibility of commander in chief, he is vindicating my faith in his pragmatism. He did EXACTLY the right thing sending Biden and Graham over to assure our allies in Iraq that we won’t abandon them; it was essential for the incoming president to do that.
    And you can hardly find stronger evidence of Obama’s statesmanship than what we saw in this case. He’s handling this just right. A lot of folks are going to be disappointed in him, even angry. But better that he let THEM than that he let the country and its allies down.

  20. Brad Warthen

    I’ll add that circumstances have helped Obama take the responsible position. The success of the Surge he opposed created the opportunity for Bush to negotiate a plan to have us out of Iraq ALMOST as fast as Obama promised.
    I think he will help us move forward in ways that achieve the goal of having us out SOON, but do it in a way that is responsible and continuous with our current policies. And that’s a good place to be.
    That doesn’t mean our nation’s way forward in the larger war — or even over these final days in Iraq — will be easy. There are huge challenges ahead. But Obama, Biden — and Graham — are approaching these challenges the right way. And that gives me a lot of assurance going forward; it’s very encouraging. But I repeat myself.

  21. KP

    Doug: You make me really tired.
    You’ve addressed Thurmond’s advanced age (I could tell you more stories than you’d care to hear), and his illegitimate daughter (I don’t care) but you didn’t address my point: he advanced the cause of working together toward the common good. Did he not? Do you have a point to make on that note?

  22. p.m.

    Brad, you say Obama, Graham and Biden are approaching challenges the right way, but how can I trust you to know?
    You endorsed Thomas Ravenel for treasurer, and he abused his power, and you also endorsed Tommy Moore, who ran off to help the payday lenders The State has been railing against with remarkable regularity, and now someone really close to Tommy Moore is neck deep in difficulty after allegedly abusing the trust placed in him:
    “The former finance director of the Department of Social Services is accused in a conspiracy to embezzle more than $5.5 million from the agency, federal prosecutors said.
    “Paul Moore, 61, of Columbia, was charged Thursday with theft of federal program funds, mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy.
    “Moore is the brother of former gubernatorial candidate Tommy Moore.”
    Will The State ever run an apology for its errant endorsements?
    Will you somehow blame this on Moore’s victorious opponent the same way you’ve blamed everything else on Gov. Sanford?

  23. Doug Ross

    I have no idea what Thurmond did to address the “common good”. My recollection of him was that he was kept on a very short leash by his handlers for at least the final ten years he was in office. He wouldn’t debate, wouldn’t speak in public.
    Surely you can list the major accomplishments that Senator Thurmond achieved while in office. Just give us a few… and please don’t list things like helping people get passports or getting Social Security issues fixed for constituents. He had nothing to do with that.
    Advancing age? The guy was 100 years old and lived in Walter Reed Hospital while still a senator. That goes way beyond advancing age.
    I’m sorry if my version of reality tires you. You have every opportunity to correct me.

  24. Lee Muller

    Democrats Ram Through Socialized Medicine for Illegals
    So much for “bi-partisanship”.
    This bill give free ( taxpayer funded ) medical car to families making over $61,000 a year, including 30,000,000 illegal aliens. Democrat repealed the provision which required a 5-year residency before becoming eligible for this welfare program, and repealed the provision requiring proof of citizenship.
    The next step will be to open the borders so even more freeloaders can pour into America, then grant them instant citizenship, to create a Deadbeat Majority that will keep the Democrats in power for another 40 years.
    Thanks to spineless RINOs like Lindsey Graham.

  25. Rich

    Lawd! Lee Muller (aka Bill O’Reilly) dislikes Lindsey Graham!! I think I might end up voting eventually for my first Republican!!
    Whatever Lee says is in inverse proportion to reality.

  26. Lee Muller

    Maybe you socialists should describe this “reality” you see in your heads, instead of simply denying the facts and engaging in name-calling against everyone who states the facts.
    FACT: Lindsey Graham supports citizenship for however many illegal aliens are here or come here. He voted for it.
    FACT: There are 30,000,000 illegal aliens in the USA.
    FACT: Democrats just passed an extension of SCHIP to the non-poor and to illegal aliens.
    FACT: Democrats want as many ignorant voters as they can get. Their base is composed of illiterates who want more handouts.
    FACT: Democrats currently cannot win major elections without crossover votes from Republicans. 4,500,000 registered Republicans voted for Obama in November 2008. If they find a good GOP candidate, Obama is out in 2012.

  27. slugger

    Having read all the comments posted about the subject of man vs politician, I would only say to add to the confusion that one should not have to separate one from the other.
    When you make a statement of fact on how you feel about a given subject, you do not turn around and change your thinking simply because it is politically correct to be one of the majority.
    There was a time when people were called being two-faced if they talked out of both sides of their mouth. Telling the listener what they wanted to hear. Today that is called getting along for the good of the country.
    How time changes when you turn a real man into a two-faced politician.

  28. Karen McLeod

    When I was younger, I thought that a person who had anything to do with another who did not share that person’s ‘noble’ goals was two faced, if not a complete moral prostitute. These days I’m glad to see that we have a president who’s willing to work with those who don’t see eye to eye with him, Mr. Obama apparently realizes that it’s unwise to burn a bridge one might wish to cross some day. I highly respect his current approaach to the Iraq war. While I think that this premptive war was both immoral and unwise, I recognize that we are there now; we’ve seriously damaged that country physically and politically; and we need to get out in a way that does the least damage we can manage to both them and us. I don’t think staying there long will be effective; we literally cannot afford to fight 2 wars, and attempting to is likely to lead to a hopeless morass that will be disasterous to both nations. I applaud that he is listening to all sides, and I hope he can find an answer that helps us all. Above all, Mr. Obama, during the campaign, made a strong effort to keep the partisan verbiage in check. We all need to do that. Bud thinks the war is wrong. I agree. Brad apparently thinks the war was a good idea. I disagree. That doesn’t make any of us a bad person. I think we can all agree that we grieve the loss of life, and would like to see Iraq able to establish a strong government that respects the rights of its own citizens, and is willing and able to negotiate peacefully with other nations. Demonizing each other nation, religion, ethics, or political philosophy does little to help find an effective solution to any problem, whether it’s personal, political, or international.

  29. Lee Muller

    Barack Obama demonizes himself.
    He chose to use crack cocaine and hang out with racist bums.
    He chose to hang out with racist Black Muslims.
    He chose to work with real estate swindler Tony Rezko.
    He chose to join the Jeremiah Wright cult.
    He chose to join the corrupt Daley machine.
    He chose to manage Blogajevich’s campaign.
    He chose to run on a campaign of getting even with whitey.
    He chose to accept $250,000,000 in illegal foreign contributions.
    He chooses to ram through huge deficit spending bills without proper debate.

  30. Birch Barlow

    we literally cannot afford to fight 2 wars
    I’m not necessarily trying to disagree with you here, but I read that comment and think of the hundreds of billions of dollars the war cost. Then I think of the trillions we have spent and will spend in bailout money that Obama has supported and continues to support.
    I think it’s fair to ask how we can afford one and not the other.
    In principle I don’t have anything against reaching out to the other side. I just think Obama’s continuation of Bush’s plan of increasing spending while lowering taxes goes a little too far across the aisle.

  31. p.m.

    All hail Barack Obama’s name
    Let angels prostrate fall
    Bring forth the royal diadem,
    And crown him lord of all.
    Bring forth the royal diadem,
    And crown him lord of all.
    Let every kindred, every tribe
    On this celestial ball
    To him all majesty ascribe
    And crown him lord of all
    To him all majesty ascribe
    And crown him lord of all.
    At the convention he played Caesar, and today he played Lincoln on the train, and the media caroled their new king, whose face has graced the cover of Time magazine 14 times this year.
    The American people are buying this egotistical insult to history from a man who has accomplished nothing but winning an election.
    He obviously thinks he’s God’s gift to somebody, in light of his re-enacted train trip, and the media agrees with him, yet he nominated a Secretary of the Treasury who left income taxes unpaid for four years.
    And Lindsey Graham thinks that’s fine.
    This budding relationship bodes well for the future? Democrats ignoring the law and Republicans saying no problem?
    Stop the train, please. I want to get off.

  32. Rich

    It would be nice if you gave Obama the benefit of the doubt since he did win the election by 7 million votes and has tried mightily to reach across the aisle to foster true bipartisanship.
    This is why I share Brad’s enthusiasm for Graham. Maybe there’s hope for our small southern republic of South Carolina!!

  33. p.m.

    Obama has welcomed himself to godhood too glibly. Imitating Lincoln’s train ride to Washington was a bridge too far.
    He’s not Lincoln, nor Kennedy, nor Roosevelt, nor Elvis, nor the Beatles, and nothing he’s done so far — appointing a Treasury Secretary who owed back taxes, appointing Hillary Clinton Secretary of State when her husband’s overseas antics represent a clear conflict of interest — shows that he can live up to the status of a god.
    As I have said before, I recognize that Obama won the election by a significant margin, but winning doesn’t mean you’re right about anything. Dubya won twice. Do you think he’s right?
    Besides, somebody’s got to keep this whole process honest. You go ahead and celebrate. I’ll be happy to play the role of looking for the snake in the woodpile. I’ve done it my whole life. I couldn’t imagine stopping now.

  34. Bill C.

    Just goes to show you that our overly metrosexual Senator will crawl under any desk on Capitol Hill. He kissed the butt of Bush and now he’s kissing the butt of Obama. One thing SC will be known for as long as Graham is in office is having a Senator with chapped lips.

  35. Karen McLeod

    Birch, I have a real problem with the borrowing (not to mention printing) of money in an attempt to dig ourselves out of this hole we are in. But I recognize that we’ve been doing this for awhile. At least Mr. Obama is advocating that we spend on our infrastructure, instead of just giving cash away. Not only does it create jobs, but it ensures that after its all said and done, we have something to show for it. I don’t understand major finance, but I do know that we have cut taxes and spent ourselves into a hole that endangers our most helpless population (i.e. the very old, the mentally and physically handicapped, and the mentally ill). We must do something if these people are to have anything approaching a life with dignity (or even a death with dignity). If we need to borrow more short term to get the economy going…well, ok, maybe. But then we all need to contribute to getting this country stabilized.

  36. zzazzeefrazzee

    “…spineless RINOs like Lindsey Graham.”
    Your predictable banter about immigration reform only tells me, Herr Müller, that you would call Bush and McCain RINOs too.

  37. Lee Muller

    Bush and McCain lead the sell out to illegal aliens and the businesses who exploit them. Lindsey Graham is just a follower, not a leader.
    Barack Obama has done nothing of consequence in his entire life, except accumulate three political titles. His ideology is Marxist, so we can’t expect much good from him.
    Spending on infrastructure is a scam.
    Under Bush, spending on infrastructure has been at an all-time high. Last year, the total of all the pork projects proposed by the states was $100 Billion. Now they suddenly say they have $450 billion of “spade-ready projects”.
    An old federal GSA manager told me a long time ago, “They have to have construction projects, because you can’t steal money out of people’s paychecks.”
    He’s right. Money spent directly on labor has too many eyes on it with vested interests. But materials, real estate, legal and consulting fees – that’s big money. And big kickbacks to politicians.
    The quickest, most efficient, most fair, and most moral way to stimulate the economy would be to cut taxes and let the smartest people – those with higher incomes in the private sector – make business decisions.
    But politicians can’t steal from a tax cut.

  38. Birch Barlow

    Karen, I still hold Obama accountable for voting for the last bailout and supporting a potential auto bailout. So he is for giving cash away. He’s just for extra spending on top of all that.
    Also, I think the “most helpless population” here would be the children and future children of this country who have no say and enjoy none of the benefits of the current deficit spending, yet will bear all of the burden.
    I don’t want the people living today to die without paying for the inflated standard of living they’ve been enjoying for all these years. To have people born in this country who must work to pay off the debts of previous generations is not freedom, it’s oppression.
    And I apologize for being argumentative. We probably agree for the most part on this issue. You just seem to be a much more optimistic person than me. Kudos to you for that.

  39. Karen McLeod

    I suspect that the auto bailout was in part political, because of the influence of the unions, as well as in part, to minimize the ripple effect from the loss of such large manufacturers. That said, I have little symmpathy for the US auto companies. They’ve been practicing planned obsolescence for far too long, as well as irresponsibly pushing larger and larger gas guzzlers. I hope the future spending sprees go primarily for infrastructure and green companies. I’d also like to see a more responsible health care structure.

  40. Lee Muller

    Karen, you mouth all the untrue slogans of the business-hating Marxists. Have you driven an American car lately?
    GM 4-door luxury sedans get better mileage than Hondas and Toyotas, and cost less. I guess by “gas guzzler” (smear tactic), you mean Ford F-150 and GM trucks, which are the most popular selling cars in America.
    What would you suggest construction crews and farmers use to haul their work loads – a chain of Prius hybrids?
    Ooops! Toyota can’t give the Prius away now. Honda has dropped most of its hybrid cars, leaving GM and Ford as the hybrid leaders, with over 50 models.
    By the way, sales of Toyota, Honda, BMW and Nissan are down worse than GM, Ford and Chrysler.
    Democrats don’t care about saving American manufacturing, because that would mean ending the unworkable union contracts. They will bleed the taxpayers to prop up the unions past the inauguration, then screw them over by letting the American companies go broke.

  41. p.m.

    Do looky! ABC demonstrates that the messiah is losing his criticism-proof clothing:
    Recession? The $170 Million Inauguration
    Obama’s Inauguration Financed Partially
    By Bailed-Out Wall Street Executives
    The country is in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, which isn’t stopping rich donors and the government from spending $170 million, or more, on the inauguration of Barack Obama …

  42. Lee Muller

    This is a Jim Jones presidency.
    Maybe at some point, some of the press will wake up and see that reality doesn’t match the vague, glowing rhetoric.


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