Graham or DeMint? Excellent question for all SC GOP candidates

I missed the televised GOP gubernatorial “debate” last night, but I was much gratified to read about one of the questions that was asked of the candidates. It’s one that, going forward, should be asked of all Republican candidates in our state, namely: Are you a Lindsey Graham Republican, or a Jim DeMint Republican? I think every voter in South Carolina deserves to know the answer to that question.

So it was that I was somewhat disappointed that the story I read in The State didn’t tell me, in detail, how each candidate answered that question. And I was deeply disappointed that Henry McMaster dodged the question entirely, cloaking himself in ersatz Ronald Reagan partisan piety. That’s a black mark, to my mind, against a Republican I would expect to give an answer that would please me: Specifically, that he’s a Graham man. I say that because, back in mid-2007, when everybody else was saying it was over for John McCain, Henry and Lindsey and Bobby Harrell were about the only ones in the state still willing to stand up for him. I admired that steadfastness, that willingness to stand against more destructive elements in their party.

So I was sorry that he was unwilling to stand up for the kind of sensible conservatism that McCain and Graham represent, and against the “Waterloo” seeking fringe values of the hyperpartisan, ideologically extreme elements that they stand against.

Meanwhile, I’m grateful to Nikki Haley for standing up and saying right out that she’s a DeMintor. Nikki is making me feel less and less bad about opposing her candidacy. She’s still got that admirable frankness that I’ve always liked in her, but almost every time she employs it these days, it makes me more and more certain that I do NOT want her to get anywhere near the governor’s office. Note that she is the ONLY one of the candidates on the stage whose views are so extreme that she would have voted to censure Lindsey Graham for the sin of being a rational, pragmatic United States Senator working for the good of the country, instead of the wingnut that the less presentable elements of the party want him to be.

22 thoughts on “Graham or DeMint? Excellent question for all SC GOP candidates

  1. David

    In other words, are you a make-health-care-Obama’s-Waterloo Republican or a our-31%-African-American-population-is-a-liability-to-our-state Republican?

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    I would have preferred to know boxers or briefs, Betty or Veronica, John or Paul, Stones or Beatles….

    I went to Nikki’s website to unsubscribe from her e-mailings, and she proudly displays her endorsement from Sanford. ’nuff said.

    DeMintors….great coinage

  3. Brad Warthen

    Thanks, Kathryn. Do you think I’ll have to pay a royalty to JK Rowling?

    And Burl, it makes a world of difference. Look at the difference in their positions on the issues that cause the party’s extremists to want to burn Graham in effigy: Lindsey was a stalwart on comprehensive immigration reform, DeMint was a leader of the “Cry Amnesty!” crowd. Lindsey is works with John Kerry to draft rational, comprehensive energy/global warming legislation, something you would never, ever catch DeMint doing. Graham was one of the Gang of 14 that prevented gridlock on judicial nominations. On and on, you find Graham being the rational moderate who works with anyone it takes to get the job done; DeMint is a leader in the “never give an inch to THOSE people gang.”

    Only time I’ve seen DeMint work with Democrats was on anti-earmark legislation. Of course, that all fell apart when it turned out that no one was particularly serious about that (except DeMint; give him his due on that).

  4. Brad Warthen

    Oh, and Kathryn — when I was young I would have said John, because I thought he was the cool one, the one to emulate. Years later I decided that Paul was the guy who had his head together, the guy who you’d rather be if you wanted to choose, the lucky man who made the grade. Best thing about Paul — while John (and to some extent George) badmouthed being a Beatle, Paul never did. Paul loved it. Which means that he loved the thing that all of us loved. He was the frood who knew where his towel was.

  5. Brad Warthen

    And one more thing, Burl: Even if you think Republicans are all bad, I quote Jubal Harshaw to you:

    When Ben Caxton, speaking of politics, says “There’s little difference,” Jubal says: “There’s always a difference! This is between ‘bad’ and ‘worse’ — which is much sharper than between ‘good’ and ‘better’.”

    Frankly, I think Lindsey is good. But even if I thought all Repubs were bad, the distinction would still be important.

  6. Doug Ross

    > On and on, you find Graham being
    > the rational moderate who works
    > with anyone it takes to get the
    > job done;

    So how effective has he been on getting the job done? What jobs are done? Or, once again, is it just a matter of process over results?

    And if the Graham legislation allows people who entered the country illegally to remain in the country, it IS amnesty. Funny how a lawyer can ignore the law.

  7. Randy E

    Burl, he schooled them! For the first time they were held accountable for their GOP propaganda talking points. The silly notion that Obama can’t go any where without telepromters was obliterated.

    Brad, I concur that Graham is not as bad as the others. His 31% African-American point, to me, revealed how out of touch he and most of the GOP is on race and class issues.

  8. Jim

    I see you somehow managed to leave out that Andre also answered that he was a DeMint Republican very frankly.

  9. Kathryn Fenner

    Paul made a mis-step with Heather, but he was such a mensch with Linda and his kids–fame did not go to his head in that regard, and if Linda had not died, he would not have been tempted by la Heather, who seems to have serious issues.

    I was really too young for the Beatles first time around,so I really always preferred Paul. John was too sophisticated for a little girl. I really have always been a Michael Nesmith fan–the dry, nerdy type always apppealed ot me…

    Never got into The Hitchhiker’s Guide–nothing against it….just never got around to it. The guys I liked before I was an adult were all over it.

    Yeah, Burl, I agree with Brad. Lindsey is hardly my cup of tea politically, but he’s been a right decent statesman in a sea of nattering nabobs…

  10. Karen McLeod

    What health alternatives did Sen. Lindsay put forth that would actually work for the working poor (tax credits don’t if you can’t wait until tax time to get that money)? And did you catch that “I bit into too many persimmons” look on his face during the State of the Union address? He is certainly more reasonable than many republicans. But, that might be a lot like saying that the bat that just bit you isn’t rabid. I’d vote for him over a really bad democrat (and yes, there are some whacked out ones on that side too). I think.

  11. Brad Warthen

    Karen, if anyone had had a camera on me during the speech, you might have seen a sour look on MY face at times. There were parts I agreed with and parts that gave me heartburn.

    One of the grimace moments — when the president said he would “end this war” in Iraq, by withdrawing troops. Folks, either the war is over (because the surge worked), or it will continue after U.S. troops leave. The ONLY way the president of the United States has power to “end” a war is if he has troops present.
    The wording he used plays to an antiwar fantasy that war is only going on there because we meanie Americans are there — like the Sadrists and the Ba’athists are all going to melt together in a group hug, if only we awful warmongers would leave.

    You could say that before we arrived in March 2003 there was no war and we started it. We had a stasis there before then, with Saddam totally controlling and repressing dissent, and U.S. and British pilots keeping him in his bottle (with Saddam of course periodically trying to shoot our pilots down).
    But at this point, sorry to break it to the antiwar left, but any violence going on is not because we are there. There are plenty of other motivations there…

  12. Karen McLeod

    Brad, at least the mass killings of Iraquis before we got ther is something we did not do. Reverse the situation. Imagine that you are a country that does not like Pres. Obama (I could do better with Pres. Bush, but that might tick you off). In order to stop what he’s doing, to ‘help’ us, they invade. Don’t say we’re not a threat. Of course we are. There’s no question that we have weapons of mass destruction. They cause much life-loss. Do we, even the teabaggers, appreciate this? I think not. He is trying to get us out of a war that never should have been.

  13. Burl Burlingame

    Graham does seems like a decent sort, and unlike many Repubs, actually serves in the military.

    But I’ll change my mind when he votes for the good of the country instead of the party line.

  14. Kathryn Fenner

    Lindsey is actually a military lawyer and he has bucked the Bushie line regarding treatment of Gitmo detainees and others.

  15. Randy E

    There are many other ruthless dictators and governments which we don’t invade. War is not designed for policiing situations in other countries. It’s an act defense of last resort on behalf of an attacked country.

    Brad, there is ample evidence that our presence in Iraq is a catalyst for terrorism. What terrorism existed in Iraq or because of Iraq before the enactment of the Bush Doctrine?

  16. Pat

    Graham’s legislation on illegal immigrants was right on target. The US doesn’t have manpower or the money to round them all up and send them back. At least with his legislation, there was an incentive to self-report and also restitution, pay taxes, etc. Also, he took a hit on side-stepping a vote on doing away with filibuster, but if the Republicans had gotten their way look where they would be now. Even if you think filibuster is misused, it slows things down a bit when one party gets too big for their britches. Our founding fathers figured that out even in their time when there was at least a little more decorum in politics. So I think, though I’ve disagreed with Graham from time to time, he is usually reasonable and exhibits some wisdom.
    While I’m at it, what I wish the term conservative meant is one who is a good steward of money, power, and resources – I know that is wishful thinking.

  17. bud

    So I was sorry that he was unwilling to stand up for the kind of sensible conservatism that McCain and Graham represent …
    -Brad

    Now there’s an oxymoron if there ever was one. “sensible conservatism”.

    Graham, of course, is no such thing as sensible. He pretty much abandoned his anti-torture rhetoric when it came down to actually putting his vote where his mouth is. Then he turned around and demogogued the stimulus, health care and anything else that might help average Americans as opposed to the corporate elite. And don’t even get me started on the imperialistic war issue. Let’s face it the GOP is just a bunch of goons and looney’s. Just because someone doesn’t act insane in public, like DeMint and Wilson, doesn’t mean they aren’t part of the dangerous right. Frankly Graham scares me far more than DeMint. At least DeMint is openly looney.

  18. bud

    The wording he used plays to an antiwar fantasy that war is only going on there because we meanie Americans are there…
    -Brad

    Of all the really stoopid nonsense you’ve written over the years (and yes you’ve said some intellegent things too) this one takes the cake. OF COURSE THE WAR IS GOING ON BECAUSE WE ARE THERE. Who started the damn thing? There was no war before we invaded the place, dropped bombs on the Iraqi people and started killing. To suggest the war would exist even without Americans starting it is insulting to any thinking person. You should be ashamed of such a statement.

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