Graham becomes incoherent when he tries too hard to sound like DeMint

Just got this release from Lindsey Graham:

Graham Continues Push for Repeal and Replace of Obamacare

WASHINGTON – Continuing his commitment to the repeal and replace of Obamacare, United States Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has introduced legislation to repeal another major provision of the recently-passed health care law – the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act.

“The CLASS Act is a Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff blush,” said Graham.  “It’s billed as an insurance program for long-term care, but really it’s just a huge and very costly government accounting trick.”…

“To help build momentum for repeal and replace of Obamacare, we should continue holding up all the individual pieces of this monstrosity – like the CLASS Act – to the light of day,” said Graham.  “The more Americans learn about the details of this health care bill, and provisions like the CLASS Act, the less they like it.  The sooner we can repeal and replace Obamacare, the better off our nation will be.”

And so on and so forth. The rest is the usual nonsense.

Why “nonsense?” Because it is patently, objectively ridiculous to be talking about repealing an incremental, half-baked mishmash reform that hasn’t had ANY appreciable effect yet (have YOU felt or seen any effects? I certainly haven’t). I think that as health-care reform this was pretty lame (can you tell?), but for the sake of all that’s logical, give it a chance to see if it does anything. Unless you’re prepared to pass REAL reform (which would be awesome, and worth upsetting a few apple carts), hush up and observe for the next few years, THEN weigh in — when you know something.

Personally, I don’t know whether the CLASS Act in particular is well-designed or not. But that’s of secondary consideration in light of the senator’s assertion that he’s only talking about it in order to accomplish the goal of “repeal and replace of Obamacare.”

Did anybody proof this release before it went out? Did anyone say that line out loud before putting it in the lede and hed (and yes, “lede” and “hed” are spelled correctly in this context, you ignorant pedantic lubbers), and then saying it a third time later in the release? Is he really pushing for “repeal (a noun, within the context of following “for”) and replace (which cannot, in this or any other context, be anything but a verb)” of Obamacare?

Is this some crazy new mangled-English construct currently in vogue with a certain kind of Republican (the kind who says abominable things such as “Democrat Party”)? Because I’m telling ya, it makes zero sense to the rest of us. Did you mean to say you are pushing TO repeal (this time a verb) and replace (still a verb) it? If so, why not say so?

Lindsey Graham was a fairly eloquent opponent of what is termed “Obamacare” before it passed. He made his case, and explained his reasons in a respectable manner. But he lost the argument. But when he tries to fulminate about that as though he were a Tea Party ranter, all his coherence is left behind. Which is a shame.

I eagerly await the return of the real Lindsey Graham, because he’s a guy I greatly admire. Let DeMint be DeMint. One of those is too many. Don’t try to be what you’re not, senator.

23 thoughts on “Graham becomes incoherent when he tries too hard to sound like DeMint

  1. Doug Ross

    “How come he can be coherent on the rushed medium of Twitter, but not in a formal press release?”

    Probably because he didn’t write the release and didn’t read it. It probably came from some flunky who was given the order to “Give me 250 words on Obamacare. Check with the RNC to see what the code words are for today first. Make sure you throw a few Pelosi’s and liberals while you’re at it”.

    Like I’ve said for a long time, you would be wise to stop setting the bar lower for politicians you like. McCain’s pulled a 180… Graham will do the same as the next election approaches. It’s all about staying in office.

    As for Obamacare, we haven’t seen the impact because nothing went into effect until just today. And the majority of the big stuff doesn’t happen until 2014 — long after Obama has to be accountable for it in 2012.

    There are some negative impacts already:

    Health Insurers Eliminate Child-Only Policies, Is it a Sign of Future Cutbacks?

    Concerns about the new law have prompted major insurance providers such as WellPoint, Cigna, CoventryOne, and some Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to stop offering child-only policies, as the Washington Post first reported.

    Personally, I’m waiting to see how much my premiums go up next year. I should find out in about a month. My company has been very good about holding the costs down over the past few years by increasing copays and deductibles (I am fine with that – make those who need the care pay for the care).

  2. bud

    I remember clearly the party debates in 2008. The Democrats talked about reforming healthcare in great detail. Clinton and Obama were very strident in discussing the changes they would make to the existing system that would allow coverage for more people, cost control and a whole assortment of other issues.

    The GOP on the other hand, was conspicuously silent on healthcare throughout the 2008 election cycle. It was breathtaking to see how completely disinterested they were. It was only after Obama became president and the Democrats were pushing for reform did the GOP suddenly become interested. When the president tried to get them involved they basically rejected any overtures on his part. At the end of the day the party of NO offered a few flimsy changes so that they could claim they actually had a real plan.

    What does all this tell you? Much actually. The obvious lesson is that the Republicans were content with leaving healthcare as it was. They didn’t discuss it at all amongst themselves and only became engaged when it appeared something of significance would actually pass.

    But more importantly it revealed the true nature of the GOP beast. It is an empire of the rich who want to hold onto power and feather the nests of a handful of zillionaires. They don’t give a damn about anyone who makes less than $250k/year. They only care about the wealthy. Any meaningful healthcare reform would threaten their hold over a particularly greedy segment of the nation’s economy thereby threatening a few of the chosen ones. Sadly, they were largely successful in killing off any real threat to the insurance companies and big pharma.

    But apparently they still see a risk to their gravy train, hence yappy malcontents like Lindsey Grahm push for a return to the way they believe the world should be: A national economy that exists to serve as a cash cow for the chosen few.

  3. Ralph Hightower

    At least Graham didn’t mention Pelosi or Reid in his press release.

    Maybe we should start scoring the Republicans to the “Pelosi/Reid Drinking Game”.

    Anytime a Republican politician at the Federal government level mentions Pelosi or Reid in a press release or advertisement, they lose 50 points.

    Anytime a Republican politician at the state government level mentions Pelosi or Reid in a press release or advertisement, they lose 200 points.

  4. Phillip

    I do know people whose lives are being positively impacted by health care reforms, some beginning today, including my own brother, and maybe my mother though I haven’t figured out all the ins and outs yet as they pertain to her situation. And quite a few friends will be directly and positively impacted. But then, none of my family are Lindsay’s constituency…that is to say, we’re less-affluent than the average Tea Party member according to the polls and studies I’ve seen, and as the bumper sticker says, we’re DEFINITELY “Too Poor to be Republican.”

    The catch here is Graham’s talk of “replacing” current health care reform. I have no doubt they’d repeal this all if they could, but seeing as how uninterested Republican administrations and GOP-controlled Congresses have been historically in ANY kind of meaningful health care reform (they seem unable to go beyond the two stock phrases of “let the markets decide”—yeah, right—and “tort reform.”) I would not hold my breath for the “replace” part. Fundamentally, the GOP was happy with the status quo, and that’s exactly where they would like to return.

    As for the CLASS act, a wholly voluntary program, some of the potentially positive aspects of it, as well as the pitfalls that it could face, are calmly laid forth in this very helpful 2-part piece from the NYT:

  5. Lynn

    Incoherence and healthcare are easy to understand. Healthcare is for most folks is incoherent. Diagramming a patient’s flow through our fragmented care system produce something Rube Golberg would be truly proud of.

    You can get the same foaming response from a GOPPER when you say “Obama, Pelosi, Spratt, or Kennedy.” Say “DeMint, Bush (Nixon) or Sanford” around a DEM and they foam.

  6. AM

    I have a son who is 20 years old and a diabetic. He is not in school and is not able to get health insurance through his job. Right now he is paying insanely high COBRA rates to maintain his coverage through my husband’s job. We found out this week that beginning in January, he is eligible to go back under my husband’s plan for insurance that he absolutely must have. We will still be paying for the coverage, but at a much better rate. That is entirely due to the Obama-care and I am grateful.

  7. Doug Ross


    I am glad to hear that. Your situation is exactly what the Democrats should have gone after first. They should have grabbed the low hanging fruit (coverage, portability) that would have got 60 Senators or more on board and then gone after the tough stuff later. Instead, they bowed down to the lobbyists and stuffed the bill with 2000+ pages of stuff that nobody has figured out yet. It was a strategic mistake that will likely cost them control of Congress. Obama could have stopped that process from happening but stood on the sidelines.

    The part I find funny about the Obama administration’s public relations push now for Obamacare is where they talk about all the “free” preventative care that will now be available. There’s no such thing as “free”. Somebody’s paying for it. Probably people like me.

  8. bud

    AM, my son will also benefit from that aspect of Obama-care.

    This is certainly not the plan I would have put forth but it should generally be an improvement over the disgraceful mess we did have that force thousands into bankrupcy because they lost insurance when they lost their jobs or because they had a job that offered no insurance. Doug and I are lucky we have health insurance through our employer. Even with that I am forever baffled by what I need to pay, who I need to tell in order to obtain service and so forth. Not sure Obama-care addresses all these issues but maybe some of them.

  9. Doug Ross

    Ah, the motive is becoming clearer now. Apparently Senator Graham is putting his right wing conservative class ring back on because of the rumors that S.C. Senator Tom Davis is gunning for him in 2014. He’s seeing what has happened across the country to other incumbents and is following the lead of his mentor, John McCain, to shift all the way to the right (until it’s convenient to shift back).

  10. Lynn T

    As I navigate the maze established by the news this morning that my uninsured brother’s cancer has spread so far that there is no hope for him and that he will require constant care for the short remainder of his life, the only thing I can find wrong with “Obamacare” is that it is too little, too late.

  11. Kathryn Fenner

    @Ralph– How many points for “liberal” and “Washington insider”– I love it!

    @ AM–Thank you for sharing your story. I’m glad your son can get the care he needs!

  12. Pat

    @Burl – I didn’t think it showed that much of Graham.
    But it was obvious that the reporters were not going to get McCain to say anything other than what he was saying.
    @ Lynn, I’m sorry to hear about your brother’s illness.
    Regarding repealing the healthcare initiative: It has been said you can get a lot more done if you don’t care who gets the credit. In the beginning, I understood the initiative to be a starting point and fixes were expected. I see no sense in repealing what is esentially insurance reform in its entirety when we can see some things were a good idea. NPR discussed the part about insuring young adults up to 26 years old on their parents’ group insurance. The insurance companies seemed happy about this as long as they could get a lot of them and not just the ones with severe health problems. Young adults are generally healthy; they can be insured for a small price, yet the revenue from a large group would more than offset the cost.

  13. Pat

    Re Graham – I generally like Graham but I guess I don’t like the “politician” part of him. He walks a fine line between doing the right thing and staying in office. With the people he has to deal with…I don’t know how you fix that. Maybe you folks do?

  14. Greg Jones

    Something that WILL happen, and though it’s not here yet, are all the new pressures that Obamacare will put on Medicaid.
    The legislature underfunded Medicaid DRAMATICALLY this year already. There’ll be incremental changes, I understand, but 2014 is the apocalypse. Obamacare will break the states’ backs as to the new Medicaid recipients that will be forced on.
    Medicaid already consumes 32% of SC’s budget (education 50%).
    Do the terms blood and turnip mean anything to you?

  15. j

    “Somebody’s paying for it. Probably people like me.”

    Doug, I’m so glad you’re motivated by trying to avoid the eye of the needle test and by doing your part to help the least of these.

  16. Doug Ross


    Is it “free”? and if it isn’t, who is paying for it?

    Wouldn’t I need to be a rich man first to pass the eye of the needle test? I’m not rich. I’m just in the group that pays most of the taxes. Make too much to avoid paying and make too little to pay someone to figure out how to shelter my money.

    And, anyway, I don’t think the bible made it very clear that the path to salvation comes through a 1040 form.

  17. Kathryn Fenner

    SC Median household income for 2005, according to sciway, was $39,316.

    By that, I’m rich, and I bet most of you all, too.

    To whom much is given….


    “According to research carried out by Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely of Duke University, and flagged by Paul Kedrosky at the Infectious Greed blog, 92 percent of Americans would choose to live in a society with far less income disparity than the US, choosing Sweden’s model over that of the US.

    What’s more, the study’s authors say that this applies to people of all income levels and all political leanings: The poor and the rich, Democrats and Republicans are all equally likely to choose the Swedish model.”

  19. Herbie

    Why doesn’t Graham come out like Roy Ashbur and Ken Mehlman did? The Log Cabins sued over DADT, not whacko lefty Dems.

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