Congratulations to Sen. Lindsey Graham for civility award

Congratulations to Lindsey Graham — and Dianne Feinstein, too — for receiving the Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life.

It’s certainly well-deserved in Graham’s case (yes, there’s the occasional lapse, but we’re all human, right?).

From the release about the prize:

“As they join in accepting the Allegheny Prize, they stand opposed on one of the most significant and polarizing issues of our time – that of gun control,” said [Allegheny College] President [James H.] Mullen. “And yet, they stand together, not only in receiving this Prize, but in their shared commitment to engage that issue with passion, deep conviction and respect for each other.”

“The one thing about being civil is, it doesn’t mean you don’t have passion,” said Graham. “But I never hesitate about calling Dianne because she is a problem solver by nature.”

“Do Americans want a United States Senate and a House of Representatives that can really do their business or do they want one that is so full of themselves, so polarized and so twisted with partisanship, that their ratings are in single digits?” asked Feinstein. “We have a big job on our hands to be able to restore civility.”…

As y’all know, I regard the lack of civility in public life today as serious threat to our project of self-government — this blog is one place where I try, however feebly, to combat the trend. So I’m proud that a South Carolinian was singled out for this honor.

The State quoted Graham as saying, in response to protestations by Sen. Feinstein that she didn’t deserve the award, “Dianne, I don’t deserve it either, but I don’t deserve most of the crap I get, either, so I’ll take it.”

24 thoughts on “Congratulations to Sen. Lindsey Graham for civility award

  1. Doug Ross

    ““Dianne, I don’t deserve it either, but I don’t deserve most of the crap I get, either, so I’ll take it.”

    Never have truer words come out of Senator Graham’s mouth. I suppose this makes up for the Emmy he’s been trying to get with his weekly visits to whatever Sunday show will have him.

    What is it with people and awards? More often than not they are meaningless. I suppose some people like to have their egos stroked. Really.. Barack Obama has a Nobel Peace Prize and hasn’t done anything in four years that resembles seeking peace.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    In response to this post, Zeke Stokes Tweeted this morning, “that’s a joke. Did u watch the #Hagel confirmation hearing? Nothing civil about that.”

    I replied that I had referred to that in my post, adding that obviously, they judged him by his usual behavior, not by his lapses…

    Zeke, a Democratic operative, responded, “maybe they should have given him the “civil except when not” award.”

    But you know, folks, even the most civil person you know has his bad moments. I myself place great value on that quality, but I’d have to wince in embarrassment at video of my worse moments.

    If Jesus Christ got a civility award, we’d be sure to hear about the incident when he assaulted the money-changers. Or when he called the scribes and Pharisees “hyprocrites” and “whited sepulchers.”

  3. Doug Ross

    You like Lindsey thus you are more likely to overlook his (obvious) faults. You do the same with McCain.
    When either of them act like a typical politician you fall back on “Well, that’s not the guy I know”. Even when they do it over and over… I mean, otherwise you’d have to admit you were wrong about them.
    For me, I was wrong about McCain. Liked him in 2000, now I think he’s just enamored with his political
    office. Never liked Graham. Preening publicity hound.

    In my view, Senator Graham is worse than a partisan – he’s a hypocrite. He drifts to whichever
    side will help his own personal political aspirations. He’s a different person depending on where
    we are in the election cycle.

  4. Silence

    Speaking of civility, how many people has the Obama white house threatened? Thus far we have respected journalist Bob Woodward, and now former Clinton aide Lanny Davis. This really is the Corleone administration.

    1. die deutsche Flußgabelung

      Yeah because Gene Sperling has to be the most threatening economist in DC just listen to how he ends is supposed death threat to Woodard:

      “I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. I do understand your problems with a couple of our statements in the fall — but feel on the other hand that you focus on a few specific trees that gives a very wrong perception of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here. But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim … My apologies again for raising my voice on the call with you. Feel bad about that and truly apologize.”

      Boy Sperling sounds like a real thug maybe he was threatening to make Woodard solve some price and income elasticity problems.

      1. Silence

        You don’t need to be a thug to be an effective consigliere. In fact, it’s better if you aren’t a thug. In the Godfather movies, Tom Hagen, played by Robert Duvall isn’t thugish in the slightest. He gets the job done, though.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          The book went on and on about how one of the secrets to the old Don’s success was that he never issued a threat. Tom and Michael learned that. Sonny did not.

          Oh, another thing about the book that few people know, and it was actually central to Puzo’s point: It was personal, every bit of it. Saying it was just business was rationalization. Yet everybody gets the opposite idea from the movie.

        2. die deutsche Flußgabelung

          I wasn’t commenting on your pathetic literary/film allusion, just the fact Woodward appears to be thin-skinned and likes to throws a hissy fit when someone criticizes him.

          Woodward, “How dare he apologize to me twice in the same email let me run to the press screaming wolf.”

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            I’m deeply sorry that you didn’t appreciate my “Godfather” allusions, but you’re going to regret calling them “pathetic.” 🙂

            See how it makes everything OK to add a smiley face?

  5. Juan Caruso

    Civility is valid during serious and contentious debate based upon personal convictions. While Sen. Feinstein has exhibited civility in all of these realms of late and is deserving of Allegheny’s award, Sen. Graham has kept his convictions closer to his vest, gets serious only for political PR, and prefers collegiality over meaningful contention. What an utter nebbish of a lawyer you are, Lindsey.


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