Graham gets award that won’t help him with the base, but really should

This just in from Lindsey Graham:

Graham Named ‘Fiscal Hero’ For Work To Address National Debt

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) was named a ‘Fiscal Hero’ by the Campaign to Fix the Debt for his work during the 114th Congress to improve the nation’s fiscal future and address the core drivers of the national debt.fixthedebt

“Senator Graham has worked through a variety of channels to draw attention and find solutions to the nation’s fiscal challenges,” said Maya MacGuineas, Head of the Campaign to Fix the Debt. “While many lawmakers have chosen to bury their heads when it comes to these issues, Senator Graham has shown courage and leadership and has been willing to stand up for what is right for the country – even when it’s not easy to do so.”

“The longer we wait, the more severe and difficult the choices will be to fix the debt,” MacGuineas continued. “Yet very few Members of Congress take this problem seriously. Those who do, like Senator Graham, deserve our thanks and praise.”

Honorees included 26 members of the House and 21 Senators from both parties, covering a range of political views.

To be named a Fiscal Hero, lawmakers distinguished themselves by casting fiscally responsible votes; pushing their party leaders to make addressing the debt a priority; leading bipartisan policy efforts; and engaging and educating constituents.

The Campaign to Fix the Debt is a nonpartisan movement to put America on a better fiscal and economic path.  More information on the group can be found on its website:


The nice thing about this organization is that, unlike too many other groups these days, it is transparent about who is behind it.Ballentine - Warthen Ad

Here’s the steering committee of Fix the Debt. Starting with Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson themselves, the list includes such luminaries as Ed Rendell, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Domenici and Sam Nunn. I see a list like that and I think, I may not automatically agree with everything these guys come up with, but I’m certainly going to give it a respectful listen.

But these are just the kinds of folks that the great populist mass is rising up against these days, isn’t it?

So Lindsey Graham should be proud to have the praise of such a group, but it’s not going to do much to heal the divisions between him and the restive members of his base…

21 thoughts on “Graham gets award that won’t help him with the base, but really should

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Also from among today’s releases, Graham has the president’s back on this:

    Graham Supports Lifting Ban On Arms Sales to Vietnam

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement today on lifting the ban on arms sales to Vietnam.

    “I understand Vietnam’s human rights record is well short of international standards and know there is more that they must do on this front. However, I believe a stronger relationship between Vietnam and the United States can be of strategic importance to both nations in the years to come. It can also be beneficial in helping counter increased Chinese aggression in the region. Therefore, I support lifting the ban on arms sales to Vietnam.”


    1. Bryan Caskey

      I have to say, I’m also in favor of selling the Vietnamese more arms. The biggest objection to this is from China. Given how aggressive and unfriendly China has been in naval matters (specifically in the South China Sea) I’m fine to tell China to go take a walk, while we sell arms to the Vietnamese.

      Maybe if China was playing a little more nicely, I might be inclined to give their objection some weight, but when they act like they’re acting, then I don’t mind waving off their objections.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        I would also like it noted for the record that in this instance I’m supporting a foreign policy move of the Obama Administration.

      2. Doug Ross

        How much would Vietnam have to spend on arms to make them capable of defending themselves against China? Current spending is $5B per year. China spends $161 billion.

        Why don’t we just rent them our military? We have plenty of excess capacity.

        1. Bryan Caskey

          Yeah, Vietnam would have to spend a lot to get on par with China. I’m not sure what you point is, though.

          My point is that China’s objection doesn’t really carry much water with me since they’re giving us all sorts of grief in the South China Sea.

          I don’t think renting military hardware is a great idea. I mean, after it’s been in a battle, the military hardware ain’t exactly in tip-top shape.

          Can you imagine if you went to a rental car company and told them: “Yeah, I need a Honda Civic. It will be some light driving from here to Atlanta. I may stop off and engage in some small arms fire against the local militia groups though. We may take some hits from their close air support, but I’m hoping to avoid that. Where’s my damage waiver?” 🙂

          1. Doug Ross

            Not rent the hardware, rent the service. We can be the Uber of missiles and aircraft carriers.

            Vietnam feels threatened? Fire up the MERICA app and select the level of response required. In case we are fighting other wars on multiple fronts, surge pricing will be in effect. No cash on hand? We’ll accept knock off Louis Vuitton bags made by 11 year olds.

            1. Doug Ross

              “I understand Vietnam’s human rights record is well short of international standards and know there is more that they must do on this front.”

              But I am apparently unwilling to tie the sale of weapons to specific actions that would save lives and protect children from slave labor. But I’ll feel REALLY bad about it right up until General Dynamics drops the bag of money on my back porch.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        The “boss” is the guy who pays you money that you can buy beer with on the way home, and pay for your premium cable package on which you watch ball games while drinking the beer, all in the privacy of your home, the mortgage of which is also paid with that money.

        People who give you money with which to pay political consultants and buy TV air time are not the boss. They’re just necessary evils you have to call on the phone in order to stay in office so you can collect that $174,000 from your real bosses….

        Two more points:

        — This one is critical… Do you think Lindsey would not have been for this anyway? I see every indication that he would be. And yeah, contributors tend to give to people they agree with. That’s kind of the way it’s supposed to work.

        — Is it clear to you that all the contributors in those categories would benefit from this trade with Vietnam? Probably some would, but are we going to be selling them “aerospace” products? I don’t know… Maybe.

        1. Doug Ross

          If he’s already on their side, why do they need to give him money? Seems like it would be a better investment to politicians who are on the fence.

          Quid pro quo. Latin for “get rich or die trying”.

        2. Bryan Caskey

          but are we going to be selling them “aerospace” products? I don’t know… Maybe.

          I bet they would love to buy some helicopters from us. A few dozen Apaches, some Seahawks (for ASW), Blackhawks, some Cobras, and you’d be good to go.

          1. Bryan Caskey

            By the way, to link this thread up with the other one, I bet the Native Americans think it’s pretty bad-ass that when the US Army was looking for a name for one of the most feared attack helicopters ever, they went with Apache. Here’s a good piece about the history of the naming.

            Although not an official policy, Army officials typically name attack aircraft for tribes that historians have noted for their martial prowess. The RAH-66 Comanche, for instance, honored a tribe of mounted warriors that out-maneuvered, out-rode and out-fought the best-equipped U.S. Cavalry—a feat even more impressive when one considers the Comanche first encountered the horse only in the late 17th century.
            So what evidence do we have to suggest that Native Americans aren’t offended by the Army’s tradition? Take, for instance, the fact that Army Material Command actually gets approval from Native American tribes before naming its aircraft. That’s according to the Department of the Army’s Pamphlet 70-3, paragraph 1-11-4-g, for you sadists out there.
            Still not convinced? Well, consider that some Native American tribes don’t just approve of the Army’s naming convention, they give their outright blessing—literally.
            In 2012, Native American leaders were on hand to bless two brand new LUH-72 Lakota helicopters—named for the nation which handed the Army one of its most notorious defeats at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.
            The two helicopters, christened “Eagle” and “Turtle” for prominent Native American symbols, carry honor feathers in their cockpits, gifts from the tribe to the North Dakota National Guard.

  2. Doug Ross

    Apparently the Fiscal Hero award is the equivalent of the participation trophy in youth sports. You don’t have to actually accomplish anything. Just show up, run around, and you get a trophy.

    What would you call someone who actually did something about the debt?

    I’m making growing hair in 2016 a priority. I’m going to talk about it. I’m going to be a champion for it. I hope to see a full head of hair by January.

  3. Doug Ross

    I spent two days last week in Los Angeles teaching at a university. My two primary contacts were Vietnamese boat people who escaped as teenagers in the late 70’s on small boats that landed in Malaysia, leaving their parents behind. The story of their escape was incredible – six days with 50+ people on a small boat. But it was their attitude that was even more amazing – both guys said that even though it was a horrific experience it taught them that they could persevere regardless of the circumstances. One of them entered high school at age 16 with zero English skills and graduated two years later. I guess he was just “lucky”.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      No, he was a guy with the grit and determination to come to America, despite all the odds, and build a new life for himself.

      You know, like a lot of those Mexicans and Central Americans who risk their lives and yes, even break the immigration laws, to come here and work hard at opportunities they don’t have at home…

      1. Doug Ross

        You lost me at breaking the law. There’s a big difference. Because breaking the immigration laws is just first of many for them.

        And there was no “press 3 for Vietnamese” expectation. If you’ve been in the U.S. for more than five years, you should speak English.

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