Lindsey Graham doesn’t understand why he’s there

So I ‘splained it to him….

31 thoughts on “Lindsey Graham doesn’t understand why he’s there

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    I also sent him to be a rational voice on judicial confirmations, and other things. But you can only fit so much into a Tweet.

    And I was also deliberately aping his overtrivialization of his job.

    Bottom line, I did NOT send him there to cut taxes, or repeal and replace Obamacare — especially not the latter.

    And I’m not joking: I’m seriously distressed by the way he seems to be trying to reinvent himself in recent weeks. Most of all, by far, the cozying up to Trump…

    1. bud

      I’m seriously distressed by the way he seems to be trying to reinvent himself in recent weeks.

      LOL. This is classic Lindsay. You just haven’t been paying attention. I suppose as long as he’s pushing his war mongering agenda you’re blinded to his weasel ways.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Well, I do like me some warmongering. I want a candidate who says stuff like this

        I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill, KILL, KILL!…

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        And no, this is NOT “classic Lindsay.”

        Yeah, I know you and Doug and some others think he has no real character of his own and no principles, but this is not his usual pattern. The thing that usually sets y’all off is when he tosses out a remark or two meant to pacify the base — such as stressing the part of his immigration plans that calls for border security first. Y’all don’t see it, but he’s being honest about it — he’s just, for the moment, stressing a point of agreement with the base, trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to get them to hate him a bit less.

        But he has NEVER gone on this kind of sustained bender. Ever since late summer, it’s like he’s in a fugue state or something, and has forgotten who he is. First, his head was turned by all the applause he got for his awful plan to replace Obamacare. That led to this closeness to Trump, which is 180 degrees from who he has ALWAYS been. There are still flashes of his old self — such as when he said the other day he’s more of a Bush than a Trump on foreign policy, or offered mild criticism that “I think the Trump administration is slow when it comes to Russia. I think they have a blind spot.”

        But that’s weak stuff, coming from someone who UNDERSTANDS how awful Trump is. And Graham understands it. Or did.

        He has NEVER, on this kind of extended basis, acted so unlike himself before. That’s what I’m talking about here…

        1. bud

          I suppose as long as he’s pushing his war mongering agenda you’re blinded to his weasel ways.

          There are still flashes of his old self — such as when he said the other day he’s more of a Bush than a Trump on foreign policy, or offered mild criticism that “I think the Trump administration is slow when it comes to Russia.

          I rest my case.

        2. Doug Ross

          And I distinctly recall Lindsey turning very friendly toward Obama after Obama won the first time.. and then reversing course as soon as his next election came around. He’s a political weathervane…

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Trying to work with Obama was completely in character for him, and not a political calculation, whatever he has done since.

            One of his core beliefs — and one embraced by McCain although not always as consistently — is that elections have consequences, and if your side loses, you just do what you can for the country from that point. That’s why Graham and McCain reached out to Obama right after the 2008 election to try to work with him on national security.

            It’s a principle that Graham also applied to judicial confirmation, voting to confirm qualified Obama nominees. They weren’t the ones HE would choose, but they were qualified. McCain has sometimes gone along with this reasoning, sometimes not.

            And of course, Graham and McCain were for years the Senators most closely identified with rational immigration reform, until it became clear they weren’t going to succeed on that front, and that in fact their party was moving farther and farther away from being sensible on that.

            All of these things require a strong, principled character, to a degree that is rare in politics. And for those qualities, I honor Graham (and McCain), while you do not.

            The rest of it, up to very recently, has been acceptable politics — something you believe to be inherently corrupt, because you don’t believe in pols doing ANYTHING to stay in office. Whereas I recognize that good pols are no good to anyone if they don’t get elected.

            I’m going to say it once more: When you’re trying to pacify your base, there is nothing wrong with emphasizing the points on which you honestly agree with them — or emphasizing points of honest disagreement with someone they despise, such as Obama.

            Up to now, what you regard as “weathervane” behavior has generally been attributable to what I just described.

            But I’m telling you, and my professional experience as an observer of politics and politicians makes me confident in saying this (as unpopular as expertise is, I’ll say that anyway), that what we’ve been seeing in recent months has been different. And worrisome, to one who expects better from Lindsey Graham.

            As I said, a pol is no good to anyone if he doesn’t get elected. But there’s a point where you undermine your own principles to the point that you’re no good to anyone. There’s no point in electing, or re-electing, people who keep doing the wrong thing in order to be elected…

            1. Karen Pearson

              Perhaps the problem here is that he has tolerated/encouraged that base, and is now trapped into serving them.

            2. Doug Ross

              Now tell me how Rand Paul has been able to be re-elected (and his father before him many, many times) without ever wavering from their core principles?

              Lindsey wins because he is a Republican, not because he has any special character traits. He got Strom’s seat because he was selected to fill it. He’s done little in his tenure to deserve to hold that seat except a ton of self-promotion. The golf trips with Trump are just another way for him to stay in the public eye. It’s all calculated behavior.

              If he DID have any strong principles, he wouldn’t quit on immigration reform. He lacks the leadership skills to make anything happen.

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                “Now tell me how Rand Paul has been able to be re-elected (and his father before him many, many times) without ever wavering from their core principles?”

                Because what he believes is in fashion with a large portion of the GOP electorate. At least, that’s why he gets nominated. I’d have to know a lot more about Kentucky politics to tell you why he wins in the general….

                1. Doug Ross

                  He won without the support of Mitch McConnell. That says a lot about Paul for me. It’s McConnell and Pelosi who are most responsible for the inability of Congress to do anything. They both have been there longer than Trump.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    And that’s all that matters, right? The less time you’ve been in office, the better you are, right? That makes Trump WAY better than Lincoln, or FDR, or anyone who went before…

  2. bud

    Here’s an interesting article in a publication called The Week by Damon Linker. This seems to summarize much of what Brad and Bart like to harp on. Here’s a key excerpt:

    “The (Democratic) party has shown no willingness at all to adjust its message to appeal to conservatives in the South who would like to see Democrats stake out a more moderate position on abortion, or to Trump voters in the Midwest who are anxious about immigration, or to centrists who are skittish about promises to impose a single-payer health-care system. Instead, the party has doubled down on its long-term pro-choice absolutism, its more recent drift toward rejecting any and all immigration restrictions, and its post-2016 conviction that advocating some form of socialized medicine is a winning idea.”

    In other words as many on the right see it Democrats lose elections because they don’t want to become Republicans. But even if Democrats wanted to adopt these more moderate positions would that actually help them win elections? Absolutely not. Given that Hillary won far more votes than Donald Trump it seems the people are rejecting these Republican ideas not the other way around. So why change an approach that is winning more voters? That would just alienate the people that do vote for Democrats now because they like pro-choice, liberal immigration laws and universal health care. Ultimately they would gain nothing by becoming Republican lite. There just aren’t very many voters to appeal to in the middle. Now that voters have a taste of GOP governance and they’ve seen what a cluster that is it is likely the pendulum will swing back in the direction of Democrats.

  3. Doug Ross

    You may be one of only a dozen people in South Carolina who voted for Lindsey to deal with immigration reform. The rest of the people who voted for him want him to be tougher on illegal immigrants.

    If he can assist in getting any ACTUAL tax reform enacted, that’s a plus in my book.

    But it continues to amaze me when you act disappointed when Lindsey changes his rhetoric depending on whatever political winds are blowing. That’s been his style since day one. He’s only interested in getting re-elected — and, frankly, his campaign staff isn’t concerned if you are bothered by him not focusing on a trivial issue like immigration reform.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Regarding most of what you just said, I refer you to what I said to Bud. I’m sorry y’all can’t see what a disturbing departure these last few weeks have been. Of course, y’all don’t like Lindsey for some of the main reasons I like him, so y’all don’t really care if he’s changed.

      Yes, I’m sure anybody responsible for helping him get elected would prefer that he not make their jobs harder. But he’s never worried excessively about that in the past, which is one of the things I’ve liked about him.

      But there’s a much, much bigger problem going on here than Lindsey or the fact that y’all don’t get him or like him.

      It’s this: In recent days, we’ve had some important things said about Trump and Trumpism by John McCain, George W. Bush, Bob Corker and Jeff Flake. Of course, none of them have named him in doing so, but maybe that’s just their way of trying to be classier than he is. But they don’t need to try so hard; it’s not a difficult hurdle.

      The disturbing thing is that all of this truth-telling is coming only from men who’s political careers are coming to an end.

      This nation desperately needs Republicans who plan to stick around — and that includes Lindsey, as well as Ben Sasse and Marco Rubio — to be equally honest and unrelenting in their critique of Trump, and to keep it up until he is gone.

      They owe their country that. I’d say they owe it to their party as well, but I don’t care all that much whether their party is saved or not…

        1. Doug Ross

          If they just enforce the existing laws, I will be fine with nothing else happening. That makes it trivial. It’s the people who want to give amnesty to criminals and those who want to ignore existing law that make it into a bigger issue than it is. I don’t care about building a wall, just about removing all incentives for people to enter illegally and punish employers who break the law to hire them. The law is the law. It’s not a suggestion.

    2. bud

      If he can assist in getting any ACTUAL tax reform enacted, that’s a plus in my book.

      Tax Reform. That’s a good one Doug. No one in the Republican Party is actually pushing tax REFORM. This is all about tax cuts for the robber barons who run companies like Wells Fargo, SCANA and Equifax.

      1. Doug Ross

        Robber barons and the oligarchs… Is this 1880?

        The only robber barons in our country work for the IRS.

        1. Harry Harris

          Unfortunately, it’s too much like the 1880’s. I guess your favorite type of taxation would be much like the original middle-ages robber barons who took “shares” from the peasants, and artisans on their land and from travelers who used their roads. I’m not sure whether you favor feudalism or just 20th century third-world oligarchy.

          1. Doug Ross

            My favorite form of taxation is a flat tax that kicks in above a certain income level and with no deductions, no exemptions, no writeoffs. There should be no reason for an average individual to even have to file a tax return. Set three rates at 4xPoverty level, 10x Poverty Level, and 100x Poverty Level. The current tax code is a major inhibitor to economic growth.

            I also am fine with a national sales tax. Let everyone pay into the system.

            My least favorite tax is the property tax – I should not be taxed on what I own. Charge a per dwelling or per car fee and eliminate all the bureaucracy related to assessment and millage. Two houses side by side in a neighborhood should not pay a different tax amount. It’s plain stupidity.

            1. bud

              Property taxes are far too low on very expensive properties like Mar A Lago or those ridiculous mansions on Lake Murray. They should be taxed at double the percentage of any home under 2000 sq feet.

              1. Richard

                I think we should require double-wides be taxed at double the rate of a single wide. Those uppity people on the outer ring of the trailer park…

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Aren’t they?

                  Of course, I don’t know tax law very well: Is a mobile home real property, or personal property? I’m thinking probably the latter. In any case, a double-wide should be taxed more…

              2. Doug Ross

                Why? Aren’t property taxes intended to pay for local services like schools, police, fire, etc? Why should I pay more than a neighbor who has one fewer bedroom in his house?

                Your envy of those who are successful is palpable. Rather than increase your standing, your only solution is to take money from those that have been more successful.

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  This is another one of those things that is plainly obvious to me but will never be to you, based on how many times we’ve had this discussion.

                  If your property is worth more, then you’re benefiting more from “schools, police, fire” — without which your property would not have its value…

                  But there’s something about the cognitive styles of libertarians that they can’t seem to see how they are connected to the rest of society. They seem to think that if they and their property were plopped in the middle of a desert without neighbors or infrastructure or taxes or laws or anything that comes from living in a society with other people, their lives would be just as good. Because, you know, the individual libertarian deserves all that he has, because he did it all himself, and none of it depended on other people…

                2. Doug Ross

                  So you believe an extra half bathroom in a house than a neighbor has justifies paying more for schools, fire, and police , the zoo, libraries, and recreation?

                  That’s insane. It has nothing to do with libertarianism. It has to do with basic common sense. We’ve got 100 homes in a neighborhood and every single home pays a different property tax. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

                  I will pay my fair share gladly. Buy my fair share is based on what I get, not what I own.

                3. Doug Ross

                  The top 20 percent pay 95 percent of all income taxes, according to the director of the Office of Management and Budget.”

                  And that’s not enough for some people. Amazing. You should be THANKING rich people for what they are subsidizing for the rest of us.

  4. Chuckie

    The two major parties are just in fundamentally different places. It was recently pointed out that around 43 percent of Democrats in Congress voted in favor of the war with Iraq. And overall, the level of support by Democratic members of Congress for Bush’s major policy initiatives was 41 percent. In stark contrast, the level of support for major Obama administration policies among congressional Republicans was a measly 5.75 percent.
    So, really now, which party is the primary offender against compromise and comity?

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