Cowardly Lyin’ – from Abu Ghraib to Benghazi – Lindsey Graham’s Partisan Legacy
It’s the birthplace of Jesus and Liberty, too. Dum Spiro Spero.
The seat of Dixiecrat Republicanism. The seat of Baggerism. From thence comes little Lindsey.
But, we’re asked – by the likes of David Gregory – to believe that South Carolina pol, Lindsey Graham, is the one Palmetto Republican who isn’t one of them. No, we’re to believe he’s a moderate. Indeed.
To David Gregory and the luminous beltway punditry, Graham is a moderate because he admits the hard things – the things that so many Republicans just can’t bring themselves to accept. Things like, torture is bad and Barack Obama is American. Some say he even believes in evolution! Thank you, senator, for your courage.
The punditocracy needs more men like you. Please go on their Sunday shows every Sunday, week after week, year after year. Illuminate us with your scholarship. Inspire us with your bravery.
The Right’s right is so freakish, so grotesque, so ignorant that now, by simply admitting certain incontrovertible realities, a standard issue conservative may apply for and receive that most cherished DC membership – a pass to Club Mod. So it is in the day of Sarah Palin and teabaggery that admiring the roundness of the earth is revealing your exceptionalism as a Republican.
There was another day. A day when a man’s voting record had something to do with the label attached to him. Where, for instance, does this moderate stand on financial reform, environmental protection and taxing the rich? Where does he stand on defense spending?
Indeed, where did he stand during the Bush years?
Right beside the bungling malcontent, of course. Every goddamned step of the way. Iraq war, tax bonuses to the wealth class, Samuel Alito, Alberto Gonzalez, deregulation, the
Dirty Clear Skies Act. The list is too long and cringe inducing to recite in its entirety. But, he was right there for all of it. The entire eight year political cataclysm.
Let the record show his cursed moderation!
Take the senator from South Carolina at his word. During a recent foray on the Sunday circuit he screeched at the host, “I’m the 15th most conservative senator in the United States senate.” A rating apparently bestowed upon him by the National Journal – arbiter of all things Washington.
Still, the beltway types trip over themselves to call conservatives like Graham moderates. Beltway types like to be lied to. And, closet cases (reactionaries, that is) like Graham like to lie to them. It makes everybody feel better. Especially when those lies come in the form of Graham’s signature whimpering earnestness.
That whimpering earnestness was on full display in 2004 when Graham questioned failures at the top for the abuses in Abu Ghraib prison. The beltway elites were ever impressed. Graham said, “I think that’s probably the core issue here is we just don’t want a bunch of privates and sergeants to be the scapegoats here … I think we are dealing with system failures.”
Graham guaranteed at congressional hearings that he would go wherever the evidence led, as high up on the chain of command as it went. After months and years what did our courageous moderate make sure of? A bunch of privates and sergeants were made scapegoats – and one general got thrown under the bus for cover. That’s guts.
Did anyone in the beltway media notice? Don’t be silly. Someone might feel the worse for it.
He’ll go on their shows one year and talk about his concern for global climate change and support for cap-and-trade legislation. On that same show, in that same year, he might talk about how he’s for comprehensive immigration reform – it’s the right thing to do. Then, a different year comes and with it a different Lindsey Graham, too.
Problem with the senior senator from South Carolina is that when push comes to shove – or there’s a Kenyan socialist in the White House – he does not advocate for moderate policies or vote for them either. He runs far and fast. That’s the record.
In 2010, Graham unceremoniously scuttled his own efforts on cap-and-trade when he pronounced proposed legislation, “dead”. Thereafter, any momentum, political will or bipartisanship was dead, too. Why did this maverick and moderate abandon his position? Graham was feeling pressure from the Right – they skewered him for supporting a carbon … tax. They were also in the midst of constructing an asinine conspiracy theory around ‘Climate Gate’, pronouncing climate science a ‘hoax’. Way to stand tall, Lindsey.
Graham’s betrayal also resulted from his pique at the passage of the Affordable Care Act – the radical bill first authored by the Heritage Foundation. He didn’t want that socialist legislation jammed down his throat. In a school girl fit, he would get even with his Democratic foes by obstructing on cap-and-trade.
Quite the moderate, putting party over country.
So it was for immigration reform. In fact, Graham got a twofer – he linked his backtracking on immigration reform to having another piece of legislation pending at the same time. Yes, the aforementioned – cap-and-trade proposal.
Impossible for a deliberative body to handle two things at once! Graham whined, “moving forward on immigration – in this hurried, panicked manner – is nothing more than a cynical political ploy.”
Cynical ploy? Would Graham’s change of heart in April of 2010 have had anything to do with ACA passage the month before or the Bagger Movement it spawned? Quite.
Abu Ghraib, the environment, immigration and much more. Graham isn’t about moderation or courage or truth. He’s too busy being a cowardly liar. That’s his record.
The lying, whimpering moderate is at it again these last couple of weeks. Indeed, little Lindsey hasn’t been behaving himself very well, scampering to every camera he sees yipping, “Benghazi, Benghazi!”
David and George and Bob can’t get him on their Sunday shows fast enough to talk about the tragedy in Libya.
And, Graham can’t wait to politicize the whole damn thing and tar the president with scandal. Impeach the terrorist coddler!
Listen as he works himself up into a panicky lather calling for Watergate style hearings (2:20 mark):
But that’s not enough for little Lindsey. Here’s a lie he had to tell on Meet the Press (11-18-12):
Well, I think one of the reasons that Susan Rice told the story she did, if the truth came out a few weeks before the election that our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, had been overrun by an al Qaeda sponsored or affiliated militia, that destroys the narrative we’ve been hearing for months that al Qaeda has been dismantled, bin Laden is dead, we’re safer.
So that was all just a narrative – bin Laden isn’t dead, al Qaeda isn’t eviscerated and we’re not safer.
Here’s the conspiracy theory from that same interview:
We heard a lot of details about classified information to make this president look good. So would– if they would leak classified information to make him look good, would they withhold information to prevent him from looking bad?
One might expect a shred of evidence to bolster this conjecture? The senator offers none. This drivel from a member of the world’s most august political body.
A partisan coward and lying conspiracy theorist is what passes in the mainstream media for a moderate Republican willing buck his party? Forever shame on that damnable party and shame too on the fourth estate.
How irredeemably sad that the real moderates – the Chuck Hagels, Bob Doles and Alan Simpsons – are gone. They got the hell out of politics rather than associate with the monstrosity that is modern day Republicanism. A movement of fear peddlers and scandal mongers.
Those Republicans who came before, those who left, those who would not exploit tragedy, those who put country over party – they had something Lindsey “Cowardly Lyin’” Graham never will.
They had courage.