By Stan Welch
I saw something on television Sunday morning that almost made me lose my breakfast. No, it wasn’t a rerun of the Clemson/FSU game. Watching that again would be like watching the film of the Challenger blow up over and over and over. Once you’ve seen something crash and burn that bad, there’s no point watching it again.
No, I saw Senator Lindsey Graham on a Sunday morning talk show, and his smug, smarmy, obnoxious performance was nothing short of nauseating. He had the temerity to scold Senator Ted Cruz for his role in the government shutdown. This followed his declaration that the Senate can’t shut down the government; that only the House of Representatives possesses such power within the framework of the Constitution and the separation of powers established therein. As usual, the Senator from South Carolina staked out two positions on the issue so he would always have somewhere to go.
He went on to admonish Senator Cruz several times “not to do that again”, as if he were talking to a child, or a protégé, instead of to an equal. Well, Senator Graham, I assure you that Senator Cruz is no protégé of yours.
His default position on points of contention with the Obama administration does not involve kowtowing to the Democrats in the Senate, in the hopes that he might get some more face time on Meet the Press or Face the Nation.
Sen. Graham, who voted to confirm every Supreme Court nominee that Obama offered, no matter how liberal and openly predisposed they were, seems to think that good faith negotiations are possible with the Democratic controlled Senate; as well as with a president who states clearly that he will not negotiate over anything that doesn’t give him his way.
Senator Graham challenged Senator Cruz’s tactics. He also challenged the Tea Party members of the House for their support of the shutdown. One has to wonder what part of a position which states, ‘end the shutdown, and raise the debt ceiling and then we’ll talk’ is an invitation to negotiate anything.
Three or four years ago, I found the term RINO somewhat offensive, because at that time, I still held out hope for a moderate approach to changing the direction of this nation. I thought that people like Senator Graham, with his willingness to reach across the aisle, might be an agent of such compromise and change.
Since then, the other party has made it clear that compromise has no part in their game plan. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has made it clear that he holds the whip and intends to use it. Senator Graham might want to make note of that. He might want to save some of that scolding for the recalcitrant Reid, and not Senator Cruz.
This is what our nation has come to. Senator Ted Cruz, and others of his opinion, are branded as radicals because he thinks that quids deserve quos. Some of this deserves some of that. He thinks that an increase in the already enormous debt should be based on spending cuts to at least pretend to have some sense of fiscal responsibility.
He thinks that Obamacare is a socialist disaster that should be stopped, no matter how squeamish some may be over the tactics used. He thinks that opposition to policies and political agendas which he and his constituents see as dangerous or damaging to this country is a legitimate action. He is unashamed to say so.
In this politically correct and tainted atmosphere in which we flounder, this is enough to brand him as a dangerous heretic. It is no surprise to see the Democrats and the liberal talking heads go after Cruz and others like him. They fear him and his beliefs and want to crush the movement he dares to lead before it can take root.
But to see a supposedly conservative Republican Senator like Senator Graham, and his guru John McCain go after Cruz as they have, is disheartening, at the least. One wonders what Graham’s response would have been had he been present when Patrick Henry made his radical choice clear. “As for me, give me liberty or give me death.” One can almost hear Graham’s reply. “Hold on Patrick, don’t get carried away. I’m sure we and the king can work something out.”
Stilll, facts are facts. Florida State spanked Clemson Saturday; and Lindsey Graham with a six million dollar war chest, and all the free air time the mainstream media, which adores a RINO to play with, can give him, is most likely going to retain his Senate seat next year.
I just wish I could believe that he takes that seat and the service to his state and her people that it implies as seriously as the Senator from Texas.