Monday, February 20, 2012

Sen Huckleberry opposes everything he used to support

And McClatchey's Jim Rosen calls him on it.

For decades, Graham's winning style and mainstream party support would have made him a shoo-in for re-election in 2014.

Now he's struggling to respond to the political force of tea party insurgents, who made a backbench legislator, Nikki Haley, his state's governor in 2010 and last month gave Newt Gingrich's anti-Washington presidential campaign its only win so far, in South Carolina's Republican primary.
Is Graham just being the shrewd pol that his noisy detractors and many admirers agree he is? Is he merely adapting to the times, repositioning himself in the wake of the tea party rise and the ascension of South Carolina's junior senator, Jim DeMint, to the status of national conservative icon?
Or is the aw-shucks senator with the ready wit and self-deprecating style running scared, afraid of a serious primary challenge in a couple of years?

Graham sat in his Capitol Hill office last week, with American and South Carolina flags unfurled behind his desk. He pondered these questions for a moment or two, which for Lindsey Graham, from whom jokes and policy stands flow equally fast, is a rhetorical eternity.

When he responded, he started in typical fashion.

"I fear God," he quipped with a quick laugh.

Then he segued into serious thoughts that sounded like the outline of a stump speech.
"My profile is — I'm conservative, not an ideologue," Graham told McClatchy. "There's no momentum for immigration reform; it's kind of just stopped."

Graham didn't mention that perhaps one reason it's stopped is that he's gone from being an outspoken advocate for easing immigration law to floating the idea of a constitutional amendment to deny "birthright citizenship" to the children of illegal immigrants.

Graham also now opposes the Dream Act, which would give undocumented workers permanent residency if they arrived in the United States as minors and attend college or serve in the military.

He thinks he's better prepared to help the nation and his state.

"I want to be a guy that Democrats can find common ground with on the issues of the day," Graham said. "I want to do something on Social Security and Medicare. I want to find a way to get tea party Republicans and conservative Reagan Republicans like myself and some middle-of-the-road Democrats in a room to solve problems."
In summary, Graham's strategy for getting re-elected is to throw his previous stands out the window.  Once re-elected, he expects "middle-of-the-road Democrats"to recognize that he was just fibbin' a little to his mouth-breathing constituents and negotiate with the in good faith.

As Charles Pearce might say, this is  your democracy, citizens.  Cherish it.

Of course, Republicans, having lost badly in the 2012 election, discrediting the teahadist agenda, will change course, and "middle-of-the-road Republicans," like Graham, will again be in favor with the adults in the party.

And a pony.

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