When Lindsey Graham was first elected to Congress in 1994, he went there with great promise. His impassioned pleas for limited government and a strong military was music to the ears of South Carolinians - and neophyte conservatives such as I. It was the salad days for conservatism; big tax increases and the threat of Clinton Care ushered in a flood of young conservatives clutching in hand The Contract With America. Lindsey Graham was in that class. It was rarefied air. It had been over forty years since conservatives had enjoyed the majority.
And the new majority did check and balance Clintonism. As revenues from the President's large tax increase began to flow in, the conservatives and Lindsey held the line on spending and deficits began to shrink. Of course, Clinton gets all the credit for that balanced budget, but liberals are suspending reality if they believe Clinton did not have that tax money earmarked. What we are watching happen today with the porked-out Obama plan was also the grand plan of Clinton, Inc., but the 1994 conservative Congress got in the way - just like they were supposed to.
Then something happened. The metamorphosis was indeed Kafkaesque. Lindsey Graham woke up one morning from unsettling dreams and found himself changed in his bed. He had not become a giant cockroach, but instead a liberal democrat. Well, not exactly - he does still say the right things on battling terrorism - but Lindsey's views on illegal immigration, his political spooning with Teddy Kennedy, and his ultimate love affair with "reach across the isle" John McCain (Gang of 14, etc), belies his conservative banner. His limited government, economic freedom mantras of 1994 succumbed to "principled compromise". The folks back home in South Carolina were (and are) puzzled. But not so puzzled that they didn't send him back to the Senate in 08. Honestly speaking, by re-electing Lindsey, South Carolinians will get the government they deserve...and are getting.
So here we are at the precipice of applied liberalism and Lindsey miraculously appears from the burning building carrying a baby, an orphan, and an old lady on his back - and waving at the cameras his long lost conservative credentials. His spittal spewing speech last week on the senate floor might be taken seriously if he weren't for the raging case of Washingtonitus he contracted after his election to the Senate in 2002. It was then that he stopped looking out for the rubes back home and began looking out for himself...and with "getting along". His constituents became "bigots" for not supporting his push for amnesty and his aforementioned man crush on John McCain was a further symptom of the disease.
So it is good to hear Lindsey Graham say the things he used to say...and perhaps even used believe; but now he pontificates with nothing to lose. Democrats do not need his vote to pass the lets make America an economic basketcase like Europe bill. His grandstanding rhetoric seems empty and capricious at this late date. His principled compromise tarnishes his once conservative reputation. Where were you when we needed you Lindsey? Now, with the specter of rampant economic liberalism lurking like the ghost of Karl Marx, your eyes roll back in your head and you begin to channel Reagan. Nice speech, but you're too late Lindsey, far too late.
3 days ago