June 7, 2007

Lindsay Graham Melting In Dark (Update: The Video Is Even Better)

I've been following the coverage of the immigration bill by Michelle Malkin, who really redefines the term "tireless". No one else could stay awake through hours of Senate coverage a day and make it seem exciting in the recaps, and people should make sure they're keeping pace with her live-blog posts. Start at the top and keep scrolling.

Michelle also picked up this story about a contretemps between Lindsay Graham and Barack Obama, when the latter introduced an amendment that would have capped the points-based entry system. Graham apparently took great exception to this amendment. He berated Obama on the floor of the Senate, and then continued scolding the freshman Senator outside the chamber:

The amendment infuriated Graham, a South Carolina Republican with close ties to another presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Pacing the Senate floor and waving Obama's amendment, Graham loudly accused Obama of undermining a delicate agreement whose advocates have shown political courage.

Issues that require bipartisanship often fail, Graham said, "because some people, when it comes to the tough decisions, back away." Obama's amendment, he said, would destroy the bill's prospects and bring special woe to Republicans—such as himself—who have endured conservatives' searing criticism for backing it.

It would undercut "everybody over here who's walked the plank and told our base, 'You're wrong,'" Graham said. "So when you're out on the campaign trail, my friend, tell them about why we can't come together. This is why."

Obama briefly appeared stunned and demanded time to respond. The notion that his amendment would gut the bill "is simply disingenuous" he said. "It's engaging in the sort of histrionics that is entirely inappropriate for this debate."

Almost immediately, the two men continued the argument in a hall just outside the chamber. "They were going at it," said Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla. "We could hear them inside."

Barack Obama chalked it up to too much caffeine and the long hours of debate on the bill. Graham later said that he likes Obama but found the amendment disappointing. Both men seemed to want it put behind them after Obama's amendment failed.

It's not the first time Graham has been reduced to histrionics on this topic. He lashed out at opponents of the bill as "bigots" in this appearance at a La Raza event last month. It comes at the end of this four-minute clip, most of which is completely unobjectionable:

When politicians get hysterical about criticism, I generally tend to think that the criticism has struck home. In this case, Graham apparently realizes that he has risked his career on a compromise bill that everyone genuinely hates. While he has a good point in the difficulties of solving problems that have a high degree of both partisanship and emotion, Graham has acted to throw gasoline on the fire of at least the latter by lashing out irrationally at those who simply think this bill is too flawed, regardless of the efforts made by reasonable people to compromise.

Graham mistakes process for results. The bill's opponents don't have any requirement to validate Graham's risks on behalf of bad legislation, no matter how well-intentioned those efforts were. It's hard to credit him much with even good faith, though, as long as he engages in name-calling and red-faced tirades when challenged on the merits of the legislation. He's become a petulant child rather than a cool-headed legislator, and quite frankly, it destroys the credibility of the bill as well as Graham.

UPDATE: OK, you have to see the video at Hot Air. It's priceless. Graham looks like a petulant child as well as sounding like one.


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Comments (25)

Posted by Laddy | June 7, 2007 7:49 AM

I suspect he'll have a primary challenger next time up.

Posted by Keemo | June 7, 2007 7:52 AM

Democrats and Republicans Join Together to Grant Amnesty to Those Already Ordered Deported

These fools are rewarding illegal aliens who are not only already here illegally, but were ordered deported and defied that order as well:

The Senate voted yesterday to grant amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who have already been caught and ordered deported but are defying a court order, preserving their path to citizenship as part of the immigration bill.

Yesterday’s major fight was over part of the bill that wipes out the immigration charges against illegal aliens who have already faced a judge and been ordered deported, known as alien absconders, and over part of the bill that applies to aliens who have already been deported but sneaked back into the country again.

Mr. Cornyn’s amendment was defeated 51-46, with 10 Republicans joining most Democrats and the chamber’s two independents in voting to preserve the path to citizenship for absconders.

Sex offenders and drunks get a pass as well, at this point, why the hell not:

The Senate did pass another amendment sponsored by Mr. Kennedy that tightened rules on excluding gang members and terrorist supporters, but Mr. Cornyn said it would still allow sex offenders and repeat drunken drivers to remain in the country and get legal status.

Harry “Pinky” Reid is an IDIOT:

Mr. Reid said he has already relented in adding an extra week’s worth of work on the bill. He compared the floor situation to the mess created by the cat in the Dr. Seuss classic “The Cat in the Hat.”
Still, Mr. Reid said he sees reasons for hope.
“If you go back and read Dr. Seuss, the cat manages to clean up the mess,” the Nevada Democrat said.

Republicans checking with TED KENNEDY so they can match their vote with HIS:

On the health care vote, Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John McCain of Arizona both went to check with Mr. Kennedy before casting their votes to match his. Soon after, Mr. Kyl also switched his vote to match Mr. Kennedy’s.

Go have another drink:

Mr. Kennedy strenuously opposed the amendment, his face turning red as he thundered against it on the Senate floor.

If this bill reaches the President and he does not veto it, he is in direct violation of the Constitution’s Preamble and should be held accountable:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

This amnesty bill would NOT “establish justice", would NOT “insure domestic tranquility", would NOT “provide for the common defense” or “promote the general welfare of liberty to ourselves". (polipundit)

Very well stated CE... Lindsey Graham is another example of the modern day politician; errogent, self serving, self centered, lacking the ability to govern on behalf of the citizens who voted him/her into office...

Posted by Al Maviva | June 7, 2007 8:14 AM

I'd stick up for the little man, but what the hell, I'm one of the racist bigots who has problems with the bill, so he can rot as far as I'm concerned. Nice bed, Lindsey. How's it feel to lie in it?

Posted by Ron Goodwyne | June 7, 2007 8:19 AM

Laddy says she thinks Graham will have a primary challenger in '08. Count on it!

SC Republicans are fed up with Graham. I worked on his campaign. I walked precincts, maned phone banks and worked campaign events and this is the thanks I and countless like me get. Graham has been the biggest disappointment to conservatives to come along in a long time. He campaigned as a conservative but he has operated as nothing but an opportunist.

I've dedicated a portion of my blog to his defeat and begun a second blog entirely devoted to that goal. As a conservative Republican I will do everything in my power to see that this man's tenure in Washington is brought to an end!

If RINOs like Graham are not made to pay a price then we mights as well all just give up because conservative will be to the Republican party what blacks are to the Democrat party. We'll just be taken for granted and have little to no influence within the party.

Posted by Bruce Armstrong | June 7, 2007 8:20 AM

Poor Lindsay Graham. Those South Carolina senators get so annoyed when uppity blacks don't know their proper place. /snark

Posted by molonlabe28 | June 7, 2007 8:27 AM

Sen. Lindsay Graham is a disgrace.

So are all of the other Republicans who have participated in this preposterous bill.

I certainly hope that good Republicans are lining up in SC to oppose him in the next primary.

Posted by NahnCee [TypeKey Profile Page] | June 7, 2007 8:39 AM

For some reason, in my mind I'm hearing the quote, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." Maybe because I love the smell of roasting politicians being slowly broiled over their own greedy stupidity.

To me, every vote *for* this stupid bill boils down to greed, black and white simple. These pols are listening to the unions and to the chicken farmers and to the tomato growers who want cheap labor. Cheap labor is *not* the end-all, be-all of American existance, and it certainly doesn't cancel out the billion-dollar costs to the taxpayer of carrying all these unqualified newbies.

I simply do not understand why no one in Washington seems to be able to hear the outrage of American citizens who no longer have emergency rooms because they've been swamped by uninsured sickly illegals, who are being killed on the streets by drunk illegals, and whose children are being edged into the classroom corner by Spanish-speaking illiterates.

They *do* seem to be able to hear, however, the Democrats slinging around the word "racist" and the unions murmuring seductive phrases like "campaign contributions". I think all of them got an earful when they went back home for the last recess, and now they're looking into the near future at the certain death of their political careers because they listened to politically correct multi-culti's who do *not* speak for a majority of American voters, and because they accepted the business-as-usual lobbyist donations.

Posted by harleycon5 | June 7, 2007 8:40 AM

Wow, it takes a lot to make Barrack Obama look conservative, but Lindsey Graham has done so brilliantly. Can anyone doubt the reasons why the Republicans lost in the last election? Our party has become one of insiders trying to out-lib the Democrats.

I would also agree that had any Conservative disagreed with Obama had he sided with Lindsey (his name alone irks me), Graham would have pulled out the "bigot card" once again.

Senator Graham, start packing your bags, your days in Washington are numbered, and we WILL NOT forget your actions.

Posted by MarkD | June 7, 2007 8:42 AM

Amnesty supporters can't make a case for their legislation, but instead must resort to atttacking its opponents. Does that sound like a winner to you?

A workable compromise might be something like: stop new illegals, kick out the felons, and legitimize the status of those who are here, fines and prison terms for hiring illegals.

This is strike two.

Posted by Bachbone | June 7, 2007 8:50 AM

...undermining a delicate agreement ... is one of the same arguments Senator Chappaquiddick presented in favor of allowing convicted illegal felons to stay here, so it's obviously a "talking point" agreed upon by the main deviants behind the bill. The good ol' boy network is alive and well inside the Beltway. Time to send every last politician who votes for this bill "back into the shadows."

Posted by Jabba the Tutt | June 7, 2007 8:55 AM

McCain is toast. Son of McCain (Chuckie Hagel) is toast. McCain Junior (Lindsey Graham) is toast.

I'm going to the fridge to get the butter and jam.

Posted by roc ingersol | June 7, 2007 9:10 AM

As a Senator, he should keep a cooler head but to listen to opponents of the bill, which I am one, scold others for their rhetoric is irony at its best.

Posted by Bill Faith | June 7, 2007 9:23 AM

As much as I hate to say anything that might remotely sound like I'm sticking up for Graham in any way, the Obama amendment deserved to fail, which it did, 55-42. He wanted to dump the merit-based point system after 5 years and go back to "Call all your relatives and tell 'em the door's open." I added a link to my 2006.06.07 "No Illegal Left Behind" Roundup .

Posted by Bill Faith | June 7, 2007 9:39 AM

NahnCee, the picture I'm getting from other sites is that the Dorgan amendment, which may just turn out to be the poison pill that kills the shamnesty, was submitted because the labor unions lining Dorgan's pockets don't want their members to have to compete with "guest workers" for jobs. Dorgan has a guest-column up at NRO (Yes! A guest column by a Dem Senator at NRO!) explaining why he's opposed to the bill.

Posted by Howard | June 7, 2007 9:44 AM

Goober Graham and the othr RINO traitors supporting the betrayal of America should be kicked out of office. I have lost complete faith in President Bush as well. Our soldiers are dying for freedom while politicians are betraying America by giving it away to illegals at taxpayers expense.

Posted by exdem13 | June 7, 2007 9:46 AM

Graham was right to challenge Obama, because the amendment did not help the bill in any way. In fact, it would have made it less likely to pass. Which, given Graham's goal, was not in his political interest. However, rudeness aside, it shows the pols are really under pressure right now, and are desperately trying to get something done (or undone) right now. The public attention hasn't faded on this one, and they are feeling the heat. Keep those fires burning!

Posted by RoyE | June 7, 2007 9:52 AM

Sorry, but you not tell your constituents to 'shut up' when they object to the imposition your own unpopular will upon them.

Goober has got to go.

Posted by David M | June 7, 2007 10:14 AM

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 06/07/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

Posted by Karl | June 7, 2007 10:52 AM

Oh, The sweet green icing! He'll never have that recipe again.

Posted by Al Maviva | June 7, 2007 10:55 AM

Bill, I know I'm just a racist for stating this, but I think that worrying about the effect of 12 million instantly legal blue collar workers on marginal wages for people who have been lawfully employed in that sector, is a legitimate worry. This also goes to the question of wage inflation (and inflation of goods prices) which will tend to devalue the worth of your income. So at the same time you get that huge influx of cheap legal labor, you get rising unemployment in that sector of the labor market (wage rises always decrease employment levels) along with climbing goods prices and the effective devaluation of salaries all the way up and down the wage scale.

I happen to think we need much higher levels of legal immigration, but this amnesty bill is an invite to the workers that we need least. You want to legalize the underclass? Fine, but do it more gradually, let the economy adjust a bit over time.

But then, as Lindsey will tell you, I'm a racist bigot for raising this point and I guess Dorgan is nothing but a corrupt union shill.

Posted by james23 | June 7, 2007 1:15 PM

Lindsey Graham has got to go. Whoever runs against him is going to get donations from me.

Posted by Ron Sinclair | June 7, 2007 2:02 PM

As someone who lives and votes in SC, no one I know is voting for Edwards (oops) Graham. He has turned into Edwards lite in his hopes to be a vice presidential candidate. Sad. However, 3 cheers for Jim DeMint!!

Posted by Adjoran | June 7, 2007 2:58 PM

I'm not a Graham fan since he decided it was more important to be John McCain's valet than to represent the citizens of South Carolina, and I will gladly urge Thomas Ravenel to challenge him in the Republican Primary next year, and support him if he does.

However, Graham was entirely correct in his point that Obama's amendment does nothing to strengthen the bill and in fact weakens one of the few strong points. Furthermore, it is completely and entirely unnecessary, as future Congresses may "review" the effect of the law at any time, with or without it.

I oppose the bill. I oppose Graham. I think he went overboard in his reaction, but he is correct on the facts in the case of the Obama amendment.

And Dorgan is and has been a shameless union shill, and his amendment was far worse than Obama's - a true "poison pill," as if this dog of a bill needed another one.

I think Jim DeMint is too far to the other side on immigration, but he is right to oppose this monstrosity, and I am grateful to have one Senator in Washington representing the conservative beliefs of South Carolinians.

Graham is making us nostalgic for Fritz Hollings. He occupies Strom Thurmond's seat, which is an insult to Strom's memory.

Posted by Cindi | June 7, 2007 6:18 PM

We're taking in about 1Mil. legal immigrants a year; you want MORE than that, Al? What for? We don't need that many.

What the hell was Graham doing rah-rahing to LaRaza anyway; "The Race" they promote to the deliberate detriment of everyone else, is certainly not whites nor blacks, and he's got the nerve to call us bigots.

Posted by LuckyBogey | June 8, 2007 7:54 AM

Lindsay will be reelected by SC voters. Recently while travelling through SC I noticed the local news and they were all very happy that Lindsay was able to relocate a new interstate from Michigan all the way to Myrtle Beach. Lindsay is bringing home the bacon so forget about him leaving Washington anytime soon. Money still brings in the votes down south.