Thursday, March 7, 2013

Senator Lindsey Graham is "S'More" -- Mick Mulvaney for US Senate

I have written about US Senator Lindsey Graham in previous posts, decrying his willingness to ease away from his pledge not to raise taxes. I have also supported his strong stance against nominees for Secretary of Defense candidate Chuck Hagel and CIA Directornominee John Brennan.

US Senator Lindsey Graham

Sadly, Graham is crumbling, betraying his own colleagues in the US Senate, while choosing to dine with the President. Graham's membership on "The Gang of Eight" has given "compromise" a bad name, since every agreement with the President and the Democratic leaders in Congress has only raised revenue without cutting spending or bringing down the national debt without providing relief for the taxpayer. Three Democrats voted against the fiscal cliff deal, showing more integrity with their views, even if they chose not to stand with their party.

Congressman Graham fought against the lying and corruption of the stained and soiled former President Bill Clinton. From his ascendancy to the US Senate until today, Graham has gone from outsider to insider, representing the interests of the Beltway instead of the Palmetto State. Graham has made other political blunders, too. He endorsed a Democrat for Congress, Howard Berman of Valley Village, CA, when he should have stayed out of race altogether. He supported unqualified judicial nominees (Sotomayor, Kagan). He has recently insulted an outspoken libertarian US Senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, who pressed President Barack Obama to confirm that drones would not be used against American citizens on domestic soil. Graham denounced Senator Rand Paul's staged filibuster to block the confirmation of John Brennan, a nominee who gave troubling answers without providing any confirmation that future drone strikes would never be used against Americans.

Senator Graham and his meandering (neither moderate nor maverick) Arizona Senator John McCain, have gutted an pretense of representing the people, the taxpayers, the businesses, in their states or in this country. Not ideology, but idiocy undermines these two senators. The voters of South Carolina should not submit to Graham's poor representation any further.

Senator Lindsey is a Smore: Hard on the outside, Squishy on the inside

Graham has crumbled. He is like a "S'more" who looks tough on the outside, but on the inside he wants to be liked (the chocolate), and he is squishy and soft on the issues (the marshmallow). Ge may counter with "compromise, compromise!" Compromise is not a bad word, but it must be principled, it must be purposeful, and it must remain persuasive.

Someone must mount a serious primary challenge to Senator Graham for his growing list of abuses: illiberal Supreme Court nominees, reneging on no-tax pledges, to his refusal to filibuster the appointment of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, in spite of Hagel's dreadful performance before the Armed Services Committee (defenseless in the face of his "Jewish Lobby" comment).
A perfect challenger would be Congressman Mick Mulvaney, who represents all kinds in the fifth district (Sumter, Rock Hill). The Tea Party element (which cuts across party lines in his district) supports Mulvaney's demands for cutting spending. He has never resisted a revenue increase, provided that there was substantial cuts. He voted against the fiscal cliff deal, not out of ideological pretense, but because the deal did not enact any real cuts.

Mulvaney's take on the nature of "Washington Compromise", the kind that Graham has grown to favor, amounts to someone offering to buy your home for one dollar: Laughable and unserious, enough that minority leader Mitch McConnell laughed, and so should every voter in South Carolina.
In a June 2012 budget committee hearing, Mulvaney tore up long-term progressive-regressive Henry Waxman (D-CA), who foolishly admitted "I don't know!" when Mulvaney asked him "Did GM go bankrupt?". While the Obama administration was throwing one group of public workers (the retired teachers and police officers of Indiana) under the bus to bail out the United Auto Workers, Mulvaney and his staff refused to let the sellout go without an outcry. Unafraid to stand up to long-term self-serving members of Congress, Mulvaney is willing to work together in the best interests of the country, not just his reelection interests.

US Congressman Mick Mulvaney

South Carolina voters should look no further than Mick Mulvaney for a potential US Senator who respects the spirit and the letter of compromise, in which both parties never get everything that they want, but they do not cave on their principles. Mulvaney has stood up to his own party as well as the opposition out of principle, not out of politics or pretense. He respects the differences within his own caucus without creating more division. Mulvaney can explain himself, defend himself, go on the offense, yet not offend. This spirited combination is softer on the outside, but strong on the inside, like the right cut of meat, as opposed to a messy "Smore" which ends up everywhere but in the right place.

As for Graham, he has crumbled under the pressures of a politician who wants to please everybody, and even when he gets tough, in the end he reveals how softy and squishy he really is. South Carolina, and the United States, deserve better.

No More of Lindsey “Smore” Graham – Mick Mulvaney for US Senate in 2014!

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