Author: Rory B. Bellows
Lindsey Graham is outraged, outraged I say! What has Senator Graham so upset? He was holding a town hall meeting the other day and was questioned about his support cap and trade, working with the Democrats on Social Security and called a RINO.
In reponse, Senator Graham said he was going to “grow” the Republican Party and supports of Congressman Paul responded by chanting Paul’s name. Graham then told the crowd he would not “let Ron Paul hijack the Republican Party” and if supporters of Ron Paul did not like it, they were free to leave.
Now, a few thoughts.
For the past 8 years we had exactly the type of Republican Party Senator Graham wanted. Senator Graham was a strong supporter of the Bush adventure in Iraq. Senator Graham voted for the TARP Bill. Senator Graham is in favor of Cap and Trade, a position the Republican nominee in the 2008 Presidential Election also held, Senator Graham, rightly, believes the GOP needs to reach out to Hispanic voters but he has an odd way of doing so. Graham voted to confirm liberal Sonya Sotomayor while standing silent as the National Republican Campaign Committee endorsed liberal Charlie Crist over conservative Marco Rubio in the Florida Senate race.
Where has Lindsey Graham’s brand of Republicanism gotten the party? The Republican President let the White House in January 2009 with an apporval rating in the 20% range. Graham’s Republicaism led to wipe outs in the 2006 and 2008 elections with left the Democrats with a filibuster proof senate majority, huge congressional majorities and Barack Obama in the White House.
Great job, Lindsey.
In the town meeting, Senator Graham defended his conservatism by touting his record on guns and abortion. While I am an ardent supporter of the second amendment, the fact that Graham’s defines his conservatism is such cultural terms, as opposed to free market and individual liberty prinicples, is why the GOP cannnot win is in such a sorry state. Graham told the attendees he was going to go to states like Delaware and Illinois and win with “big tent” (i.e. liberal) candidates. It is precisely because of Senator Graham and how he has defined conservatism and the Republican Party that conservatism and the GOP is dead in those states.
I agree we have to grow the Republican Party but Senator Graham’s version of a Republican Party that grows is nothing more than an actuary of the Democratic Party. Ron Paul’s brand of limited government, consititiutionalist conservatism is ideology that drove the Goldwater Campaign and ultimately led to the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Lindsey Graham’s brand of conservatism led to the election of Barack Obama. Which direction would you rather have the parrty go?
Ron Paul appeared on CNN’s The Situation Room to respond to Senator Graham’s attacks: