Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, is the subject of a
lengthy profile by
in the upcoming New York Times Magazine. Graham, a
moderate who has shown an unusual willingness to work with this
administration, has emerged as a key player of Obama-era Washington. But
Graham has infuriated fellow Republicans for engaging with Democrats,
and also often upsets Democrats for the compromises he will not make.
The Times Magazine dubs him "This Year's Maverick" in reference to
fellow GOP Senator John McCain.
- Graham: Tea Party Will 'Die
Out' The Hill's Jordan Fabian
pulls out the quotes. Fabian writes, "Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.),
who has earned the ire of Tea Party groups for his penchant for
negotiating with Democrats, predicted this week the movement will 'die
out.' Graham, who has partnered with Democrats on immigration reform and
energy and climate legislation," had this to say:
doing now in terms of talking about climate, talking about immigration,
talking about Gitmo is completely opposite of where the Tea Party
movement’s at. ... The problem with the Tea Party, I think it’s just
unsustainable because they can never come up with a coherent vision for
governing the country. It will die out. ... We don’t have a lot of
Reagan-type leaders in our party. Remember Ronald Reagan Democrats? I
want a Republican that can attract Democrats. ... Ronald Reagan would
have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today.
GOP's Rightward Shift Since Reagan Outside the Beltway's Doug Mataconis writes, "The
Ronald Reagan that governed for eight years in the 80s was, in many
ways, very different from the mythos that many on the right, such as
Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, have created of a tax-cutting, hawkish
foreign policy-following conservative icon. For example, Reagan raised taxes more than once during his
eight years in office, he supported an immigration reform bill
that granted amnesty to illegal immigrants, and while he did rebuild a
decaying American military, he was also fiercely opposed to nuclear weapons and believed
that they should be abolished from the planet. Would such a candidate
have a chance in the
Tea Party Republican Party of 2010
? It’s hard to say, but it’s by no means certain that he would be as
lovingly received as he is remembered."
- Exacerbated Tea
Party-Moderate Divide The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen writes, "Graham's
remarks, while defensible, are likely to cause all manner of trouble for
him. He's already been condemned by right-wing South Carolinians, and
that was just for talking to Democrats about possible
compromises on public policy. For Graham to trash the confused Tea Party
crowd -- to the New York Times, no less -- will likely make his
life in Republican politics considerably more difficult."
Publicly Feud, Privately Cooperate Talking Points Memo's Eric Kleefeld writes,
"Graham talked about the theatrical elements of politics, in which
Senators and other political figures of opposite parties will privately
work together while vigorously attacking each other in public. He
credited the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) as a skilled practitioner of
this -- and President Obama, too. 'The president has said very nice
things about me off the record to other reporters,' said Graham."
GOP About Small Gov't or No Gov't? White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told Draper of
Graham, "He's willing to work on more things than the others. Lindsey,
to his credit, has a small-government vision that’s out of fashion with
his party, which stands for no government. ... He's one of the last big
voices to give that vision intellectual energy."
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