Can we spare Lindsay Graham? He fights!

By smagar Posted in Comments (65) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

According to Rush, he's Senator "Grahamnesty." Dean Barnett of Hugh Hewitt's site declares him to be one of the biggest losers of the immigration debate (arguably true), and hopes that South Carolina Republicans will turn him out of office in the next primary. Who should replace him? Barnett: "Just about anyone will do."

Not true. Why? We are a nation at war.

From what I've seen, Lindsay Graham has been one of the GOP's best advocates for pressing the war in Iraq to a successful conclusion. The next 90 days may easily determine if America's government continues to press that fight, or shirks from it.

You may not like him. You may hate him. But, can you replace him with someone who fights on this issue as well as he does? Right now, we can't spare people with the tenacity to fight and the verbal skills to fight well.

Read on

I'm sure you all recognize the allusion this diary's title makes to Lincoln's famous quote about Grant. "I can't spare this man," Lincoln said to Grant's critics. "He fights."

Folks, we are in a REAL war here. Not the one Dean Barnett tells us about in the post I linked above:

IN SUMMATION, what happened over the past month was the first real skirmish in a civil war for the soul of the Republican Party.

A REAL war. I can't count the number of times I've seen statements from Army leaders in the past few years, which start off with "the Army is at war." The message our generals are sending us with those words, is to stay focus on the fight that counts.

In between now and September, when GEN Petraeus comes back to Washington for his "make-or-break" progress report, expect al Qaeda and the jihadhis to pull out all the stops. Suicide bombs and ambushes galore, all designed to push a wavering American public---and downright wobbly Congress--over the edge.

Expect the surge's opponents to pull out all the stops as well. Especially since they just received reinforcements in the form of GOP Senator Richard Lugar. Who, the MSM is about to tell all of us, is the GOP's wisest man on foreign policy, whose words should be heeded.

If the surge is to be allowed a real chance to succeed, it needs a Congress willing to NOT shortcircuit it. That means Congressmen and Senators who can argue passionately, effectively and---if need be---ruthlessly on its behalf. I am NOT talking of the Usual GOP Suspects (e.g., Lugar, Hagel, Warner) whose lack of a killer instinct and willingness to go along makes them doormats in the face of ruthless Democratic opponents on the Sunday talk shows.

Lindsay Graham knows how to land a punch. I WILL STIPULATE that I've seen much, much less of Graham in action than many of the commenters on this site. But, what I've seen makes me think he'd be a useful advocate of the surge in the months ahead. Why do I think that?

1) This is how Graham responded to Sen Majority Leader Reid's now-infamous statement that the Iraq War "is lost."

"Majority Leader Reid's willingness to withdraw and declare defeat - in the face of horrific acts of terrorism - would be a mistake for the ages.

"It would undercut General Petreaus's new strategy, not yet fully implemented, and ensure the defeat of this young democracy. It's would also be a death blow to forces of moderation throughout the Middle East.

He followed it up a few days later with this zinger: (Emphasis added)

Graham Asks Reid: 'Who Won in Iraq?'

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on Senate Majority Leaders Harry Reid's recent statement that Iraq 'is lost.' Graham is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"If the war in Iraq is lost, then who won? Was it Al Qaeda? Iran? Sunni extremists? Shia extremists?

"Do you believe allowing any of these groups to emerge victorious is in our long-term national interests?

Hey! A good sound bite and an aggressive response to an execrable statement by Harry Reid! Does THAT sound like someone who's obsessed with the collegiality of the World's Greatest Deliberative Body to you?

2) The Alito confirmation hearing. Remember Russ Feingold's plan to float all sorts of innuendo about Alito being a racist? Feingold (again, from what I, a casual observer of the whole process, could tell) hoped to hide behind the Senate's collegiality to snipe at Alito and drain strength from his confirmation chances. You know...like a leech?

Lindsay Graham was having none of it.

"Are you a closet racist," he dramatically asked Alito during the hearing, in front of a shocked Judiciary Committee and media. We all remember Graham's indignant follow up that he didn't think Alito was a racist, and that the whispering campaign agaist him was shameful.

I remember Mrs. Alito having to leave the hearing room in tears. And, most of all, I remember Feingold spluttering in rage! Lindsay Graham had just dragged his slimy, sorry butt out from hiding into broad daylight! And Feingold didn't like it one bit!

If memory serves, the opposition to Alito crumbled quickly therafter. See what happens when you fight smart and ruthless? You often WIN!

Folks, we need to win this Iraq War debate. It will set a horrible precedent if the surge's chances for success are short-circuted by a Congress that lost its spine.

Now, if there are other GOP Senators with the skills and tenacity of Graham, who are ready and willing NOW to step in his place and do as well as he's done on this issue, then, well, OK. But now is NOT the time to try out other GOP Senators, Senators who are more to the base's liking, and see if they can cut the mustard as advocates for the surge. Now is not the time for OJT. Especially on this issue.

Yes, there are plenty of Dean Barnetts who want to wage war for the soul of the GOP. And, maybe I'm one of them. But, first things first.

Let me close with another reference to Lincoln. He was asked why he backed down when Great Britain challenged him during the Trent affair.

Lincoln's response: "One war at a time."

Robin called me a race bigot. Until he retracts, apologizes, and shows that he's taking a new course, I wish to see him out of the Senate.

You can't win a debate by making personal attacks on your domestic political opposition from within your own party! And knowing that he debates this way, I simply don't trust him to debate credibly on anything else.

Run like Reagan!

Robin called me a race bigot

Some of which I deserved, some of which I didn't. Either way, I sucked it up and drove on. Why did I do that?

Because we...were...at...war.

Remember that, in my diary, I said that it was OK to pitch Graham IF we have an equally effective advocate to replace him. Not someone we can train up, or someone we think can do the job. The time for training and prep on the Iraq War debate is passed.

Neil, who's going to step up and replace Graham? Names, please.

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

I'm told Gov. Sanford is good though.

Run like Reagan!

"During my lifetime, all our problems have come from mainland Europe, and all the solutions from the English-speaking nations across the world." - Thatcher

Isn't his name LindsEy Graham?

Run like Reagan!

Graham hitched his little wagon to McCain's. They're both off course. They can be mavericks at the shuffleboard area in the retirement home.
I applaud Graham's stance on the war, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Someone as good as he is on this issue?

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

Someone as good as he is on this issue?

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

The Dems control the budget cycle and Bush won't be fighting for anything but trying to get shamnisty rerun...
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

After September it may not matter. But I sense that Petraeus and his command are fighting hard in the hope that it does matter.

So, are you saying it's not really that important for the GOP to field a team capable of fighting a good PR fight on behalf of the surge?

Hey, if Graham can be replaced with no drop off in efficiency, then I really can't beef too much. He did step on LOTS of toes the past few weeks, from what I can tell.)

My point is---before we burn Graham at the proverbial political stake, in an effort to exact revenge, we owe it to the troops fighting in SWA to NOT weaken their political support back home. Over the next 90 days especially, we need pro-surge Senators who know how to fight, and fight well. IMO Lindsay Graham fits that bill. Anyone replacing him needs to as well.

P.S.--I know Graham isn't leaving office anytime soon. I'm concerned that conservative activists are so angry at Graham that they'll marginalize him on ALL issues, to include the war.

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

the surge, in fact the war, won't be an issue in '08. It will be history. And the reality of the situation in Iraq is this: if Bush isn't willing to stand up and take the fight to the Democrats IN SPADES, NewTone™ be damned, all the Senators blathering on Sunday won't mean a thing. Riots in the streets in support of the surge won't mean a thing. The issue is Bush, not a Senator or two. And IMO, Bush will be on vacation.

I'm happy for Graham's support and his aggressiveness on the war. I'm still good with finding a conservative in SC to challenge him - G14 and immigration and killers for me. If he's the SC candidate after the primary, I'll support him (but not with money).
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

if Bush isn't willing to stand up and take the fight to the Democrats IN SPADES, NewTone™ be damned, all the Senators blathering on Sunday won't mean a thing.

Agreed. The Senate can't lead the nation to keep up support for the war if the President won't. But, the GOP will need a few of its own to shape/lead the PR fight on behalf of the surge. IMO Graham is one of the best prepared and capable GOP Senators for that job.

See my comment below---I'm not asking for all Graham's "sins" to be forgiven. He's a big boy, and I'm sure he knew he was making LOTS of people angry.

What I'm saying is---let's not let the base's anger at Graham over the immigration issue erode his power as an advocate for the surge. Unless the GOP has a capable replacement in the wings. The stakes are too high to be wrong on this one.

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

"What I'm saying is---let's not let the base's anger at Graham over the immigration issue erode his power as an advocate for the surge."

It's not just immigration - the gang of 14 comes immediately to mind.

I agree with mbecker - Bush is the real PR disaster for the surge. If he won;t fight, why the hell should anyone else?

Maybe the conservatives that KO'd the immigration bill can take the lead on the surge.

Simple. Because we believe in the mission. And because we understand the legacy of Vietnam: give in to the Dem's and millions will die and be held captive by terrorist regimes.

The problem is that when the President doesn't stand up and carry the fight the warriors who are willing to stand up have no cover. But we (they) still have to fight simply because it is the right thing to do. To do less is simply immoral.
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

to ask your help in standing up for the war. i want your ideas on which actions will be most effective for increasing public support, and also i'd be delighted if you would write an op-ed or two for your local papers and share them with me. i have a lot of columns in my own head which i plan to write this summer and fall and submit to my local papers, and also to congressmen and others. i have some other ideas for action, too.

i'll contact you about it soon.

gideon1789@yahoo.com

"During my lifetime, all our problems have come from mainland Europe, and all the solutions from the English-speaking nations across the world." - Thatcher

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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

And I must say that the question is somewhat rhetorical. I will continue to support the troops and their mission. I find it very disturbing, and almost unforgivable, that the man who took us to war (rightly, in my opinion) cannot seem to muster what is needed to completely, aggressively and constantly carry this fight to domestic enemies as well as foreign ones.

The fact that we are even having a discussion on who is best suited to carry the water for this president is very telling, IMO.

water for the President. For better or worse, if he doesn't carry it, it doesn't get carried.

All we gnomes can do is make the case into the wind and at the end of the day, Congress will chose to ignore us UNLESS the President is leading the pack. And he ain't.

My personal motivation is pretty simple.

1. I believed in the mission when we went into Iraq in the first place. It was the right thing to do.

2. I believe in staying and killing larger quantities of terrorists until they get tired of dying or run out of targets because Iraq is a tremendously important tipping point in the region.

3. My son is a (ret) US Marine. We are still close to the families in his unit and forty of them have buried their sons. I couldn't face morning if I did not honor their sacrifice. I don't know how GWB can.
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

I'm worried enough about Bush' foray into this nonsense while a war was waged. His priorities are pretty obvious these days, so sacking Lindsey Graham in '08, probably a done deal anyhow, should be low on our list of concerns right now.

We may have to start screaming about the GWOT as Senate Republicans go Lugar on us.

I like Lindsay Graham, I really do. I also like John McCain. They are staunch and they understand the War. But (you knew that was coming), they are both wrong on immigration, and, since it is a front on the War, we need to consider whether we can afford to keep them.

I don't think Graham is a lost cause for Conservatives, as you point out, he has been articulate and effective in areas dear to us. But, that doesn't mean he deserves a free pass when he's wrong, and, unfortunately, sometimes the only way to send a signal is to back a serious challenger to these guys. If they are never seriously challenged, the only thing that happens to them is they become more and more collegial, and less and less responsive to their base.

The Liberal's definition of torture: Anything that provides useful information from the enemy

Lindsey is McCain's mini-me.
Wrong on the Judges, wrong on Gtmo., extremely wrong on free speech, and he helped put through the vanity bill on torture.

as long as we kill the enemy, not capture them.

this is a state that should have rockstars in the Senate, we have one (DeMint) and the sometimes ok Graham. Sure he fights, but why can't he be replaced by someone who doesn't call Republicans "bigots" AND fights for winning the war.

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The CIA has better politicians than it has spies - Fred Thompson

then fine. Can he? Will he? Are you sure?

Are you---and is the conservative base---so angry at Lindsay Graham that they're willing to see his voice lost to the defense of the surge?

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

He has no one to blame but the guy in the mirror. I just can't get past "we're going to tell the bigots to shut up." He is the one who sacrificed his voice on the war with that statement. The war/surge will not be won or lost because of the freshman senator from South Carolina.

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The CIA has better politicians than it has spies - Fred Thompson

South Carolina voters simply will put the self-inflicted wounded out of its misery. I'm sure he'll rake in a fortune on K Street afterwards.

The war belongs to the president, and he must be the voice behind it. The question is whether he will focus and do it. To put it mildly, I'm concerned.

To Darin H---OK, let me see if I get this straight. Because he behaved like a bum on immigration, he's forfeited his position as an advocate for the war? W...T...F?

SEPARATE the two!!! If you're willing to weaken the pro-surge force's ability to wage a PR campaign in favor of the surge, because you're mad at Graham's performance on immigration---that's on you, fella. Don't blame Graham.

spanishirish, when you say The war belongs to the president, and he must be the voice behind it, I think you're trying to be a bit too clever. Are you trying to say that, because Bush is the one responsible for convincing the nation to fight this war to its finish, it's therefore no big deal to take out other politicians who might also be useful in that fight? Ummm....sorry, but I'm not buying. Every combatant needs allies, especially effective ones.

Lindsey Graham has proven to be an effective combatant in DC politics. If the GOP faithful de facto silence him by marginalizing him, I submit that the pro-surge team will be weakened. In my book that's not OK. Not right now, with 150,000+ troops in a fight.

Perhaps we'll have to agree to disagree here.

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

We can agree to disagree. I am of the opinion that Senator Graham hurt his ability to be an advocate with his own words. I think he has done irreparable damage to his career and thus to his ability to work as an effective communicator on the war. I would welcome him to try (and I think he does have an obligation to do so). I just don't feel like he can do so. Heck I may be wrong, and I hope I am.

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The CIA has better politicians than it has spies - Fred Thompson

And so far he gets a D minus. If he isn't the voice, as he often hasn't been, he can't expect others to take up the slack. If he works hard and makes his case others will follow. I would hope he would.

As for Graham, if the president has to depend on a despised, discredited and soon-to-be-gone senator to carry his water, God help us.

Question to you: Shouldn't the president expend, say, one-third of the communications effort on the war as he did on his most recent domestic debacle? Perhaps without the insults and dissembling, but with the same vigor?

Of course others should assist him. First, though, Bush must give them a good reason to do so.

He has also been a part of the Gang of 14 deal.

He's actively blocked a President of his own party from nominating conservative SC judges in attempt to get his friends a federal judgeship.

He's also undermined the war effort in other areas with his protests on interrogation.

Romney or Fred.

I agree Darin. As a new SC resident (Charleston), I'm quickly becoming versed in SC politics. I don't see any reason that republicans in SC should settle for anyone that isn't as conservative as the residents in this, the most conservative state in the country. DeMint is great. Sanford is as good of a governor as I have seen anywhere in the country. We don't need to settle for Graham, but we need someone who is willing to run against him in the primary. I think the immigration issue will be enough to make Graham relatively easy to beat for the right candidate.

Click here to join the effort to elect Fred Thompson!

fight we have to win, and of one of the few determined and stalwart Republican leaders.

"During my lifetime, all our problems have come from mainland Europe, and all the solutions from the English-speaking nations across the world." - Thatcher

Departure from the consensus of the base on one issue, even as important as immigration, hardly justifies repudiation of Graham if he's sound on most of the other ones, especially national security.

As for insults, why, a little yelling at the family table never hurt anyone. In my opinion, anyway - maybe it's an Italian thing. :>)

"During my lifetime, all our problems have come from mainland Europe, and all the solutions from the English-speaking nations across the world." - Thatcher

Feel free to hate his guts for his action on the immigration debate. Primary him in the next election; it's certainly your right.

What I am saying is that, NOW, we need to put our feelings and passions aside and focus our efforts on watching Petraeus' back as he fights this surge.

Along that line, I submit that the pro-surge argument is stronger if Lindsay Graham is helping to make it, instead of sidelined by a conservative base angered by his efforts on the immigration bill.

SOMEONE is going to have to throw some serious verbal jabs against the surge's opponents in the next few months. SOMEONE is going to have to poke holes in the new Known Fact that The Surge Is Failing Because Yoda Dick Lugar Says So.

If necessary, hold your nose and stand next to Graham as we fight, as one team, for the surge. Settle scores later. Don't silence the man now.

FWIW...

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

with his base by moving far, far away from the La Raza crowd. The best way for him to do that would be to strongly continue to support America in Iraq. As a registered voter in SC, I believe it is his duty. I also think it is our duty to send people who represent us best to Congress, at this point I do not think he is the best, I will work to find someone better.

Absolutely, I don't think Republican senators should act out any grudge against Graham for calling them bigots. The war is too important for that. They should embrace him (and any Democrat who will join in) in the struggle for the war and the troops, and leave it to South Carolina Republicans to start Graham on his new career as a lobbyist.

Many proponents of the bill were saying something along the lines of: "The opponents can't debate this bill on its merits, so instead they falsely label it with one scare word: 'amnesty'. I detest the actions of those racists."

If President Bush himself doesn't fight for this, it's not going to matter what one Senator says or doesn't say, you know.

He's the one with the bully pulpit.

Run like Reagan!

important guy.

Imagine if, say, only ten Senators and Congressmen made it their mission to win the war no matter what, and to rouse the country to the task. They and their staff members did everything possible to argue for the war, on television, radio, at press conferences, in op-eds, on blogs, etc.

Do you think that would have no effect?

"During my lifetime, all our problems have come from mainland Europe, and all the solutions from the English-speaking nations across the world." - Thatcher

Thanks again

"During my lifetime, all our problems have come from mainland Europe, and all the solutions from the English-speaking nations across the world." - Thatcher

You raise points that need to be seriously weighed, which is why I recommended this diary, but I still I think we can do better than Graham.

I agree with you that skill in political combat is a major factor in deciding who's best for the office. If Graham is replaced by somebody that agrees with me on everything and always votes "the right way", it could still be a lot worse than Graham if the replacement isn't skilled at parliamentary tactics, maneuvering with shifting coalitions, and delivering persuasive soundbites for television.

Where I disagree is your assesment of the net cost/benefit of replacing Graham. I agree that he's made some persuasive statements for the war - far better than the politcally incompetent President I voted for, and probably better than most Republican senators can do. I think South Carolina Republicans can find some politician with adequate PR and political combat skills to be an effective replacement for Graham; if it turns out Graham's primary opponent isn't up to the job, that's the time reluctantly decide another term for Graham is better than the alternative.

I also think you don't acknowledge just how awful Graham's conduct has been. If someone's spouse punches them in the face, sanctity of marriage considerations or how good they are in bed is beside the point, it's time to walk out and call a divorce lawyer. When Graham decides to suck up to the audience at his La Raza speech by characterizing immigration bill opponents (i.e. most Republicans) as "bigots", I think that's almost as much beyond repair.

Also by helping Democrats in their attempt to persuade the public that Republicans suck up to extremists, Graham indirectly helps them in their attempt to undermine the war.

during this immigration matter:

I also think you don't acknowledge just how awful Graham's conduct has been.

For the sake of argument, I'll stipulate that Graham may have behaved like a pig. I can stipulate that because it's not germaine to my point.

WHO CARES if Graham insulted the base?? We...are...at...war. REAL war.

I'll say it again---if the GOP has someone in the wings as competent as Graham in the political/PR arena, then fine. But if not, we cannot spare this man, at this time.

You want to primary him a year from now. Please; it's your right. But, in between now and then, this surge will succeed or fail. And, a major factor in that will be the willingness of American politicians to not wither under pressure, and to see this through.

We owe it to our troops to field the best "A" Team of Senators and Congressmen, who can make the case to the American people in the months ahead that this is a fight worth winning, and winnable.

To those on this diary who think it's up to President Bush to carry the PR load here...sorry, but I disagree. There is strength in numbers. The more passionate and skilled advocates the surge has, the better chance GEN Petraeus stands of not having his knees cut out from under him.

I think we're in overall agreement here. Feel free to oppose Graham in his next primary. But, let's not "excommunicate" him from the front ranks of the GOP Senate, and in so doing silence him, at a time when his skills are most needed.

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

But I disagree:

"To those on this diary who think it's up to President Bush to carry the PR load here...sorry, but I disagree. There is strength in numbers."

The congress voted to authorize force, but the President used it. Of course it is up to him to provide the bulk of the leadership and set the tone for the defense of the war. He is the leader of the country, and the leader of the party. He should not expect others to carry the water for him. Having numbers is good, but without strong leadership the numbers dwindle as wavering weathervanes peel away.

I agree that he has to lead the debate, and lead it vigorously. But, he needs reinforcements, and lots of them.

So, Jack, I suppose you and I will have to continue to disagree on this issue.

And that's the way it is, Thursday June 28th...

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

"Rally boys - rally! Rally behind the surge! There stands Bush like a stone wall!"

And that's the way I WISH it was, Thursday June 28th...

WHO CARES if Graham insulted the base??

Well i see . Lindsey Graham didn't just insult his base. he REFUSED to listen to them. If the senators and politicians we elect do not listen to use, its time to give them the boot.

War or no War, this disgrace of a senator has to go.

You are SO mad at Graham that you're willing to risk---even just a little bit---the surge's success?

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

but the surge's success depends on the Generals who manage this surge, the troops who fight and possibly some other factors. Lindsey Grahamnesty's role in this surge in my view is so small that it is insignificant.

In the end you weigh factors before you make an opinion. What is more important ? To punish this man's treachery are the polls or to forgive this fraud just because he is some sort of talking head.

As they say talk is cheap.

EDIT :In the end you weigh factors before you make an opinion. What is more important ? To punish this man's treachery at the votes on immigration or to forgive this fraud just because he is some sort of talking head.

http://gamecock.townhall.com/g/6a716af0-8996-493a-89e8-e2111eea3918

excerpt

Below are excerpts and here is the link to the whole transcript. Enjoy and save. MTP would not let Graham appear with Murtha and the next step may be to blackball Graham and replace him with Hagelmonster.

Enjoy (you can also watch the whole show on the MSNBC website)

MR. RUSSERT: And we are back. Senator Lindsey Graham, welcome back to MEET THE PRESS.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Thank you, sir.

MR. RUSSERT: Let me show you some latest polling data on the war in Iraq with the American people.

SEN. GRAHAM: OK. Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: The war in Iraq, the president’s proposal for more troops, 32 percent support it, 67 percent—two out of three Americans—oppose. And look at this, was the war worth the fight? Thirty-four percent say yes; not worth fighting, 64 percent. Can the president continue the war in Iraq when two out of three Americans are against the war?

SEN. GRAHAM: Yeah, and I think those polls also say that two out of three Americans do not want to cut off funding. What do—what are the polls telling us? I’m no expert, but here’s what I think’s going on, based on conservation talks in South Carolina, is that people are frustrated. They’re beginning to doubt whether the Iraqis can get their act together among themselves. Are we’re in the middle of a group of people, no matter how long we stay and how much money we spend and how many Americans are killed, are they capable of pulling this off? I think people doubt that. And they’re frustrated that—based by our own expectations. The biggest mistake we made early on was underselling how hard it would be. I think people have lost sight due to frustration, that it’s part of the overall war on terror.

The president’s going forward based on an assumption that a failed state in Iraq is a mighty blow in the overall war on terror. He’s going forward based on the assumption that, if you put military reinforcement, political and economic reinforcement, you can turn it around. You’re never going to have democracy with this much violence. General Petraeus has come up with a plan that requires more troops. The goal is to surge on all fronts—militarily, politically and economically—to give the Iraqi government the capacity and the breathing space to make these hard decisions. Americans don’t want to lose in Iraq. That’s why they don’t want to cut off funding. But Americans are not so sure we can win. And I can’t guarantee that we win, but the best chance we have left is to follow General Petraeus. Eighty-one-to-nothing, the Senate confirmed him. And all these resolutions and all this talk about what to do, if you don’t cut off funding, the Congress is getting itself in a dangerous situation Constitutionally, and every resolution has the effect of delivering a death blow to General Petraeus’ plan, which I think is our last, best chance to win.

MR. RUSSERT: Well, the—but the Democrats are saying we should spend only a year in Iraq; and if you complete your service you shouldn’t be kept in the service, you should be allowed to come home; and that you should be ready, prepared to go over there with the proper equipment. How could you be opposed to that?

SEN. GRAHAM: The truth is that Jack Murtha’s a wonderful fellow. He is using the readiness issue to stop the surge. And I want to work with Jack on readiness, but this is not about the readiness issue. He said publicly this is about stopping something he’s against. The Democrat Party is the dog that caught the car. What do you do now? The left is saying get out yesterday. The reason we don’t have a vote on cut off funding is because the American public understand that’s responsible. So all of these efforts to micromanage the war—I’ve been a military lawyer for 20-something years. Some of these resolutions are just nightmares for a commander. You can fight al-Qaeda, but you can’t fight people involved in sectarian violence. You can go here, and you can’t go there. The Congress cannot—there’s a reason there’s only one commander in chief. So, if you’re not willing to cut off funding, which is the Congress’ responsibility, then everything else really hampers General Petraeus. It’s really a signal to him that, “We have no faith in you.” Either stop him from going or give him the resources to do their job. Everything is else is just political theater. That’s dangerous.

MR. RUSSERT: Well, the Democrats are also going to propose, according to Congressman Murtha, that the troops come home in six months if the Iraqis do not stop the violence. And here’s where the American people are on that. Should U.S. withdraw troops? Yes, 42; 56 percent, a solid majority, say withdraw the troops.

SEN. GRAHAM: All I can tell you is that we’re not going to win this war through polling, and we’re going to learn through our mistakes or we’ll lose this war.

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Mike Gamecock DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer
www.race42008.com
www.hinzsightreport.com
www.theminorityreportblog.com
"One man with courage makes a majority" - Andrew Jackson

frankly, i think he could have spoken even more strongly.

it would help increase support to say things like, "we can win this war. in fact, we are going to win this war. there is no chance that al quaeda will defeat the united states anywhere on this planet."

but he still did pretty well.

"During my lifetime, all our problems have come from mainland Europe, and all the solutions from the English-speaking nations across the world." - Thatcher

Graham needs the boot. He dissed his constituents and was willing to risk losing this country to an alien culture without a shot being fired.

With the immigration debate behind us, at least for now. Looking back over the last few weeks, I saw what I perceived to be the undoing of our party from within and provoked by a media intent on adding to the frenzy, so now a call for reasonable debate is welcomed.

Smagar, I'm with you, movement for the sake of action is not akin to progress and if progress is what we want then we should take care with our choices.

Let's try to keep our eye on the prize, democrats, not republicans are the ones we should be focused on.

I know many hail the bills defeat as a great victory but the price and the path to that "victory" have oftentimes been ugly. I don't believe our party is ready for it's own version of a "civil war". The presidential primary will likely do enough damage.

So much ado over the "bigot" remark, are we now pretending that bigotry has been abolished? Has it not visited us here even in "victory"?

A quote that I believe can be applied to Senator Graham and his pragmatic approach in the senate, in essence I believe he is neither a realist nor an idealist but that rare combination of both that we, as a nation and party, need in order to achieve progress if not perfection.

From "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life." by Walter Isaacson

"His pragmatic emphasis on conciliation of different interests - on compromise and accommodation - criticized by those who permit themselves to be blinded by passions and/or sharp ideological views - is in fact the key to democratic governance and successful management of the collective affairs of a free people."

"[For Franklin], compromise was not only a practical approach, but a moral one. Tolerance, humility, and a respect for others required it. On almost every issue for more than two centuries, this supposed fault has served the Constitution, and the nation that it formed, quite well..."

I make no claim the Graham is akin to those great men who wrote the founding documents, but he is on our team and working for the greater good of our country, this I believe is the ultimate goal.

Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin

As a native Southerner from the same general area as Sen. Graham, I would say that the most importnat trait his constituents want is "trust". If they don't trust him there is no way they are going to vote for him, no matter how good a spokesman he is for any cause. The SC folks I've talked to consider him to not only be prissy and vain, but dangerous.

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

Graham's behavior during the recent debate on the amnesty bills went far, far, far beyond decency.

His smears, lies and name calling was and is reprehensible.

South Carolina has an abundance of well qualified potential Senators.

Lets nominate one of them, and get rid of Graham!

Lindsey Graham was singlehandedly keeping homestate nominee and General Counsel of the Department of Defense, William Haynes, off of the 4th Circuit. Today, it is a circuit in peril of falling under control of liberals with something like 5 vacancies. Lindey Graham's opposition to Haynes was that he provided legal analysis used by the administration to aggressively fight the war on terror.

We can do WAAAAAY better than Lindsey Grahamnesty.

Which was, if you recall, the point of my diary.

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

What the 4th Circuit has to do with the war, and the reasons he claimed to oppose William Haynes's nomination to the 4th Circuit, then you really have not been paying attention.

Ever heard of the case called Hamdan?

Sorry that this comes so late after you posted this...I just noticed it.

Its not that i only disagreed with Lindsey Graham on Illegal Immigration. i don't TRUST him anymore.

No matter how eloquent or forceful a speaker he is on the Iraq war, his vile behavior during this Shamnesty episode cancels any good will for him.

Winning the war depends on good military strategy. Not this disgrace, Not this worm called Lindsey Graham. Grahamnesty has to be taught a lesson. Having to endure a greenhorn senator for some time is well worth it.

I'll recommend your diary, though I disagree with you. If the "shamnesty" bill was his only sin, I would agree with you. But his involvement with the gang of 14, and the "torture" bill, means 3 strikes. And where I come from, 3 strikes means you are out.

---------------------
Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake - Napoleon

And where I come from, 3 strikes means you are out.

IMO, if our nation is at war, and you've proven yourself a valuable asset in the prosecution of the PR effort in support of that war, we should suspend counting strikes for a while.

Victory first, baseball later.

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

 
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