Can we spare Lindsay Graham? He fights!
By smagar Posted in Archived — 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.
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."