Lindsey Graham looking for a way out?
Over the weekend, RINO Lindsey Graham (R-SC) pulled his support for an economically disastrous "energy" bill after Senate Majority Leader Harry "Lame Duck" Reid (D-NV) suggested the Senate would soon take up an immigration bill. While Graham's public argument was that taking up immigration would mean the "energy" bill wouldn't get proper treatment, his move is probably based on more fundamental politics, especially since Graham is also one of the Democrats' few reliable allies on immigration.
Perhaps Graham is finally hearing the voices of the citizens of his state screaming that they don't want cap-and-trade in any form, whether a bogus cap-and-dividend plan or a carbon tax -- ideas so bad that even the French recently dropped them. Whenever Graham and his partners in crime, John Kerry (D-France) and Joe Lieberman ("They think I'm a moderate" -- CT), talk about the bill, they always give away the real game by taking about "energy and climate". As if legislation passed by the US Senate can have any impact on climate. Give me a break. Graham's one of the few people left in America, and one of probably a half-dozen Republicans in the whole country who think that a bill he co-authors will be about anything other than income redistribution and government picking winners and losers in the energy industry.
Perhaps Graham realizes that just because his next election is 2012 instead of 2010 does not mean the people will forget his stabbing them in the back in the name of "bipartisanship" by the time those 2 1/2 years roll around.
As far as immigration goes, one can read the writing on the wall when "moderate" Republican Jan Brewer of Arizona decided to sign a controversial new illegal immigration enforcement law which allows law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of people they suspect of being in the state illegally. Brewer knew that she would certainly lose the Republican primary if she didn't sign the bill.
That said, I'm not at all certain that aggressive anti-illegal immigration legislation is a big winner for Republicans right now. After all, J.D. Hayworth was among the group of Republican congressmen who lost reelection in 2006 after running campaigns in which they made opposing illegal immigration their signature issue. Indiana's Mike Sodrel, who is trying to get back into Congress in the 2010 election, was another such candidate. Republicans need to be very careful how they handle immigration. After all, the reason Democrats are pushing the issue is because they believe they can create a new consistent block of several million new voters by passing amnesty-in-all-but-name. While I am not a Tancredo-style immigration hawk, i.e. I support increased legal immigration as well as creating a migrant worker visa program, Republicans need to be very smart about how this issue is dealt with. Given his buying into the cult of global warming, it's clear that Lindsey Graham is unqualified for anything that requires such intellect.
It should also be noted that it's a strange time for Democrats to push for immigration legislation. An economic downturn leaves anything less than the most "conservative" legislation open to demagoguing about immigrants taking Americans' jobs. The economics of that claim are silly, but it's still powerful and it means that Reid is very likely to lose at least one or two Senate Democrats if a bill which could be painted as creating anything close to amnesty were to come up for a vote. In other words, if the Democrats push aside "climate" legislation to work on buying Hispanic votes with immigration legislation, they're likely to accomplish neither. While that is of course OK with me, I'd also caution that we shouldn't be too confident; after all, most people thought Obamacare was dead as well.
I think that part of the reason the Democrats want to move on immigration is to motivate Hispanic voters in California where a low Hispanic turnout could mean the end of the Senate career for Barbara Boxer, a silly narcissistic leftist whose positions leave you wondering if she might just be Lindsey Graham in drag. Hmmmm...are those two actually ever seen in the same room at the same time? Just wondering...
Going back to the premise of this article: Is Graham's backing away from the "energy and climate" bill actually based on a Graham version of a principle or is it pure politics? Is he looking for a way to untie himself from the incredibly unpopular policies of energy taxes and amnesty to save his political career? My best guess is no. He really wants to pass that stuff and is really trying to figure out a way to do it. He knows that going to immigration first probably means nothing will pass. He is essentially working for the Democrats.
One last note: It will be very interesting to see whether Republicans give Dems the votes they need to proceed with their financial reform bill. The timing first of charges against Goldman and then the leak of internal Goldman e-mails all of which tend to make the firm look like greedy white-collar criminals and therefore to gin up public support for attacking all financial firms is beyond suspicious. Senator Richard Shelby (D-AL) seems to be working with Chris Dodd (D-CT) to reach a compromise. Perhaps Shelby thinks that financial companies are so unpopular that being the "Party of No" on this issue could backfire against the Republicans. I think that is a mistake and that the Republicans should refuse to let the Dems pass a bill while explaining to the public how all the Democrats' plans will raise the cost of living for everyone while making bailouts a permanent fixture of our economy. That said, my guess is that enough Republicans will cave in to give Obama another so-called victory at huge cost to our nation.
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