Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 22, 2010

THE CASE OF LINDSEY GRAHAM'S MISSING LUNCH.... A couple of weeks ago, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was largely satisfied with the outcome of the tax deal, but he didn't like President Obama's willingness to criticize the costly and ineffective policies Republicans demanded.

"Quite frankly, the president is whining," Graham said.

It was an odd complaint. The president agreed to unpopular provisions he didn't like, and he's not supposed to mention that? Besides, as Dave Weigel noted at the time, Graham was complaining about "whining" by "whining at around 10 times as many decibels."

It's a quality Graham has nearly perfected. Yesterday, Graham's latest round of whimpering related to the lame-duck session.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) lashed out at fellow Republicans Tuesday for a "capitulation ... of dramatic proportions" to Democrats and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in the lame-duck Congress.

Graham said Republicans have no one to blame but themselves for allowing ratification of the New START Treaty and other legislation in the period before new lawmakers are sworn in in January.

"When it's all going to be said and done, Harry Reid has eaten our lunch," Graham said on Fox News radio. "This has been a capitulation in two weeks of dramatic proportions of policies that wouldn't have passed in the new Congress."

Graham seemed especially incensed by his retiring GOP colleagues, like Utah's Bob Bennett, who are willing to support quality legislation as they depart. "They have used the power of the Senate against the minority, and we have, quite frankly, a handful of us have been letting them do it. And a lot of the people who are doing this got beat. And that's what makes me so upset," he said. "It makes me disappointed that, with a new group of Republicans coming in, we could get a better deal on almost everything."

For all of Graham's whining about "capitulation" and Reid eating his lunch, the truth is, a handful of Republicans are supporting good bills that deserve to pass, and which just happen to enjoy broad national support among voters. Before the midterms, partisan strategies made much of this impossible -- the GOP had a powerful interest to deny Democrats pre-election victories and stymie the majority's legislative agenda. In the lame-duck, it's easier for some members to evaluate proposals on the merits.

And so key priorities are becoming law. For Americans, that's good news. For Lindsey Graham, it's little more than fodder for a fine whine.

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (22)

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Lindsay is just giving aid and comfort to his friend John McCain.

Posted by: js on December 22, 2010 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

This is nothing more than a melodramatic attempt by Graham to cover his right ass cheek from attacks by the 'baggers back home. It's a performance. It should only be taken notice of by the high school page with literary aspirations who writes the drama critique column for Congressional Quarterly.

Posted by: Tim H on December 22, 2010 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

Speaking of Bennett- and others- it is curious, is it not, that only when repudiated by the voters back home, does one decide to do what is RIGHT for those very same voters?
-perhaps term limits ARE a good thing. . .

Posted by: DAY on December 22, 2010 at 8:18 AM | PERMALINK

It seems ironic to me that Lindsay Graham and Mitch McConnell fought against DADT, it has been an open secret for years that they are closeted gays. Perhaps it would not go over well in their states. Also - why is no-one asking McConnell to show his military discharge papers, apparently he is keeping them secret, the rumor is that he was expelled after 10 days in the military for fondling a private's privates.

Posted by: joan on December 22, 2010 at 8:22 AM | PERMALINK

Great, so now every Tea Booger from sea to shining sea is going to be using the word "capitulation" in their regular rotations now. While I support the expansion of their vocabularies, I just don't want to read about "RINO capitulation this" and "Obama capitulation that" for the next couple of years.

Then again, if the stories coming out of Gawker are true (and how could they not be?) then good ol' Linds is about to be outed as a Homer-sexual. I am thinking these tales may be the root (heh, "root") of his recent bombast. However, I am encouraged by the thought that if he is outed, then the Boogies will probably not want to use a word once used by a fagela. So there's that.

Posted by: Perspecticus on December 22, 2010 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

They have used the power of the Senate against the minority

Um...like how it's generally supposed to work? When will Sen GaGa start complaining about elections by majority rule?

Posted by: Todd for Vermont House on December 22, 2010 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

An article written by Michael Rogers (Huffpo -Oct 23 2008) details the problems he has had trying to get to the bottom of McConnell's homosexuality, McConnell refuses to release his records and never makes mention of his military service. If the right can keep shouting for Obama's birth certificate I think we should shout about McConnells ousting from the military and demand he produce his discharge papers.

Posted by: JS on December 22, 2010 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

Graham's petty tribalism actually gives me a better appreciation of Obama's dilemma. Obama genuinely sees himself as President of all Americans, including the ones who absolutely despise him for bringing that inclusive attitude. I hope it works well for him in the long term, since that is probably the only way it can be successful when you think about it. Not sure I'd have the maturity to take that approach.

Posted by: DelCapslock on December 22, 2010 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

joan and everyone beat me too it self loathing..... Country First My Ass.

Posted by: John R on December 22, 2010 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, I don't want this to go any further than us here in the liberal blogosphere, but the last month has been great for Reid, Obama and the rest of the Democrats. They have been able to push through a great deal of pretty OK legislation that would never have passed in the next congress.

They did have one serious failure. They only passed a CR that lasts until March. The next CR is going to be a bitch. There are rumors of a 20% slash in most regular programs, Defense and Home Land Security excluded. That could be really significant pain inflicted on the American people, just whey they don't need additional pain.

I will believe the Republicans are serious about reducing the deficit when they stop excluding Defense and Homeland Security from the mix.

The next congress, by the way, gives me chills.

Posted by: Ron Byers on December 22, 2010 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Todd for Vermont House,
Senator GaGa - LOL! I'm so stealing that one.

He's getting his anti-gay bona fides ready for his primary in 2012. Jeez, and wouldn't it be awful if he or Bitch were outed?
Please God, I don't ask for much. You haven't granted me peace on earth, there's still way too much poverty and sickness. Is wishing for the outing of Senator GaGa and Bitch so much to ask?

Posted by: c u n d gulag on December 22, 2010 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

Knowing Lindsay, shouldn't he be ordering a nice, crisp, oakey Chardonnay for his whine, accompanied by a delectable, oozy brie and some Carr's crackers. Served up by a hot buff aide de "camp", of course.

Posted by: Eeyore on December 22, 2010 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

Come on, Steve, admit it -- you wrote this post so you could use that last line.


Posted by: karen marie on December 22, 2010 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

"They have used the power of the Senate against the minority..."

what in the world does that mean?

That a majority of the seante, representing something like 60 -65% of the nation's population, would DARE vote AND PASS legislation!

The horror! The ingrates! The infidels! What next! True majority rule in the senate????

Posted by: bigtuna on December 22, 2010 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK


Its only fair: everytime I hear him on the news, I lose my lunch, too.

Posted by: zeitgeist on December 22, 2010 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Like McCain, Graham is a big drama queen.

He is always indignant, or flipped out about something.

They thrive on drama. If there is not enough drama to go around, they create it.

Posted by: Steve on December 22, 2010 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

"When it's all going to be said and done, Harry Reid has eaten our lunch," Graham said on Fox News radio.

Senator Graham,
I am now going to drink your milkshake.
Harry Reid

Posted by: josef on December 22, 2010 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Graham is nothing more than a scorned drag queen who can only hiss, bitch, and wine because of being scorned ... if he were actually honest he would put on a dress and then walk hand in hand with McCain and McConnell ..

Posted by: stormskies on December 22, 2010 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

I'm probably going to take flak for this statement but maybe, just maybe there is a spec of decency in some Republican Senator's hearts. It almost never shows up UNTIL they get kicked out of office because they may have caved a few times and voted for the right thing. Now that they are not coming back they choose to vote with the Democrats, making the right choice, and leave with at least one spec of decency - and of course they are lambasted by those poor fools left to carry the conservative banner. So....how would the votes go in a simlar lame duck session if ALL the Republican Senators got kicked out of office? Yes, I'm just dreaming.

Posted by: Vandal on December 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

I... drink... YOUR... MILK-SHAKE! I drink it up!

Posted by: BruceR on December 22, 2010 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

"They have used the power of the Senate against the minority..."

The fact that this was uttered by a current Senator tells you everything you need to know about the US Senate. Um, Senator, in a democracy, majority rules. The minority gets a vote, but doesn't get to dictate the outcomes. Oh, except in the Senate.

Posted by: Vince on December 22, 2010 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

[...] wouldn't it be awful if he or Bitch were outed?
Awfal... -- c u n d gulag, @8:57

Why didn't you take the next step and just written "offal"? That's how I think of some of those guys anyway...

Posted by: exlibra on December 22, 2010 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK



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