Posted by: Rick | Thursday, November 12, 2009

There Are No Moderate Republicans

If Glenn Beck didn’t exist, the RNC would have to build him out of Dick Cheney’s spare parts.  Media extremists like Beck allow rock-solid right-wingers like Lindsey Graham to masquerade as reasonable politicians.  And the radio heads’ noisy preeminence at the heart of the GOP encourages reporters for The New York Times to write asinine leads like this:

Senator Lindsey Graham, the Republican with a maverick streak, has been censured by local Republican Party officials in his home state of South Carolina.  [Emphasis added]

Oh, please dear God, spare us another “maverick”!  James Garner ought to be suing for defamation of character by now.  Fortunately, Lindsey himself sets the record straight:

In a statement, Mr. Graham’s office pointed out that he was ranked the 15th most conservative senator in 2008 by National Journal.

“Like former President Reagan, he strongly believes elected officials need to find common ground and work together to solve difficult problems like making our nation energy independent and protecting our environment,” said Kevin Bishop, a spokesman for Mr. Graham. “Working to solve problems and being conservative are not mutually exclusive. You can do both and that’s what people in South Carolina elected him to do.‬‪”

On the big issues — war and peace, health care, tax giveaways to the rich, economic policy — there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between gag-inducing Republican “mavericks” like Lindsey Graham and the wingnuttiest Michele Bachmann or James Matoon Inhofe. 

The Republican Party can’t afford to present a united front of lunacy to the American electorate.  So Graham gets an occasional freebie, like his vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

But fear not, conservatives and lobbyists.  After he indulges in a televised cycle of deep soul-searching and earnest hand-wringing, Ol’ Lindsey will be right there for ya.

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