Just a reminder: Lindsey Graham’s probably going to get reelected

posted at 2:01 pm on April 23, 2014 by Allahpundit

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: I’ll never understand how beating Mitch McConnell became an urgent conservative priority while beating Grahamnesty has been stuck at the “meh” level for years. Every time I post one of those “McCain thinking of running again in 2016″ stories, 200 commenters pop up and shout “DUNZO” — and every time, I think of Graham up 35+ points in his own primary in a very conservative state against a field of nearly unknown challengers. Why wouldn’t Maverick take another shot at the Senate?

Pro-amnesty, ultra-hawkish, capable of jaw-dropping statements about free speech — and cruising to another six-year term. This is why I need powdered alcohol.

Graham’s deft maneuvering shows why he’s become the dominant political figure in this deeply red state and is skating to another six years even as he’s angered the base on immigration and other hot-button issues. Far from pandering to the party’s tea party wing in order to get reelected, he’s challenging it head-on: Graham warns that the GOP is caught in a “death spiral” with minorities, says it needs to get real about climate change and defends his move to open debate on gun control legislation after a school massacre…

“You know who wants 30 pure Republicans? Harry Reid,” Graham said, referring to the oft-quoted line from his former South Carolina colleague, Jim DeMint, that the party would be better served with 30 rock-ribbed conservatives than 60 who aren’t. “What I want is a party that can grow. … What’s my big sin: 1-in-10 [votes defecting from the party line]? If we’re going to build the party around universal agreement, we become a club.”…

No matter the venue, Graham, unprompted, brings up his support of Obama’s nominations of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Senators, he argued, should weigh only nominees’ qualifications, not their ideological bent. He warns flatly that wealthier taxpayers should give up some of their Medicare benefits and workers should be prepared to see their retirement age increased. And he openly floats the idea of a grand bargain deal to rein in deficits, which could very well increase taxes and trigger a revolt on the right…

Graham, in the interview, was unapologetic about his unsuccessful attempt to cut a deal with Democrats on controlling climate change. Humans, he said, “to some extent, absolutely” are contributing to global warming and the GOP needs a rational environmental policy, with a heavy emphasis on nuclear power.

How’s he doing it, winning big in a red state despite flouting conservative expectations on big-ticket issues? Simple, says Politico: Through careful planning and superb organizational ability. He’s raised a ton of money and donated plenty of it, along with lots of political favors, to prominent South Carolina Republicans who might threaten him. He’s made nice with tea-party heroes like Tim Scott and Trey Gowdy and has made sure to have representatives at every moderately large political event in the state, even ones that are hostile to him. He’s also paid close attention to local issues on the (wise) assumption that solving day-to-day problems for constituents back home will dampen any ideological brushfires against him. Essentially, he’s built up so much political capital through smart retail politicking that even people in SC who dislike him are hesitant to try to knock him off with a primary challenge. And if you don’t care about this, you should: If Graham does end up winning reelection in a state like this while keeping tea-party pandering to a minimum, he’ll be a new hero to establishment Republicans. Every centrist GOP incumbent going forward will copy his battle plan. The Graham strategy could mean far fewer successful primaries in the future, which means less tea-party influence over the GOP caucus.

That reminds me, though: Have any Republican incumbents been knocked off over the past five years despite preparing diligently for a serious challenge from the right? The two most prominent senators to be primaried were Bob Bennett and Dick Lugar, but Bennett was the very first major Republican to be unseated in the tea-party era; he likely never saw it coming until it was too late. Lugar should have seen it coming but I remember reading stories during the Indiana primary campaign two years ago about how he didn’t take the threat seriously. Indiana had elected him for more than 30 years; he thought they’d never turn on him and oust him, whether he campaigned hard or not. Like Bennett, he waited too long and paid the price. My question is, has anyone been upset despite getting ready years in advance for a conservative challenge? That’s what Graham did; it’s also what Orrin Hatch did after he watched Bennett get beaten. Pat Roberts in Kansas also started preparing early, as of course did McConnell. All of those guys either won their primary or are ahead now. Needless to say, no GOP incumbent will take a tea-party challenge lightly for years to come, which is a nice testament to the movement’s strength but also a harbinger of many more losses for insurgent candidates in the future.

The only chance to stop Graham is to deny him 51 percent in the upcoming primary and then hope that whoever finishes second can beat him in the runoff, a la Ted Cruz beating David Dewhurst. Cruz is an unusual talent, though, who become a national conservative cause celebre; none of Graham’s challengers fit that bill. Don’t get your hopes up. Exit question: McCain will also follow the Graham strategy if he runs in 2016, but is he too old to pull it off? The most striking thing about Politico’s description of Graham’s operation is how much energy it seems to require. He’s been running for reelection for four years already and has had to play endless cards to get to the position he’s in. I don’t know if Maverick, who’ll turn 80 a few months before election day 2016, wants to go through all of that.


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I feel increasingly removed from American society.

blatantblue on April 23, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Establishment politicians don’t need money from the people. Big business gives them everything they need to run those ads portraying them as ideological conservatives. You’d think Graham was a hard core TEA Partier with the ads he’s running.

Wigglesworth on April 23, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Graham manages to get reelected because he can out propaganda and out spend everyone else. The Mainstream Media is for sale only to those with the right ideological bias. Anything else gets buried.

oscarwilde on April 23, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Just a reminder….if we can’t do better than Graham in SC of all places, liberalism has won, and you can forget about reversing any of the damage they have done to this country.

xblade on April 23, 2014 at 2:10 PM

I’ll never understand how beating Mitch McConnell became an urgent conservative priority while beating Grahamnesty has been stuck at the “meh” level for years.

Because we can’t find a challenger, something I’ve brought up in nearly every comment thread regarding this guy. Graham bought everyone remotely credible off with government money, per one of HA’s own hotlines. http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2014/04/23/how-lindsey-graham-outmaneuvered-the-tea-party/

Men like Ted Cruz, who can run a campaign, fend off attacks from Democrats/MSM and Republicans working together, win elections, and then work effectively in the legislature are rare and don’t just grow on trees. The bar for Tea Partiers is very high because they have to take on two hostile political parties and the MSM at once.

I really want him gone, but if we can’t find a credible challenger there isn’t much we can do. We have a better chance of unseating McConnell right now.

Doomberg on April 23, 2014 at 2:11 PM

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: I’ll never understand how beating Mitch McConnell became an urgent conservative priority while beating Grahamnesty has been stuck at the “meh” level for years.

They’re both pretty “meh.” McConnell only gets slightly higher priority because he’s Minority Leader.

Pro-amnesty, ultra-hawkish, capable of jaw-dropping statements about free speech — and cruising to another six-year term.

About the only one of those that’s going to anger a large number of conservatives is amnesty. There’s plenty of conservative hawks, and his free speech comments specifically affects bloggers (so while you might be particularly interested in that, most conservatives aren’t bloggers and are thus far less motivated / threatened).

The key difference between Graham and McCain and why you see so much outrage towards McCain is that McCain has a bad habit of giving a nice big group hug to Democrats. Graham may not always agree with conservatives, but he doesn’t tend to give them open, loving smooches.

Stoic Patriot on April 23, 2014 at 2:12 PM

^tend to give them = Democrats

…although either way is true I suppose.

Stoic Patriot on April 23, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Just a reminder: Lindsey Graham’s probably going to get reelected

Way to bring down the party!

The fun lamp is extinguished until further notice.

Happy Nomad on April 23, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Just a reminder….if we can’t do better than Graham in SC of all places, liberalism has won, and you can forget about reversing any of the damage they have done to this country.

xblade on April 23, 2014 at 2:10 PM

We are very unlikely to succeed via the normal political process. I regard the Tea Party as more being about creating a credible opposition movement after the economy collapses and the government as we know it starts unravelling.

Doomberg on April 23, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Just a reminder….if we can’t do better than Graham in SC of all places, liberalism has won, and you can forget about reversing any of the damage they have done to this country.

I have to agree. Wtf is wrong with South Carolinians? The state used to be a patriotic and traditional place which took pride in cutting against the liberal grain. Now it feels like a state with a bunch of pansies and sellouts.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Seriously, South Carolina, is Lindsey Graham the best you can do?

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Now it feels like a state with a bunch of pansies and sellouts.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Well than Lindsey Graham is the gal for them.

Happy Nomad on April 23, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Graham’s not getting my vote.

backwoods conservative on April 23, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Ssssssssssqqqqqqqquuuuuuuuiiiiiiiiisssssssshhhhhhhhh…!!!

(the sound that is made when Lindsey takes a seat)

Seven Percent Solution on April 23, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Ideological Foundationaly principled people don’t give you a whole lot of money.”

FIFY, Graham-bo…

Ricard on April 23, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Because we can’t find a challenger, something I’ve brought up in nearly every comment thread regarding this guy. Graham bought everyone remotely credible off with government money

Doomberg on April 23, 2014 at 2:11 PM

This tells me the TEA parties in SC need to get to work on the local stuff and stop worrying about miss Lindsey. In Texas, we didn’t field a credible candidate against Cornyn, but primary day was a bloodbath for local RINOs.

Occams Stubble on April 23, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Needless to say, no GOP incumbent will take a tea-party challenge lightly for years to come, which is a nice testament to the movement’s strength but also a harbinger of many more losses for insurgent candidates in the future.

True. And in some cases, this will be very disappointing.

However, the upside is that 1) they won’t take challenges from Dems lightly, either, and 2) these guys will be forced to move to the right on some important votes to fend off the primary challenge.

BTW I never thought anyone had a chance of taking down Graham. It is very hard to oust a successful, well-funded incumbent with strong party connections and leadership positions. Very hard. The best military leaders focus their greatest efforts on the areas where the enemy is most vulnerable. Time to move on to other battles.

Missy on April 23, 2014 at 2:24 PM

RINOs will, unfortunately, continued to get elected. There’s too many out there who vote GOP because that’s what dad did, regardless of the ideological bent of the candidate.

rickv404 on April 23, 2014 at 2:25 PM

In the era of people disinterested in (and disgusted by) politics and drowned by informational noise, the one with better exposure wins – and the fruits of incumbency include both access to media and advertising money. 70-80% of people of any political inclination are disgusted with their representatives but routinely vote for them because they never heard of an alternative. Moreover, when they throw an incumbent out once in a blue moon, the alternative often proves worse than the original evil.

Rix on April 23, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Too bad Bmore is not here.

Schadenfreude on April 23, 2014 at 2:26 PM

I have to agree. Wtf is wrong with South Carolinians? The state used to be a patriotic and traditional place which took pride in cutting against the liberal grain. Now it feels like a state with a bunch of pansies and sellouts.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 2:14 PM

They haven’t put a credible candidate up against him. It’s not as bad as you think. As more and more conservatives get into congress they will have more influence and be able to turn things their way. Eventually being a RINO will become unfashionable.

crankyoldlady on April 23, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Purists are much louder than their actual numbers…

mnjg on April 23, 2014 at 2:30 PM

This is only the fault of conservatives. Cons in SC have the power to throw that weasel out. But they won’t. They complain and then do NOTHING about the problem. I am so sick of this crap.

Jack_Burton on April 23, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Graham manages to get reelected because he can out propaganda and out spend everyone else. The Mainstream Media is for sale only to those with the right ideological bias. Anything else gets buried.

oscarwilde on April 23, 2014 at 2:07 PM

For him to get reelected he needs to first win the Republican primaries… Unless you are saying that a majority of Republican primaries voters in South Carolina are very stupid and keep electing Graham…

mnjg on April 23, 2014 at 2:32 PM

BTW I never thought anyone had a chance of taking down Graham. It is very hard to oust a successful, well-funded incumbent with strong party connections and leadership positions. Very hard. The best military leaders focus their greatest efforts on the areas where the enemy is most vulnerable. Time to move on to other battles.

Missy on April 23, 2014 at 2:24 PM

The primary is in June and Richard Cash is campaigning hard. I’m not about to give up the fight.

https://richardcashforsenate.com/

I have a quote for Eeyorepundit.

“My center is yielding. My right is retreating. Situation excellent. I am attacking.”

–Ferdinand Foch

backwoods conservative on April 23, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Unfortunately probably true, since he has six opponents in a primary race and you can count the number of his opponents ads on ONE hand with fingers left over that have run.

And just to keep up the Mark Sanford tradition, that they will elect anyone. . . we have a convicted felon and former pol running against Lindsey Lohan, Thomas Ravenel who has a reality show.

What could possibly go wrong?

De Oppresso Liber on April 23, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Purists are much louder than their actual numbers…

This is true, but that typically wouldn’t be a problem in a state like South Carolina, where you would expect to be able to find a real conservative instead of an ersatz one like Graham.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 2:36 PM

People hate other people’s incumbents. But, their own? “Meh, my guy is pretty good, I’ll vote for him again. He did get us funding for that bridge and all…”

tdarrington on April 23, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Establishment politicians don’t need money from the people. Big business gives them everything they need to run those ads portraying them as ideological conservatives. You’d think Graham was a hard core TEA Partier with the ads he’s running.

Wigglesworth on April 23, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Exactly right. Apparently you can fool most of the people most of the time.

JQA on April 23, 2014 at 2:37 PM

RINOs will, unfortunately, continued to get elected. There’s too many out there who vote GOP because that’s what dad did, regardless of the ideological bent of the candidate.

rickv404 on April 23, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Anyone who is not 100% pure is considered a f***ing RINO… Many of these called RINO’s by the purists score over 90% on their conservative vote including Lindsey Graham who scored 92 on his conservative vote according to the American Conservative Union…

mnjg on April 23, 2014 at 2:38 PM

My wife is from South Carolina and we return every chance we can. All of her family and our friends up there absolutely despise him as Senator. However, there really is no one who is the type of candidate who can defeat him. Lindsey, for all his gaffes and stupidity, knows how to run for election.

This one is in the bag. The only ones who could have beaten him were bought off early on, or chose not to run (hello Trey?)

And like it or not, politics is a pragmatic game. You choose the candidate who best represents your values. If there isn’t one, choose someone else, or don’t vote. However, if you choose not to vote, I don’t want to hear your complaining about the outcome.

Personally, I believe there are thousands of more qualified people out there that just don’t want to go through the political ringer…and that’s just from the party they want to represent. Why any sane person would do it is beyond me, and I’m thankful for the few that do (Mike Lee, Trey Gowdy, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, etc.)They put themselves, and their family through the ringer, and expose them to the worst sort of partisan behavior.

And let’s be honest. Republicans are just as horrid about this as Democrats. Take Obama’s family. I think he’s about the worst thing that happened to this nation, and don’t think his wife is much better. I don’t have a problem griping about her as she chooses to put herself out there in the light.

What really burns me up are some of the attacks I see about their children. Kids don’t have a choice about who their parents are or what job they do. To attack them because you don’t like the parent eliminates what credibility you may have.

USNCVN on April 23, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Exactly right. Apparently you can fool most of the people most of the time.

JQA on April 23, 2014 at 2:37 PM

We are so delighted that super geniuses like you are among us… geniuses who are not fooled at all…

mnjg on April 23, 2014 at 2:39 PM

This is true, but that typically wouldn’t be a problem in a state like South Carolina, where you would expect to be able to find a real conservative instead of an ersatz one like Graham.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Tell that to the ACU who gave Graham a 92% score for his conservative vote…

mnjg on April 23, 2014 at 2:41 PM

The only chance to stop Graham is to deny him 51 percent in the upcoming primary and then hope that whoever finishes second can beat him in the runoff

Couple of points….

Winthrop poll, leans left; LVs not RVs; accumulated total for all challengers 20% to Grahams 45%

That’s under the 51% requirement

None of those four challenges have any significant degree of name recognition in the state. Only when it goes into runoff will this high level of name recognition have a chance to develop.

Graham doesn’t inspire turnout. If the opponent does, then this is still possible to get Graham out of there.

lineholder on April 23, 2014 at 2:42 PM

“The RINO is strong in this one”.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on April 23, 2014 at 2:44 PM

mnjg,

Tell that to the ACU who gave Graham a 92% score for his conservative vote…

The latest ACU rating gives Graham a “68″ in 2013 compared to South Carolina’s junior senator Scott who receives a “96.” Graham is not mentioned among the twenty-four Republicans senators who received either the “defender of liberty” or the “ACU conservative” honor.

So it looks like the ACU has gotten the message. Why haven’t you?

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 2:52 PM

There’s also this little gem stated in the overview….

And while Graham’s disapproval rating among registered voters is higher than his approval rating with the same group (43.8% disapproval vs. 39.6% approval), Poll Director Scott Huffmon cautioned that the difference between the two is just at the margin of error for the registered voter sample.

lineholder on April 23, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Just don’t replace him with a D. Numbers matter.

rhombus on April 23, 2014 at 2:57 PM

The latest ACU rating gives Graham a “68″ in 2013 compared to South Carolina’s junior senator Scott who receives a “96.” Graham is not mentioned among the twenty-four Republicans senators who received either the “defender of liberty” or the “ACU conservative” honor.

So it looks like the ACU has gotten the message. Why haven’t you?

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 2:52 PM

His 2012 was 92 according to ACU and his life vote is 88 according to ACU… Not bad…

If you can get someone who can unseat him in the primaries and then have a chance to win the general then go for it…

mnjg on April 23, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Tell that to the ACU who gave Graham a 92% score for his conservative vote…

mnjg

Because voting conservative on naming a post office or a battle ship cancels out a liberal vote for amnesty for 20 million illegals, lol. They’re both equally important you know.

Anyone who is not 100% pure is considered a f***ing RINO… Many of these called RINO’s by the purists score over 90% on their conservative vote including Lindsey Graham who scored 92 on his conservative vote according to the American Conservative Union…

mnjg

Anyone who uses the BS purist line knows they support a crap candidate so they try to shut down debate by playing the purist card, much like other liberals use the race card.

Meanwhile, here’s what we’ve gotten from Graham lately:

Supports global warming.
Supports raising taxes because “we need the money”.
Supports gun control
Supports spying on Americans
Supports amnesty for 20 million democrat voters

So please,take your purist nonsense and shove it straight up your dumb a**. If I want a democrat representing me, there’s an official party full of them I can vote for.

xblade on April 23, 2014 at 3:05 PM

We should also consider that Graham wants to paint this as being a done deal, because it could keep people from showing up to vote.

He doesn’t inspire voters. He’s just barely holding his own. HIs best hope to get through the primary without a runoff is to discourage people from voting for his opponents.

lineholder on April 23, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Graham is really a good guy because 92% of the time he has sex with adults. The other 8% he molests children and then kills them. But it’s only 8% of the time, so no biggie, lol. Plus he plants flowers on their grave, so he’s really not that bad.

xblade on April 23, 2014 at 3:08 PM

His 2012 was 92 according to ACU and his life vote is 88 according to ACU… Not bad…

ACU gives him the highest marks of any of the conservative rating agencies. Heritage, CFG, and Freedom Works all rate him much lower.

What’s worse, however, is that Graham works behind the scenes to derail conservative initiatives, which is an influence that can’t be measured.

If you can get someone who can unseat him in the primaries and then have a chance to win the general then go for it…

Graham is bad news. Get rid of him. Period. South Carolina ought to go Republican this year even with a weak candidate.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Graham is really a good guy because 92% of the time he has sex with adults.

As long as we define adults as anyone over the age of ten.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 3:14 PM

I love Graham’s recent play to help Sheldon Adelson make sure online poker remains illegal.

That’s the kind of fight the GOP needs to be associated with. Helping billionaires keep their billions by making the competition illegal.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 3:16 PM

If Graham does end up winning reelection in a state like this while keeping tea-party pandering to a minimum, he’ll be a new hero to establishment Republicans. Every centrist GOP incumbent going forward will copy his battle plan.

Well. At least we’ll have them all in one corral.

Tsar of Earth on April 23, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Tell that to the ACU who gave Graham a 92% score for his conservative vote…

mnjg on April 23, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Heritage Action gives him a solid 52%. Better than Rep. Clyburn’s 10%… at least.

jffree1 on April 23, 2014 at 3:21 PM

… Wtf is wrong with South Carolinians?

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 2:14 PM

I can’t even begin to understand it – my home state.

A few observations upon returning after being away for 25 years:

1. There is a lot of self-reliance here (farming, hunting, etc.). I wonder if those people are just too busy/distracted to see what’s going on or change it.

2. There is strong community adhesion here. A lot of trusting and faithful people. Too much?

3. Fear of the Graham political machinery. And people here know what it’s like to get wrapped around the axle – literally.

Tsar of Earth on April 23, 2014 at 3:28 PM

20% of the county Republican Parties in the state have censured Liberal Lindsey for his actions in Washington. Further, in the latest poll by Winthrop he is disliked more than liked. At least three of the candidates running against him have promised to support the others if it comes to a run-off. Graham is polling well below the 50% mark right now, which is not normal of an incumbent. Liberal Lindsey should not be counting his victory yet.

RZuendt on April 23, 2014 at 3:30 PM

First of all, I’ve been laughing at the “primary Graham!” people for years because they are ALL TALK. I tried to explain to them that first you must FIND a viable candidate, and in SC Republican circles you don’t find many suicidal politicians. Challenging an incumbent and losing badly is pretty much the end of your career advancement hopes.

Second, I told them they needed to raise AT LEAST $2 million to have a chance. Graham has $7 million in the bank and a nationwide network of donors. A serious challenge needs money.

Just like in 2008 and 2002, the critics failed to do these things.

BUT then you scratch your head in amazement that Graham coasts to reelection. What, did you wish on a unicorn or something? You expected some candidate to magically appear with charm, Tea Party support, and loads of money?

Dummies.

►○●○◄

Please stop saying Bennett was “primaried.” If he had been, he would have won in a walk, defeating Lee handily. Utah has a two step process. Tea Party activists took over the convention, leaving Bennett third in their vote, so he wasn’t on the ballot for the primary.

Again, if he had been on the ballot, he would have won hands down. He was NOT defeated by the Republican electorate, but by activists’ maneuvering. That’s fair, but you need to stop misrepresenting what happened.

Adjoran on April 23, 2014 at 3:30 PM

I’ll never understand how beating Mitch McConnell became an urgent conservative priority while beating Grahamnesty has been stuck at the “meh” level for years.

Who says no one wants both to get beat.

reddevil on April 23, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Whatever. I’m on the fence now, struggling to continue to be in a white hot seething rage at the GOP every f*cking day, or to – in the interest of health and self-preservation if nothing else – dial it back and simply, perhaps, not give a f*ck anymore.

The GOP stopped representing me years ago, and less so every day. I have no more control or stake in their candidates than I do the Democrats, so why kill myself worrying about them…

I dunno – I’m sure I’ll be back to enraged rhetorical bomb-throwing soon enough. *sigh*

And why are people more gung-ho about booting McConnell than Graham? Really, is that a serious question? They’re both reprehensible, but it has nothing to do with the leadership position, I’m sure. *eyeroll*

Midas on April 23, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Midas writes:

The GOP stopped representing me years ago, and less so every day. I have no more control or stake in their candidates than I do the Democrats, so why kill myself worrying about them…

I’m going through much the same stage. I don’t even recognize the party anymore. I don’t identify with its aims. I don’t understand its political or policy goals. I don’t think it has any other aspiration other than being liberal lite.

It’s also addicted to stupid routine. That Jeb Bush could be a serious candidate for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016 shows how much the party is just running on gas fumes. That many in our party think another Cold War with Russia is a good idea is a joke. That we can’t even pretend to defend our borders is another surreal aspect of this new GOP.

I was once outraged by a lot of this, but now I’m getting to the point where I just don’t care anymore. If they don’t want my vote, I won’t vote for them.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 3:46 PM

An attitude of “It’s hopeless so don’t even bother trying” never accomplishes anything.

backwoods conservative on April 23, 2014 at 3:53 PM

I live in South Carolina. Graham will be reelected because we don’t have an established/recognized alternative, because many people don’t really examine the particulars of a politician’s positions and instead just pull the lever for a political affiliation, and because he has the money required to define himself, and his opponents, as he sees fit. Also, primaries don’t attract as much interest as general elections. I’ve heard hardly a squeak about the primary, other than an occasional ad for Graham focused almost exclusively on his ‘tough on radical Islam’ approach (with gunfire crackling in the background…appealing to people’s fears rather than any particular positive position of his).

Just a reminder….if we can’t do better than Graham in SC of all places, liberalism has won, and you can forget about reversing any of the damage they have done to this country.

xblade on April 23, 2014 at 2:10 PM

On most fiscal and social issues, liberalism has been winning for the past seventy years. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security are not going away until fiscal and demographic realities greatly diminish and/or destroy them. Just about everyone has bought into (believes in, supports) those programs, even among conservatives. On the social side of the equation, abortion isn’t going away any time soon, though we may be having some success in persuading people it is more significant than just a personal choice, and thereby restrict it more.

The only substantial success I see for conservatism in the past seventy years, frankly, is in rolling back restrictions on gun rights (in many areas) and maintaining the right to self-defense. Other than that, it seems to me that so-called conservative politicians are typically just big-government expansionists uncomfortable with accurate labels.

I have long wondered how, for most of my adult life, talking heads, opinionators, commentators, academics and the like have often called America a center-right country (not as many saying that these last few years, but it has been said frequently for decades prior). That’s just baloney, in my view. A voter can self-describe as whatever they want, but that doesn’t make it an accurate description.

As a society, we’ve grown quite comfortable with an ever-expanding federal government. I don’t see it changing until it hits a brick wall called fiscal/demographic reality.

xNavigator on April 23, 2014 at 3:53 PM

So please,take your purist nonsense and shove it straight up your dumb a**. If I want a democrat representing me, there’s an official party full of them I can vote for.

xblade on April 23, 2014 at 3:05 PM

You fools call everyone who disagrees with you a RINO and feel all offended when you are called purists…

mnjg on April 23, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Man to wife: Don’t be such a purist, honey. I don’t sleep with all the women at work,just 10% of them. I’m totally faithful to you with the other 90%

Graham campaign ad:

Sure, I want to eradicate conservatism from politics forever by handing democrats 20 million new voters and permanent majorities forever, and I support replacing American workers with cheap foreign labor right here at home, but so what? What are you, a purist?

xblade on April 23, 2014 at 3:55 PM

An attitude of “It’s hopeless so don’t even bother trying” never accomplishes anything.

I agree. But then neither does delusional hope.

We have to find that sweet spot between optimism and realism.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Midas on April 23, 2014 at 3:38 PM

F***ing leave the Republican party already and stop bitching around like a f***ing whore… Leave damn it…

mnjg on April 23, 2014 at 3:56 PM

You fools call everyone who disagrees with you a RINO and feel all offended when you are called purists…

mnjg

And you fools who have no argument get all bent out of shape when called on your purist nonsense. Next you’ll be playing the race card like a good little liberal, lol.

xblade on April 23, 2014 at 3:57 PM

That to me says more about credible candidates. Or at least candidates that were making inroads with the grass roots then this would be a different story. Yet as of late all the other candidates seem to think is that they are “it” simply because they are not Lindsay.

That’s not going to work. For all his ideological shortcomings Lindsay still knows what it takes to get elected and now those against him must learn to do so too.

Knives78 on April 23, 2014 at 3:58 PM

And you fools who have no argument get all bent out of shape when called on your purist nonsense. Next you’ll be playing the race card like a good little liberal, lol.

xblade on April 23, 2014 at 3:57 PM

The same as your RINO nonsense…

mnjg on April 23, 2014 at 3:59 PM

He is our version of a machine politician…

Not a pretty sight.

William Eaton on April 23, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Just a reminder: Lindsey Graham’s probably going to get reelected

…and I’m praying…by some miracle…he is not!

KOOLAID2 on April 23, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Never doubt the value of constituent service. Al D’Amato won elections as a Republican in Bluer than Blue New York by being known by both sides as “Senator Pothole”. You got a problem? Call Al. Any Tea Party candidate that wins and ignores constituent service is being foolish.

KW64 on April 23, 2014 at 4:42 PM

F***ing leave the Republican party already and stop bitching around like a f***ing whore… Leave damn it…

mnjg on April 23, 2014 at 3:56 PM

I have, b1tch. Go f*ck yourself, and your worthless f*cking party. See how well you f*ckwits continue to perform as you further f*ck over your conservative base, you f*cking submoronic piece of shit.

Midas on April 23, 2014 at 4:45 PM

It certainly would have helped if all of these egotistical goons who don’t stand a chance didn’t enter the race.

They should have unitedbehind 1 candidate who could have beaten him and let that 1 candidate run against him in the primary.

Obviously it is the corrupt gopE plan. It’s all Kabuki theater.

Jayrae on April 23, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Maybe Alvin Greene can switch parties and primary him?

Murphy9 on April 23, 2014 at 4:58 PM

mnjg on April 23, 2014 at 3:56 PM

No worries, f*ckwit – I’m already gone. Be sure to replace all the departing conservatives with illegal aliens, and let us know how that works out for you at the polls, m’kay, genius?

Midas on April 23, 2014 at 5:00 PM

mnjg,

the great thing about purists is that they eat their own. Rand Paul, about one year ago, was the darling of the Tea Party, ready to take over the GOP and take down the Dems. Now he has talked himself into many corners and they find he’s not the perfect prince they thought he was. He’s increasing sounding like a RINO to their ears. Who will be next?

thebrokenrattle on April 23, 2014 at 5:03 PM

increasingly

thebrokenrattle on April 23, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Not if I have anything to do with it. Lindsey Graham is bad for the country. He is the epitome of a RINO. He is also a career politician, which I hate more than anything. I think most South Carolinian’s are tired of Lindsey. I also know that most voters are uneducated (idiots).

F_This on April 23, 2014 at 5:08 PM

I am from SC and our Tea Party and District Patriot Groups are working hard to hear all of the primary challengers in order to throw our support behind one. Personally, I am supporting Bright but will switch to any of the others if they win the support of the groups. The main problem we have in SC is the open primary. Unless it is a Presidential year, many democrats cross over and vote in the Republican primaries. Graham, like McCain, is a Democratic favorite. We need to close our Primaries, yet another item our Tea Party and District Patriot Groups are fighting for.

SandyToes on April 23, 2014 at 5:10 PM

The Broken Rattle writes,

the great thing about purists is that they eat their own. Rand Paul, about one year ago, was the darling of the Tea Party, ready to take over the GOP and take down the Dems. Now he has talked himself into many corners and they find he’s not the perfect prince they thought he was. He’s increasing sounding like a RINO to their ears. Who will be next?

If you think this is a “great thing,” you must be a Democrat. Perhaps you haven’t been paying attention to the score recently, Ace, but you might’ve noticed that the GOP hasn’t done too well in presidential elections.

The entire party needs to be energized. That means partisans need someone who can win and ideologues like me need someone we want to win.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 5:12 PM

If you think this is a “great thing,” you must be a Democrat. Perhaps you haven’t been paying attention to the score recently, Ace, but you might’ve noticed that the GOP hasn’t done too well in presidential elections.

The entire party needs to be energized. That means partisans need someone who can win and ideologues like me need someone we want to win.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 5:12 PM

It’s a great thing that nutters like Paul burn themselves out. Who’s your plausible pick for 2016? I’m for Walker, who doesn’t find the need to opine on every little thing and chip away at the goodwill he has been given for kicking the unions’ a$$es in 2012′s failed recall. You like Walker? Anyone else you can support?

thebrokenrattle on April 23, 2014 at 5:19 PM

I’m in SC, & this is so depressing.

Lindsey is running his fake conservative ads, one starts out with an opt out of Obamacare bill he proposed in the senate. Big deal!!! Like its going to go anywhere. Reid won’t have to kill it, LIndsey & the other rinos for amnesty are also for the big bucks in Obamacare.

& what’s with all these NY pizza shops opening up here? Liberals from NY coming down here, to avoid high taxes & the anti-business climate, & what do you think they’re doing? Evolving from their liberalism? No way. This state is doomed to be blue soon, just like Texas.

Belle on April 23, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Isn’t the underlying, unstated, point of posts like this by Allah the non-conservative, shut up!

??

I mean, his point isn’t, “Hey, let’s rally the troops and get him out!” his point is, “You all should feel defeated. You’ve lost. Give it up.”

I learned a long time ago, it aint over until the fat lady sings. I’m not giving up on SC.

Baggi on April 23, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Who thought Graham was going to lose the primary? And who ever thought McConnell is going to lose the primary

If there any of Christine O’Donnells and Sharon Angles out there I don’t want them. THEY lose

Redford on April 23, 2014 at 5:32 PM

It’s a great thing that nutters like Paul burn themselves out. Who’s your plausible pick for 2016? I’m for Walker, who doesn’t find the need to opine on every little thing and chip away at the goodwill he has been given for kicking the unions’ a$$es in 2012′s failed recall. You like Walker? Anyone else you can support?

I like Walker, too. except on immigration. But I don’t see him building up much enthusiasm.

The problem for the GOP is much deeper. It’s not going to be solved by one election or a man riding to the rescue on horseback like a hero.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Who thought Graham was going to lose the primary? And who ever thought McConnell is going to lose the primary

Redford on April 23, 2014 at 5:32 PM

A lot of wishful thinkers, I’m afraid.

thebrokenrattle on April 23, 2014 at 5:41 PM

The problem for the GOP is much deeper. It’s not going to be solved by one election or a man riding to the rescue on horseback like a hero.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 5:41 PM

You are correct. I hope our duct-taped coalition holds longer than the Dem’s duct-taped coalition.

thebrokenrattle on April 23, 2014 at 5:43 PM

If there any of Christine O’Donnells and Sharon Angles out there I don’t want them. THEY lose

So you prefer losing in the halls of power on policies rather than in elections on principle?

Good to know.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 5:43 PM

You are correct. I hope our duct-taped coalition holds longer than the Dem’s duct-taped coalition.

I don’t see how it can. Not when Republicans are helping to hold their coalition together.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Our Tea Party group here in Upstate SC has been talking with other groups around the state. Everyone agrees Graham needs to go, but there’s zero agreement on who to back. We’ve held a couple debates and heard the challengers (except for Mace, who won’t participate). All of them are interchangeable – they all have exactly the same positions on the issues. Thus, there’s no consensus candidate for everyone to get behind. There’s minuses to each of them as well, and that adds to the doubt.

It became clear long ago that outside money was not going to flow to anyone unless they broke out of the pack poll-wise, and that hasn’t happened. So now everyone is sitting back for the primary and praying Graham gets 49.9% or less. Doubtless every Democrat in the state will be crossing over and voting for Lindsey, so that’s not likely.

Sucks, but that’s the way it is. A stronger candidate would have garnered the money to put away the other wannabes. As was said above, Ted Cruz-types don’t grow on trees.

SCsteve on April 23, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Unless he gets a majority in the primary there will be a run off. All you need is more than 50% of the people voting to not want him back and then hopefully everyone can get behind one candidate. RCP doesn’t have too many polls but only one has Graham over 50%, latest has him below.

cadams on April 23, 2014 at 6:40 PM

If there any of Christine O’Donnells and Sharon Angles out there I don’t want them. THEY lose

So you prefer losing in the halls of power on policies rather than in elections on principle?

Good to know.

Pincher Martin on April 23, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Yes, I’d rather win than lose. Take a page from the Dem playbook that Rahm Emanuel did 2006…elect all Democrats, blue dogs, moderate, liberal Dems and it worked. They fell in line didn’t they?

Redford on April 23, 2014 at 7:52 PM

It just sickens me as a South Carolinian that he gets away with it. I can’t stand the man. I’m voting in the primary, but that slick little weasel will get it again. Da**it.

Conservchik on April 23, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Yes, I’d rather win than lose.

No, you’d rather win elections and lose the country. That’s what you’re saying. You’re afraid of change because the liberals have you running so scared you assume they’ve already won the game anyway. And so you believe we might as elect a figurehead to ease the pain.

Take a page from the Dem playbook that Rahm Emanuel did 2006…elect all Democrats, blue dogs, moderate, liberal Dems and it worked. They fell in line didn’t they?

There’s no congruence between the two situations. It’s easier to turn left in Washington than turn right.

You notice that despite Republican presidents nominating twelve of the last sixteen Supreme Court Justices, the Supreme Court was never conservative and still isn’t conservative today. That’s because none of their justices ever surprise. They always take the lefty position. But our justices are full of surprises – Souter, Kennedy, O’Connor, Stevens, Blackmun. They are turned into respectable lefties when on the court.

Pincher Martin on April 24, 2014 at 12:59 AM