Lindsey Graham on NY-23 fallout: Leave the RINOs alone!

How RINO is too RINO for Graham? It’s unclear. Even he’s sour on Scozzafava, but apparently only because she was too far left for the “mainstream” in NY-23, not because she was too far left, period. Like Ace, I’m happy to help build a bridge between centrists and conservatives, but a bridge has to end somewhere. Where does this one end? Or should we simply ask all Democrats to declare themselves Republicans and have a one-party system that encompasses everyone from DeMint to Pelosi according to whatever’s “mainstream” in their district?

“To those people who are pursuing purity, you’ll become a club not a party,” Graham told POLITICO in the Capitol Wednesday. “Those people who are trying to embrace conservatism in a thoughtful way that fits the region and the state and the district are going to do well. Conservativism is an asset. Blind ideology is not.”

Graham, who has sparred with his party’s right wing on issues ranging from climate change to Guantanamo Bay to Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court nomination, warned that those concerned about the state of the GOP should help find candidates who are electable — not ones who adhere to a particular type of ideology. And he said that both the GOP nominee, Dede Scozzafava and the conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman were both out of the mainstream of the upstate New York district – which lead to the victory of Democrat Bill Owens Tuesday night.

“If your goal is to make everybody just like you in terms of ideology, that’s a self-centered approach to politics,” Graham said.

If you believe your ideology is the best course for America, why wouldn’t you want everyone to be just like you? Does this guy think Obama sits around the White House at night, musing, “Gee, it’d be terrible if everybody thought just like I did”? Compromise when you must but win when you can. Sometimes I think Graham has it the other way around.

Follow the link for more, including kind words about Carly Fiorina. DeMint’s backing Chuck DeVore out there, which means we’re possibly staring at another Crist/Rubio-type nuclear war in the making. Meanwhile, via Think Progress, here’s Graham touting his deal with the left on cap and trade. The takeaway: “The green economy is coming. We can either follow or lead.”

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David Strom 8:41 PM on January 30, 2023