I have to give Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) the credit he deserves. He is one of the few politicians who can make me laugh AND scream within the same 15 minute period.
On Fox News Sunday, Graham was asked about a newly surfaced 2007 speech – which appears, at this time to live in one of the speech attendee’s notes ONLY – in which Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel allegedly said that the State Department has become “adjunct to the Israeli Foreign Minister’s office.” According to Hagel, he has no recollection of making that comment and has stressed that he does not hold that view. While Graham found Hagel’s response unconvincing, Graham did leave himself an “out.”
“If in fact that were true, that would end that matter,” Graham said. He continued, “I will take him at his word until something else comes along.”
I’m glad he [Hagel] answered my question about a very disturbing comment he allegedly made,” he said.
Graham noted, however, that in a 2006 interview, Hagel said that the “pro-Israel lobby” intimidates members of Congress so that they will make bad decisions. Well…what is the problem with Hagel saying that? It is the truth, after all. Let’s not play games, Senator Graham.
This all goes back to one simple reality; Chuck Hagel, in his own words: “I’m a United States Senator, not an Israeli Senator.” This would actually be a fabulous mindset for a lot of other lawmakers to adopt. Being supportive of Israel is one thing, but how much precisely is Israel actually running our entire country? Oh well. Keeping it real isn’t a priority in Washington.
Graham said he and his colleagues were worried that Congress was being “jammed” to support “one of the most unqualified, radical choices for Secretary of Defense in a very long time.” But Graham said that he will, in the end, allow a vote for Hagel’s confirmation to go forward because the “president deserves great deference in his choice” for secretary.
So NOW Hagel’s word is acceptable?
NOW the president deserves deference in his choice for secretary?
Honestly, all of this was just a distraction from what Senator Graham really wants to keep revisiting: Benghazi. He actually said to Chris Wallace…yes, he did…that he wanted to get off of the sequestration discussion and get “back to this Benghazi thing.” He has the opinion that the president can say “anything he wants with a few notable exceptions and get away with it.”
To put the icing on the cake of this sweet interview, Graham did revisit the topic of the looming sequester (at Chris Wallace’s insistence). Graham believes that the sequester – which would make painful cuts that include slashing Head Start programs for 70,000 children, 2,100 less food inspectors, and the loss of $900 million in loan guarantees for small businesses – has one simple, amazing, and completely rational solution…get rid of Obamacare! That’s it. That’s all that we need to do to avoid sequestration.
“Well, all I can say is the commander-in-chief thought — came up with the idea of sequestration, destroying the military and putting a lot of good programs at risk. It is my belief — take Obamacare and put it on the table. You can make $86,000 a year in income and still get a government subsidy under Obamacare. Obamacare is destroying health care in this country and people are leaving the private sector, because their companies cannot afford to offer Obamacare and if you want to look at ways to find $1.2 trillion in savings over the next decade, look at Obamacare, don’t destroy the military and cut blindly across the board. There are many ways to do it but the President is the commander-in-chief and on his watch we’ll begin to unravel the finest military in the history of the world, at a time when we need it most. The Iranians are watching us, we are allowing people to be destroyed in Syria, and I’m disappointed in our commander-in-chief.”
Nicely done, Senator! Lindsey Graham continues – over and over - to turn to slashing healthcare and other aid to millions of the poorest Americans as the primary solution to all of our deficit woes. The only problem with that is that the elimination of Obamacare, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, would actually mean increasing the deficit by an estimated $109 billion over the next 10 years.
Anyhow. We can clearly see where Lindsey Graham’s focus lies: NOT on the urgent needs of small children and the poorest Americans; NOT on ensuring that we have someone covering the important post of secretary of defense; NOT on protecting small businesses, which the GOP normally view as the lifeblood of this country. Senator Graham really only has one goal and one focus: playing games and playing politics, regardless of who gets hurt.
I am an unapologetic member of the Christian Left, and have spent a lot of time working with “the least of these” and disadvantaged and oppressed populations. I’m passionate about their struggles. To stay on top of topics I discuss, subscribe to my public updates on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me via LinkedIn. I also have a grossly neglected blog. Find me somewhere and let’s discuss stuff.