There are many things South Carolinians are expected to be ashamed of — slavery, segregation, low SAT scores. These are the least of our state's embarrassments. Our deepest shame is in being represented by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Graham is the worst kind of politician — he votes against the interests of his own state on a consistent basis to serve the agendas of political and corporate elites.
When 63 percent of South Carolina voters opposed amnesty for the estimated 12 to 20 million illegal aliens currently residing in the United States, Graham not only supported "comprehensive immigration reform," but he was one of its greatest cheerleaders, even shaking his pom-poms before the nation's largest Hispanic lobbying group, the National Council of La Raza.
During a speech before La Raza, Graham called amnesty critics "bigots," a direct insult to the overwhelming majority of South Carolinians who opposed the legislation. "Grahamnesty" indeed.
Perhaps conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham sums up Graham's elitism best:
"(On amnesty) my personal favorite was Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, an ardent supporter of a 'pathway to legalization,' who warned that 'the loud folks' were getting out of hand. What he really meant was that the people were becoming a nuisance. Lindsey Graham is a prime example of how someone can be a Republican Southerner with a military background and still side with the elites against the people."
Graham has a long record of serving the powerful at the expense of the powerless, something proved yet again by his recent vote for the socialist $850 billion Wall Street bailout. Phone calls taken at WTMA produced virtually zero support for the bailout. Opposition was most fierce among conservatives.
By supporting both amnesty and socialism, Graham barely registers as a Republican, much less a conservative. (In contrast, Republican Sen. Jim DeMint voted "no" on both amnesty and the bailout.)
The perception of Graham as being strong on military issues is arguably the senator's singular appeal to South Carolina voters, and it is on this issue where Graham is perhaps the most dangerous.
Traditional conservatives value history, experience, and prudence over ideology, particularly the radical utopianism subscribed to by neoconservatives, who believe democracy and freedom can magically be imposed on people who have never known it, do not want it, and have not earned it. As a rabid advocate for the Bush administration and its possible successor in John McCain, Graham has long served the neoconservatives, who in wanting to prolong and expand the Iraq war, continue to recklessly place ideological and material interests above the national interest. As he has with amnesty and the Wall Street bailout, Graham sides with elites and opposes the majority of Americans who now oppose the war.
Graham's mantra that the "surge has worked" is beside the point. The surge did work. The war didn't. No one judges economic success by temporary, minimal profit after years of drastic loss. The same goes for war. Rhetoric is no substitute for results. And with the federal budget, deficit, and Al-Qaeda growing rapidly, a change of course is needed. But Graham promises more of the same.
It isn't the least bit strange that the Associated Press has described Graham's opponent Bob Conley as being to the "far-right" of the senator. In a world where Graham's style of open-borders multiculturalism, socialism, and utopian radicalism is mistaken as conservatism, it is only natural that when confronted with the real thing, the casual observer might find it somewhat extreme.
Here's what Democrat Conley is for: low taxes, sound money, protecting American workers, taking care of our soldiers, and strict border enforcement. Conley is against amnesty for illegal aliens, Wall Street bailouts, and our current foreign policy. Conley is the anti-Graham.
Unlike Graham, Conley refuses to carry water for elites in his own party, and in return, the state and national Democratic Party have completely ignored their own candidate. One would be hard-pressed to find a more independent candidate than Conley running for office anywhere this year.
As a civil engineer and commercial pilot, much has been made of the fact that Conley lacks political experience. But the idea of the "citizen statesman," the private citizen who enters into public service not for profit, but as a patriot, is exactly the kind of leader the Founding Fathers envisioned. What the Founders feared most were men like Graham, an entrenched elitist who regularly sells out his own people for personal gain.
The citizens of South Carolina could do no worse than to re-elect Lindsey Graham to the U.S. Senate. Grahamnesty will continue to betray us every chance he gets.
Catch Southern Avenger commentaries every Tuesday and Friday at 7:50 a.m. on the "Morning Buzz with Richard Todd" on 1250 AM WTMA.