Well, maybe it’s going to be Lindsey Graham, GOP senator from South Carolina, who will stand up and call out the “Four Horsemen.” Graham made news by saying what no other conservative Republican has wanted to say – the birthers are crazy. He also called them nuts. Should we hold out hope that this will spark a trend? Or, should we be taking bets on when he will apologize and “clarify” his remarks?
Presumably, Graham was including Lou Dobbs, who has been one of the birthers biggest allies, and was chastised by the president of CNN and told to drop the issue. Dobbs had also been called an embarrassment to CNN by present and former staffers over his support of the birthers.
Graham also called Glenn Beck a cynic, which is what you call someone like Beck who says things that might be called crazy, but when you’re making the money he is by doing it, you call it cynicism.
Here’s part of what Graham had to say at the “First Draft of History” conference sponsored by The Atlantic:
As for the fringe elements of the right (the birthers, for example) Graham said Republicans have to call them out — have to police their own ranks.
“We have to say that’s crazy,” Graham said when The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg asked him about the conspiracy theories that have sprung up on the right.
“So I’m here to tell you that those who think the president was born somewhere other than Hawaii are crazy. He’s not a Muslim. He’s a good man,” Graham said.
When asked how he communicates that sentiment to the conspiracy theorists themselves, Graham was blunt: “When I go to town-hall meetings, say, ‘You’re crazy.’ In a respectful way”–a comment the audience seemed to enjoy….
Talk radio contributes to the right’s less constructive tones, Graham suggested, drawing a parallel between the conservative airwaves and the left’s MoveOn.org. When asked about Glenn Beck, the newest conservative-commentary phenom (though, as Graham noted, Beck isn’t necessarily a voice of the conservative clique, but rather his own beast), Graham said:
“Only in America can you make that much money crying…I mean, you know, what [do] I think about Rush Limbaugh? Well, I think he makes hundreds of millions of dollars being able to talk on the radio.”
But the real question, according to Graham, is: “how many people in my business are going to be controlled by what’s said on the radio or in a TV commercial … Glenn Beck is not aligned with any party as far as I can tell. He’s aligned with cynicism, and there’s always been a market for cynicism.”
According to CBS, “Graham lauded Mr. Obama for energizing young people and also engaging Hispanic voters, which he said Republicans had turned off with rhetoric on immigration ‘coming out of certain quarters of our party.’”