Has A GOP Savior Stepped Forward?

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.’”

Thanks to:

Jay Bookman


Join the Conversation


  1. True, Nick. Either venue. Either “side” —
    There are less Senators, than Congressmen. The Senator was attempting to address a larger audience in a videotaped interview (no date accompanies the video, therefore, not necessarily “official”. The Congressman was discussing a plan, in the physical building of Congress. It (what Congressman Alan Grayson says) also goes down in the Congressional Record, an offical document. Since he has used a visual, I am assuming that the Congressional Record now includes videos, as well as that which is written down. If it is only written word, then the visual appeals to emotion (a logical fallacy) would appear as blank, as blank as the blank pieces of paper which the Senator describes verbally.

  2. The birthers, the tea baggers, the screamers, and the deathers continued extreme minority presence will become tiresome to mainstream America, if it has not already done so. To all the birthers in La La Land, it is on you to prove to all of us that your assertion is true. If there are people who were there and support your position then show us the video (everyone has a price). Either put up or frankly shut-up.

    I heard Orly Taitz is selling a tape (I think it’s called “Money, Lies and Video tape”). She is from Orange County, CA. Now I know what the mean when they say “behind the Orange Curtain,” when they talk about Orange County, the capitol of Conspiracy Theories. You know Obama has a passport. He traveled abroad before he was a Senator, but I guess they were in on it.

    In my opinion the Republican Party has been taken over by the most extreme religious right (people who love to push their beliefs on others while trying to take away the rights of those they just hate) and that’s who they need to extract from their party if they really want to win.

    Good Luck, because as they said in WACO, “We Ain’t Coming Out.” I heard that she now wants to investigate the “Republican 2009 Summer of Love” list: Assemblyman Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed. Chair, and Kristin Maguire aka Bridget Keeney (SC).

  3. We have our birthers, you have Cindy Sheehan. I think that makes us about even.

    Neither side has ever had a monopoly on nut cases.

  4. Here I go again, A-D-D reigning supreme, changing the subject a bit, but I think it’s important to say:

    Health care had better get passed before the next mid-term election.

    We need a health care system that includes care for uninsured children and helpless people in America, and after the big pendulum swing of 2010 there will no longer be a liberal majority in congress, maybe for another few decades.

    I want two things to happen; a balanced congress and a health care program for all Americans. That’s why the time is now, if ever.

    Lots of freshmen Senators and Representatives rode in on Obama’s coattails, but I foresee a huge conservative backlash in 2010, of which I will be a part.

    Wishing for universal health care makes me a bad conservative to some, but I don’t blindly accept the teaching and preaching of anyone based on political affiliation; I am not afraid to take a stance in support of helping “the least of these among us” because I think we all know two basic things, whether we admit them or not:

    1. We’re going to pay their bills, anyway. When people with no money get health care and can’t pay for it, their treatment is added to the costs paid by us who can afford health care , and

    2. It’s inhumane to force kids who need a doctor to stay home because their parents can’t afford it.

    (If that’s being a bad Republican, at least it’s being a good Christian! Hey, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, practicing “devout” Catholics: whom would Jesus turn away from health care?)

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