Another clown has climbed aboard the Republican Clown Bus of candidates for US President. Just like all the others, he’s anti-gay, anti-women, and fond of saying nutty things. The radical right “tea party” faction of the Republican Party hates him, so maybe he’s not all bad. Yeah, right…
Lindsey Olin Graham today announced that he, too, is chasing the Republican nomination for president. That clown bus, already a double-decker, may need to be changed for a clown train soon to fit them all on. The video above is AP’s highlights from his hour-long, ever-so-exciting announcement speech. I’m glad it’s only highlights: As it is, I fell asleep watching that video.
At 59, Graham is among the younger Republicans running, and he’ll be 61 years, and 196 days on Inauguration Day. The oldest US President, Ronald Reagan, was 69 years, 349 days when he was sworn in. Graham actually fancies himself a “Reagan-style Republican", though the teabaggers like to call him a “moderate Republican”, which for them is a grave insult.
|Lindsey Graham in 2006.|
Graham is no moderate. While all the Republican
Graham’s an ardent war hawk, and has probably never seen a country that he doesn’t think the USA should invade. He believes that civilians must take a back seat to the military, once famously declaring that if he was president at that moment, he’d use the military to force Congress to stay in Washington to restore defense cuts. The technical term for that is treason, since it would be a military coup.
He also doesn’t believe in free speech, once saying "Congress might need to explore the need to limit some forms of freedom of speech," and he also said of US citizens accused of supporting terrorism, "When they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them: ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer. You are an enemy combatant, and we are going to talk to you about why you joined Al Qaeda.’" So much for the due process guaranteed by the US Constitution.
Graham also praised the USA’s shameful interment of US citizens of Japanese ancestry in concentration camps as a good thing that should serve as a model for Guantanamo. He’s also an ardent and outspoken defender of the NSA’s mass surveillance programme spying on innocent people. Nice guy.
Clearly Lindsey Graham thinks the Bill of Rights is optional, and never applies to the military.
Still, bad as he is, there’s got to be something good in his 20-year long career in the US Congress, right? Well, as a member of the US House, he voted against one of the articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, the only Republican to do so. But he was otherwise as supporter of the Republicans’ partisan crusade against Clinton. He also voted for both of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominees, pointing out that Obama won, the Republicans lost. That, at least, is good. But I honestly can’t see anything else in his long political career that I think is good.
Graham has never been married, which has fed rumours that he’s secretly homosexual. Personally, I think that’s nonsense because if it really was true, he wouldn’t be running for president since there’d be no way to keep that a secret. But if anyone thinks that Graham’s many enemies in the Republican Party won’t use the innuendo, anyway, they’re deluding themselves. We’re talking about a party and clown bus bus full of people who are on the extreme right on social issues, or pander to those who are, so Graham’s bachelorhood will absolutely be used, perhaps subtly, to try and create doubt about Graham’s sexuality. You can bet on it.
Graham’s certainly no friend to LGBT people, as the video below from HRC shows. It’s darkly refreshing, however, for his anti-LGBT positions to be the least of the reasons he should never be president. Graham’s militaristic zeal and authoritarian and anti-democratic nature, combined with his contempt for the Constitution and Bill of Rights in particular, makes him dangerous to everyone.
Let us all hope he’s one of the first to drop out.
There’s still 1 year, 5 months, and 7 days until the US presidential election.
Photo of Lindsey Graham by US Senate () [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons