Lindsey Graham and the State of the Race

Same topic, different views

By Tim Baldwin and Joe Carbonari


 Lindsey Graham has sharply shaped his campaign on two issues: defeat terrorism and reduce national debt. He recently said, “As long as you agree there’s ‘too much debt, too many terrorists,’ the South Carolina senator and 2016 presidential contender says there’s room in his Republican Party for you.” Is this a workable campaign strategy for Graham?

Graham is known as a “war hawk” to many. He certainly favors much military action and intervention, including giving Congress power to limit free speech during “times of war.” This poses a problem: reducing debt and increasing war are hardly reconcilable. Additionally, Graham’s voting record shows he is willing to increase government power, spending and bureaucracies. One must question how he plans to lower national debt and spending.

Graham also holds what appear to be incoherent positions. For example, he opposed Obamacare, but supports global warming regulations; he supports immigration reform but opposes extended background checks for firearm purchases; he invites the Caitlyn Jenners to be Republican but opposes gay marriage; and he wants to govern a hi-tech society but has never sent an email.

You can’t and shouldn’t put politics in a box because it reflects the complexity of human nature, but from a populist standpoint, Graham seems too much of a mixed bag to win a primary and general election.


 Lindsay Graham is un-electable, in my opinion. Lindsay’s faint sneer and down-home witticisms would not play well in the country as a whole. He might even drive some otherwise quiescent democrats to the polls in backlash. Entertaining and likable? Perhaps. A president? No thanks.

We have a very touchy situation with Islam. It needs a makeover, intellectually, in its basic thinking. We, the rest of the world, need to contain, and see eliminated, the acceptance and practice of destructive jihadism. This intellectual battle will take more subtlety than Graham seems to show. I’m thinking bonfires and gasoline are a dangerous mix. Let’s keep this Islamist problem from getting worse.

Graham reportedly favors increasing ground troops in Iraq, in the fight against the Islamic State, from roughly 3,000 to 10,000. It may be necessary. It certainly appears that we need better, more real-time tactical information. Our current air support seems inefficient. This role must be filled. Better us than the Iranians, either directly or indirectly through their Iraqi counterparts. We are going to have to use increasing military force. We are going to have to walk a careful line. If we use backfires of violence to stop the big blaze, we must control our fire. I’m not comfortable with Lindsay Graham as Commander in Chief.

Calm, confident, experienced leadership. Man or woman. Show me, please.

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