Poor Lindsey Graham. He tries so hard to fit in. But it’s tough. He’s a smart guy from a dumb state. He’s an effeminate man in a macho party. And, to make matters even worse, his mother named him Lindsey.
So, Lindsey overcompensates. He’s a tough guy every chance he gets. On guns, he voted against Manchin-Toomey and every other effort to reduce gun violence. He likes drones so much that he said he wished one was flying over Boston looking for the bombers. And when it comes to war, he’s never seen one he didn’t like.
So when word came that the second and only living bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was cornered, Graham started tweeting. He made sure he was the first to call for treating Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant and suspending his rights, even though the guy is a U. S. citizen. And then he made his case on twitter for hours. He made his case on Sunday talk shows. He even issued a joint statement with the anti-immigrant Islamophobe Rep. Peter King (R-NY). And when it was announced that Tsarnaev would be read his rights and treated like a common criminal, Graham made sure the press covered his serious disappointment.
But like I said, Graham’s a smart guy. He knows that the courts would never uphold a U. S. citizen being treated as an enemy combatant and that his whole case, for all his theatrics, was just hooey. So what was Lindsey Graham really up to?
Well, he knows that in 2014, he has a race for re-election in a state where a majority of his party thinks the 2nd Amendment is sacred, freedom of religion is fine as long as that religion is Christianity and free speech is okay as long it’s not anti-American. He also knows that he’s on the verge of pushing through an immigration reform bill that, while politically risky, could help define his political legacy.
And Lindsey Graham knows, that in a state like South Carolina, he doesn’t want a primary from his right flank. He could easily end up like Dick Luger. So Lindsey Graham, the effete intellectual, makes his best effort to look like the people he’s not, but whose votes he needs to do the things he thinks are most important.
And that, folks, is politics in the world of Lindsey Graham.