I’ve always wondered if Lindsey Graham (R- Meet The Press) would face a serious primary challenge. SteveM thinks that the structure of the primaries — an elimination round, followed by a run-off among the top two vote-getters in the event that no one gets 50% in the first round — may hurt Graham since the crazies can tag team Lindsey, drag him under 50%, and then defeat him mano a mano with a single crazy. And may I say, this is a fucking awesome group of crazies:
Pushing for South Carolina to adopt its own currency. Claiming that the state needs “some kind of backup” in case the population should “lose faith in the dollar,” Bright filed a bill calling for a study on the creation of a South Carolina state currency based on “gold or silver, or both.”…
Harry Enten — bit of a Nate Silver wannabe, and I mean that as a sincere compliment — thinks Graham, along with Mitch McConnell, is probably safe:
McConnell was in the 47th percentile for conservatism among Republicans in the 112th Congress. Graham was in the 55th percentile for conservatism among the Republican caucus. In other words, both of them have been right in the middle of their caucuses.
This ideological adherence is likely baked into the early polling. It’s the reason why both McConnell and Graham are leading more conservative opponents. Both are well-positioned ideologically within their primary electorates. That’s not going to change as we approach the primary.
In other words, Graham will win because he is just another Republican Senator. Bobo may revere him as the Platonic ideal of centrist moderate Burkean restraint, but his voting record is anything but.
If those two sign off on any debt limit increase or are seen as anything less than 100% dedicated to getting rid of ObamaCare, all bets are off.
I’m hopeful, though, that ‘South Carolina Republican Party’ trumps all those other boring, reality-based possibilities. The Senate Lunacy Caucus needs new blood.
I wonder what his boyfriend thinks?
Primaries are low turnout elections. That makes them unstable. Castle was assumed to be unassailable in Delaware but O’Donnell beat him because the fringe turned out and the base didn’t.
So I don’t think Graham and McConnell should be resting on their laurels here. The right flank is fired up and they could turn out and win this thing. After all, they’ve been conditioned to think that they’re now living in North Korea.
I shall call it “The Confederate Dollar!”
Because the Constitution means so much to them.
omg, Moon River.
For reasons too obscure to go into, it reminds me of 8th grade.
I’m still hopeful that the Democrats may be able to take out McConnell if he is sufficiently damaged by the primary, but South Carolina’s two seats are probably lost causes for now. If the Democrats weren’t able to keep Mark Sanford out of the House of Representatives, I don’t see how they pick off a Senate seat. I could see Graham losing a primary though.
Looking further ahead, I suspect that SC will drag itself toward purpledom in the wake of Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia for much the same reasons, but it probably has a session or two of NC-style derpitude ahead of it before that happens. Adopting its own currency? Seriously? I suppose it’s less radical than firing on Fort Sumter, but still.
Slightly off-topic, one thing I’ll never understand about goldbugs is how they can maintain that gold is simultaneously the Greatest Investment Ever and the Greatest Currency Ever. Those two things kind of cancel each other out. If people hoard a commodity because they think it will maintain or increase its value, it will quickly disppear as a currency.
South Carolina: too small to be a country; too large to be an insane asylum.
@David Hunt: It’s Fox News as a live action role playing game.
McConnell was in the 47th percentile for conservatism among Republicans in the 112th Congress.
That doesn’t have anything to do with anything. Bob Inglis had a 93 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, and lost a House primary in South Carolina– 71 to 29 percent.
Winning a Republican primary isn’t about voting record, or policy at all, it’s about projecting contempt for perceived outsiders. Graham might not do that well enough.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
Presumably each knows that the real race is in the primary and as a result, won’t be complacent. You’d think that every sitting Repup Senator would look at the Castle/Delaware race as a case study in complacency and as a result, would pour a crapload of money, time, and GOTV efforts at the primary. Once you’ve won that in states like KY and SC, the general election is a cakewalk.
And will be next year for those too since the NI*CLANG! will still be preznint.
Hey buddy, got two Calhouns for a Thurmond?
Which opponent will be the first to question Graham’s sexuality? Booker had a great answer according to TPM but I don’t think the same approach would work in So. Carolina.
@AxelFoley: Indeed, and he is the junior Senator there. The senior Senator is John McCain (R – Meet the Press).
Also, not one fuck is given whether McConnell or Graham are safe or not; I want them to have to fight for their seats, and for them and the RNC to spend shit-pots of money defending them. That’s the goal. Playing offense purely for the advantage of being on the offensive. Squeeze these motherfuckers between their teabagger insurgencies in the primaries and their Democratic challengers in the general. I want them to suffer, because they are such tools.
More like Lindsey Graham (R – Meet the Closet)
@Chris: Holy shit, could they have been more obvious– I had no idea that the Confederate $100 actually had pictures of slaves on it:
@Splitting Image: Appalachian Kentuckians recently helped elect a senatorial candidate who openly told them their bosses should have the right to kill them in the mines without repercussions…because that candidate also criticized the black president and the Civil Rights Act. I think the chances of Kentucky electing a Democrat are hovering well below zero.
You could make a pretty good argument that it’s more radical. The Constitution was silent on the issue of secession, so there was at least a plausible argument that it was legal, but it explicitly prohibits states from coining money.
@fuckwit: I collect coins, not bills, never took a good close look at one of these before.
I expected the slaves.
I did not expect the part where it’s “payable six months after ratification of a peace treaty between the CSA and USA”. Not only a promissory note, but a conditional one. I cannot believe that anyone would have taken these in exchange for actual physical goods. It’s like the South Park’s Underpants Gnomes business plan “???” made into a currency.
@fuckwit: The Civil War was not about slavery; it was about sovereignty and states’ rights. I have no idea how those slaves got onto our dollar, the defense of slavery got into our articles of secession as the prime reason for leaving the Union, or the continuation of slavery got into Stephens’ “Cornerstone” speech as the impetus for forming the CSA. I blame Obama.
Bart: Hey, this isn’t real. This is printed by the Montana Militia.
Homer (threateningly): It’ll be real soon enough!
No, you’ve got it backwards. State-wide elections in most states are easier to win than House seats. Because state-wide elections don’t involve gerrymandering of any kind. So just because a conservative district chose Mark Sanford over a Democrat, that says nothing about the pulse of the overall state. That’s like saying that California is a lost cause because a Democrat can’t beat a car thief like Darrell Issa in a House election.
What matters is the fact that IIRC South Carolina has no Democratic officials in elected state-wide office and hasn’t had one for a while. That’s a sign that it would be difficult for the seat to flip to a Democrat (though not impossible, just not very likely).
@shortstop: Slaves just appeared as if by magic in their extensive gardens (how’d that indigo and cotton get so invasive?) could that little blue box have something to do with it? it must all be a cunning plan to discredit the superior enlightened culture therebouts, those slave should have been out lolling or something, they crawled into the boats too, all on their lonesome, must have been for the shade or something . . .
Which opponent will be the first to question Graham’s sexuality?
Heck, two of them already have, though in fairness they haven’t said anything worse than what plenty of commenters here have said.
Yeah, but conservatism means something different now for the wingnuts, at least in foreign policy. Wingnuts haven’t gone isolationist, but these days they don’t like the McCain/Graham “just kill somebody” approach because they hate all the “Moo-slimes” (as they call them) in Egypt, Syria, etc., so they don’t want anyone to win. And now the president who may agree with McCain/Graham is Obama, and if Obama is for killing someone, wingnuts are against it, or at least skeptical.
Well, they did wind up trading for a very substantial discount, which grew as the war went on. That said, I assume that there were a lot of true believers who felt compelled to support the Confederacy as vigorously as possible out of fear they’d lose their most valuable property. Those are presumably the people who were giving hard currency for Confederate money.
SLAVES? No, those are happy plantation “workers”, blissfully free from the crushing burden of yankee political correctness. It’s your own fault if your mind went somewhere else.
That’s kind of meaningless. Their opponents have about a year to build name recognition.
@kc: brings a whole new meaning when Lindsey says that “he’s got your six” don’t it?
That entire article was a great piece on Booker. I know that the usual suspects have decided that Booker is a Wall Street stooge and Lieberman clone, but that article shows why they are dead wrong. Booker’s focus has been on poverty and equality issues for years.
Doug, when are you going to start an Act Blue for these guys’ opponents?
We have the power to remove these RINOs – we just need your leadership.
Jay in Oregon
They read the Constitution like they read the Bible. They read the “literal words” except for the parts they don’t like; at that point they pretend to know what the authors really meant when they wrote those parts.
(For example, Matthew 19:24 doesn’t really mean what it says it means, in some evangelical circles.)
Culture of Truth
“Payable six months after Obama is impeached or resigns and moves to Kenya”.
@fuckwit: Check out Graham’s Dem opponent, Jay Stamper. His plan looks like yours.
@Roger Moore: 1861, meet 2013.
it’s South Carolina. The pols there swear on the Constitution to uphold the Bible.
Born serfs all.
O/t: Has anybody been keeping up with this whole thing of Fox News’ head of PR getting mysteriously shitcanned? Because it is about to be on, motherfuckers! I cannot wait to see what sordid info comes out.
Honestly, they’ve been just been confused ever since the Arab Spring started. Besides the natural confusion of “wait, I can never remember which hajjis we want dead,” I always figured they were waiting to let the dust settle and see what kind of governments came out of the Arab Spring – nice, respectable democracies with liberty and tax cuts for all, or lousy stinking terrorist Hajjistans. Then they’ll know which narrative to go with – “we were always behind it, and it was all thanks to Bush!” or “we were always against it, and it was all because of Obambi!”
So we’ve been (unusually for them) hearing two different stories from the conservative side of the aisle in the meantime.
Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Mumphrey, et al.)
You know, that “middle of the Republican caucus” business is kind of misleading. There’s a site, I forget the name, that ranks congressmen and senators from most liberal to most conservative. They take all the bills where more than half of one party goes one way and more than half of the other party goes the other way, and they come up with a percentage; 100 is perfectly liberal, 0 is perfectly conservative.
And I don’t know whether I’ve seen the rankings in this Congress, but in Congresses gone by, the Democrats in the Senate would range from 95 or so all the way down to 50 or 55 or so. Without Ben Nelson, the most conservative Democrat might not be in the 50-60 range any longer, but even so, if you’re in the middle of the Democratic caucus, you’re likely to be at about 75-80.
Now, the Republicans… Well, that’s something else altogether. These guys vote together like they’re glued to each other. For one thing, the most conservative guy won’t be at 5; he’ll be at 1. And there are a lot of them stuck at one. So “middle of the Republican caucus doesn’t mean “moderate” at all. It means “this guy votes with the Republicans 95% of the time, rather than 99%.”
I went and found the site. It’s called Progressive Punch. The results are amazing. There are 17 Republicans who vote the conservative way more than 98% of the time. 35 of them vote that way more than 95% of the time. So when somebody says, “Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Gram are right in the middle of their caucus,” that’s true as far as it goes, but what it really means is that, “McConnell has voted with the conservatives 100% of the time in this congress, and 98.16% of the time lifetime, and Graham has voted this way 97.44% of the time in this Congress, and 95.01% of the time lifetime.” Another way of putting that is that Graham is the 12th most liberal Republican in the U.S. Senate, and that means he votes with the other party 5% of the time.
The most liberal Republican is Susan Collins, who has a 27.55% lifetime score, and there are only three others above 10%. The Democrats range from 100 (Markey, who’s only been there for a month) to 51.28, Donnelly of Indiana. Two other Democrats are below 60%. There are seven more between 60 and 70, eleven between 70 and 80, eleven more between 80 and 90%, and 22 above 90%.
Playing around with the numbers, you get an average score for Democrats of 79.72%, while the Republicans average 4.31%. I’m sure somebody with a background in math or statistics could get even more telling stuff out of this, but this is about as far as I can take it. Anyway, it’s yet another way to show that the “both sides do it” bullshit is, indeed, bullshit. Just as an aside, what do you think the opinionators would say if the Democrats voted as locksteppedly as the Republicans and the Republicans had as much range as the Democrats? I can hear them now, decrying the “unwillingness of the Democrats to compromise” and how the Democrats are “ideologically extreme and intolerant of dissent”. Well, shit, they say that now.
@CONGRATULATIONS!: Ah, that’s because I fucked up. This isn’t a Confederate $100 bill, it’s a Confederate BOND, and a war-bond specifically, based on that condition, and the mention of interest per day. So, it’s not actually currency, it’s a war bond. Still, slaves front and center, not even trying to be ambiguous about what the 1%ers of the day ($100 was a lot of scratch) were funding.
I’m not sure that is a bond, or at least that there was any distinction between Confederate money and war bonds. Wikipedia says that all their paper money was unbacked by hard assets, only by a promise to pay after victory:
They simply didn’t have any hard money to back it with, since almost all their assets had to go to import necessary military goods. Is it any wonder they lost?
can we please kick south carolina out of the union now? it’s what they want, anyway. it would be a win/win.
we’d have to re-route I-90, and it would put South Of The Border out of business, all of which is a shame, but enough is enough.
I hope you’re right there. I was thinking that the Democrats actually had a candidate with some name recognition in that race, which helped offset Sanford’s home-field advantage. Without that, they may find themselves stuck with another Alvin Greene. Like you said, the Democrats have a really thin bench. On the other hand, the Republicans managed to throw away Richard Lugar’s seat in Indiana, so anything is possible.
Not entirely true. The preamble of the Constitution declares the purpose of the document to create a “more perfect union”, which has to be a reference back to the predecessor document the Articles of Confederation, which establishes the United States as a “perpetual union.” Perpetual pretty much means no takebacks. The secessionist appeals to the natural right of rebellion have some merit (or would have if they could have made it stick), but the appeals to some kind of implied right to secession in the Constitution were fantasies.
Mike in NC
Lindsey Graham (R-Benghazi!)
Mike in NC
We could only hope!
Frankly, Holly Golightly would be an awesome new name for Lindsey Graham.
“Natural right of rebellion” is just that, a “natural” right, not a legal one. No government on Earth is going to sit down and start listing circumstances in which you’re allowed to shoot at it. There ARE circumstances in which the system has gotten so fucked up that you’re justified in trying to overthrow it, but the whole point of that is that you are going outside the law.
One thing that still amazes me is that for all of his supposed military genius, Robert E. Lee didn’t take one look at the shit sandwich that the South had to work with and say “uh, you know what? No – this is a really bad idea and we aren’t going to win this one.” They weren’t. They were never going to win it. They could make it ugly and horrible and long and drawn out, but it was never going to be a W for the South.
The best that they could hope for is that England would come in on their side and force the North into a treaty – but England wasn’t going to do that without the South ending slavery and then what the fuck was the war all about if rich white people couldn’t own black people as slaves in the end? If they hadn’t seceded, Lincoln would have let them keep their slaves and it probably would have been another 50 to 100 years before the world moved around them and ended up forcing an end to slavery via legislation due to moral outrage and the basic economics of slavery becoming untenable.
It was pretty much the stupidest war on the planet – a fight so that a group of rich white assholes could stretch their status quo out for another few decades in the face of a changing world. And if that sounds remarkably familiar, well, this country still hasn’t fucking finished fighting the stupidest war on the planet yet I guess.
What’s always boggled my mind about his supposed military genius was Pickett’s charge. Yes, I understand; a lot of people were still stuck in the Napoleonic era mindset, didn’t fully appreciate how modern technology was changing the battlefield, etc… Only Lee had just spent two whole years on the defense fending off Union armies, he’d seen full well what a disaster Pickett’s charge type tactics were when the Northerners tried them at Fredericksburg. Simple experience should’ve taught him not to try the same losing tactics as his enemies.
As for your general point… I think the South had the general mindset of “of course we’re going to win. And it’ll be quick and easy. How could we not win? We’re the best.” Which is the self-delusion of brain-dead nationalists all over the world, all the way down to today (Bush, Iraq War, “cake walk,” “greeted as liberators.”) The North wasn’t immune to it either – they, too, expected a quick easy victory and got a nasty shock when that didn’t happen.
While it will be interesting and fun, Sen. McCain’s BFF will probably win the primary here, and then we’ll find another Alvin Greene to run against him. I still don’t know where the fuck that guy came from. He beat a solid democrat, a telegenic and politically savvy former judge. He had to have been a republicanoid plant.
What an appropriate earworm to have, any time I see a picture of Mr. Graham. (Which is too damn frequently.)
Well done, doug milhous
@Chris: Really, though, what choice did Lee have? He wouldn’t (and would have been dumb to) retreat after two good fighting days for his guys. He wasn’t in a position to wait out Meade, whose forces had the distinctly advantageous position on day three. Pickett’s Charge was what Steven Schmidt likes to call a “high-risk, high-reward” situation — which garnered about the same results for the Army of Northern Virginia that it did for John McCain. After Chancellorsville just a couple of months before, Lee was convinced that these bold, risky moves were worth taking, especially because they’d succeeded for the Union forces there (just as they didn’t at Fredericksburg, which had its own set of problems, mostly communication-related). The Union lost big at Chancellorsville, but it did enormous damage through heavy frontal assaults.
If Pickett’s charge (a one-time deal, not a repetitive error like Burnside’s at Fredericksburg) had come off — and if they hadn’t fallen for the old silent cannon trick, it had a reasonable chance of doing so — the payoff was huge. If they’d pulled it off, the Confederates would have definitively changed the course of the war, especially after Chancellorsville. I’m not convinced, as so many seem to be, that they could ever have won it, even with the north’s festering unrest over the length of the conflict, but they’d certainly have dragged it out much longer. I find it incredible that they held on as long as they did in the absence of wholesome food, guns, ammo, shoe leather and other critical supplies.
Gosh, that sounds kind of inadvertently admiring, so let me rephrase that: I always find it incredible that the filthy pigs held on as long as they did. As NonyNony says, it was one of the stupidest wars of all time.
Full Metal Wingnut
As an observation this is important. But I don’t like seeing people hope that a Republican gets primaried. I strongly support competitive primaries for my own party, but I’m afraid of it backfiring.
Helping primary a Republican Senator/Representative and giving the nomination to a batshit crazy Republican can make the public elect a Democrat, even only in the short term. It can also backfire and get you another Ted Cruz.