[Guest post by DRJ]
“Already consistently loathed by a solid third of GOP voters, Graham’s recent leftward bent – including his co-authoring of a controversial “Cap & Tax” proposal supported by President Barack Obama and liberal Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) – has him locked in a “terminal free fall,” according one prominent Republican consultant.
“A chunk of the GOP has always detested him, but in the last month a damn [sic] has broken,” said the consultant, who was granted anonymity to discuss the impact of two recent polls that were conducted in South Carolina (one allegedly by Graham’s own advisors). “More Republicans now oppose Sen. Graham than support him. Independents are also deserting him in huge numbers.”
I can hear the response now so I’ll save everyone the trouble: This is bad news for the GOP because it can’t afford to run off anyone, especially Republicans already in office. Maybe that’s true but it’s still good news in my book. Lindsey Graham won’t help Republicans return the GOP to the party of less government, lower taxes, abundant energy, and more jobs — beliefs that win elections.
Republicans don’t have to be dependable Party-line voters but they need to be dependable when it comes to policy. Lindsey Graham has voted with the GOP 90% of the time but his opposition came at crucial times — such as with cap and trade, the Gang of 14 (including the Haynes nomination discussed here, here, and here), immigration, and voting for Sotomayor despite being one of her harshest critics.
Graham is only dependable when it comes to Graham … or, as the Republican Party of Charleston, South Carolina, said when it voted to censure Graham last week, he has “weakened the Republican brand” in his continuing desire to “be relevant.”
PS – Lindsey Graham on how to win friends and influence people:
“The Ron Paul quarters of the GOP are buzzing about Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) speech to this past weekend’s state party convention — a combative performance in which he took on conservative activists and Paul supporters. One heckler yelled out: “You’re a hypocrite!” Graham snapped back: “I’m a winner, pal!” When Paul supporters started to boo, Graham took them on:
“I am not a libertarian. If you are, you’re welcome to vote for me and build this party, but we’re not going to build this party around libertarian ideas.”