The Lexington County Republican Party in South Carolina voted late Monday to censure Sen. Lindsey Graham for his positions on several controversial issues, including his recent support for a compromise on cap-and-trade legislation.
The Lexington GOP is now the second county party organization in a matter of months to censure Graham after Charleston County leaders approved a similar resolution in November. But unlike Charleston County, Lexington is one of the most conservative counties in South Carolina and is considered a bellwether of Republican sentiment in the state.
CNN Politics reported yesterday on GOP efforts in SC to make averting catastrophic global warming and promoting clean energy jobs a litmust test. This doubly self-destructive trend is nothing new (see Honey, I shrunk the GOP, Part 3: RNC Chair Steele withdraws support for Rep. Kirk over his vote on climate and clean energy bill).
CNN Politics ran this caption on its photo of Graham above), “Sen. Lindsey Graham has frustrated grassroots conservatives in his home state for years.” That’s pretty scary considering Graham has a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 89.79. Graham is an ACU “Senate Standout,” among the 20 most conservative U.S. Senators in 2008! Just how right-wing do you have to be not to frustrate grassroots conservatives?? They’d have impeached Reagan for agreeing to save the ozone layer!
If you read this profile of Graham, then you’ll know that these attacks are not likely to move him. Indeed, he knows that he bipartisan climate and clean energy bill would be very good for South Carolina and the nation:
“I believe the green economy is coming. That’s not a question of if it’s going to happen, it’s just when it’s going to happen. The sooner the better for me, because the jobs of the future lie in energy independence and cleaning up the environment”¦. Why can’t America have the cleanest air?”
But that’s not the way the far right see it, as CNN reported:
The measure passed by a 13-7 vote after more than an hour of debate, according to Lexington County GOP chairman Rich Bolen. Four party members, including Bolen, abstained.
Along with criticizing his cap-and-trade support, Monday’s censure resolution also rapped Graham for his vote in favor of the 2008 financial bailout and his outspoken support of immigration reform.
The grassroots activists who generally make up county party organizations have never been enthusiastic about their senior senator, who has frequently crossed party lines to work with Democrats in the Senate.
The language in Monday’s censure resolution makes that sentiment clear. The measure criticizes Graham for failing to abide by the principles of the South Carolina GOP platform and accuses him of showing “contempt and belligerence” toward his fellow Republicans.
It’s going to be an epic struggle this year in the Senate — more on that later.
The bottom line for now, though, is that if Graham ain’t pure enough for the Palin crowd, the party is gonna have troubles (see Honey, I shrunk the GOP, Part 4: Moderate GOP candidate yields to angry conservative. Gingrich says if this keeps up, “we’ll make Pelosi speaker for life and guarantee Obama’s re-election.”)
- Graham, Kerry, Lieberman: “Every day, we spend nearly $1 billion to sustain our addiction to foreign energy sources and we ship Americans’ hard earned dollars overseas, some of which finds its way to extremist or terrorist organizations.”
- Honey, I shrunk the GOP, Part 1: Conservatives vow to purge all members who support clean energy or science-based policy
- Honey, I shrunk the GOP, Part 2: Opposing clean energy hurts GOP “” Mellman