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Friday, October 10, 2014

Will South Carolina Retire "Liberal Lindsey" Graham?

(Pssst…SC is heavily-stacked with RINOs. There will be more to follow.)  Jeffersonian Democrats welcome! "...Graham is arguably the greatest enemy of the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Senate."

Thursday, 27 March 2014 17:18
Written by  Thomas R. Eddlem
South Carolina's Lindsey Graham (shown) has become the neoconservative Republican targeted by Tea Party and liberty movement organizations nationally, and the South Carolina U.S. Senate primary on June 10 may be the most important race of the 2014 campaign.

Labeled a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) by his detractors, Graham gave his five primary opponents some unintentional assistance March 13 by telling Obama's Secretary of State John Kerry that he would help stop the Republican agenda in the U.S. House of Representatives under Speaker John Boehner. “Hey John, good job,” Graham said over a live microphone he almost certainly thought was turned off. “Let me know what I can do to help you with Boehner.” 

Already polling dangerously low (a February Winthrop University poll put him at 45 percent in the GOP primary), the faux-pas may mean Graham will be unable to muster the 50 percent in the Republican primary needed in order to avoid a June 24 runoff election. 

Despite Graham's on-mic foibles, it's the two-term senator's voting record that earns him true “RINO” status. Graham — who has been in Congress since first being elected to the House in 1992 — has earned a 63-percent cumulative score with The New American's “Freedom Index.” Graham is one of the worst crony capitalists in the Congress, voting for the the airline bailout in 2001 and the TARP bailout in 2008. He voted in 2012 to keep federal subsidies flowing from the taxpayer to huge corporations through the Export-Import Bank. 

In recent years Graham has been a reliable vote for debt limit increases and for bipartisan all-inclusive spending bills that have increased federal spending. He has championed foreign aid giveaways, even voting against Rand Paul's amendment that would have stopped sending foreign (including military) aid to Egypt and other countries that claim to hate America. 

Most importantly, Graham is perhaps the greatest enemy of the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Senate. He has become a national figure largely because of his very public opposition to honoring the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and 10th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. 

Graham has opposed the freedom of both speech and the press in the First Amendment as senator. On the issue of burning the Koran in 2011, Graham told CBS's Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer on April 3, 2011 that “I wish we could find some way to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war. During World War II, you had limits on what you could do if it inspired the enemy.” Graham's hostility to the First Amendment's freedom of speech is not limited to words, as he voted in favor of the 2002 McCain-Feingold law. The law imposed major infringements on the freedom of both speech and press by banning most corporations from publicizing congressmen's voting records in advance of an election and was struck down as infringing on the First Amendment by the Supreme Court in 2009 with its Citizens United v. FEC decision. 

Regarding the Second Amendment, while Graham correctly voted against most restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms, including “assault weapons” bans and bans on high capacity magazines, he has also revealed a fundamental problem understanding the Second Amendment's explicit rule that the federal government is not allowed to engage in any restrictions in ownership of firearms. Graham drafted (and is currently pushing) a bill to ban people who have been judged by courts to be mentally incompetent, and a danger to others or themselves, from owning firearms. While few people would say that person who is a danger to himself or others should be allowed to possess firearms, the Second Amendment gives no power to the federal government to enact any kind of ban on firearms otherwise allowed by states (which are the proper authorities in making such determinations). As a result, Second Amendment groups have endorsed several of Graham's primary opponents. "I’m flat-out fed up with Lindsey Graham’s betrayals," National Association for Gun Rights Executive Director Dudley Brown told The State on February 26. "That’s a major reason why the National Association for Gun Rights PAC just sent [Graham challenger] Lee Bright a fat check. We’ve also sent checks in smaller amounts to two other challengers.... But there’s no denying Senator Lee Bright has gone a step further and deserves special recognition."