According to most conservatives in South Carolina, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has officially gone over to the dark side. Under the guise of 'bipartisanship,' Graham has signed on to one of the left's most ambitious plans to impose a socialist agenda in America - government control of the formerly free market through implementation of cap-and trade, the 1,400 plus page Waxman-Markey bill approved earlier this year by the House.
The main (scientifically unproven) premise of cap and trade is that the earth is melting and government must step in to save the world. Of course, it will be expensive, but hey, this is Mother Earth we're talking about. And its urgent and essential that the government immediately establish a $700 billion "market" for business to buy and sell "steadily declining number of permits for creating carbon emissions." In a New York Times Op-Ed Graham co-authored with Sen. John Kerry cutely entitled 'Yes We Can' (get it?) Sen. Graham states "..we agree that climate change is real and threatens our economy and national security." Huh?
Conservatives disagree. Conservatives, real conservatives, believe the fact based studies based on science that stand in direct opposition to the dire reports issued by bureaucrats at the United Nations and embraced as fact by the left.
Conservative think tank, Heritage Foundation, outlines the additional costs that will be imposed on every American families if cap and trade is enacted. Residential electricity costs will zoom up by 90%, nearly 1.9 million jobs will be lost by 2012 overall, and the economy will lose nearly $10 trillion in gross domestic product by 2035. Just what the economy needs, right? Lindsey Graham was elected to serve as United States Senator in 2002. He was easily re-elected in 2008, largely due to the support of conservatives. Conservatives like founder and past president of the low country's South Strand Republicans, John Bonsignor. John and his wife campaigned hard for Graham, based on their belief that Graham would govern as a conservative. Meaning, lower taxes and less government.
"Graham is disappointing," states Bonsignor, "He campaigned as a conservative but his record is moderate left." When asked if he would vote for Graham now, Bonsignor stated emphatically, "No," citing Lindsey's support for Sotomayor, his support for TARP funds, and the final straw, his support for cap and trade.
Sen. Graham's own website states, "Graham is known as a leader who never abandons his independence or strays from the conservative reform agenda." This is no longer true.
Graham has been seduced by the left. He has adopted one of their most successful tactics, promising one thing while delivering the quite the opposite. Though it's impossible to know what is in another man's heart, actions always speak louder than words. And Graham's actions clearly show that he has signed on to the leftist agenda. Possibly hoping to earn the coveted 'maverick' label and media kudos formerly enjoyed by his good buddy John McCain. But he is doing his own party no good.
Graham has come to exemplify the growing disconnect between conservatives and the Republican Party. He believes he knows best, and if the people that elected him disagree, he tells them to just "chill out," as he did at a recent townhall meeting in Greenville. The same townhall meeting where one of his constituents called him a traitor.
That townhall received little media attention. What did receive national media coverage was Graham's recent interview where he attacked Glenn Beck, the left's favorite target. "Glenn Beck does not represent the thinking of the Republican Party," Graham stated. How he knows this is a mystery, as he went on to say he never watches the Glenn Beck Show. Go figure.
Graham may be right about one thing: Glenn Beck clearly represents the thinking of conservatives, not the GOP. And Sen. Lindsey Graham is now willingly spouting the talking points of the left and abandoning the conservative principles that got him elected. He has been seduced by the left and his reward is ever more national face time and political influence.
Enjoy the ride, Lindsey. More and more South Carolinians, this author included, are comparing you with our real conservative Senator, Jim DeMint, and you're coming up way short. Keep in mind that we have long memories while the fawning media currently singing your praises have short ones. Your love affair with the left, whether it be seduction or statutory rape, betrays the conservative principles that you claimed to hold. And we don't like it one bit.
Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for RightBias.com.
She lives in South Carolina.