I’ve said this in the past. It remains true.
My friends here on the blog love to abuse Lindsey, for one of the very things I admire him for — his refusal to go along with either herd. (And when I say “either,” I refer to the only two that our pathetically inadequate modern political vocabulary allow as conceivable possibilities.)
We know how the right despises him — to the extent that “right” adequately describes those who despise him. I refuse to use the word “conservative,” because these destructive bomb-throwers don’t deserve it. They care for nothing but purity — a kind of purity produced by a distillation process like that of moonshine: It, too, will make you go blind.
My friends on the left love to applaud him when he is infuriating those on the right the most. Then, when he acts like what he is — an actual conservative — they talk about how disappointed they are in him. Even though he is the best, by their own lights, that they are ever likely to see representing South Carolina in the U.S. Senate.
Since I don’t subscribe to either of these temples of purity, I like him most of the time — probably most of all when he’s alienating both extremes of the spectrum.
Do I strongly disagree with him? Yes, frequently. But I expect that. There’s no one on the planet with whom I agree all of the time. That’s the way it is among people who think, rather than buying their positions on political issues off the shelf, as a package, all from column A and none from column B.
Anyway, bottom line, he’s a stand-up guy because he’s there when his country needs him, as it did earlier this week:
WASHINGTON — Sen. Lindsey Graham was the only Republican in South Carolina’s GOP-dominated congressional delegation who voted for the deal that reopened the federal government.
President Barack Obama signed the shutdown bill into law late Wednesday after the Senate passed it by an 81-18 vote and the House approved it by a 285-144 margin. Three-fifths of the Senate’s 46 Republicans voted for the legislation, while a similar share of the House’s 232 Republicans opposed it.
Graham, a second-term senator facing a contested re-election campaign, broke with Sen. Tim Scott, a North Charleston Republican in his first year as a senator.
“This agreement is far from great news, but it brings to an end, at least temporarily, a disaster” Graham said….
A lot of folks, particularly those of the liberal persuasion, have been bemoaning how Graham is “running to the right” as he faces re-election next year. But is it really wrong to emphasize the things on which you agree with your base, as you face a primary?
But at this dramatic moment, when the “purity” caucus is looking to you for a purely symbolic vote, but voting that way will push the U.S. and global economies down the stairs, what does he do? He does the right thing, for the country and the world.
That’s being a stand-up guy.