Friday, October 3, 2014

Larison on Lindsay Graham

Daniel Larison exposes Lindsay Graham in The American Conservative.

Graham is kidding himself if he thinks he could be the nominee, so I’m not sure what the point of this would be. The likely 2016 field will already be filled with reliably hawkish candidates. Graham distinguishes himself from that field in that he has never encountered a foreign intervention that he didn’t like and by being wildly out of step with most Republicans on immigration. Those will make him an easy target and useful foil for all of the others, who will be able to point at the second “amigo” and say something like, “I want to keep America secure, but I don’t want to bomb a new country every five minutes as Sen. Graham does.”

A Graham bid is the closest one can get to re-running a McCain campaign, and Republicans are even less interested in doing that than they are in giving Romney another chance. Worse for the party, he is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with the party, especially when it comes to the issues of foreign policy and immigration. He is the walking reminder of why most Americans shouldn’t trust Republicans to conduct foreign policy and why most conservatives don’t trust their party leaders.

On foreign policy, Graham is one of the two worst senators still serving. Let’s remember that Graham isn’t merely very hawkish, but habitually resorts to panicked, overwrought descriptions of every threat and conjures up fantastical worst-case scenarios that are completely unmoored from reality...Graham’s alarmism and threat inflation may briefly frighten some people into listening to his bad policy ideas, but it wouldn’t take long for many voters to see through this act and to realize that Graham overstates every danger and likewise overreacts to everything that happens. Regardless of one’s views on policy, that isn’t what anyone wants in a president.

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