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Lindsey Graham tagged as a 'traitor' for backing climate change legislation -- those angry tea-party protesters are back

Those angry town hall meetings are back.

Last night, at a forum at Furman University, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was pilloried by protesters for his decision to back Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and for his support for climate change legislation.

During the 75-minute event, one man told Graham he had “betrayed” conservatism and made a “pact with the devil” by working with Democrats, and asked when the senator planned to change parties.

This is Lindsey Graham we're talking about, best friend and constant companion of the Republican Party's 2008 standard-bearer, Arizona Sen. John McCain.

The troubles all started Sunday, when Graham co-wrote an Op-Ed article with Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry in the New York Times called "Yes We Can (Pass Climate Change Legislation)," which talked about their campaign to corral bipartisan support for climate change legislation.

As Graham has said elsewhere, "I think the planet is heating up. I think CO2 emissions are damaging the environment and this dependence on foreign oil is a natural disaster in the making."

Maybe what really ticked off the conservatives was when Graham argued that the problem should be addressed as soon as possible -- even if the solution helps the Democrats politically. "I'd like to solve a problem, and if it's on President Obama's watch, it doesn't bother me one bit, if it makes the country better off."

Easily reelected in 2008, Graham has a few years to recover his base.

-- Johanna Neuman

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Comments () | Archives (18)

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What a laugh. So now I suppose the short termed ex-governor of Alaska and vacuous political party idol, Sarah Palin wont campaign form him? Repubs are too hilarious.

The biggest problem is the science needs to be re-examined. The planet has stopped warming the ice caps have grown the past three winters. There is no CO2 signature in the Troposphere as the IPPC models predicted. We are in a major solar minimum, the PDO has changed to cold. We can expect 30 more years of cooling. More and more scientists are jumping the Warming ship. This has become a political issue and until we have a much better understanding of the real dynamics of climate we have no business throwing away 7 trillion dollars of our GDP.

I love how confused all you liberals are by libertarians and paleo-conservatives.

Hint: we're not the same as neo-conservatives, and we share none of the responsibility they, the neo-cons, have for helping to run our country into the ground. We've also been protesting the Iraq War, Patriot Act, and other such atrocities far earlier than it became fashionable among Democrats to do so.

You guys are about to have a very rude awakening come 2010 and 2012 if you still can't understand the growing revolution in American ideology by then.

You should learn from Dem. Alan Grayson and Ariana Huffington work with us instead absurdly trying to paint all the people at Tea Party Protests are a monolithic neo-con hate machine.

Graham easily won his election? A guy no one had ever heard of, who was in the local GOP committee reregistered as a Democrat to oppose Graham and came away with above 40% of the vote, even though he had a total of about $30,000 to Graham's several million. It says something about how red South Carolina is that a moonlighting Republican COULD win the Democrat primary to challenge Lindsay, and something about Lindsay that a total unknown could take that much of the vote share.

Still, he saw McCain elevated to nominee by Dem voters in Florida who thought their primary wouldn't matter so voted for the GOP candidate most like a Dem (at least that is my theory on McCain's nomination). He is looking to try the same thing. But if the next GOP candidate is an interventionist in domestic AND military affairs, the GOP won't survive as a party. Which is ok, I guess, except I don't like Obama's agenda. However, changing congress in 2010 can stop that, as 1994 stopped Clinton.

I was mad at Lindsey last year, and he took occasion to explain his opinion to me via telephone. I have learned to respect this man because he does what he thinks is right, no matter what. He is fair, hardworking, and will stand up to anyone. Isn't that the type of politician we want, or do we want more of Reid, Palossi, Schummer, Dodd, and our current President,

Why do you Hate new taxes? You are a Tax hater JDK!!!

JDK's comments are either political or based on ignorance on Glenn Beck's nonsense. But they are typical of extremists who are ignorant of the facts about our changing planet. For example, 8 of the last 10 years have had the highest global average temperatures on record. An increase in atmospheric carbon has also contributed to inrease of the acidity of the ocean, adversely impacting sea life, and Himalayan glaciers are disappearing, threatening the water resources of millions in India.

Global warming is a big hoax! There are more polar bears than ever before!!!!

I remember how this blog used to enjoy messing with the Ron Paul supporters during the primaries. LOL
Still at it huh?
Confusing the loudmouthed tea partiers, with the loudmouthed Conservative Ron Paul supporters.
For future reference...
The Ron Paul supporters know exactly why they are upset.
The Tea-partiers say what Glenn Beck tells them to say.

You did this in purpose. So I'll just laugh it off this time.
Enjoy your Ron Paul traffic!

Mrs. Neuman:

You wrote: "Maybe what really ticked off the conservatives was when Graham argued that the problem should be addressed as soon as possible -- even if the solution helps the Democrats politically"

If you really think that, then you haven't got a clue.

This is not about parties, it's about the U.S. Constitution and the principles contained therein.

Considering the near absolute dominance, throughout history, of tyranny in the world, the Constitution is a truly revolutionary document.

Unfortunately for us and the rest of the world, it is ignored now by the counter-revolutionary, tyranny-as-usual crowd in BOTH major parties who make up the establishment. For well over a century, they have been slowly corralling our liberties and slaughtering them, one at a time.

To truly achieve liberty, we must take the risks and dare to live it. We can do that now by simply returning to a government that respects and obeys the Supreme Law of the Land. Got guts?

Lindsey Graham is anathema to the U.S. Constitution. He is, in fact, like most politicians, compromising for his own aggrandizement with no thought of simply obeying the law.

The protests were about transcending party politics completely whereas Lindsey just wants to wallow in the middle of two nearly fascist (economically speaking) parties and do his best to make them completely fascist.

No thanks!

In response to all that believe that CO2 is a pollutant and humans are causing Global Warming.
CO2 is ~ .0365% of the earths atmosphere. Human activity create < 1% of the CO2 in our atmosphere. 95% of CO2 is emitted by the oceans and other natural causes. This is a fact.
An increase of CO2 by 20% would be 438 PPM or .o438% of the atmosphere.
Clouds or water vapor are included in our greenhouse gases and they account for ~95% of all greenhouse gases.
If CO2 is trapping heat on the earths surface why doesn't Nitrogen and Hydrogen do the same. They are greenhiuse gasese as well.
If humans are contributing to the warming of the earth what caused the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago? How about the end of the little Ice Age in 1850?
Lets concentrate on cleaning the atmosphere of pollutants other than CO2 emitted by fossil fuels and let Mother Nature take care of whether we are doomed in this century unless we (the whole world) cuts back on CO2 emissions. The earth has always cooled and warmed over billions of years and humans are not going to change this cycle. By the way glaciers starting receding 200 years ago because of lack of snowfall.
One last point. For the seas to rise 2 ft Greenland ice would have to completely melt. It is well documented that it would take a rise in temps by 5% C and 1,000 years for this to happen.

What should be the punishment for Lindsey Graham violating his oath of office again and again to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution? I'd say he's getting off very lightly just being badgered at his town hall bull sessions.

Lindsey Graham always struck me as the sort of fellow who had private meetings with Larry Craig in the Senate men's room.

Conveniently left out of this article is the fact that the "teabagger" crowd also booed and heckled Graham when he refused to endorse investigating Bush for war crimes.

They've GOT TO leave that fact out, because it conflicts with the narrative they want to push, which is "Poor Lindsay Graham tried to be a moderate, and those evil teabaggers are after him now."

The fact of the matter is that Lindsay Graham is one of the most hated GOP figures among teabaggers not because he's a "moderate" but because he's a neocon and was a water-carrier for Bush, and when people like Chuck Hagel and Ron Paul stood up against Bush he said they should be kicked out of the party. Graham AGAIN denounced Paul at this very meeting. And Graham doesn't hate Paul for his tax or spending stances - he hates him because he's anti-war and anti-war on terror and was anti-Bush. So Graham is one the "crap list" of the teabaggers not for being a moderate, but for being a war party extremist.

I was at that event, and it wasn't Graham's desire to solve a problem - even if it's on Obama's watch - that riled the crowd. He even got applause for stating that as long as Obama stands by our Generals in the field, he stands by Obama.

What angered the crowd was his liberal stands on issues that are near and dear to the heartbeat of America. The majority of that crowd wasn't convinced that man-caused climate change was even occurring, and the majority of the scientifice community concurs.

And even if his next election is years away, I don't think South Carolinians will forget.

Lets look at some scientific facts concerning CO2 vrs. Global Warming.
CO2 is not a pollutant but is required for all plant life. No CO2-No plants_No Food. Some say an increase in CO2 will greatly increase food & forest growth.
CO2 is .0365% of the atmosphere. Human activity contributes to some where between 1 to 2 % of the total CO2 in the Atmosphere probably less. The oceans and other natural actions like volcanoes emit about 98% of the CO2 into the air we breath. Water vapor, a green house gas, is the major contributor to greenhouse gases.
Gore and others claim that 1998 was the warmest period yet recorded. What do they think the temps were in the 11th century grapes were grown in Siberia & Scotland and Greenland was mostly green.
One last tidbit.
It would take an increase in temps by 5 degrees C to melt Greenland's Ice cap but it would also take about 1,000 years so I think it is safe to say we do not have to worry about the oceans flooding our coastal land this century.
Yes the earth is gradually warming over millions of years due to an increase of the Suns surface temp. Scientist that study the Sun estimate that it will burn out in about 5 billion years at which time the earth will have an average temp of 120 degrees F.
I recently heard that a jaw bone of a Polar Bear was found that was thousands of years old so I think they will survive the temps this century.
By the way does anyone know what caused the last Ice Age to melt.

This is what happens when you give too much power to a government. Lindsay Graham believes in Climate Change and feels we need legislation to control it. 55% of Americans believe Climate Change claims are overblown. Only 18% believe we can fix it and should pass legislation to do so. Very few of those people live in South Carolina.

So is Lindsay Graham doing what the people who elected him want him to do? No Lindsay Graham is going to do what Lindsay Graham wants to do. And he is going to sit down with corporate interests and far lefters to make sure it is done "right".

Lindsay Graham makes Benedict Arnold look like Abraham Lincoln.

Lindsay Graham makes Lindsay Graham look like Arlen Specter. He has sold out his constituents and the citizenry of this nation by choosing the course of action that best serves his personal stock rather than the one that reflects the will of the majority of citizens. Funny it used to be that consensus determined policy and facts determined science. Now somehow consensus determines science and we are TOLD what our policy direction is going to be by patronizing politicians. Kerry and Boxer have vested financial interests in Global Warming Alarmism. Theresa Heinz's foundation gave James Hansen a $250,000 award for publishing his grimmest Global Warming predcitions (which have proven laughably inaccurate), and Boxer is who PG&E ran to for PR when they publicly bailed on the US Chamber of Commerce. Yet Lindsay Graham piously calls for building bridges with these people and their conflicting interests. And I'm supposed to believe it has nothing to do with his aim to win personal favor with the heavy side of the balance of power. What a scumbag. I am insulted that some disgrace of a person would first take me for such a moron, then simultaneously try to exploit it. Whatever treatment he gets, it isn't harsh enough.

At least Republicans aren't going soft on him simply by virtue of the fact that he's not a Republican. Too bad that doesn't happen both ways...

When Ronald Reagan came into office he formed a commission to look into where the American citizen's tax dollar goes. The prominent business people appointed to the commission (headed by Peter Grace) looked into the matter and came back to the President with their report.

This is the famous (though never mentioned in the media) quote from the report answering where the money goes: "100% of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the Federal Debt ... all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services taxpayers expect from government."

Possibly some of Lindsay Grahams' constituents are tired of working three months out of the year to pay back interest on the money the Washington politicians have borrowed.

Can the Los Angeles Times take an interest in this subject? It might just sell more papers than rhetoric about angry white people.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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