Valentine: Bipartisanship a waste of time

Friday, March 12, 2010

As I've often said, this is a kamikaze congress. It's apparent they understand all too well that their power is for the short term. They plan to do as much damage as they can before November. Now it appears Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is riding shotgun.

Graham has joined Sens. Lieberman and Kerry in trying to craft a compromise on climate change legislation. This is the proverbial snatching of defeat from the jaws of victory. The Republicans have managed to thwart the more radical aspects of the Democrats' agenda yet Graham and a handful of others seem determined to help them win.

Cap and trade isn't the only issue in which Graham is offering his services. Amnesty for illegal aliens, once declared dead even by its most ardent proponents, has been breathed new life thanks to Sen. Graham, known in anti-illegal alien circles as Lindsey Grahamnesty. Usually riding point on this issue is John McCain but McCain has his hands full with J.D. Hayworth down in Arizona as he tries to rebut his senatorial opponent's claims that he's pro-amnesty. This from a guy who fervently pushed for amnesty not three years ago and who is now running from his own record.

Graham, who won his second term in 2008, apparently feels safe enough to carry the Democrats' water on these two issues. Mr. Graham, 2014 may seem like a long time from now but voters are developing much longer memories.

What's puzzling is why some Republicans feel it's their duty to save the Democrats from themselves. Let's put the issues aside for a moment. If your goal is to see the Democrats ousted in November then the last thing you'd want to do is to help them further their agenda. I suspect, though, that these issues, on which Graham finds himself so out of step with Republicans, are so important to the South Carolina senator that he'd rather risk perpetuating a socialist-led congress rather than lose this opportunity to pass them.

Which begs the question what's so important to Lindsey Graham about cap-and-trade and amnesty?

I've been studying that for quite some time. Like McCain, Graham loves to think of himself as one who can rise above the partisanship and get things done. Both senators believe this is what separates a statesman from a politician. But statesmanship is not built on compromising your basic principles. Ironically, neither senator seems to have any.

That's not to say that they have no principles. I think both men believe they're doing the right thing. What I mean is neither seems to have a core set of philosophical beliefs that guide them. In their eternal quest to rise above the political fray they both become pawns for those who have learned to game the system. Without guiding principles they are forever manipulated by the master manipulators around them.

McCain recently complained that he didn't see the negative consequences of the bank bailout coming or he would've voted against it. He didn't see it coming? Why did most of the rest of us on this side of the issue see it coming and he didn't? That was back in October of '08, remember, when John McCain, so statesmanlike, suspended his campaign for a brief period so he could return to Washington and tackle the bank meltdown issue. Instead of voting against such an outrageous waste of taxpayer money, he went along with the crowd. Always the compromiser; always the chump. Had he voted against the bailouts he would probably be president now. And we'd be on slow boat to socialism instead of a jet ski.