There seems to be no end to the Conservatives willingness to eat their own. This is especially true if one is willing to work with Democrats in any way, shape or form. This is what is happening to Sen. Lindsey Graham this week. At the same Tea Party event where Tom Tancredo, the conservative anti-immigration clown, said we should send the President back to Kenya, another speaker insisted on knowing if the South Carolina Senator was gay or not.
Now, you would think this really does not matter, and you would be right, if the conservative base of the Republican party had any decency at all, but sadly that is not the case. William Gheen of the ultra-right wing anti-immigration group asked if Sen. Graham was, in his words, selling out his countrymen because he was gay.
Mr. Gheen, who has made the list of top 20 nativist leaders according the Southern Poverty Law Center today issued a press release saying:
US Senator Lindsey Graham is gay and while many people in South Carolina and Washington DC know that, the general public and Graham’s constituents do not," said William Gheen President of ALIPAC. "I personally do not care about Graham’s private life, but in this situation his desire to keep this a secret may explain why he is doing a lot of political dirty work for others who have the power to reveal his secrets. Senator Graham needs to come out of the closet inside that log cabin so the public can rest assured he is not being manipulated with his secret."
What is Mr. Gheen’s beef with Senator Graham? Well it is probably a pre-emptive strike to prevent Sen. Graham from working to pass comprehensive immigration reform. This is Gheen’s standard operating procedure, to try to preempt any kind of reasonable immigration reform. He likes to appear on CNN or Fox and make inflammatory statements like :
"Call me old fashioned, but people should be able to shop at Wal-Mart without worrying about catching [t]uberculosis."
No matter how heinous his point of view is, it is worth looking at where the Right is as far as their tactics today. Sen. Graham is not what any of us would call even a moderate. He has shown some reasonableness in being willing to at least talk about important national issues like immigration or climate change with Democratic lawmakers. This did not prevent him for voting against the stimulus bill, or the HCR bill or staying with his caucus on a host of other issues.
Still, because he is willing to try to find some common ground, even if he never votes for it, he is not considered conservative enough. I could not possibly care less if he is or is not gay. If he is all I would hope is that he can have a happy love life, just like I hope that for every human on the planet. But in the Republican side of things, the rhetoric of exclusion has been cranked up to 11 and the gay citizens of this nation are very much considered other and untrustworthy.
The odious Mr. Gheen does not really care either. By trotting out this idea that Sen. Graham is being blackmailed by Democrats (insane on the surface since it would have meant Graham would have voted for HCR) he gets a twofer. One he damages Sen. Graham by bringing up the dreaded “gay” and second he forces the Senator to defend both his sexuality and his position.
This is the level of cesspit that Conservative politics has fallen to; the outing (real or otherwise) of their own Senators to try to enforce discipline. While we on the Left might despair at the lack of discipline our caucus has, can you ever imagine a time when we would consider outing someone because of their talking but not voting with the Republicans?
There is something very sick inside the conservative movement. It is the meme that conservatism never fails, only people fail conservatism. This allows the continued purging and eating of their own. It used to be that the Democrats had the lock on the circular firing squad, but we were piker’s compared to the Republicans, and their ability to constantly define anyone, even a long time Republican Senator as not conservative enough. It seems they will not be happy until they have kicked everyone who is not completely bat-shit insane out of their party.
Bill Maher had it right, in the last thirty years Democrats have moved to the right and Republicans have moved into the insane asylum.
The floor is yours.