Now for one of our regular features: the Clown Award, given for meritorious stupidity.
This week, it's quite appropriate because it's for someone who not only talks the talk and walks the walk, he even sorta looks the part.
The Big Red Nose this week goes to South Carolina senator and militarist nut case, Lindsey Graham.
At a “Politics and Pie” forum hosted by the Republican Committee of Concord, New Hampshire last weekend, Senator Grahamcracker was asked about the automatic so-called "cuts" in military spending under sequestration required under an earlier budget agreement - cuts which we should recall are not cuts, but smaller increases. Anyway, this was his answer:
I worried about this from day one. I'm sick to my stomach. And here is the first thing I would do if I were President of the United States: I wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to. We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We’re not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts. Killing terrorists is the only option other than capturing them, because they're not deterred by death.No one at the time seems to have asked our clown if he realized that what he had just proposed was, effectively, a military coup, a military overthrow of the government, that he as commander-in-chief would use the military under his command to force Congress to vote the way he tells them to. Maybe they were too busy trying to figure out how terrorists are not deterred by death, since death usually puts a real crimp in anyone's plans.
After word of this got out, Grahamcracker's staff reached for the first and most obvious defense: He was joking! C'mon! Just a little hyperbole! He wasn't serious!
The usual crowd of boot-licking so-called journalists who build their lives around convincing themselves that people like Grahamcracker really are responsible national leaders jumped on board audible sighs of relief. Oh, well, glad that's settled! Get a sense of humor, would ya?
Except - except based on the recording of his statement, the folks there didn't seem to think it was a joke: Even David Weigel, who used to be a reporter until he realized that kissing the butt of every politician in DC was better for his career and who happily lapped up the "just joking" excuse, admits the "joke" got "some rueful chuckles" and "not much else." Considering that Grahamcracker was before much the same sort of crowd in front of which, back in 2008, his BFF John McCain't offered to appreciative laughter his side-splitter about "bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb Iran," taking Grahamcracker at his word probably wasn't hard to them to do.
Do I find it at all difficult to see such a man as seriously entertaining the notion of using the military to make Congress do his bidding?
No, I don't.
But even if I'm wrong, even if he was merely being hyperbolic, the very fact that his repeated statements and his consistent public stands are of a sort that makes it reasonable to believe he was serious, that very fact alone is enough to brand Lindsey Graham as someone unworthy of public office and as an unremitting clown.
Sources cited in links: