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Morning Fix: A New Republican Leader?



South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. Chris Kleponis/Getty Images

Dispirited Republicans looking for national leaders amid a wash of scandals that have dominated national news over the last fortnight got a bit of good news on Sunday with an inspired performance on "Meet the Press" by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R).

Graham, who spent the 2008 election cycle as Sen. John McCain's loyal sidekick, appeared alongside former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the GOP frontrunner in advance of 2012, and managed to stand out.

Why? Because unlike other Republicans who seem to be so fixated on scoring political points on President Obama, Graham was willing to point out where his own party had strayed while also making a reasonable argument for GOP ideals.

Asked about Gov. Mark Sanford's extramarital affair, Graham, who is close to the governor, said that he was "disappointed" in his friend's behavior and praised Obama as "one of the better role models in the entire country for the idea of being a good parent, a good father."

Of the two major legislative victories for Democrats so far this Congress -- the economic stimulus bill and the climate change measure -- Graham offered a criticism that acknowledged the mistakes his own party had made while subtly hanging the politics as usual label on Obama and Democrats.

"The stimulus package was Karl Rove politics; pick a few Republicans off, call it bipartisan," said Graham. "The climate change bill was Tom DeLay banging heads and twisting arms to get one vote more than you needed. So there's really been no change in Washington."

Even on the most divisive of issues -- the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton -- Graham managed to deflect the partisan bows and arrows slung at him, pointing out that he was the only Republican to vote against the article involving Clinton lying about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky and adding "part of life, is failing."

Does one solid performance on a Sunday show mean that Graham is the new "it" guy for the GOP? No. But the notoriously private Graham seemed to signal on Sunday that he is ready to take more of a leadership role.

"I can be a leader on an issue, quite frankly," Graham told MTP host David Gregory at one point. Asked to name other leaders later in the interview, Graham said: "A guy like me who'll try to find common ground on the issue on immigration."

Graham has shown little inclination or interest in running for national office, and it's significant that he was not even mentioned in the veepstakes for McCain in 2008.

But, for a party who has seen a number of its "rising stars" drastically reduced in recent weeks and its best known faces repellent to the independent voters they must win back, Graham is the sort of person that the GOP would do well to put forward.

Monday's Fix Picks: If it's Monday, it's Monday Fix Picks.

1. Sanford's mistress speaks!
2. A moving, wonderful story about what happened in last week's Metro accident.
3. Pawlenty makes a play for GOP savior status.
4. Jerry Brown leads Gavin Newsom in CA-Gov poll.
5. Billy Mays: RIP.

Obama on Health Care (Again): The campaign to sell skeptical senators and hesitating House members -- alliteration! -- on the administration's plan to reform the health care system continues Wednesday when the president hosts an online town hall in Annandale, Va. The White House is soliciting questions via You Tube, Twitter and Facebook in an attempt to "connect with people outside of Washington and answer some of the most common questions you have." Make no mistake: this is (yet more) evidence of the White House seeking to end run the media filter by using technology to allow the president to speak directly to voters.

Dr. Dean as X Factor: Former Vermont governor Howard Dean may have been passed over for the plum jobs in the Obama administration -- Health and Human Services Secretary, Surgeon General, etc. -- but that doesn't mean that the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee has disappeared from the national political scene. Dean has quickly become one of the leading outside advocates for the inclusion of a so-called public option in the final health care bill. Late last week Dean led a rally on health care on Capitol Hill in which he presented more than 400,000 signatures in support of the public option to Congress. "Failure to pass a plan with a public option is not real reform," said Dean. "Hundreds of thousands of Americans are making their voices heard on this issue. If Congress fails to listen, the American people will hold them accountable." With that statement, the gauntlet has been effectively thrown down by Dean who, although he came up short in his 2004 presidential bid, has retained an active grassroots network around the country. A compromise by the White House that includes dropping the public option, which remains a huge sticking point for Republicans, would likely be met with a significant protests on the left -- led by Dean. See if the White House finds a way to placate Dean before such a scenario arises.

Click It!: Dana vs. Nico.

The Club Haunts Specter: Sen. Arlen Specter's (D-Pa.) party switch in late April ensured that the Club For Growth, a conservative outside group that bankrolled former Rep. Pat Toomey's (R) primary challenge in 2004, would not be able to do the same in 2010. But, the Club isn't letting go so easily, asking the Federal Election Commission for permission to send mail to the thousands of individuals who gave Specter money when he was a Republican with detailed information on how to request that donations be returned. "Senator Specter agreed to return the contributions he received before switching parties, and we want to help him make good on that commitment," Club President Chris Chocola, a former Indiana congressman, said. The likely result of the Club's action is to serve as an irritant and distraction to Specter who may well face Rep. Joe Sestak in next year's Democratic primary.

Democrats Take First Step in Calendar Change: The Democratic Change Commission, a group formed in the wake of the extended and contentious 2008 presidential nomination fight, convened its first meeting over the weekend -- the first step in a process that could (or might not) fundamentally alter the primary scheduling process. As the Post's Dan Balz wrote on Sunday: "There is a sense of deja vu about all this. As one weary Democrat said yesterday as she and others gathered at a downtown hotel, 'If it's an off year, there must be another commission.'" Could this be the year (with apologies to Chicago Cubs fans the world wide)? It's hard to imagine that Michigan, which has been the prime irritant in the supremacy of Iowa and New Hampshire in the early nominating process, would go quietly for another nominating cycle (in 2016) without getting the prime placement it badly covets. The Change committee is set to meet on August 28-29, October 23-24 and December 4-5 although the locations of the gatherings is not yet set.

Say What?: "We're in danger of having a whole new system of slavery where everyone sits on the steps of the Capitol waiting for a handout." -- Potential Arkansas Senate candidate Curtis Coleman (R) on his opposition to spending by the federal government.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 29, 2009; 5:20 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Comments

This guy Chris Cilizza is so naive. Graham was his usual whiney self. The fact that he was sitting next to EmptySuit Romney and the grinning fool David Gregory perhaps made is appear Graham was inspired. What I saw was just another version of the pathetic televison news being passed on to viewers. Wake up Chris, there is more to reporting than being part of the DC dinner party crowd.

Posted by: aldichiara | June 30, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

"Chris" Cillizza?!

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Some people are saying that Chris and Lindsey are gay lovers. It's out there...

Posted by: burnskj | June 29, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Yes..."repellent" is just the word.

==

There was a picture here around 4/15 IIRC showing one of the tea parties .. some guy with a black toupee whose color didn't match the wrinkles in his face, a fading blond who might have been his wife, a guy who looked like Pinhead from Hellraiser with teeth like chiclets, and a frumpy woman next to him. The frump was the only one who didn't look like she'd just been released from a mental institution.

Signs waving behind could have been authored by a sixth-grader desperate for attention, "acting out" stuff like the O in Obama made of a hammer an' sickle.

"Repellent" is just the right word.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Yes..."repellent" is just the word.

Posted by: princeleo | June 29, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm off to run this evening, but here is a good thought. They are so hatefully vicious that they are now tearing each other apart, like Sunni and Shiites and the old Left.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 29, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2: I really don't see a continuum in humanity, sorry but I see clearly drawn lines.

What remains of the GOP are overwhelmingly really sick people, nastier'n hell, vicious and vengeful, contemptuous of idealism and community, celebrating disaster and hoping for more.

I wish I could say I have hope that good will somehow triumph, but honestly I don't see the possibility. It boils down to the same dilemma I've been chronicling my whole life, that they good are hesitant to force their views on others while the bad have no such reservations.

To preserve the planet we would need to stop celebrating the diversity that gives us anti-environmental Republicans act actively suppress any expression of those views. Instead we will wring our hands worrying if we're being fair.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Chris8 you are even more misanthropic than I and I work with the criminally insane (forensic psychiatry).

I agree with you that a slow death of the Republican party is possible now (except at the very local level) and I would not have thought that a year ago.

But I still have hope for the world and the upcoming fight over water (and food).
This fight will cause world-wide socialism or it will cause the end of the world - either way, no place for Republicans.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 29, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Your writing is such a joke. Go put on your smoking jacket and go hang out with your useless colleague Milbank.

You are one more reason WAPO is going down the tubes....what a village idiot.

Posted by: patrickinIL | June 29, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Give me a break. You can't possibly believe that we're going to go 50 years without a Republican President, can you?

==

Actually I believe that in 50 years we will all be dead, every last one of us.

We're headed into a major environmental catastrophe and vast amounts of money and rhtetoric are being employed to counsel people to not do anything about it. Once you have rich heavily-armed nations with populations demanding food, I think we're going to wipe each other out.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2: wasn't trying to be funny, I think the comparison is apt and accurate.

The GOP is trying to destroy the United States of America, and trying to take the planet along with it. I don't think that's funny at all.

I have a Scarlet Macaw, arguably the most beautiful bird in the world. They're very close to extinction in the wild. The kind of people who still inhabit the GOP view an extinction as a victory, which is why I would really like to see them turn my comparison into a reality (but leave the kids out of it).

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

"Or even, as someone put it so tantalizingly a few days ago, the next Republican president might not even be born yet."

Give me a break. You can't possibly believe that we're going to go 50 years without a Republican President, can you?

Posted by: DDAWD | June 29, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Neither pure nor popular is a worry these days for them - psychosis is embraced at all levels. And they call us Koolaid drinkers.

Actually I hate the memory of that horrible episode. Religious psychopath causes parents to murder their children;
no references to Jim Jones is funny. There are too many Jim Jones wannabes and ready made followers (credulous ignorants, looking for a reason to suspend critical thinking altogether) in this world.


Posted by: shrink2 | June 29, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Of course, we know this, we have been saying this, since the primaries I have been saying the next Republican President will be elected 4 cycles away, 2024.

==

Or even, as someone put it so tantalizingly a few days ago, the next Republican president might not even be born yet.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Yes, that is what Lindsay Graham said, it is not a political party anymore, it is a club and it will remain politically irrelevant (on the national scene) as long as it stays a club for right wing nuts.

==

Politically the GOP is more like a saucer suicide cult, everyone going "bottoms up!" with the cyanide laces Kool-Aid.

"we'd rather be pure than popular"

As if any of them really have to worry about that.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Yes, that is what Lindsay Graham said, it is not a political party anymore, it is a club and it will remain politically irrelevant (on the national scene) as long as it stays a club for right wing nuts.

Of course, we know this, we have been saying this, since the primaries I have been saying the next Republican President will be elected 4 cycles away, 2024.

The news is that LG said it on Meet the Press (even invoking his worry that they may not be back by 2020!!) and still, still many people believe a Republican comeback is imminent.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 29, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

http://www.lexisnexis.com/us/lnacademic/results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T6867906779&format=GNBFI&sort=RELEVANCE&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_T6867906782&cisb=22_T6867906781&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&csi=8075&docNo=18

Milbank on Bush and his cronies inability to admit any mistakes during his first term.

And these links are just from the few days surrounding the Gannon controversy.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 29, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DDAWD | June 29, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

http://www.lexisnexis.com/us/lnacademic/results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T6867906779&format=GNBFI&sort=RELEVANCE&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_T6867906782&cisb=22_T6867906781&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&csi=8075&docNo=6

This one goes after Bush for failing to call for any sacrifice during the wartime effort and attending a bunch of lavish balls instead.

Just because Milbank didn't cover the things other people thought he should cover doesn't mean he was some Bush lackey. That's just plain idiotic.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 29, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

http://www.lexisnexis.com/us/lnacademic/results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T6867906779&format=GNBFI&sort=RELEVANCE&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_T6867906782&cisb=22_T6867906781&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&csi=8075&docNo=3

From right around the same time as the media world was blowing up over Jeff Gannon and his racy photos, Milbank had this column slamming Alberto Gonzalez's lack of independence from the White House by bringing along three laywers involved in the Valerie Plame scandal.

I wonder how much play THAT got on CNN.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 29, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"Funny thing about it, when Jeff Gannon [or whatever his real name was] who was as we all now know, a male prostitute, and worked for a non-extistent blog --the WaPo never had any problem. Milbank never said a word, not even after repeated briefing s where this hooker asked the most absurd and leading and set up questions clearly written by the WH.

So what's problem with Democrats? Why the different standard?

Pitney is actually a journalist by the way--Gannon was a cheap tawdry joke."

Not that you're necessarily saying this, but a lot of people are. So let me just say that the accusation that Milbank never went after the Bush administration is just over the top ridiculous and stupid. People need to have memories that go back farther than three months.

And obviously the Pitney incident isn't close to as bad as Gannon was, but there is something unsavory about the White House discussing beforehand as to what would be asked. Collusion is a strong word, but I do think stagecraft is quite appropriate.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 29, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

This is what the Republicans need: a group of leaders willing to fight of the wing nuts.

Posted by: shrink2

==

Hasn't pretty much everyone but the wingnuts already left the party?

I mean, the wingnuts are calling McCain a RINO and he not only has one of the very most conservative voting records in the Senate, he's an eager liar AND he chose a four-legger for VP. They don't get much nuttier.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

What the F are you talking about that comment couldn't be accepted because it came too close. This is the first time I have EVER commented and it will be the last. MF

Posted by: natalkstlmo | June 29, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you have got to be kidding. You call his performance inspired. Insiring wha? More blather? He's just another southern cracker with no ideas, no principles, a yes man to MCCain and a follower not a leader. Speaking of leaders, how can you include Pawlenty in your list of potential GOP leaders? Witness his "leadership" in the Colema-
Franken situation. Would any other "leader" want his state to have only one senator representing it just to keep someone of the opposite party from being seated? Some leadership! Stop trying to be a celebrity and start doing what you're supposed to do: practice good journalism, not what you produce now.

Posted by: natalkstlmo | June 29, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you have got to be kidding. You call his performance inspired. Insiring wha? More blather? He's just another southern cracker with no ideas, no principles, a yes man to MCCain and a follower not a leader. Speaking of leaders, how can you include Pawlenty in your list of potential GOP leaders? Witness his "leadership" in the Colema-
Franken situation. Would any other "leader" want his state to have only one senator representing it just to keep someone of the opposite party from being seated? Some leadership! Stop trying to be a celebrity and start doing what you're supposed to do: practice good journalism, not what you produce now.

Posted by: natalkstlmo | June 29, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you have got to be kidding. You call his performance inspired. Insiring wha? More blather? He's just another southern cracker with no ideas, no principles, a yes man to MCCain and a follower not a leader. Speaking of leaders, how can you include Pawlenty in your list of potential GOP leaders? Witness his "leadership" in the Colema-
Franken situation. Would any other "leader" want his state to have only one senator representing it just to keep someone of the opposite party from being seated? Some leadership! Stop trying to be a celebrity and start doing what you're supposed to do: practice good journalism, not what you produce now.

Posted by: natalkstlmo | June 29, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

By the way, many of you folks claim the GOP is becoming a regional party. I dispute these claims.

==

You're certainly free to dispute the facts, but don't expect anyone to take your wishful thinking as anything but.

Some interesting stuff I read this weekend:

(1) Of the ten states with the highest divorce rates, eight went Republican in the last election.

(2) Of the ten states with the highest out-of-wedlock birth rates, eight went Republican in the last election.

(3) Of the ten states with the highest online pornography consumption, eight went Republican in the last election.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

For instance, here's what Graham and the WaPo want to foist on the U.S.:

http://24ahead.com/s/comprehensive-immigration-reform

==

That's nutbar material

"far left organizations like the ACLU"

Funny to read the same sort of crap as the trolls post here.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the odd thing is that Chris C here thinks like Reason5, the rebirth of the Reagan era is going to happen right away, after a couple years of Democratic "overreach".

Posted by: shrink2

==

Yeah, overreach being defined as "sane policies" and "dealing with the facts"

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

This is excellent advice from Cillizza. Of course, it's excellent advice for the *Democrats*. The GOP should do the opposite of what Cillizza suggests, and only elevate leaders who aren't corrupt like Graham.

For instance, here's what Graham and the WaPo want to foist on the U.S.:

http://24ahead.com/s/comprehensive-immigration-reform

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | June 29, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the odd thing is that Chris C here thinks like Reason5, the rebirth of the Reagan era is going to happen right away, after a couple years of Democratic "overreach".

Posted by: shrink2 | June 29, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse


"This is what the Republicans need: a group of leaders willing to fight of the wing nuts."

They're too scared of Limbaugh, shrink. They are truly becoming a scary cult of potentially violent conspiracy theorists.

Posted by: drindl | June 29, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Reason5 says that with leaders like Graham and Pawlenty, the Republicans will not only be relevant, but in charge again before too long. I am glad we all agree that they are now in fact, irrelevant.

As for before too long, the last thing LG said on Meet the Press yesterday was that unless Republicans can figure out how to become a political party instead of a club they won't matter on the political scene until 2020.

So he isn't saying the Republicans are now just a regional party, but he is calling them out, as nothing more than a club (of right wing nuts, presumably).

This is what the Republicans need: a group of leaders willing to fight of the wing nuts.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 29, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Reason5, you said “…many of you folks claim the GOP is becoming a regional party. I dispute these claims…Come on folks, either be honest or take geography.” My statement was “…they’ve become a party of the South, with a few outliers,” I believe that displays neither dishonesty, nor lack of geographical knowledge

Not so long ago, the Democrats were a party of the Northeast and (less solidly) Pacific Coast. Given the results of the 2008 election they can now claim the Northeast, Upper Midwest, Pac West, and with a major presence in the Mountain West and Modern South.

The Republicans claim only the old Confederacy (minus FL, NC, and VA), the strip of Plains states (start at OK and head north), Missouri (barely, by 0.13%), and five states of the Libertarian West (including AK but, except for UT, not sharing the South’s concern with social issues).

As others here have observed, Religious Right/Social Conservatives are still absolutely necessary to the Republican electoral coalition (less because of their numbers than their intensity). This viewpoint is still overridingly important, however, only in the South. Unfortunately, this was and is a major factor in alienation from the Republican Party in all regions other than the South.

So, back to the statement with which you so disagree: “…the GOP is becoming a regional party.” I think, given the modifier “becoming,” this statement is completely defensible. As others leave (MO, MT and AZ to start; ND, SD a little later), the “South, with Outliers” becomes pretty accurate. How do you see that changing?

Posted by: malis | June 29, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Another week, another Republican savior.

Successive shocks have decreasing effectiveness.

Romney isn't going to save the GOP.

Palin isn't going to save the GOP.

Gingrich isn't going to save the GOP.

Graham isn't going to save the GOP.

Returning to doing the nation's business instead of playing to the knucklewalkers will be a beginning.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"Minn. & Miss is in the same region, really? Come on folks, either be honest or take geography."


Mississippi river valley.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 29, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Not everyone who is unmarried is gay.

Posted by: Leathnm | June 29, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"Kentucky, Arizona, Texas & South Dakota! That's regional, really!? "

Yes, it is, really.

Posted by: nodebris | June 29, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"(immigration compromise as he's from a very conservative state).

immigration compromise as he gets lots of money from companies that hire immigrants, you mean.

Posted by: drindl | June 29, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I think Lindsay Grahan would be a wonderful face for the party. He is true to his beliefs while not being insulting to the other side. Frankly, I just love the guy!

Posted by: HillaryClintonSuppoter | June 29, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

A better quote from that link would be:
"5. Conventional wisdom is always wrong."

Posted by: mnteng | June 29, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Lyndsey Graham has already helped lead on a few issues in the senate: the "Gang of 14" on Supreme Court nominee's & he tried to help lead on immigration. He has moderate views on both, and consequently, was challenged in a GOP primary battle in 08 against a racist. He actually suffered in his own state party primary for supporting a compromise on immigration. He won with about 66% of the vote. However, the majority of fiscal & foreign policy conservatives still supported Graham and I think a lil less than 1/2 of the social conservatives supported him. Graham has proven his loyalty (McCain in the GOP primary, Graham helped pull him to victory in South Carolina) and his convictions (immigration compromise as he's from a very conservative state). Graham is well-reasoned and has the full backing of fiscal & foreign policy conservatives, plus he's pretty socailly conservative as well. Graham will be a great senate leader for the GOP for a long, long time to come. Graham has no aspirations, at least in the coming years, for national office. Sen. Graham loves his job as the senior senator from South Carolina, as he has made clear many times. He said once on Fox News a few years ago that he had no aspirations to be McCain's VP nor to run for President as he is the Senior Senator from SC, and hoped to be there for about as long as his predecessor...Strom Thurmund. I think with well reasoned conservatives like Graham & Pawlenty as leaders, the Republican party will not only be relevant but in charge again before long.

By the way, many of you folks claim the GOP is becoming a regional party. I dispute these claims. Our senate leaders: Mitch McConnell, John Kyl, John Cornyn & John Thune. That's Kentucky, Arizona, Texas & South Dakota! That's regional, really!? Come on, folks. Were a national party, not a regional party. Our top Presidential candidates right now: Hayley Barbour (Mississippi) & Tim Pawlenty (Minnesota). Minn. & Miss is in the same region, really? Come on folks, either be honest or take geography. The GOP is here to stay!

Posted by: reason5 | June 29, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"Last week, the Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney found himself in the center of controversy after President Obama called on him at a press conference. One of the harshest pieces came from the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who called Pitney a “planted questioner.” Today the two faced off on Howie Kurtz’s “Reliable Sources” segment on CNN. Pitney called some of Milbank’s past reporting “pathetic,” and Milbank claimed that Nico had “worked in collusion with an administration.”

The discussion was evidently so heated that Milbank called him a “d*ck” at the end of the segment, as Pitney writes on Huffington Post:

The only thing that surprised me was when Dana turned to me after our initial sparring and called me a “d*ck” in a whispered tone (the specific phrase was, I believe, “You’re such a dick”). Howie Kurtz wrote on Twitter that he didn’t hear it, which is understandable — he was doing the lead-in for the next part of the segment on the ABC White House special. But it happened (I urge Howie to watch the video of the panel during the ABC intro) and it was frankly pretty odd."

Funny thing about it, when Jeff Gannon [or whatever his real name was] who was as we all now know, a male prostitute, and worked for a non-extistent blog --the WaPo never had any problem. Milbank never said a word, not even after repeated briefing s where this hooker asked the most absurd and leading and set up questions clearly written by the WH.

So what's problem with Democrats? Why the different standard?

Pitney is actually a journalist by the way--Gannon was a cheap tawdry joke.

Posted by: drindl | June 29, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Larry sinclair?

Folks -- jaked is even loonier than you thought. Sinclair accuses obama of murdering a gay lover.

Christ you are so completely hateful and f*cked up, it's sick.

Posted by: drindl | June 29, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Another completely inhinged conspiracy theorist wingnut. Scary people, no wonder their party is sinking...

"Duck, Lindsay.
When WaPo starts singing your praises, you know it's a set-up just like they did with McCain.
You'll be the loony-lefties' little hero; they'll swoon about what a grand 'leader' you are, how reasonable you are, and how centrist you are.
And then, when they have managed to make you the GOP nominee, they'll focus all cannons on you and sink your ship so fast that you won't have time to put on your waterwings - - and down you'll go in a mainstream media blitz. "

Posted by: drindl | June 29, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

One thing about your good pal Milbank, Mr. Cilizza, and Nico Pitney [whom I know] is that Milbank was a complete and total pr*ck to him, for no reason other than DC bubblehead cocktail weenie snobbery.

Posted by: drindl | June 29, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse


"The article you cite today states another intriguing hypothesis: the D primary voters will largely consist of persons above the age of 60 years."

That's patently insane.

Posted by: drindl | June 29, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I see that I and Margaret Meyers were correct in our conclusion that Brown would be the beneficiary of Mayor V.'s departure from the D side of the CA gov race.

The article you cite today states another intriguing hypothesis: the D primary voters will largely consist of persons above the age of 60 years. I find this hard to believe from here in TX, but you CA readers of this blog should check out the story

http://www.calbuzz.com/2009/06/brown-vs-newsom-the-tale-of-the-tape/

and its conclusions, and come back to discuss this.
-------------------------------------------------------
Frankly, reading so many posts from folks who assume they know LG's sexual orientation and care about it is disgusting, at least to me.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 29, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

said Graham. "The climate change bill was Tom DeLay banging heads and twisting arms to get one vote more than you needed. So there's really been no change in Washington."

FALSE, Sen Graham, there has been significant change. The main difference is that Republicans gutted laws or passed new ones that help business pollute our environment, cheat the public, or loot the U.S. Treasury rather than regulate business to make it operate safely. If your house was forclosed, then you have the Republicans to thank because they deregulated business to increase profits and the GOP got a cut.

Posted by: owens1 | June 29, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

said Graham. "The climate change bill was Tom DeLay banging heads and twisting arms to get one vote more than you needed. So there's really been no change in Washington."

FALSE, Sen Graham, there has been significant change. The main difference is that Republicans gutted laws or passed new ones that help business pollute our environment, cheat the public, or loot the U.S. Treasury rather than regulate business to make it operate safely. If your house was forclosed, then you have the Republicans to thank because they deregulated business to increase profits and the GOP got a cut.

Posted by: owens1 | June 29, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

At this point, anybody would be more effective than Dr. No, McConnell. Whatever Graham's other problems, it looks like he may have figured out that the majority of Americans support a progressive agenda, the agenda the Democrats have proposed. The Republicans are in an ever dwindling minority and McConnell is shrinking their numbers daily. I look forward to the bloodletting in the GOP that will accompany the transition.

Posted by: ElectricBill | June 29, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Duck, Lindsay.
When WaPo starts singing your praises, you know it's a set-up just like they did with McCain.
You'll be the loony-lefties' little hero; they'll swoon about what a grand 'leader' you are, how reasonable you are, and how centrist you are.
And then, when they have managed to make you the GOP nominee, they'll focus all cannons on you and sink your ship so fast that you won't have time to put on your waterwings - - and down you'll go in a mainstream media blitz.
The conservatives won't support you because you are too liberal (see your support of scamnesty for the illegal alien invaders) and the Dummycrats won't support you because you are an 'evil, rascally Republican'.
So, little Lindsay, keep your head down and don't believe your press clippings.

Posted by: segeny | June 29, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Lindsey Graham = Don Knotts

Posted by: JRM2 | June 29, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Kind of a contradiction in terms isn't it?
"GOP Leader" . . .

Posted by: kenhyde | June 29, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse


Kind of a contradiction in terms, insn't it?
"GOP Leader" . . .

Posted by: kenhyde | June 29, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

This is going to be a less focussed comment than usual as there are so many things to comment on.

1. Lindsay Graham (like Joe Scarborough, John Kasich, and others) came into public life all het up about the Contract with America and being a conservative, etc., etc. Through the years he has seemingly mellowed and has become a statesman, not one of those nasty, mean-spirited, foaming at the mouth 'Conservatives', if not exactly always someone with whom I personally agree.

That said, he's been around a long while and I doubt--whatever condition the Republican Party were to find itself--that he could ever run for President and be elected. White, Southern, middle-aged is just not the combination that 'sells' at the moment. Hopefully, his ego won't mislead him into attempting to run for President--he's more effective in the Senate and has a bit more credibility than 'the usual suspects'.

As to these 'eye-opening' (better than an espresso doppio!) gay rumours, I'd had no idea about them. I'd heard a great many rumours about Charlie Crist, but not Graham--clearly my sources have concentrated too much on politicians' public decisions to pay much attention to their private lives.

But let's be honest, regardless of which party one belongs to, it's still the kiss of death for a politician to be publicly gay (Barney Frank only came out after he'd been in Congress for a good while, and his district is politically liberal).

If, indeed, Sen. Graham IS gay (and it oughtn't to matter, but it does), I think it's very responsible of you, Chris--as with other journalists--not to 'out' him. That's tabloid stuff, and one oughtn't to be criticised for sticking to the high road as you (Chris) have done.

2. This hommage of Reagan. He was genial and warm, and had the right combination of personality and sincerity to catch the public Zeitgeist, but let's not be deluded into considering him a great thinker along the lines of Wm. F. Buckley, et. al. President Reagan was, in the role of President, a flawless actor because he believed in his role so completely. If only he'd been able to summon that talent in his Warner Brothers days!

3. Haley Barbour. He, like so many of his bretheren, continues to just dig the hole deeper as he says (about Gov. Sanford) things like 'this is a private matter, blah-blah-blah'. Would that he'd considered this reflective stance in the Clinton-Lewinsky days when he was out there clamouring for Clinton's impeachment. Sorry, Governor, no sale!

Posted by: sverigegrabb | June 29, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

While you are at it, please advise why Larry Sinclair's allegations against Barack Obama have never made it to WaPo as well ...

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Graham knows what he did to come to power and he does not want to talk about it.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | June 29, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Chris -- How could you write a piece about Graham becoming a GOP leader without addressing the open secret that he is a closet case? It totally disqualifies him -- gay or not, he has the reputation as a closet case -- questions about illegitamate kids or affairs (McCain in 2000, etc. ) make headlines but being gay just can't be talked about? Nonsense. It makes your piece laughable as a number of commenters on WaPo have written. Is there an answer to that? Or at the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall are we still avoiding the issue? Please advise.

Posted by: suigenerous | June 29, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes: I agree that Gottlieb puts too much stock into the Keys, but I would still say that he's about 85-90% right (Gottlieb credited and developed Lickstein's idea using his on-the-ground experience as a newspaper editor; "purloined" is really unnecessary). But one of the Keys factors in the charisma of a candidate, and that can encompass a lot. Reagan, Clinton, Bush II and Obama all had it in spades. Ford, Carter, Bush I, Dukakis & Kerry did not.

The older I get and the more I view actual human behavior, from the office to academia to the home to the polling place, the less I believe that humans are rational creatures. Like all animals, we are primarily reactive creatures. So I was not averse to Lickstein's and Gottleib's deterministic conclusions. Their math - and Gottleib's analysis of the mechanics of 2-party rule - fit reality quite well, better than any other explanation I've heard of the politics of the last 50 years. If the latest election hinged on the Federal Bailout, Obama should just have eked out a victory or even lost. But he won very big, as the Keys predicted.

But to get back to the original point, conservatism as it now exists is failing. That is an unassailable fact. Just look at the poll numbers, no matter what the question. This GOP status quo won't suddenly re-emerge into relevance by magic. Too much changes as time passes. And Lindsey Graham won't be able to change it by himself. Something else has to happen.

And last, your vision of what the party should be may fit your desires, but it may not fit what the centrist majority in America wants now or in the next 10-15 years. Democrats took 12 years to come out of the national wilderness, and they did it by incorporating the center. How long the Republicans spend in the wilderness is anyone's guess right now. But this I can guarantee, America won't go out searching for them. The GOP has to come find America again.

That's it from me today (yay!). Other things to do. But good arguing with you vb.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 29, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse


Senator Lindsey Graham -- who woulda thunk it?

He says he voted against the Articles of Impeachment against President Clinton.

I knew Lindsay Graham was the southern gentleman type, and his vote against impeaching Bill Clinton for supposedly lying about ML and understanding how a gentleman would try to protect a woman's chastity, shows a lot of guts to me, not that I would vote for Lindsay Graham against President Obama, cause I probably wouldn't.

Still, I like the idea of Lindsay Graham leading the Republicans -- at the very least they'll start acting like "gentlemen" as opposed to acting like "player haters" like the Bush Administration trained its followers to act like.

Ok Lindsay!

Posted by: moonbat23 | June 29, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I actually muted the sound on the diva screeching of Lindsey Graham yesterday on Meet the Press as I do every Sunday when he pops up like the wicked fairy of a Disney flick. If there's one thing the GOP doesn't need on top of eveything else right now, it's the daily caterwauling of a Low Country drama queen. What were you smoking when you wrote this, Chris?????

Posted by: htimothyjones | June 29, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for a good laugh, Chris! Miss Graham will never be allowed on the front row by the theocrats anxious about his not-so-secret affairs with men. It's a national security risk to have closet cases like Lindsey with access to sensitive information, and it's a shame Kirby Dick didn't take him on!

Posted by: bigolpoofter | June 29, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

This poster must be referring to KOZ, who "pollutes" this blog every day, aided and abetted by the doddering jaked.

"OF BLOG-MOBBING AND THE 'POLITICAL THOUGHT POLICE.'


Personal to Chris Cillizza:

Surely you are aware that your blog is mobbed daily -- hourly, indeed -- by the same aggregation of what appear to this journalist to be paid disinformation trolls.

As a frequent (non-compensated) contributor here, it seems to me that their mission is to pollute the discourse, with the intent to deflect attention from postings that do not meet with the approval of their "handlers."

Over time, this blog mobbing may tend to draw serious readers away from your blog, or at least from the "comments" section.

If there are any investigative reporters left at WaPo, may I suggest that they probe the issue of "blog mobbing," and whether some of these "chatty" regulars are paid operatives working on the public dime -- in violation of federal anti-propaganda laws.

One possible solution would be to limit submissions to no more than one comment in any four-hour period. That would cut down on the back-and-forth, which usually is irrelevant to the subject.

The problem with such a limitation: It could be exploited by rogue government surveillance operatives who appear to be imposing censorship and/or prior restraint on political commentary on the internet."

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | June 29, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

THE PRESIDENT HAS MONEY. HE ALSO HAS BEEN HIRED TO GOVERN 365 DAYS A YEAR.
WHY DO WE BOTHER ABOUT THINGS NOT IMPORTANT TODAY. D.C. SCHOOLS, LIKE THE CITY OF D.C. IS RUN BY CONGRESS.
CONGRESS IS KNOWN TO TAKE NO ACTION UNLESS IT MIGHT CAUSE THEM TO LOOSE THEIR SEAT. NOTHING IN DC WILL CAUSE THEM TO LOOSE THEIR SEAT. THEREFORE THE WORST SCHOOLS,WORST HEALTH CARE WORST CRIME, AND DANGEROUS TRANSPORTATION.

JUST THINK, THE GOP CAN TRULY BE BLAMED FOR THE PAST 8 YEARS AND THE DEMS FOR THE 8 YEARS BEFORE THAT EXCEPT THE DEMS HAD A REPUBLICAN CONGRESS MOST OF THAT TIME.

UNLESS YOU ARE IN THE TOP WEALTHYEST 5% OF THE POPULATION, YOU HAVE NO REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS.
BOTH PARTIES BENEFIT BY THE 95% BEING LEFT OUT. IN ORDER TO KEEP THINGS THE SAME, MR OBAMA WILL BE BLOCKED FROM MAKING ANY MEANINGFUL CHANGES.
BEFORE YOU LATCH ONTO LINDSEY, HOW ARE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY DOING? MINE IS NOT DOING WELL. CONGRESS WON'T PASS OBAMAS PLANS BECAUSE THEY ARE SURE THEY WILL BE TAXED. I WILL LISTEN TO LINSEY IF HE WILL GIVE UP THE SAME BENEFITS THAT THE UNIONS HAD TO GIVE UP. ALSO RETURN THEIR SALARIES BACK TO 1992. THAT ALONE WILL COVER THE COST OF HEALTH REFORM.

YOU MUST ADMIT, JUST LIKE THE FAILED BANKS AND CORPORATIONS, CONGRESS IS A FAILED CONGRESS. THEY ALLOWED AN ILLEGAL AND UNNECESSARY WAR TO KILL AND DEFORM OUR YOUNG PEOPLE AND REDUCE OUR TREASURY.
THEY DEREGULATED THE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS SO THAT WE WERE NOT PROTECTED FROM FRAUD.

THEY DECREASED THE EDUCATION BUDGET SO THAT CLEAN JOBS GO TO INDIA.
THEY FUNDED FOREIGN CAR MANUFACTURERS AND PURCHASED FOREIGN CARS SO THAT OUR INDUSTRIES FAILED. THEY REDUCED THE GUALITY OF INSPECTIONS SO THAT INPORTS HAVE CAUSED DISEASE AND INJURY TO OUR FAMILIES AND PETS.

WE DON'T HAVE TO LIKE EACH OTHER BUT WE BEST GET ALONG BECAUSE WE HAVE FUNDED CONGRESS INTO THE WEALTHYEST GROUP OF MISFITS IN THE COUNTRY.
TIME TO CHANGE AND INSIST ON MEANINFUL NEWS AND OPEN GOVERNMENT.
WHICH CONGRESSMEN GET MONEY FROM WHICH LOBBYEST AND HOW DID THEY VOTE. WHO BENEFITED FROM THAT VOTE, YOU OR YOUR BANK.
NOW YOU HAVE TO VOTE FOR YOUR BANK SO YOU CAN GET A LOAN. YOUR CONGRESS PERSON DOES NOT NEED A LOAN.
LETS GET REGULATED. THAT IS NOT SOCIALISM, THATS COMMON SENSE.

Posted by: sm98yth | June 29, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the rumors ;) about Sen. Graham would matter to the Republicans. At least he isn't cheating on his wife (never been married). Probably 40% of the Republican party is willing to overlook the rumors as long as he "keeps it in the closet" and doesn't marry a woman.

Posted by: jk_newhard | June 29, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

As usual, KOZ is trying to deflect attention from the subject of the Fix post -- the rudderless ship known as the Republican Party -- with his standard series of rants about Obama.

Maybe some day the Post will filter these irrelevant garbage posts from these boards.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | June 29, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Nice to have Kouk so quickly and obligingly reinforce my hypothesis. Again, as long as such as Kouk and JakeD are generally perceived as representing significant Republican thought, the Rs will continue to lose elections simply through demonstrating a refusal to rationally discuss meaningful issues.

JakeD, I fully understand you consider the Republicans far too liberal for your taste, but you certainly fall well within the message the R’s loony wing pushes so loudly. And, since so much of politics depends on perception, your type of fanatical incoherence is widely associated with Rs in general.

BBrother, as an R leader, I’m comparing Graham to current Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell. Where McConnell has simply turned into a parrot of all things anti-Obama, Graham bases his arguments in the real world, and seems to do so as a matter of core conservative principles. Per your point, I don’t know if it’s possible for anyone to bring the Rs back to simple rationality, but I’d posit he’s the only current national R for whom that's even possible (certainly not the unprincipled opportunist, Romney).

Amazingjex, I understand your point but, based on the fact that they’ve become a party of the South with a few outliers, it seems to me the Rs have only two possible paths back to relevance. One is to grow the outliers, taking back the center (per vbhoomes and bbrother’s discussion). The other is to convert the South to rationality. Of the second, it would take a bone fide Southerner like Lindsey Graham to do that. I don’t know if it possible at all, but it’s certainly not possible without someone like him.

VBbhoomes and BBrother, interesting and valuable colloquy, on-topic, civil, and well-argued on both sides (in comparison to so much else here today). I’d also add Nixon and GHW Bush as moderate centrist Republican Presidents (though in Nixon’s case, goes to show even centrists can be power-hungry and paranoid) Thanks, and keep it up!

Posted by: malis | June 29, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans have outlived their relevance to present-day economics and political realities. They are pretty much the party of up-tight rich white guys. It is time for a new party based on the visions of Alexander Hamilton and Machiavelli -- one that encompasses more people in a vision of pro-Corporate greed, and Christian totalitarianism. I'm sure all the Americans that are looking to be strong-armed into line will again march lock-step with that.

Posted by: tobeimeanpeter | June 29, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Morning Fix: A New Republican Leader?


South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. Chris Kleponis/Getty Images

Dispirited Republicans looking for national leaders amid a wash of scandals that have dominated national news over the last fortnight got a bit of good news on Sunday with an inspired performance on "Meet the Press" by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R).

Graham, who spent the 2008 election cycle as Sen. John McCain's loyal sidekick, appeared alongside former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the GOP frontrunner in advance of 2012, and managed to stand out.

Why? Because unlike other Republicans who seem to be so fixated on scoring political points on President Obama, Graham was willing to point out where his own party had strayed while also making a reasonable argument for GOP ideals.Asked about Gov. Mark Sanford's extramarital affair, Graham, who is close to the governor, said that he was "disappointed" in his friend's behavior and praised Obama as "one of the better role models in the entire country for the idea of being a good parent, a good father." He certainly seem more moderate than Dick Cheney and though he himself says he is not ready for the national limelight, he may be the moderate Republican role model needed for the party. If not him, someone of his ilk. RickJ said that Graham has closet problems and I would be interested to know what they are.

Posted by: wmaclean | June 29, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

BigBrother, you are buying way into much with the Keys to the White House originally authored by Historian Allan Lickstein and purloined by Gottlieb. I don't believe in absolutes, while the Keys do tell which party has the best chance to win, personalities and campaigns still matter. I dare say if McCain had come out sharply against the Federal Bailout and Obama came across as wishy washy and erratic on that issue, McCain would now be President and Ms Palin, would be one heartbeat away from being Madam President.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 29, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

theamazingjex wrote: "God almighty, this comments section desperately needs an "ignore poster" function."

I strongly second.

Posted by: nodebris | June 29, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

OF BLOG-MOBBING AND THE 'POLITICAL THOUGHT POLICE.'


Personal to Chris Cillizza:

Surely you are aware that your blog is mobbed daily -- hourly, indeed -- by the same aggregation of what appear to this journalist to be paid disinformation trolls.

As a frequent (non-compensated) contributor here, it seems to me that their mission is to pollute the discourse, with the intent to deflect attention from postings that do not meet with the approval of their "handlers."

Over time, this blog mobbing may tend to draw serious readers away from your blog, or at least from the "comments" section.

If there are any investigative reporters left at WaPo, may I suggest that they probe the issue of "blog mobbing," and whether some of these "chatty" regulars are paid operatives working on the public dime -- in violation of federal anti-propaganda laws.

One possible solution would be to limit submissions to no more than one comment in any four-hour period. That would cut down on the back-and-forth, which usually is irrelevant to the subject.

The problem with such a limitation: It could be exploited by rogue government surveillance operatives who appear to be imposing censorship and/or prior restraint on political commentary on the internet.

Here's a link to a related story:

http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-censor

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 29, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes writes
"I saw Mark Murpy on TV yesterday and it was his anaylsis that the Republican Party needs to be libertarian on social issues. Why I respect Mr. Murphy, I don't know where he is coming from. I am a social libertarian, but I have always recognise that we need social conservatives in the Tent if we are going to win National elections. Social Conservatives give energy, grassroots and money to republican campaigns. If the Republican Party accepted my and Mr. Murphys position on social policies, where would the social conservatives go? Answer: They would just stay home, ensuring a dem victory."


That, in a nutshell is the crux of the problem faced by the GOP. Either keep the social cons & alienate moderate voters, thus losing elections; or drop social issues, attracting moderates but losing social cons & losing elections. What to do?


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 29, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

It is irresponsible but completely predictable that a Washington Post writer would pretend that a closeted politician's sexual orientation doesn't exist. The Post's homophobic "privacy" rules--which treat gay orientation like a toxic pollutant barred from mention no matter how much chatter exists about it--force people like Cillizza to write disgusting, cutesy little offensive phrases like "notoriously private," instead of "said to be gay." GROW UP WASHINGTON POST. GRAHAM IS A PUBLIC FIGURE BY CHOICE. YOU CAN TALK ABOUT RUMORS OF HIS GAY ORIENTATION WITHOUT INSULTING CUTESY INDIRECTION. What's next, calling him a "confirmed bachelor" a la 1890?

Posted by: uh_huhh | June 29, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

God almighty, this comments section desperately needs an "ignore poster" function.

I think it's telling that someone like graham would be in contention for voice of the GOP for the simple reason that he's a southern-male-evangelical-white-republican (SMEWER?). Right now there are large amounts of the country that will automatically distrust ANY SMEWER. But the GOP is so forlorn on their chances of appealing to that sizable block of voters that alienating them isn't even a big concern anymore.

Whatever the merits and flaws of Steele, Romney, Huntsman, McCain and even (ugh) Palin, they aren't SMEWERs. While people may not like these politicians, they at least take the time to look at them before not liking them. A SMEWER on the other hand is too easy to fit into a stereotypical box and ignore. And as the democrats very painfully learned over the last eight years, someone who is stereotyping and ignoring you isn't going to vote for you.

So it seems to me that implicit in the idea that Graham might be the next leader of the GOP is the idea that the GOP is resigned to minority status for the next five years if not much longer.

Posted by: theamazingjex | June 29, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes:

Interesting answer. Reagan's social conservatism (which was largely a continuation of Nixon's Southern Strategy) was mostly a coded racial appeal against black "Welfare Queens." But I don't think that alone would have won the race for him. He won because 1)it was time for a Republican to win and 2) he had a message of, dare I say it, Hope that resonated with Americans. His rhetoric of taking the country away from government bureaucrats and giving it back to the people was brilliant, timely and caught the Dems completely off-guard.

But think on this. I have in-laws in unions. What they told me is that most of the old-time union brothers were set to vote for McCain up until the day he nominated Palin. By one estimation he lost 2/3 of those guys on that evening. It could be that it was her being female that did it. But they said it was her stupidity and craziness.

Which is to say, Times change. Social conservatism means something very different than it did in Reagan's day. And "traditional blue-collar" people are a small minority now. The GOP would do well to at least consider a more libertarian approach to social issues as well as a REAL commitment to smaller government. That kind of conservatism would even get a guy like me interested.

And I don't know who this MSM is you keep railing against (Fox News?) but all they want is ratings and ad revenue. They could care less what actually happens politically. With the GOP failing as it is, there are bound to be many doctors prescribing different remedies. Let 'em talk.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 29, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm intrigued by your "how well raised" comment. Where exactly are you going with that? [Blade hands Jake a shovel and sees if he wants to keep digging.]

As an aside, wealthy >< well-raised.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 29, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

how well raised Sasha and Malia really are ...

Posted by: JakeD |


Answer - the best private school money can buy. the rest of you citizens of DC can stick with the failed public school system, like it or not. We have a president bought and paid for by the unions. the kids are on their own, poor kids that is.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Graham is more than "close" to Sanford, he is godfather to Sanford's kids. Graham has no chance at leading the GOP until his party accepts people like Graham, gays.

Posted by: jillcohen | June 29, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Obama plants soft questions at news conferences, lies about earlier promises of posting pending legislation on government websites for public perusal, feigns populist unease with his radical government expansion, fires public auditors who uncover liberal transgressions, and in general adopts a hardball politics that the Left claimed was innate to George W. Bush. These again are lies that are noble, in that they facilitate progressive politics that help the people — and they are presumably indiscernible by a fawning media and an unaware electorate.

So why does President Obama so often get history wrong, so often call for utopian schemes he would hardly adopt for himself, and so often distort by misinformation and incomplete disclosure?

Partly the culprit is administrative inexperience, partly historical ignorance. But mostly the disconnect comes because Barack Obama believes he is a philosopher-king, whose exalted ends more than justify his mendacious means.

In other words, Obama is our first truly postmodern president. And the Guardians who form his elite circle — in the very manner that they once falsely accused neo-cons of doing — deliberately, but “nobly,” distort the truth on behalf of us all.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Obama apparently speaks no foreign language, yet he deplores the lack of foreign-language fluency on the part of less sophisticated Americans. He is unable to quit smoking entirely, but emphasizes the role of preventive medicine and healthy lifestyles in his radical health-care reform initiatives.

He wisely calls for racial transcendence and an end to racial identities — even as he excuses Judge Sotomayor’s clearly racialist belief that race and gender inherently make one a better or worse judge. Obama, the healer, jumpstarted his own political career through religiously listening to and subsidizing the racist hate-speech offered by the charlatan Reverend Wright.

Obama deplores Wall Street greed and CEOs who take junkets to the Super Bowl and Las Vegas, even as he serves $100-a-pound beef, flies in his favorite pizza maker from St. Louis, and goes on a lavish “date” with Michelle to New York. Philosopher-kings accept certain protocols for themselves, others for the less sophisticated — knowing that if most people tighten their belts in time of recession such parsimony is good for the country, but it is irrelevant to the occasional indulgences by an all-knowing elite.

We saw earlier examples of such elite personal exemptions with an array of Obama’s appointees. The most brazen called for higher taxes while, as gifted technocrats, they obviously felt that such taxation did not, and should not, apply to their own exalted 1040s.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Obama, of course, seems to know little history. And to the degree he is interested in the past, history becomes largely a melodramatic, rather than tragic, story, in which we are to distinguish victims and oppressors based on modern moral standards, and allot sympathy and blame accordingly.

That said, I still cannot quite believe Obama thinks that chattel slavery in America was ended without violence. Or that Islam was responsible for unprecedented breakthroughs in advanced math, sophisticated medicine, and printing, let alone that it served as a catalyst for the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.

Instead, Obama seems to believe that fudging on facts is not fudging, but simply offers a competing narrative that gains validity by its good intentions. Most Americans, Obama further believes, are either too dense or too uneducated to discern his misinformation. But they will at some future date appreciate the global good will that results from his feel-good mytho-history.

No one in the Arab street is going to object when Obama assures us all that Islamic felonies — religious intolerance, gender apartheid, coercive government — are equivalent to American religious and gender misdemeanors. Hitler made up stories about World War I and German minorities in Eastern Europe for murderous racist reasons. His ignoble lies are in no way similar to present-day noble lies that are offered for exactly the opposite goal of promoting religious tolerance and global brotherhood.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I believe that whether it's Nico Pitney, with "The Huffington Post," or whether it's Carl Cameron, with Fox News, the White House should not be calling somebody the night before saying, we are going to call on you if you ask a question on a particular subject asked in a certain way.

That's how messiah does these things, orchestrated puppets and teleprompters. Trotsky would be proud.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

BigBrother, Reagan won blue collar democrats who were social conservatives for the most part, the other tenet was of economic and National Security(Hawks)conservatism. I saw Mark Murpy on TV yesterday and it was his anaylsis that the Republican Party needs to be libertarian on social issues. Why I respect Mr. Murphy, I don't know where he is coming from. I am a social libertarian, but I have always recognise that we need social conservatives in the Tent if we are going to win National elections. Social Conservatives give energy, grassroots and money to republican campaigns. If the Republican Party accepted my and Mr. Murphys position on social policies, where would the social conservatives go? Answer: They would just stay home, ensuring a dem victory. Its why the MSM wants to split the social conservatives from our party, because they have the same agenda as the DNC. Elect democrats.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 29, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

The Obama administration worked in recent days to prevent President Manuel Zelaya's ouster, said a senior U.S. official. The State Department, in particular, communicated to Honduran officials on the ground that President Barack Obama wouldn't support any nondemocratic transfer of power in the Central American country.

Everything he touches turns to mush.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Monica Conyers has admitted accepting bribes in a sludge deal, but the Detroit councilwoman's political adviser and onetime chief of staff told the Free Press she received cash and jewelry for brokering other questionable transactions. It is unclear whether John Conyers knew of his wife's alleged link to the businessman.


Another day, another crooked Lib. What else is new?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Graham's not really cut out to be a national politician. He's got this whiny, high-pitched Southern accent that becomes especially grating when he starts to complain about things. He's like that P. Allen Smith garden guy on PBS.

Posted by: simpleton1 | June 29, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

malis: Good luck and more power to your reality-based conservativism. I'll probably vote against your guys, but it would be nice to have a respectable opposition again.

That said, how do you see Lindsay Graham as a leader? One speech does not a leader make. An inspiration, yes but a leader, I don't think so. Graham has been around for some time and has gained a lot of respect and enmity, both within and outside his party. But I don't see him taking charge of the party at this late stage in his career.

Besides, when Steele tried to take charge he got slapped by Limbaugh and never recovered. Anyone else who can't beat Limbaugh's very real power can expect the same treatment if they step to him. So instead, they have to kiss his ring and seek his blessing. And that means they've left reality behind.

It's a conundrum, I'll grant you that. It will take someone with the cojones of Clinton and the charm of Reagan to solve it. Someday Limbaugh will die or fade away. But for now, the sad fact is that the GOP is his party. He makes the rules and punishes those who break them. Change that, and you can win your party back.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 29, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Graham may well be the man to lead the Republicans out of the political wilderness.
But lead them into what?
By the time they are ready to be bipedal, they will emerge into a world that works and looks far differently than the one they lorded over for so long.
By the time ol' soft-spoken, wrong-on-just-about-everything-and-weak-on-all-the-rest Graham gets them out into the sunlight, the first reaction will probably be to dive right back into the trees.
Graham may lead the Republicans back, but he can't make them lead.

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | June 29, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

malis:

I don't speak for the GOP, and I can't think of a single national Republican who has ever brought up Obama's birth certificate issue. It was a DEM who first brought up his cocaine use though.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes: I'm not being coy with you, not intentionally anyway.

The meaning of the word "conservative" has never been stable, but it's never been more unstable than in the last 10 years. My observation is that the Republican party (and conservatism) has become a mixture of southern, right-wing "christianity" and its supposed "morals" (the end-result of Nixon's "Southern Strategy") massive spending coupled with tax cuts for the wealthy (Reagan's remaining legacy), and foreign policy that is as interventionist as it is uninformed (from Cheney and the Neo-Cons). But this combo has lost the center, mostly because of the first and last items of the triad. But also because it is incapable of dealing with the more pressing issues of the day (economy, health-care, environment).

You may have a very different idea of what conservatism is or should be, and more power to you. But I think a very strong case can be made that this is what it is now.

My point before was this; what Reagan was or wasn't in his own day isn't all that important. What he DID was capture the centrist majority of the US and lead his party for 12 years. Clinton recaptured the center from Bush I, and like Bush II, held onto it long enough to get re-elected. Obama has it now and despite his errors or missteps he shows no sign of losing it anytime soon. He has a job ahead of him reigning in the out-of-touch egos in his own party, but he's on that case.

So what the Republicans need is someone who can take the center from Obama. This can be done. I just don't see the person to do it on the national stage yet.

As to how Republicans win and lose: The Republicans lost with Ford, Dole, and McCain because NO Republican could have won in those years. Again, look at Gottlieb's "Campaigns Don't Count." It's not unreasonable to call the Reagan of 1980 and the G.W. Bush of 2000 moderate Republicans. As they ran their campaigns, they did not come off as especially more conservative than the GOP losers. They won because they saw their opportunities and seized them.

Too long a response, I know, but you're raising valid points here and I wanted to engage them.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 29, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

As usual, mark_in_austin has it right. Lindsey Graham is pretty much the only Republican with a national profile, who has a chance of holding together the R’s as a credible opposition party able to present rational realistic alternatives to Obama's positions (that is, those R’s who think that’s a good idea—which may or may not be a majority).

Will add the observation that as long as such as the R’s ultra-right wing is seen as representing the Republican Party in general (i.e., Limbaugh/Palin and those they represent), and as long they continually obsess on the utterly trivial, entirely irrelevant, and completely fictional (i.e., the typical JakeD “Obama is only "President" if he is a natural-born citizen” posting), they will continue to lose elections simply through demonstrating a refusal to rationally address meaningful issues.

What JakeD, Kouk, and the rest Wacky Acolytes are doing—through fleeing the field of rational discourse and continuing to press forward their fictional stories—is simply demonstrating the utter incoherence, fearful fanatical craziness, and absolute irrelevance of that tiny intense class of fantasists who find what meaning in life they can, only in attacking what they oppose.

I patiently await the reclamation of the Republican Party by actual conservatives, and Lindsey Graham as Senate Minority Leader would be a good start for that.

Posted by: malis | June 29, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I didn't expect to read so much "gay" stuff about Graham in this thread. For me, Lindsey Graham has always triggered the "gaydar," but I'm a lefty so I'm cool with that. It's hard to know if the Republican Party at large would be cool with that, though -- perhaps he knows how he's perceived and this is why he doesn't pursue national party leadership.

But he's a winner in South Carolina, one of the reddest of red states, so the guy must be doing something right. And he seems very comfortable with who he is. Other guys named Lindsey would take on a "macho" nickname like Chuck or Hank, but not this guy.

The Republican leadership is there for Senator Graham's taking. A Democrat like me doesn't agree very often with a Republican from South Carolina, but I've always witnessed Graham to be a thoughtful, intelligent, even-keeled politician. Left-wing, right-wing, or straight down the middle, we need more politicians like Lindsey Graham.

Posted by: dognabbit | June 29, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R).
California Congressman Richard Nixon (R)
the wheel has come fule circle.

Posted by: laurelphoto | June 29, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

The new Republican Moto:
Sex for all, sex with all!

Posted by: laurelphoto | June 29, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Aside from the more sneering comments... White, 50+, Southern male. New leader, eh?

Posted by: Goombay | June 29, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

But the notoriously private Graham seemed to signal on Sunday that he is ready to take more of a leadership role.
-----------------------------
Is private the new code word for closeted?

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | June 29, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Graham is the leader Republicans need. He is a conservative that is capable of working with both sides of the aisle. We should be excited he is stepping up.
http://warroomalerts.com/2009/06/29/graham-an-emerging-voice-for-the-gop/

Posted by: johnnydrama36 | June 29, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

He will not be the GOP's new it boy once they find out about his "private" life!
Unless of course they have changed their minds about "family values" and "moral Christain values."

We in the south know what no one is willing to say.

Posted by: slynam | June 29, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Bigbrother, me thinks you are being a bit coy with me. The Reagan Era was not center politics, it was conservative. The only time we lose elections is when we nominate one of these so called moderates, ie: Ford, Dole, McCain and lets throw in Windell Wilkie while we are at it. I find Graham an extremely annoying, which is why the liberal MSM loves him...

Posted by: vbhoomes

- - - - - -

Dwight D. Eisenhower?

Posted by: jasm917 | June 29, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"Bigbrother, me thinks you are being a bit coy with me. The Reagan Era was not center politics, it was conservative."

Times have changed big time in 30 years. Republicans are slow to understand this. They will eventually. You've got to let a few years elapse before you start peddling Bush policies again.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 29, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Not so Fast, Before the Republican Party "CROWN", Senator Graham, their new Leader. They may want to check his "TENDENCIES".

Posted by: austininc4 | June 29, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Vbhoomes, LG is in fact a fiscal conservative, a proponent of a strong military, a social moderate [for instance, never been a gay basher], and a believer in a tough but bipartisan FP. So I assume he annoys you at some visceral level - for me, he can appear kind of self righteous at times, but I overlook it.

I think the "gay" rumors are just that; there are no reported sightings of him in gay bars as there have been with Crist. Still, he is a solitary bachelor in lifestyle and that is enough for the grist mill.

BTW, he is still in the Reserves and still holds his commission. I do not think he ever prosecuted anyone for being gay - I cannot recall when that was last subject to court martial, but I think it was before LG's service as a JAG.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 29, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

It is interesting the extreme lengths Obama's critics will go in their futile attempts to delegitimize him. They say he is not a natural born citizen. They say he is a Muslim. They say he is an angry radical. They say he is a reverse racist. Limbaugh has even gone beyond the preposterous to the laughable idea that Obama is an African colonialist in the elitist mode of prominent African leaders today--ludicrously suggesting of course that he is a dictator similar to the thugs that run the ruined African states so prominent in the news these days.

None of this is true of course. And they know it. In their own dark, bile soaked hearts they are like Fox Mulder in the old X-Files television serieous, complete with a poster that reads: I WANT TO BELIEVE!

Posted by: jaxas | June 29, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Same old psalm.

Posted by: whocares666 | June 29, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Where's former JAG Lindsay Graham on the restoration of civil and human rights in America? For your consideration...

***

POTUS CO-OPTED INTO BECOMING ENABLER-IN-CHIEF FOR SECRETIVE MULTI-AGENCY VIGILANTE 'GESTAPO'

• Bush-legacy extrajudicial targeting/punishment network makes a mockery of the rule of law at the grassroots-- violating civil and human rights.

• Is Team Obama unaware, naive -- or purposely misled by Bush holdovers?

President Obama is being co-opted into becoming the enabler of a federally-funded and overseen "multi-agency coordination action" program of nationwide extrajudicial targeting and punishment...

...a vigilante Gestapo that is misusing federally-funded volunteer programs to subvert the rule of law -- deploying a civilian vigilante army that covertly implants GPS tracking devices to stalk, persecute, vandalize and harass unjustly targeted citizens and their families.

This secretive multi-agency "program" also misuses government surveillance operations to censor, and maliciously tamper with, the telecommunications of many thousands of the unjustly targeted.

An array of "programs of personal financial destruction" decimates the finances of "target" families -- contributing to economic distress. And microwave "directed energy weapons" are being used to degrade their very lives -- a gross violation of human rights, government-enabled crimes against humanity.

And no authorities will investigate -- invoking the "Gulag" tactic of dismissing those who seek justice as "delusional."

Please, Team Obama: Wake up and smell the police state that is co-opting your administration and making POTUS a pitchman and enabler for an American Gestapo.


http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 29, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Bigbrother, me thinks you are being a bit coy with me. The Reagan Era was not center politics, it was conservative. The only time we lose elections is when we nominate one of these so called moderates, ie: Ford, Dole, McCain and lets throw in Windell Wilkie while we are at it. I find Graham an extremely annoying, which is why the liberal MSM loves him. But what I want to know from Sen Graham is that its no great secret that he is Gay, and as a former JAG in the Air Force, how did he reconcile this with him prosecuting Gay & Lesbain members of the Air Force?

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 29, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I loved LG's performance yesterday.

If looks could kill he would be dead though, he was making Mitt look stupid.
Romney was glaring daggers at him.

I especially liked his handling of the Sanford situation, it was perfect. He said something like this: Mark Sanford is very lucky to have Jenny Sanford and when he realizes that, he will be a lot better off than he is now.

But Republicans don't want a new leader, they have chosen Rush and that is that.
So they will remain irrelevant, just as LG pointed out yesterday.

My jaw dropped when he said unless Republicans can figure out how to become a political party instead of a club they won't matter on the political scene until 2020. Exactly.


Posted by: shrink2 | June 29, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

jaked: really? you really want to go down the road of going after the Obama girls? Because a late-night comedian said a tasteless and crude comment about Palin's daughter? That means go after Malia and Sasha? Wow, are you warped!!! Two wrongs don't make a right, and I'd bet Palin would be the first one to say leave his girls alone just like he did during the campaign when Bristol's pregnancy was announced. Pretty creepy, Jake, talking of trying to smear the children. You put yourself with Letterman with that comment.

Posted by: katem1 | June 29, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes: While I understand your dislike for a long-time party member criticizing his own party, you have to admit that your party is in a bit of a bind.

Whatever the MSM (whatever that is) says, the GOP is not in good shape these days. It has lost the political center that it held under Reagan and during Bush's first term. Without that center you will keep losing, more and more. So at least listen to what Graham has to say.

What the GOP really needs is it's own Bill Clinton, someone who can wrest the center back on his own terms and pull the party along with him, kicking and screaming if necessary. If L. Graham was that sort of leader we'd know it by now. So he's not.

I know that the far-left liberals I favor have no chance to lead the country (and no, Obama isn't far left). The country simply won't have them. You need to realize the same thing. The country doesn't want a far-right uber-religious Republican. Palin and Barbour are deal-breakers, pure and simple. If you want back in the game, you'll have to do a lot of compromising.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 29, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

bigbrother1:

Among elected Republicans, Gov. Palin (a "she" last time I checked) has the largest documented following loyal to HER.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes:

Good point. The only person I see even asking the "leadership" question to fractured special interest groups on the left is Stephen Colbert.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Graham's Healthy Americans Act would provide "universal healthcare" with a roughly neutral budget impact (according to CBO). Why won't the Dems submit their healthcare plan to CBO?

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Why am I not surprised the MSM would bestow leadership to someone who is comfortable critizing his own party. Of course only a couple of weeks ago, CC thought the dems could use the stimulus bill against republicans, How that work out CC? CC needs to get away from the beltway crowd, he's losing all political perspective.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 29, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

I have [here] often stated my high regard for LG. His support of the original JAG lawsuit regarding the detainees and torture was critical to our eyes being opened. He has a record of reaching across the aisle that emulates McC's.

I think that aside from some septuagenarians among Rs in the Senate [e.g., Lugar, McC, Grassley] who have been long time Committee leaders and developed strong personal bonds with their D colleagues the "younger" Rs who can work well with the current majority are Graham, Corker, and both ME Senators.
Graham, as the most conservative of them, has the best chance to become an R leader in the Senate.

Were he, and not McConnell, the face of the Senate Rs the Rs would be well served. LG will not be the nominee of his party, ever, as others have noted. But his ascendancy to leadership in the Senate would be welcomed by me, and, IMO, would help move the R Party toward relevancy as a truly fiscal conservative, but constructive player.

He said he could lead on "an issue". He can also lead in "a place."

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 29, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

margaretmeyers:

How much will Obama's healthcare plan cost?

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

"Notoriously private": is that what we're calling it nowadays?

Posted by: misterjrthed | June 29, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

First, Obama is only "President" if he is a natural-born citizen. Second, he is a "good family man" only if those like Larry Sinclair are lying. Since under-aged children of politicans are no longer off-limits (thank you David Letterman), it's time we venture into how well raised Sasha and Malia really are ...

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Cillizza should cut out the clownish antics with Dana Milbank, who has proven once again that he's a hopeless hack who doesn't deserve the title of journalist. Stick to the news instead of resorting to dress up games. It's embarassing and unbecoming. The issues deserve decent coverage and the public deserves real reporting on such important topics as health care and jobs stimulus. Cut out the frat-ish stupidity and DO YOUR JOB!

Posted by: Pupster | June 29, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad Dr. Dean has weighed-in. Besides being a populist, he knows how Big Medecine is NOT working for this country, and what it costs even the well-insured to have a high-percentage of our citizens uncovered.

In February, when my husband was let go from his law firm, his clients came with him, and he now is in solo practice from our home. It's tough financialy, but at least my FEHB is covering us. Neighbors were also let go from their TV station, and they now run their own business out of their home as freelance cameramen (camerapeople?). They pay almost 22K a year for their family's health insurance, and all pre-existing conditions are excluded from coverage. THAT is just what they need the coverage for, isn't it? They pay over 4 times what we pay, and they have *less* coverage for *fewer* people. They have NO bargaining power with any insurance company.

I bet a great many of the posters to this forum are Senior Citizens who get Federal health coverage. Imagine you are out there trying to buy coverage for yourself. A private insurer would want thousands of dollars from you quarterly and they would NOT cover your high blood pressure, your pre-existing prostate issue, your bone-density loss, your cholesterol meds, etc, etc. Just when you need health coverage the most private industry would effectively *abandon* you by pricing you OUT of their coverage. Think about that, all you posters in your 50s.

The Feds already run a health insurance program. It works really well for Federal employees and this exchange model would work well for the rest of our citizens.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | June 29, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately Sen. Lindsey Graham looks like just another Washington inside-the-beltway middle-aged rich GOP cookie-cutter white guy.

Posted by: tomswift96 | June 29, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Cillizza, this is your weakest spot and you really need to watch yourself if you want to protect your credibility.

It seems that nearly every week you're proclaiming some new Republican leader because they held a press conference or had a rally at a pizza joint or something. Easy there, big fella.

We know that Republicans like yourself desperately want and need a new leader these days. But a leader is defined by having a loyal following, enough of one that sets him (and since we're talking about Republicans, it's going to be a him) apart from the pack.

Until new facts prove otherwise, your leadership basically IS Rush Limbaugh and after him, Sean Hannity. These are the ones who Republicans actually follow. Even quasi-leaders like Gingrich have remolded themselves in a Rush-friendly image. I know you don't like it, but that's how it is. This business with elevating Graham (and Steele et al. before him) is just silly pretending, and it makes you look naive.

When the Republicans really have a different leader, we'll know it because other Republicans will start quoting him as an authority. I suggest you wait until then before making your next announcement.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 29, 2009 6:36 AM | Report abuse

This queen an GOP leader,

Chris C you've gotta be kidding us right?

Posted by: DCOriginal | June 29, 2009 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Graham has 'closet' problems that will make it difficult for him to lead Republicans....

Posted by: RickJ | June 29, 2009 6:17 AM | Report abuse

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