Given the large amount of fuss that John McCain has had to deal with in the Arizona Republican primary this year (though he now looks to be coming out on top), you might think that McCain’s pal, South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, might have learned a thing or too about attacking your party’s base.
You’d be wrong though. In remarks leaked out from an upcoming profile of him in the New York Times, Graham goes after the Tea Party movement and claims it will “die out” over time because it’s not centrist enough:
“Everything I’m doing now in terms of talking about climate, talking about immigration, talking about Gitmo is completely opposite of where the tea party movement’s at,” Graham says. “The problem with the tea party, I think, is it’s just unsustainable because they can never come up with a coherent vision for governing the country. It will die out.”
Just for fun, let’s see if a Democrat making remarks of this nature in 2006 makes any sense:
“Everything I’m doing now in terms of talking about spending, talking about the tax cuts, talking about Republican incompetence and corruption is completely opposite of where the far left is at,” Graham says. “The problem with the Democratic left, I think, is it’s just unsustainable because they can never come up with a coherent vision for governing the country. It will die out.”
In fact, they make very little sense. The tried-and-true formula for a party out of power is to advocate strenuously for its core philosophical principles in contrast to the party in power. It worked for Democrats in 2006 and 2008 and is continuing to work for Republicans last year and this year. Graham may not like this reality but until he presents evidence to counteract poll after poll showing Democratic and independent voters identifying as Republican, his advice will fall on deaf ears.