Entries Tagged as 'Lindsey Graham'

Not Got the Votes?

David Frum July 27th, 2011 at 8:02 am 14 Comments

Talking Points Memo summarizes the major internal opponents John Boehner faces as he tries and fails to whip the votes for his plan to raise the debt ceiling.

It’s the Chamber of Commerce v. Freedom Works. Also Sen. Lindsey Graham v. Rep. Allen West – although in the Graham-West case, each is on the opposite side to that which you’d expect. There’s not much to laugh about this week, but politics does remain a funny business.

Jim DeMint’s Nation-Wrecking Fantasy

David Frum July 21st, 2011 at 2:35 pm 38 Comments

NRO has a report on the Republican members of Congress willing to force default in order to get a Senate vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment.

In the Senate, DeMint is also counting noses, hoping to stir an eleventh-hour movement. Conservative voters, he says, will lose faith in the party if it backs the “Gang” plan and does not fight for a balanced-budget amendment. “Frankly, I believe if we had 41 Republicans who were willing to go past August 2, these things would happen in a hurry,” he says. “I don’t know that we do, but that is the kind of approach we need, and the approach we should have had all along.”

DeMint, who is working closely with Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah), sees hope for a last-minute standoff, even as many of his GOP colleagues flock to the “Gang,” which is led by Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), a respected fiscal hawk. So far, he can count two established Senate dealmakers, Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), as allies.

Graham, for instance, attended a closed-door confab with DeMint and conservative activists on Tuesday, urging the various groups to push Republicans to hold. He told the audience that if Republicans did not battle for a balanced-budget amendment in the summer heat, the chances for its passage would quickly wilt. Waiting until August 3, he argued, would give the GOP sufficient leverage.

Click here to read more

Libya Part Of A Larger-Scale Effort

June 27th, 2011 at 1:02 pm 5 Comments

It’s easy to snipe at Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and George Will does a great job of this in a recent column. Will bristles at McCain’s and Graham’s charge that Republicans who eschew military intervention abroad are “isolationists.”

“This is less a thought than a flight from thinking, which involves making sensible distinctions,” Will declares.

I agree that McCain and Graham are often less than compelling advocates for a robust and assertive US foreign policy. And simply calling someone an “isolationist,” as they are wont to do, is a poor substitute for serious thought and analysis.

Still, McCain and Graham are right and Will is wrong: The United States must take an active interest in what transpires beyond our shores, and act militarily when and where we can to defeat our enemies and promote liberty. And we must do this not because we are vaingloriously “in search of monsters to destroy,” as John Quincy Adams famously put it.

Instead, America must promote liberty militarily when and where we can because we live in an increasingly close and interdependent world where time, distance and geography provide less and less protection.

Certainly, that ought to be a key lesson of September 11, 2001: Terrorists living in caves thousands of miles away can and did plan and execute a devastating attack on our homeland. So we best act swiftly and preemptively to stop them, as well as the countries and cultures that give rise to these sworn enemies of America.

Our intervention in Libya, then — which Will opposes — is best seen as part and parcel of this larger-scale effort. It is best understood as one battle in a larger-scale, long-term war (and I mean war in both its literal and metaphorical sense) to transform the Middle East and North Africa along more peaceable and democratic lines.

Libya, then, is a target of opportunity that emerged unexpectedly, and which a smart and wise America would rightly seize upon. The uprising there offers us the opportunity to rid the world of one of the most menacing anti-American dictators and terrorist sponsors, Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi.

Indeed, as Paul Wolfowitz explains in the Wall Street Journal,

The US has a large stake in the outcome in Libya. Not because of its oil production but because of the dangerous nature of the Gadhafi regime—made far more dangerous by the current conflict—and because of the effect that Libya can have on the rest of the Arab world at a critical time in history…

Gadhafi’s fall would provide inspiration for the opposition in Syria and perhaps even Iran, whereas his survival would embolden the regimes in power there to cling on. The sooner Gadhafi goes, the greater the impact will be.

In Libya itself, the U.S. might gain a much-needed friend in the Arab world. A British diplomat in Benghazi, the unofficial temporary capital of free Libya, has said that it is the first time during his many years in the Arab world that he has seen American flags displayed in appreciation.

Even in Tripoli, still under Gadhafi’s control, people go to the rooftops to whistle in celebration during NATO bombing raids. After a visit to Benghazi last month, Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman wrote:

“Imagine walking in the main square of a teeming Arab city and having people wave the American flag, clamor for photographs with a visiting American official, and celebrate the United States as both savior and model.”

Appreciation for the United States in the Arab world is something to be welcomed at any time, but particularly now when demands for freedom are sweeping across the Middle East. Yet here in the United States, there seems to be little appreciation for this or for the brave Libyans who are fighting for their freedom with such courage.

So yes, criticize McCain and Graham for lacking the explanatory power of Paul Wolfowitz and other advocates of the “freedom agenda.” But don’t criticize that agenda itself, because it is wise, prescient and necessary — and needed now more than ever.

Holder Will Be Held Accountable

November 19th, 2009 at 5:02 pm 101 Comments

On Wednesday November 18, Attorney General Eric Holder defended the administration’s decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 plotters in U.S. criminal courts.  Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Holder was asked by Sen. Lindsey Graham if Osama bin Laden would be entitled to a Miranda warning.  Holder responded that the answer would “depend” on the circumstances.  At the heart of Sen. Graham’s questioning was a distinction between whether captured terrorists will be afforded the criminal protections granted to others tried in criminal courts (a law enforcement model) or not (a law-of-war model).

Sen. Graham’s focus and conclusion in this line of questioning are clearly right.  While the Miranda issue isn’t as clear as he suggests, the choice of a law-of-war model or a law enforcement model is the key issue, and there he’s right.  We live in a post-9/11 world and should act accordingly.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is not some Bond villain, an errant super-criminal finally put behind bars. He led an organized network of foreigners abroad who were at war with us long before KSM’s actions pushed us into war with them.  For those foreign terrorists, as opposed to their home-grown financiers or fellow travelers, our criminal justice system is ill-fitted.  It is both too much, in the scope of rights and platform for mischief it provides, and too little, in its incapacity to address the overseas intelligence and military issues that arise.  The trials of the World Trade Center bombers and of Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called twentieth hijacker, proved how incapable our justice system is at efficiently prosecuting terrorists while safeguarding information necessary to our own war efforts.  And, the Obama administration’s rationale for providing a jury trial for the worst war criminals, while reserving to the military commissions lesser al-Qaeda members, is impossible to discern or defend.

The administration’s choice also undermines our criminal justice system.  Already, the President has publicly stated that KSM is guilty and should be put to death; Department of Justice officials have indicated that he would be held as an enemy combatant if acquitted or prematurely released; and the AG and others have said that the choice between the systems depends on the strength of the evidence at hand.  This is the language of show trial, and demeans and politicizes our criminal justice system.  As Sen. Webb observed, KSM doesn’t belong in our country, our courts, or our prisons.