South Carolina Republicans Censure Lindsey Graham Only One Month Before Primary Election

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks to reporters after the Senate failed to pass two bills designed to avoid the potentially devastating government budget cuts, dubbed Sequestration, on Capitol Hill on February 28, 2013 in Washington, D.C. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

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The best that Republican challengers hoping to unseat incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) can hope for in next month’s South Carolina primary election is that somebody will force him into a runoff. Repeated polling ahead of the June 10 primary shows that Graham will finish first, but it’s an open question whether he’ll end up with the clear 50 percent of votes needed to avoid a runoff against the second-place finisher.

But there’s a lot of antipathy toward Graham among South Carolina conservatives; and, in the home stretch ahead of the primary, it appears to be growing. On Monday, the Charleston County Republican Party became the ninth local party in the State during the current election cycle to formally censure Graham by an executive committee vote.

The 39-32 vote may have been close, but, as Ben Swann observed Tuesday, Charleston County is supposed to be an electoral haven for Graham.

“The Charleston County Party is located in the ‘low country’ which is considered a Graham stronghold,” wrote Joshua Cook. “The fact that Graham was censured by executive committeemen who represents voters in their precincts shows how weak and vulnerable Graham really is.”

The resolution itself lists 30 separate grievances against Graham’s Senate voting record, as well as for siding with Congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama on a range of issues. His body of work in the Senate is “fundamentally inconsistent with the South Carolina Republican Party Platform,” according to the censure resolution.

Here’s a sampling:

[Senator Graham:]

  • Voted to Confirm Obama’s appointment to Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection: In July of 2013, Senator Graham voted with the Democrats to confirm Richard Cordray, a noted leftist promoter of aggressive economic regulation, as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, while Senator Scott voted in opposition.
  • Supported arming Al Qaeda / Muslim Brotherhood Revolutionaries in Syria: In June of 2013, Senator Graham called for supplying American arms to known affiliates of Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria and assistance in the form of a “no-fly zone” and bombing of Syrian airfields.
  • Supported amnesty but not border control: In June of 2013, on the issue of an immigration bill that provides effective amnesty to illegal aliens without taking action to close the border first, Senator Graham joined the Democrats in invoking cloture and supporting the bill while Senator Scott voted in opposition.
  • Supported NSA spying on private American citizens: In June of 2013, Senator Graham displayed a cavalier attitude, as he has done repeatedly, toward Americans’ right to privacy by stating “It does not bother me one bit for the National Security Administration to have my phone number…”
  • Supported abridging the First Amendment for those who criticize the government: In June of 2013 Graham displayed a similar cavalier attitude about restricting freedom of speech: “Who is a journalist is a question we need to ask ourselves,” he said. “Is any blogger out there saying anything—do they deserve First Amendment protection? These are the issues of our times.”
  • Supported massive new Internet sales tax: In May of 2013, Graham joined Democrats in voting to pass a massive new Internet sales tax with burdensome reporting requirements. Senator Scott and most Republicans opposed the bill.
  • Supported restrictions on the Second Amendment: In April of 2013, when he had the opportunity to join fellow Republicans in support of a filibuster against unconstitutional limitations on the right to keep and bear arms, Senator Graham voted to invoke closure against those Republicans opposed to the bill.
  • Supported Obama’s drone program against American citizens: In March of 2013, when Republican Senator Rand Paul bravely stood up to the White House to seek reassurances that drone strikes would not be used on American soil in contravention of the Constitution, Senator Graham stated that he was “disappointed in Senator Paul and that his positions were ‘not a Republican view.’”
  • Supported subordinating American sovereignty to the United Nations: In November of 2012, and in prior years, while Senator DeMint was strongly opposing the Law of the Sea Treaty, which would unconstitutionally cede American sovereignty rights to the United Nations, Senator Graham sided with Democrats and failed to support Senator DeMint.
  • Supported giving foreign aid to terrorist governments in the Middle East: In October of 2012, when Republican Senator Rand Paul began running advertisements attacking Democrats for voting to continue foreign aid to Middle-East countries who are actively anti-American, Senator Graham defended the Democrats.

And those are just the first 10. Keep reading and you’ll find support for Obama nominees to the Supreme Court, voting with Democrats to keep George W. Bush-era tax cuts from becoming permanent, coming down in favor of “cap and trade” environmental policy and even nationalizing the banking system.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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