Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Lindsay Graham as King of the Chicken Hawks

The early part of the Kid's Table debate seemed to pit the two Establishment guys, Lindsay Graham and George Pataki against the the two religious Right fundamentalists, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee.

The Establishment guys seemed to be criticizing Trump in roughly the same terms as Hillary but Santorum and Huck stood up for The Donald.

Santorum actually framed Trump Muslim ban pretty well-as bad as an obviously terrible idea can be-by saying Trump doesn't hate Muslims it's just that the Obama has done a terrible job of vetting those entering the country.

Then it got into an debate that was largely dominated by Graham. Again, as I've suggested previously, my sense is that he's sort of running as a protest candidate--over getting tough on ISIS and putting ground troops in both Iraq and Syria.

He chided Santorum for opposing more ground troops in Syria. Huck came in and did him one better saying why limit ourselves to only 10,000 troops in each country? That's showing the enemy that you have limits.

Graham want on passionately about how much he hates what the President has done on foreign policy. We have the meme that ISIS is the fault of Obama when clearly it is the fault of W's baseless war in Iraq, precipitated by Rumseld's absolutely hopeless occupation strategy of de-baathifciation and dissolving the army.

How much of the ISIS fighters of greatest skill and knowledge come from the old Iraqi army and Baath party?

All 4 Kid's Table GOPers want to nose though people's social media. Huck said if Islam is such a great reason why is it bad for the FBI to monitor mosques.

Scintilating. Incidentally, Nate Silver sees Graham of a likely next GOPer to drop out.

clare.malone: I think he’s feeling queasy about the current state of the party — he basically said as much a couple of weeks ago, and I think that he might want to get out of the race and start saying stuff to calm everyone the hell down.

micah: Also, it’s not like he has an issue to trumpet. His main cause, an aggressive foreign policy, now comes standard with the other Republican candidates (save Paul).

natesilver: Yeah, and there’s been some solid reporting about how some of the more moderate Republicans are hesitating in endorsing other candidates out of deference to Graham. But if he’s really concerned about the party’s health, he might want to get out of the way.", I believe is mistaken. He does so have an issue to trumpet. The kind of 'tough talk' of folks like Trump is anathema to Senator Graham whose pet issue is ground troops. But Trump doesn't really talk a lot about that. 
What you notice is that the more 'moderate' Establishment candidates are the real Neocons-they want to further extend the US military into this or that conflict. But the outsiders like Trump, Cruz, Carson-and you see this also some with Santorum tonight-aren't really about boots to the ground. 
They're kind of 'toughness' is mostly getting tough on Muslims and immigrants-Fortress America, basically. 
P.S. Ok, you know what they say I thought I was out but they keep pulling me back in! I was done with this post but Lindsay Graham just said something that might well be the most memorable line of the Kid's Table debate. 
He says ISIS is the fault of Obama not Bush 'I'm tired of beating on Bush I wish he were still President.'
Wow. Even Jeb probably wouldn't dare go that far. You know if Graham had any poll support discernible to the naked eye that would be a great attack ad-just play that over and over again. But still, maybe this should be used for an ad in certain areas to stand for the GOP Establishment. The Establishment may miss Bush but I'm less sure of the base. 
Trump sure hasn't been hurt by attacking Jeb and his brother. 
P.S.S Even Pataki got a good rejoinder on that one: 'Lindsay wants to look at the past and defend George Bush I want to look to the future.'
I think that says it all from Graham. That's what the GOP Establishment wants. Most Americans don't remember the W years as a golden age and probably neither does most of the base. 

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