Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham: 'Count me in' on Libertarian Ideas, Our Differences Are 'Tactical'

2016 in one Lindsey Graham interview


Glenn Fawcett/DOD

There may be not a single true Scotsman libertarian in the running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, but candidates—announced, putative, longshot—are paying lip service, or positioning themselves as champions against it, like never before.

There could be a handful of senators you might identify as libertarianish—you can hash it out in the comments—but would Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) come to mind? His ideological soulmate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who likened libertarianish political figures like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), or "whoever," to "wacko birds." But Graham says, sure, libertarians might be loud, but it's just a tactical difference. Graham's with libertarians.

From a Gazette profile that begins "Call Lindsey Graham the adult in the room":

"Libertarians want smaller government. Count me in. Libertarians want oversight of government programs and making sure that your freedoms are not easily compromised. Count me in. Ted Cruz wants to fight Obamacare. Count me in," Graham says.

"Our view of limited government and free enterprise is pretty commonly shared," he continues. "What we wind up doing is having tactical differences."

One difference is that for Graham, regardless of the issue, "I want to fix it rather than yell about it."

Or just say "shut up." Lindsey Graham, like a lot of Republicans in and out of office, is comfortable talking the talk about "smaller government" and freedoms "not easily compromised," but from the war on terror—which Graham without a doubt wants to expand—to growing federal budgets, something Republicans have barely, if at all, tried to stop, Republicans too are a party of big government.

In the Gazette profile, Graham says he'd run on experience, not rhetoric—though he's obviously not above using that too—something we'll hear from candidates on both sides, especially those with lifetimes in public service. It'll be Vice President Joe Biden's pitch if he runs. And like with Biden, Graham's got a long history in the Congress, so there's nary a problem he insists he'll be able to "fix" that hasn't been there along with him for decades.

Expect a 2016 field, on both sides, flooded with candidates like this, touting their experience watching whatever's "wrong" with America happen from their positions in Washington for decades as credentials for "running" the country, and ready to rhetorically appropriate whatever popular or useful ideology might be hanging there for the taking.

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  1. Well your tactics for advancing libertarian ideas involve supporting the vast majority of proposals to expand the reach and power of the state, well . . .

    at best you are worse than useless. More likely, you are some combination of idiot and liar.

    1. Plus, he’s got a woman’s name for christsake.

      1. Yeah that Ashley in gone with the wind was a bit of a pussy to.

        1. Jayne is a girls name.

          1. gorram right it is.

            1. I won’t be in my bunk.

          2. Jayne ain’t a girl!

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  2. …but would Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) come to mind? His ideological soulmate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)…

    Come on Eddie, it’s 2015. You don’t have to add the word ‘ideological’ to soft-peddle it. We’re all grownups here. Except for Episiarch.

    1. If Epi isn’t a grownup, Hugh, then your mom’s in trouble.

  3. Libertarians want oversight of government programs and making sure that your freedoms are not easily compromised. Count me in.


  4. “Our view of limited government and free enterprise is pretty commonly shared,” he continues. “What we wind up doing is having tactical differences.”

    Fuck off, Lindsay.

    1. Look, most persons are of good faith…I think. We almost all want a better world, it’s just that our judgments vary as to how to produce one. Few people are sadists…I think.

  5. Experiencing running the country into ruin, you mean, Lindsey?

  6. Indeed. Many libertarians joke about using the military to force Congress to behave. It’s a hallmark of limited government.

    1. The joke is tactical.

    2. “….joke about using the military to force Congress to behave.”

      ^This, except he wasn’t joking.

      Anyone who says that has no place in the governance of this nation.

      1. I was being nice. I mean, it’s Good Friday.


  8. Fuck you Lindsey. You just want to trick libertarians into voting for your sorry ass, after which you’ll openly mock the concept of smaller government.

    1. It’s not the Libertarians that are the Stupid Party. (They’re the Incompetent and Dysfunctional Party.

      1. you didn’t close your parenthesis… you’re html is going to be all effed up.

        1. He’s trying to signal that he’s incompetent, thus Libertarian.

  9. “Libertarians are for invading places and blowing shit up, right,” Graham asked his aide.

    “no sir… not most of them… I don’t think…”

    “Oh well,” sighed Graham, “it’s not like they’re having a ‘moment’ or anything.”

    1. “That shit is just tactical, Sir.”

  10. my friend’s step-aunt makes $73 hourly on the internet . She has been out of a job for seven months but last month her income was $19815 just working on the internet for a few hours. pop over to this web-site….,

  11. Thanks but no thanks. All this will accomplish is to give more ammo to the lefties who want to smear all of us.

  12. Nice alt-text.

    1. CAPITAL L

        1. He should leave the (R) and go to (L).

          1. Like maybe seven or eight of the nine circles of (L).

  13. Who would you rather have a beer with Lindsey Graham or Peter King?

    1. Oh, definitely a beer with Lindsey. I would get “her” drunk and get her to admit all sorts of nefarious deeds from under the sheets.

      1. and THAT’S why he’s an asshole. he’s had to put up with that shit his entire life so he’s all like, “WAR!”

      2. Let’s just put it this way, I would not willingly cater an event for Lindsay Graham.

    2. is it in a bottle or glass that I could easily break and turn into a weapon?

    3. Can I put ‘something’ in the beer of my victim drinking partner?

  14. He was cut off. He meant to say “Our differences are tactical nukes as the best way to solve most problems.”

    1. even teh gayz?

  15. Even John McCain(-Feingold) isn’t always wrong.

    Rand Paul is a “wacko bird”.

    Fortunately he is not the God Of Libertarian Politics, so that doesn’t much matter.

  16. Lindsey Graham: ‘Count me in’ on Libertarian Ideas, Our Differences Are ‘Tactical’


    BUT…what does it say about the recent rise in libertarian beliefs when, arguably one of the top 3 NON libertarians in the GOP, feels the need to pander to wacko birds? Four years ago, no one in government knew how to spell libertarian.

    *looks over shoulder for Winston*

    1. I’ve been thinking that too. Rand Paul aside, it’s pretty early in the game for any GOP candidates to start inflating their supposedly libertarian credentials. But it seems the libertarians are looking more and more like an attractive prize. Hopefully it won’t be long before the socons play second fiddle.

  17. Unfortunately, this just says that far too many ‘libertarians’ are relying on changing things inside the GOP. If a guy like Graham thinks its necessary to pander to them before he throws them under the bus, then too many ‘libertarians’ still think its important to pay attention to him

  18. On the issues —

    ? Support the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. (Aug 2008)
    ? Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006)
    ? Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
    ? Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC. (Jul 1999)
    ? Supports anti-flag desecration amendment. (Mar 2001)
    ? Amend Constitution to define traditional marriage. (Jun 2008)
    ? Voted NO on maintaining right of habeas corpus in Death Penalty Appeals. (Mar 1996)
    ? Voted NO on funding for alternative sentencing instead of more prisons. (Jun 2000)
    ? Voted YES on more prosecution and sentencing for juvenile crime. (Jun 1999)
    ? Voted YES on prohibiting needle exchange & medical marijuana in DC. (Oct 1999)
    ? Voted NO on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade. (Jul 2005)
    ? Voted NO on establishing free trade between US & Singapore. (Jul 2003)

    1. ? Voted NO on establishing free trade between the US and Chile. (Jul 2003)
      ? Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act’s roving wiretaps. (Feb 2011)
      ? Voted NO on requiring FISA court warrant to monitor US-to-foreign calls. (Feb 2008)
      ? Voted YES on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad. (Aug 2007)
      ? Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act. (Mar 2006)
      ? Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act’s wiretap provision. (Dec 2005)
      ? Voted NO on preserving habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees. (Sep 2006)

      Graham said back in June: “I’m glad the NSA is trying to find out what the terrorists are up to overseas and in our country. I’m a Verizon customer. I don’t mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government is going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States. I don’t think you’re talking to the terrorists. I know you’re not. I know I’m not. So we don’t have anything to worry about.”

      1. He’s so fucking libertarian that he went all the way around the circle and back to being a gov’t worshiping asshat.

        1. He’s trying to demonstrate the horrors of statism by embracing it whole-hog.

  19. He’s never even approached stopped-clock territory. He is wrong on every issue he flaps his gums about. An authortarian, war-boner-having, state-worshiping scumbag without hope of redemption. Fuck him.

  20. One difference is that for Graham, regardless of the issue, “I want to fix it rather than yell about it.”

    For a guy that’s apparently pandering to libertarians, it’s odd that he just couldn’t resist tossing little insults out into the audience.

    1. Swishy Lindsey can’t help but snark, it’s the finger-snap-arm-wave gesture he’s able to keep in check.

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  22. Let’s ask Lindsey how many congressional pages he’s bagged, and how many of them are female.

  23. I know that this is so late that nobody is going to read it but my loathing for Graham is such that I feel the need to comment. From my perspective as a libertarian Graham is the worst Republican politician in Washington and is tied with Dianne Fienstien as being the worst politician in Washington period.

  24. Lindsey Graham is as much of a Libertarian as Barack Obama. Graham is 100% neo-con establishment politician and the epitome of everything wrong in DC.

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