John McCain and Lindsey Graham, the Senate’s odd couple, reprise ancient roles in a blatant attempt to sidetrack Susan Rice’s nomination as Secretary of State and, in the process, enrage Barack Obama as well as remind long-time observers what political piss-ants they have both become.
“If Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me,” the President fumes. “For them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received, and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.”
Outrageous is the right word for the two as they are chaperoned by New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who has replaced Joe Lieberman in their three-amigos act, to savage Ambassador Rice.
McCain’s fall from favor as the outspoken maverick is by now a familiar story, but a new generation may be hazy about exactly who Graham is.
Jumpstarting his career in the 1990s on the House Judiciary Committee by insisting the Republic would fall because Bill Clinton unzipped in the Oval Office, Graham moved on to the Senate as a supporter of the Iraq war, a frequent flier there with McCain and an omnipresence in his 2008 presidential campaign.
When McCain chose a running mate, he considered Lieberman and finally settled on Sarah Palin but gave no consideration to Graham, whose reputation as a Southern conservative might have broadened the ticket's appeal.
One nasty explanation surfaced then with the pronouncement of a hardline opponent that Graham was a closeted gay: "Sen. Graham, you need to come forward and tell people about your alternative lifestyle and your homosexuality.”
Distasteful as it may be to dredge up such speculation, it is part and parcel of the history of the ugly politics of personal destruction that McCain and Graham are now using against Susan Rice.
McCain passed up Graham as a running mate in 2008 to pick Game Changer Sarah Palin.
Teaming up to harass Obama again is no more attractive than it was then and deserves no better result now.