The mainstream media have been searching for a new favorite Republican ever since John McCain won the presidential nomination in the spring of 2008. Clearly, McCain couldn’t be allowed to continue in that role because of the risk that it might have helped him win the presidency.
Favorite Republican really shouldn’t be a hard spot to fill. The only qualifications required are an eagerness to abandon conservative principles in order to further fashionable liberal issues, and a general ineffectualness at pursuing conservative goals.
Several prominent Republicans come immediately to mind as being well qualified.
It’s taken awhile, but after a long audition, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has won the job. Increasing, as well as increasingly favorable, mainstream media attention culminated on Sunday when Thomas L. Friedman anointed Graham in his New York Times column. Friedman’s fawning interview is headlined: “How the GOP Goes Green.”
As often happens when the subject knows his interviewer is friendly, Graham lets down his guard and says several revealing things.
Most stunning is Senator Graham’s explanation of why he supports energy-rationing policies to address global warming: it’s so college students will like him. Should you think I’m fabricating this or exaggerating, let me quote Friedman’s column:
Look at how he is received in colleges today. “Instead of just being one more short, white Republican over 50,” says Graham, “I am now semi-cool. There is an awareness by young people that I am doing something different.”
If this makes Senator Graham sound like a nitwit, that could be misleading. Friedman also mentions that one major corporation is counting on Graham to bail them out. General Electric, which manufactures wind turbines in Greenville, South Carolina, has been one of the biggest corporate supporters of energy rationing legislation for a simple reason. Besides windmills, they make a bewildering variety of industrial and consumer products (including nuclear reactors) that will be in much higher demand if government artificially raises energy prices.
And there’s also Duke Energy, a large electric utility holding company with a branch in South Carolina. Duke’s Chairman James Rogers is an old Enron hand who has become the leading corporate lobbyist for cap-and-trade legislation. Rogers hopes to make billions in windfall profits if it is enacted.