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by
Kerri Toloczko

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March 9, 2013 - 6:20 pm
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Anything involving junior Texas Senator Ted Cruz is likely to invoke some level of toxic response from Senator John McCain of Arizona and his secondary outlet of public communication, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

That Senator McCain harbors a grudge against “the Bushies” for the South Carolina primary defeat that ended his presidential run in 2000 is the worst kept secret in Washington. Having “his” candidate lose in his home state was also a blow to Graham. Known for his long memory, some Senate staffers joke the “R” behind McCain’s name is for “revenge.” Other quip Lindsey Graham is “the senator from McCain.”

You’d think they’d be over it, but never has their ax grinding against former George W. Bush allies been more obvious and counter-productive than over the last few months.

Ted Cruz was a key Bush campaign staffer in 2000. Primarily a legal advisor, he also provided domestic policy advice and served as a contact for movement conservatives. A brilliant legal mind, Cruz was a critical asset to Bush’s Florida recount team. Ted was well-liked and respected among campaign staff, and like Karl Rove, known to perform congressional district voter math in his head.

Including, no doubt, for the 2000 South Carolina presidential primary.

The phrase “if you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog” attributed to President Harry S. Truman remains true, but the Senate has spawned genuine friendships. Indiana Republican Senator Richard Lugar and Vermont’s liberal Democrat Patrick Leahy enjoy a long friendship despite ideological differences. The late Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Ted Stevens (R-AK) were vastly different in temperament and voting but each considered the other a brother.

The friendship between John McCain and Lindsey Graham started during the1999 Clinton impeachment hearings when Graham served on the House Judiciary Committee and was liaison to the Senate. They hit it off immediately, and developed a deep, personal friendship.

That they support each other through re-election campaigns, Senate policy battles, and any private challenges is laudable. That McCain seems to use Graham as a battering ram against people he does not like is not.

In 2001, former presidential candidate McCain’s refusal to fully support President Bush’s tax reform package led to only temporary tax cuts, which in turn contributed to the fiscal cliff. This put McCain at loggerheads with American taxpayers’ most powerful advocate, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, author of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Norquist also supported Bush in 2000, and worked closely with the Bush White House to support its tax cut agenda.

When fears arose during recent fiscal cliff negotiations that Senate Republicans might raise taxes, Senate insiders muttered McCain was privately giddy over the possibility of GOP pledge-breakers, but it was Graham thrown in front to lead Republicans over the pledge-violation cliff.

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Top Rated Comments   
So McCrank & "Grahamnesty" seem only too pleased to carry on Barry O's work dividing the GOP for him--without charge--in the name of wounded pride & stale anger. Down with both of them, "And may posterity forget that [they] were our countrymen."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They attacked the Tea Partiers because thats what RINO's do and thats why the GOP is in the state that it is.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I dunno, it's not just them, many writers on the right, including some on this site (in the previous article no less) are attacking Paul.

I think part of the problem is that many on the right do want a police state, with no rights, if they can think it can save them from "terrorism"

To quote Heinlein

"“Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire"

Many of those on the right simply want to be the ones controlling.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (43)
All Comments   (43)
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Is it just me or is Lindsey Graham advertising all over PJMedia. I cant get away from his ugly mug smiling at me with a Support Lindsey donate button underneath him. Is there a game where you can punch Lindsey Graham in the face repeatedly?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I find it interesting that McCain, who says he takes his military heritage and experience seriously and that honor is an important part of that, acts in such a petty, dishonorable fashion so consistently.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So Graham is McCain's b!tch....this is news?

And the fact that McCain holds a grudge against his more succesful former opponents' underlings is pretty revealing of a Nixonian character that speaks to the flawed judgment of the GOP establishment in choosing this Loser to be the GOP nominee.

The fact of the matter is that the GOP has an excellent "bench", but it won't matter if none of them ever get out of the bullpen.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mike Mahonery,
I liked your comment about Ds and Rs being like the offense and the defense, because they both play for the Ruling Class team. However, I think they are more like the Harlem Globetrotters and the Washington Generals: they pretend to keep it close until the vote nears, and then Obama dribbles through the entire RINO defense to scoren untouched!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
McCain's baggage that seriously clouds his judgement starts with the Keating-Five - which begat McCain-Feingold.
Then, to have bucked the tax-cuts, forcing them to be temporary, created a host of down-stream problems for his party, and the country.
He needed to have retired in 2010, and hopefully the people of SC will show the door to his buddy, and John will get the hint.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Time to show both of them a map to the Elephant Burial Grounds, where they can go to die in our peace.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
McCain has more than one "reason" to resent Cruz. Cruz has political courage, which McCain does not. Also, Cruz makes a huge contrast with McCain: the former is blithely indifferent to what the media say about him, while the latter would sell his wife, his soul, and his Senate seat for six complimentary column-inches about him in the New York Times.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Roger and McCarthy ... sorry guys; you just screwed the pooch! Heh! Recognize that truth can come from many and varied places inconsistent with even "conservative" world views. Now's not the time to submit to "divide and conquer" tactics. So .... ... "Get with the future or go home!"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have long said that the only difference between Democrats and Republicans was which group of self-appointed elitists wanted to be in charge. However, Republicans were not as objectionable as Democrats, so I (reluctantly, in most cases) gave them my vote; in contrast, I will never, rpt never, vote for a Democrat.

Unfortunately, the performance of "leading" Republicans over the last several months has caused me to re-evaluate. Now, I seriously doubt that I will ever again vote for a Republican, either.

Some may say that this renders my vote irrelevant, since third-party candidates cannot be elected. So be it. The two major parties are irrevocably out-of-touch with the American people, and any vote for them simply supports the status quo. It is going to take a major shake-up - economic collapse, mass civil disobedience or civil war - to "clear the deck" and allow this country to be returned to Constitutional control.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Voting libertarian is a reasonable alternative, the only unreasonable alternative being not voting at all. But a better one might be to support the Paul, Cruz, Rubeo reform trio for the repub nomination and election.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You lost me at Rubio. Rand Paul isnt an open borders libertarians is he?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
McCain was saved by Palin in his last primary run. When is Graham up for re-election? The young elephants need to get rid of the old regardless the short run cost for the Party.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
2014, he was already challenged in the 2008 primary primarily due to his sneaky backstabbing shennanigans right before July 4th 2006 with regards to "Comprehensive Immigration Reform." But he has doubled down when he came back and sneered in contempt at his constituency during the heat of Obamacare. He will be challenged again, and this time with a stronger candidate, like Nikki Haley or Mark Sanford. The previous attempt got near 30% of the vote.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I will shed no tears if Graham gets primaried out, although any challenger should be carefully vetted and have some experience, so they dont fall apart in the general. I agree either nikki haley or mark sanford would be very good.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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