It feels like the confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh were a lifetime ago. One of the most memorable parts of the drama was the reaction of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). As chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he minced no words about the actions of his Democrat colleagues regarding the smear campaign they ran accusing Kavanaugh of a history of sexually assaulting women.
Toward the end of the hearing at which accuser Christine Blasey Ford testified, Graham blasted the Democrats on the committee. For a member of the squish caucus, this was an important revelation:
“This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics. And if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you’ve done to this guy. Boy, y’all want power and I hope you don’t get it.” [Emphasis added]
It really seemed as if Graham had come to a point where he recognized that the gentleman’s bargain that had governed political discourse in Congress was over. There was a time when bipartisanship worked but it had been eroding for years. With all the institutional power amassed by the Democrats in the media, academia, and entertainment, any Republican appointee or idea was at a significant disadvantage.
Graham had similar moments during hearings related to the Russia collusion hoax. He seemed genuinely distressed about the failures of the FISA process, the actions of senior members of the FBI, and the origins of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. To date, no one other than a low-level FBI lawyer has been held accountable for the apparent corruption in the investigation. No one who came forward and lied to Congress about Justice Kavanaugh has been held responsible either.
It is hard to tell if Graham’s ire was genuine, which it certainly seemed to be at the time, or if he was just testing the political winds during the Trump presidency. His defense of the “infrastructure bill” is obtuse, and it is clear that he has no issue with the consolidation of power under a Democrat administration:
I appreciate all the hard work of my colleagues who negotiated a good bill and am cheering on the effort as the day unfolds.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) August 7, 2021
No, Lindsey. Large portions of the Republican base and even many independent voters do not need to see the Senate do “big” things. Big legislation invariably leads to a bigger, more intrusive government. The bill Graham is supporting has a pilot program for technology that violates the personal privacy of Americans in their own vehicles. Included in the bill is a measure to track the miles you drive so you can pay a per-mile fee, as well as implementing technology that requires a breathalyzer—and who knows what else.
The bill also gives the secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT) significant powers to direct funds. It all but eliminates the current formula for distribution of funds and puts almost all funding into competitive grants for the current DOT secretary, choo-choo-train-lover Pete Buttiegeg, to dole out. How does Graham think this will work out for his home state of South Carolina or any other red state?
What conditions will get rammed down the throats of voters in these states to get the funds required to maintain their infrastructure? Could it be the elimination of single-family zoning, which the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation seeks? How about a gas-powered vehicle ban like California’s? What other green policies could be forced on states in order to receive their highway funds? The list of progressive with-list items is endless.
The bill centralizes power in D.C. under the ever-growing bureaucracy in an agency that has presided over the complete degradation of our infrastructure through central planning. Much like the Department of Education has presided over the decline in the performance of America’s public schools, the DOT has failed to maintain America’s infrastructure. Congress should scale back the agency and give control back to states and local communities. Yet it looks like 17 Republicans, including Graham, still believe in the bipartisan project that does nothing but enlarges the central government.
Now, Graham and the rest of these squishes look like the fools they are for trusting Democrats. This morning, Senate Democrats unveiled an additional $3.5 trillion budget that includes free community college, a pathway to citizenship for the illegal immigrants flowing over our border, expanding Medicare benefits, and green new deal provisions. Schumer has hinted that a new wealth tax will fund the monstrosity.
It looks like Graham and company sure did get something “big” done. They are providing cover for Democrats to spend nearly $6 trillion. Every single Republican who votes for the bipartisan deal needs to be retired at the first opportunity. Graham and the rest of them completely forgot the lessons they learned between 2016 and 2020. Everything Democrats do is about power, not bipartisan goodwill.