One of the nice, warm, fuzzy, comfortable beliefs about how our government works is that “politics stops at the water’s edge.” Propounded by Sen. Arthur Vandenberg in 1947, we could long pretend that the common cause of America’s best interests would overcome any crass political concerns. The despicable behavior by most Democrats towards the Iraq war, during the Bush administration finally buried that idealistic notion.
And oh yeah..one other thing…”All politics is STILL local..”
Senators McCain and Graham have become spokesmen for Obama’s attempt to project the US into the Syrian conflict. McCain has become the rampant rogue old bull senator; this is his last term. Indeed, if McCain were subject to being recalled, he’d be gone already; so disgusted are his constituents with his support for Obama’s amnesty program.
Graham, however, has to face the good people of South Carolina next year. He’s already drawn three primary opponents, due in large part to his stand on immigration reform. The opposition is just starting to take form; all three may not make it to the primary. Some say that having multiple candidates weakens the anti-Graham forces..that they need to coalesce around one person as soon as possible. Others maintain that having multiple opponents makes it much easier to hold Graham under 50%, force him into a run-off. In the primary, he can’t attack ALL his opponents..it thus becomes about Graham. In the run-off…then the opposition unites and beats him. This is the Ted Cruz electoral model. It worked beautifully in Texas.
Graham’s advocacy for Syrian intervention takes the primary into uncharted territory, which is likely NOT a good place for him. Some 70% of Americans are opposed to ANY US involvement in Syria. In addition, South Carolina has the highest percentage of active duty and retired military of any state, and these good people, far more than most, know all to well the dangers of risking American lives to extract a feckless president from the implications of his stupid statements.
McCain and Graham have been among the most vociferous critics of Obama’s actions in Benghazi. Yet they now suddenly want us to believe that Obama is a foreign policy genius? It’s worth noting that Sen Ayotte has stood shoulder to shoulder ( literally, in multiple appearances) with the “two amigos” in correctly discrediting the administration’s actions in the Benghazi matter..before, during, and after the attack. Yet Ayotte has dramatically distanced herself from their advocacy of intervention in Syria.
Her statement, to the effect that “she would support intervention in Syria, but only after Obama seeks, and obtains, the support of Congress,” says absolutely nothing. It’s like saying that the sun will come up tomorrow. Ayotte obviously has read the tea leaves.
We’re just starting the process of Congressional hearings on the use of force in Syria. McCain and Graham will be out there leading the parade. Look for one or more of Graham’s opponents to soon announce clearly, and forcefully, why this is wrong, ad therefore, why Graham should NOT be re-elected.
Whichever of the three can best make the case will have a considerable edge , and when the first legitimate polls are released in the race, they will will be shocking.