Lindsey Graham and John McCain Are Breaking Up

Yet another terrible thing Iran has done — it’s caused Senators Lindsey “Butters” Graham and John McCain to split.

After Butters said we should work with Iran to stop ISIS in Iraq, McCain says that would be “the height of folly.”

Not yet clear who gets custody of their daughter, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.

All is not lost, though — they both agree we should bomb ISIS.  And then bomb Iran.  But I guess Butters would wait a decent interval….

Arrogance, Not Immigration

As we write Eric Cantor’s political obituary, the cause of death should be arrogance, not immigration.

When I heard Cantor was out,  I immediately thought of Scott Brown defeating Martha Coakley for Senate in Massachusetts.  Coakley ran a lazy campaign, taking victory for granted in the deep blue state.  She famously asked if she should have stood in the cold, shaking hands at Fenway Park.  Um, yes, Martha, that is exactly what you should have done.  Like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, voters don’t respond well to being ignored.  Come election day, they will boil your bunny, metaphorically speaking.

Cantor spent too much time being majority leader and too little being congressman from the seventh district of Virginia.  Now he will be neither.

Yes, David Brat got a boost from right-wing radio hosts like Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin, but they also regularly tout candidates who flop.

Yes, Brat got a boost for running on an anti-immigration platform at a time when right-wing media are focused on the flood of unaccompanied young people coming across the border and overwhelming authorities.  But down in South Carolina, Sen. Lindsey “Butters” Graham, who supports immigration reform, won without even having to face a runoff because he took his primary seriously and protected himself in every way he could think of.  By contrast, Cantor brushed Brat off like an annoying mosquito.

Butters will be back next year because he ran full of fear, Cantor won’t be back because he ran full of himself.

Where Do They Find These People?

One of SC Senator Lindsey “Butters” Graham’s primary opponents is a pastor named Det Bowers who says that women are to blame for 95% of divorces because, even though the husbands may be guilty of adultery, the wives are guilty of “abominable idolatry.”  You may be wondering WTF abominable idolatry is.  Turns out it has nothing to do with golden calves, it’s about the wives loving their children too much.

Two things:  First, under what rocks does the GOP find these people to run for office?  Second, he actually does have a point — a teeny, tiny point — because most men really are such big babies.

Shhhhhh! We’re Suspending Aid to Egypt

Josh Rogin has an exclusive at The Daily Beast that Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) told him that President Obama has quietly suspended military aid to Egypt, although without finding that there was a coup.  But we are acting, at least temporarily, as if there was a coup.

I have no problem with sending a message by delaying aid briefly, just as we would send a message by recalling our ambassador temporarily.  But I think overall we should support the military.

Neither side reflects our values, so we need to go with the folks who represent our interests, and that is clearly the military.

Just as I oppose political Christianity here, I oppose political Islam there.  The Muslim Brotherhood is awful for the 10% of Egyptians who are Christian, awful for women’s rights, and awful for the many, many Egyptians who are Muslim, but want a modern, secular goverment.

After waiting for 85 years to take power, the Muslim Brotherhood did a miserable job.  Morsi refused to reach out and run an inclusive government that tried to represent all Egyptians, he refused to be bound by the Constitution, and basically steered the country more and more toward a theocracy.  I’m sure the military did all it could to “help” him fail, but he did a pretty spectacular job himself.

It would have been better to postpone elections until moderate, secular forces had an opportunity to organize, but that didn’t happen.  After Mubarak was overthrown, there was no Jeffersonian alternative waiting in the wings.  If the choice is between autocracies, and right now it is, I’ll go with the secular one, thank you very much.

It makes no sense that much of the GOP has been criticizing Obama, other than that whatever he does, they automatically feel obligated to oppose him.   I can’t help but believe that if Obama had immediately taken a hard line against the military and called for the reinstatement of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the right would have asked, “What do you expect from our Muslim, terrorist-supporting President?”  They would have been yelling and screaming about the threat to our fly-over rights, to our ability to jump the line at the Suez Canal, to Israel’s security.   Instead, you had the bizarre spectacle of John McCain and Lindsey (“Butters”) Graham defending Morsi against the military.  Do they really believe Egypt is better off in the seventh century?

Graham Figures Out Marco Has Abandoned Him

Sen. Lindsey “Butters” Graham (R-SC) suddenly seems to realize that Marco Rubio (R-FL), his fellow “Gang of Eight” member on immigration reform, is walking running away from the very reform he helped draft, leaving Graham twisting in the wind.

Poor Butters says he’s puzzled.  Um, here’s a clue for you, Butters — 2016.

Quote of the Day

“With full cognizance of the human toll of the Syrian civil war, I just wanted to say that I really wish the White House would not have taken this step. It seems like a small step – basically small arms to a totally disorganized insurgency that now seems to be on the ropes. But these slopes tend to be very slippery. And my gut feel is that this is being driven not by a clear or concerted strategy but rather by being pinned down by earlier statements and slowly giving way to outside analysts, talkative senators and allies who, inevitably, will not share much of any of the burden of an expanding intervention.”

Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo

Quote of the Day

“I think the dam is about to break on Benghazi. We’re going to find a system failure before, during, and after the attacks.  We’re going to find political manipulation seven weeks before an election. We’re going to find people asleep at the switch when it comes to the State Department, including Hillary Clinton.  The bond that has been broken between those who serve us in harm’s way and the government they serve is huge — and to me every bit as damaging as Watergate.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – SC)

Jeb Repents

If a bunch of dead trees (specifically those used to print his book) fall on Jeb Bush, they definitely make a sound.

Poor Jebbie, planning a run in 2016 because, you know, two Bush presidents just weren’t enough, sent his book off to be published before the 2012 election, and executed a conspicuous flip-flop to put himself where the GOP was on a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.  Having long supported such a path, he suddenly opposed it, trying to position himself for the presidential primaries.

But then Obama won, the GOP was annihilated among Hispanic voters, and there was a mad rush to do comprehensive immigration reform, including — sadly for Jeb — that pesky path to citizenship.

When Jeb’s book finally came out last week, he found himself in sort of a Rip Van Winkle situation, and under major assault from folks like John McCain and Lindsey “Butters” Graham.

Jeb went on the talk shows this morning and raced away from his own book and flip-flop, doing a flip-flop-flip that landed him right back where he started, on that path to citizenship that he hopes will be a path to the WH.  After all, it’s not as if any genuine beliefs or principles were involved here, the man just wants to be president.  Path, shmath.

Step aside Mitt, we have a new champion.  The Golden Flip Flops go to Jeb.