“That’s the first thing I’m going to do as president. We’re going to drink more,” Sen. Lindsey Graham declared proudly in the Republican presidential undercard debate, a comment that rocketed across social media.
Graham, of course, was suggesting that if people drank more together, as President Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neil supposedly did in the 1980s, government could get more done in Washington D.C.
That’s the kind of thing that that appeals to the Washington establishment — but it may have disgusted the majority of Republicans watching the debate.
Graham appeared to be just the right blend of crazy to win much support from the mostly-establishment audience, including the chattering-class media pundits and commentators.
The liberal pundits who prefer to be appalled by Graham’s views on foreign policy certainly welcomed and enjoyed his fervent support for large-scale immigration.
He mixed up his pitch — repeatedly vowing to destroy radical Islam, labeling them “Religious Nazis,” and then hitting Donald Trump for being a “cartoon character” when it came to foreign policy.
Graham constantly poked Santorum for his tough approach to immigration, which clearly annoyed the former Pennsylvania Senator, who was voted out in 2006. But by highlighting Santorum’s past, Graham reminded voters that he has been in office for a long time.
The childless South Carolina senator appeared a bit off-tune when he pointed out that former Sen. Strom Thurmond fathered four children at age 67, and that’s apparently why the nation should import children from abroad.
When asked about hot-button civic and social issues, Graham changed the subject by reminding the audience that radical Islam is a bigger threat than gay couples or religious county clerks like Kim Davis.
Graham probably hurt himself the most when he argued that Republicans shouldn’t fight to defund Planned Parenthood, stating flat-out that the Republican-led Congress can’t win if they challenge President Barack Obama’s government-shutdown strategy.
Graham is an eager participant in the Republican establishment, and not the anti-establishment fighter that many Republicans are looking for, which is one reason why he will likely fail to move beyond the undercard debate stage.