Lindsey Graham is Ignoring the Constitution in Favor of Party Lines

Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham has declared war on the Constitution (on the same day Kim Jong Un declared war on his enemies… hmm…). What’s especially funny is that he couldn’t have chosen a less popular time to do so, as the Constitution — courtesy of #StandwithRand — is trending. With overwhelming support for Rand Paul’s filibuster coming from conservatives, libertarians, and even many Democrats; Graham, joined by John McCain, has decided that the possibility of the government killing Americans on American soil without due process is a non-issue.

Graham told POLITICO:

“I do mind our party taking a position completely different than we had with President Bush. I didn’t hear any of these people say anything during the Bush administration. Where were they? I just think it’s politics. I think it’s creating a straw man, creating a situation that doesn’t exist.”

First of all, let’s look at the issue of droning under President Bush. Not once did Senator Paul praise President Bush during his filibuster. Unlike his colleague, Senator Graham, Paul is able to look at an issue based on constitutionality instead of on which political party is at stake. If Senator Graham cared to remember those “good old days”, he might remember the huge anti-war movement that arose during Bush’s War on Terror. Much of that movement was directed at tactics such as waterboarding and use of drones, but the movement was against a Republican president. As a party-line opportunist, I guess it’s not all that surprising that there’s a bit of a memory gap for the senator.

Bad policy conducted by Republicans is no less destructive than bad policy conducted by Democrats. Just because you, Senator Graham, were blind to President Bush’s bad policies — after all, he was a Republican so he certainly couldn’t have done anything wrong — doesn’t mean that Senator Paul should be blind to those same bad policies under President Obama.

Second, Senator Graham wants to know “where they were” during the Bush administration. Rand Paul’s father, Ron Paul (remember him?) was very vocally against Bush’s use of drones. None of Wednesday’s first three champions of freedom — Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz — were in office at that time. And who helped them get elected? Oh yeah. Ron Paul. Ron Paul helped recruit high-caliber defenders of the Constitution so that the next time around, he wouldn’t stand alone on the right side of the aisle.

One more thing — is Rand Paul creating a straw man? Is he really? If Graham had bothered to listen to even 20 minutes of Senator Paul’s 13 hour speech on the matter, he would know the point that Paul was trying to make: It’s unlikely that President Obama is actually going to kill noncombatant Americans on American soil, but that doesn’t mean that we should let the matter go. The question isn’t whether or not Obama WILL do it – it’s if he CAN. It’s a constitutional issue, not a partisan issue.

I mean, honestly, Senator Paul said the phrase “noncombatant American on American soil” so many times that it is permanent branded into my brain. But that is a small price to pay for having had the opportunity to hear what I consider to be the most incredible defense of the Constitution to be spoken in my lifetime.

Meanwhile, Senator Graham is so stuck on the idea that the President has to have the right to conduct war wherever, on whomever, and in whatever way that he sees fit that he has completely forgotten that Americans have a right to due process. And that is a fundamental right that we won’t let go quietly.

Senator Graham, since you seem so intent on making America out to be a battlefield, you just wait until your next re-election. Your constituents who believe in the Constitution will give you the political battlefield of your career.

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