Jon Huntsman

The Lindsey Graham Show (Pilot: Crash and Burn)

"US Republican Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham speaks during a US Senate Armed Services Committee on global challenges and US national security strategy on Capitol Hill in Washington." (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty)

“The best deal comes with a new president. Hillary Clinton would do better. I think everybody on our side except maybe Rand Paul could do better.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

It is worth noting that Mr. Graham is apparently considering a run for the GOP presidential nomination, which would in turn bring him to contest Rand Paul’s ambitions. Still, though, the “Ouch!” about Palmetto senior senator’s jab is mutivalent. Then again, it is also predictable.

And if for some reason one is so interested in having a chuckle at Mr. Graham’s expense―no, really, we understand if you’re not interested in anything having to do with this once-respected statesman who has lately and so greatly tumbled into tinfoil and hatred―Darren Goode of Politico poses an interesting question: “Lindsey Graham: Too green for the GOP?”

No, really. That’s the headline.

Graham, who bases his climate views as much on Scripture as on science, balked when asked whether the GOP needs a moderating voice — akin to the pro-science, pro-climate-action role that former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman played in the 2012 Republican primaries ....

.... And unlike Huntsman, Graham isn’t about to lecture people who disagree with him or aren’t willing to join the cause publicly.

“I’m OK with the science behind climate change. But if you’re not, that’s OK with me,” Graham said. “But what is our position about the emissions? What’s our position about the Clean Air Act? What would we do as Republicans to ensure that the next generation enjoys a healthy environment, being good stewards of God’s green earth?”

And that’s what counts as “too green for the GOP”.

Chris Warren, a spokesman for the Koch-affiliated American Energy Alliance, put it simply: “I don’t think anyone is taking Lindsey Graham’s presidential bid too seriously.” We need not wonder why.

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Schneider, Howard and Doina Chiacu. “U.S. Republican Graham says Hillary could have reached better deal on Iran”. Reuters. 5 April 2015.

Goode, Darren. “Lindsey Graham: Too green for the GOP?”. Politico. 5 April 2015.

That Republican Unity You’ve Been Hearing About

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)

Speaking of unity and the Republican Party ....

Tea party favorite Mike Lee roiled the GOP establishment four years ago when he knocked off a sitting senator on his way to the Republican Senate nomination in Utah.

Now, the establishment might strike back.

As the 43-year-old Lee plots his 2016 reelection bid, he is courting business leaders under the radar, hoping to head off a primary challenge backed by business leaders and other establishment figures in his home state, like billionaire Jon Huntsman Sr., an influential bank CEO and a former Utah GOP party chairman.

Some powerful establishment Republicans in Utah are tired of Lee’s hard-line positions. He stood with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas last year when the federal government closed and again this month when they tried to take on President Barack Obama on immigration but ended up giving Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada leverage to confirm controversial nominations.

So as Lee fights to make sure he doesn’t become the first tea party senator ousted by the party establishment, he’s effectively turned the Republican intraparty war that has defined Senate primary politics for the past four years on its head.

(Raju)

Is there a way we can blame this on Ben Carson?

It’s hard to say what voters will do if given the choice again, but we must also recall that between whatever passed for the Republican version of sanity and responsible decency and, well, Sen. Mike Lee, voters in Utah went with the latter. Well, okay, let us be clear: His predecessor, Sen. Bob Bennett, was a conservative stalwart who just wasn’t conservative enough to not be drummed out by his own state’s Republican Party.

We’ll have to see what comes of any attempt to inject sanity in to Utah politics; all previous efforts seem to have failed, so it is fair if one holds low expectations.

Still, though, we can pretend it’s unity if we want to blame Ben Carson for wrecking it, right?

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Raju, Manu. “Tea partier braces for primary challenge from the establishment”. Politico. 22 December 2014.