Lindsey Graham, who is a media darling appearing on the Sunday talk shows almost as much as John McCain tried to rewrite history and blame the Democratic Party for the failure of the Bush immigration bill. Apparently, he doesn't remember that Karl Rove's plan to try and capture the Latino vote failed miserably as the xenophobic right wing talk shows, bloggers and Tom Tancredo's went ballistic.
TAPPER: Well, the leader of the Republican charge, other than President Bush, for immigration reform last time was your dear friend Senator John McCain, who, as far as I can tell, is completely AWOL from the debate.
I know he has a tough primary against a more conservative -- arguably more conservative challenger there. But shouldn't -- I mean, where -- what is his commitment? It certainly doesn't look unwavering.
GRAHAM: Well, to me, his commitment is what it has always been. He has done the heavy lifting on immigration. He has been fighting the health care bill that the country dislikes and Republicans can't tolerate. He has fought the stimulus package. And he has worked with the president on (INAUDIBLE).
Here is my advice to the administration, I will release a document with Senator Schumer about my views on how to fix immigration. The campaign is over, you told Senator McCain. President Obama, lead. You write a health care -- immigration reform bill. You do the heavy lifting. You put together a comprehensive immigration reform package. You bring it to the Senate and House and see how many Democrat and Republican supporters you can get.
All you have done is talk about what we should do, now is the time to lead. Tell the people at the rally next weekend that your administration will write a comprehensive immigration reform bill. I will be glad to look at it. If I like, I will sign on. If I oppose it, I'll tell you where I disagree. And see how many votes you can get.
TAPPER: To be fair, Senator Graham, the reason that immigration reform didn't pass last time, even with you, Senator McCain and President Bush pushing for it, was because of the Republican Party. The Republican Party seems in no --
GRAHAM: That's not fair.
TAPPER: Why is that not fair?
GRAHAM: That's not fair at all.
TAPPER: Even Republican members who are part of the coalition voted against it.
GRAHAM: I can show you 10 Democrats in the Senate today who voted against immigration reform: Tester, Baucus, Bayh, Webb --
TAPPER: And how many Republicans voted against it?
GRAHAM: It was a bipartisan --
GRAHAM: A lot of us voted for it. We got over 60 votes at one time. It fell apart because the bill was attacked from the left and the right.
The Minutemen were on FOX News everyday practically. Graham can thank the Sensenbrenner bill in the HOUSE that said all illegal were felons. I can tell you that broke the camel's back as far as Latinos were concerned in Los Angeles. In 2004, many Latinos voted for bush because he was religious, but after the Sensenbrenner bill the GOP---that cancelled out all religious ties that held Latino support for the GOP.
Digby called it Huckleberry Sunday and writes:
I hope everyone realizes that this is a set-up on immigration reform. Graham is a snake. He is trying to position the Republicans as friends of the Hispanic community, but he will torpedo anything meaningful and then blame it on the Democrats. The GOP has no intention of going up against their tea party bigots, but they'd sure like to demobilize the Hispanic community by undermining their loyalty to the Democrats.
I consider Graham to be one of the most dangerous Republicans in the government. He's a very bad faith player whom the villagers love as a sort of cornpone Jimmy Stewart. I hope the Democrats don't underestimate him.