(Broken links have been fixed)
Nobody does wounded indignation quite like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and this was quite entertaining. I saw it on Hardball right after Lindsey was all red and sputtering, saying Republicans had been "shut out of the process." (Didn't Obama offer you any cookies, Lindsey?)
Imagine. After six years of Democrats being shut out of conference committee meetings, Lindsey has the audacity to clasp his bosom and clutch his pearls. (Here's the smelling salts, Lindsey!)
On Hardball, he was also crying to Tweety that the American people were opposed to this bill - as if, you know, the right-wing talk radio demigods didn't whip people up into a frenzy for that specific purpose.
So I really enjoyed watching Barbara Boxer call him "theatrical" and remind him of how few objections he had when George Bush sent enormous bills to the Senate, calling for a same-day vote.
"I will put my ability to speak my mind to my party up against anybody," Lindsey retorted, "including you, Senator. I have been up on this floor many times about policies I disagreed with."
Well, here's the thing. Much like my own Senator, Arlen Specter (R-Self Interest), Graham is most famous for his posturing on the floor, his principled indignation in front of the TV cameras - and his very reliable vote for the very legislation that seemingly so troubled him.
Painting himself as a "moderate, reasonable" Republican is his schtick!
So yes, Barbara Boxer is right when she calls his tactics "theatrical." That's the Republican game. It's never because they're obstructionists, it's that the Democratic bills are always without merit. They're not opportunists, it just so happens that they'd love to work on legislation with the Democrats - as long as they don't include anything that isn't a tax cut.
No cojones, that Repug bunch. They're so afraid of the Club for Growth coming after them, they all practically wet themselves at the very thought of supporting anything a Democrat proposes.