Nel's New Day

June 12, 2015

Graham, Perry Enlarge GOP Presidential Field

Two GOP presidential candidates added themselves to the mix last week, increasing the field by 25 percent to ten. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) brings the number of senators, either current or former, to five—half the string. With little chance for success, he may be angling for the vice-presidential seat. Although he tried to be coy about his running, he did slip up a couple of weeks before the formal declaration when he said, In a slip over two weeks before his formal declaration, Graham said, “I’m running because I think the world is falling apart. I’ve been more right than wrong on foreign policy,” Graham said.

Graham claims that he has “more experience with our national security than any other candidate in this race” and then added, “That includes you, Hillary.”The so-called expertise may not survive the light of day. He claimed that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and now thinks that the U.S. president can secretly order the killing of U.S. citizens. Terrorist suspects don’t deserve rights as U.S. citizens because “the homeland is the battlefield.” He would also violate the First Amendment because “free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war.” According to Graham, there is a connection between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the 2012 attack on the Benghazi diplomatic embassy.

Graham has said “don’t vote for me” if you don’t want to sent U.S. soldiers back to war in Iraq. He said, “The only way I know to defend this country is to send some of us back to Iraq and eventually to Syria, to dig these guys out of the ground, destroy the caliphate, kill as many of the as you can, hold territory, and help people over there help themselves.” Three of the four factions in the Syrian civil war don’t want U.S. intrusion, and that’s where Graham wants U.S. soldiers to go.

Not satisfied with stopping at attacks in Iraq, Graham would move the war to Iran because “there are no moderates in Iran.” According to Graham, “Everything that starts with ‘Al’ in the Middle East is bad news.” The “expert” doesn’t know that “al” is Arabic for “the.” Graham’s experience working in a poolroom as a teenager furthered his understanding of Iranians. “Everything I learned about Iranians I learned working in the pool room,” he said. “I met a lot of liars, and I know Iranians are liars.” So says the bigoted GOP voice on international affairs.

Graham is so intent to extend funding for the military that he “wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to.” The “fix” is to remove the sequester caps for the military while starving the rest of the country. While complaining about the excessive debt, he wants to add to it with more wars.

Graham’s longtime political adviser, consultant, and pollster was a neo-Confederate magazine editor from the early 1980s until the early 2000s. Richard Quinn was listed as the editor-in-chief of the Southern Partisan. As editor, Quinn wrote that Martin Luther King Jr.’s role in the Civil Rights movement was “to lead his people into a perpetual dependence on the welfare state, a terrible bondage of body and soul” and called Nelson Mandela a “terrorist” and a “bad egg.” Quinn also supported David Duke.  In his desire to lead a political party that admits it needs to demographically diversify, Graham declared, “The demographics race we’re losing badly. We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”

Graham brags that he has never sent an email. That might not be notable except for his position on a technology subcommittee where he votes on, and even introduces bills about the internet.

Since Caitlyn Jenner’s portrait appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair, conservatives have struggled with reactions. On a CNN news show, Graham said, “If Caitlyn Jenner wants to be safe and have a prosperous economy — vote for me.” Then he continued by saying that he’s pro-life and pro-traditional marriage, but Jenner is welcome in his party. He wants her vote but won’t give her equal rights because Jenner is attracted to other women. As a senator, Graham opposed marriage equality, repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that would have prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. He should understand the need for LGBT rights because of the ongoing rumors about his being gay.

In his preoccupation with fear, Graham said, “We have never seen more threats against our nation and its citizens than we do today.” That seems to include both world wars, Vietnam, and the Cold War. Two hundred years ago, the British literally set fire to the White House while Abigail Adams fled with George Washington’s portrait. The Civil War killed 620,000 people in the U.S.

Former Texas governor Rick Perry is also on the GOP presidential campaign trail. Even with the heavy black frames on his glasses, he is still searching for an intelligent way to express himself. He admitted that the wealthiest Texas got the largest earnings growth but said that income inequality isn’t a problem in Texas. “We don’t grapple with that here,” he said, ignoring the state being seventh-worst in the rich and poor gap in 2012. He added, “Biblically, the poor are always going to be with us in some form or fashion.”

When MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt asked him if he was smart enough to be the president, he responded:

“Running for the presidency’s not an IQ test. It is a test of an individual’s resolve. It’s a test of an individual’s philosophy. It’s a test of an individual’s life experiences.”

Despite the devastating drought following by horrendous floods in his state, Perry sticks to his skepticism regarding climate change. He follows the rest of the GOP pack with the “I’m not a scientist” line and says that “calling CO2 a pollutant is doing a disservice the country.” Perry has a track record of fighting the EPA, and Texas has passed a law banning the ability of any city or other municipality to ban fracking.

Other Perry beliefs:

  • Social Security And Medicare Are Unconstitutional. In spite of the constitutional right to “lay and collect taxes” in order to “pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” Perry thinks that the Founding Fathers had a different definition of “general welfare.”
  • All Other Federal Health Programs Are Also Unconstitutional.
  • Federal Education Programs Are Unconstitutional.
  • Nearly All Federal Laws Protecting Workers Are Unconstitutional.
  • Federal Financial Reform Is Unconstitutional.
  • Voters Should Not Be Able To Choose Their Own Senators. Gerrymandering has turned a majority of states over the GOP, so Republicans are in favor of state legislators’ appointing senators, instead of following the popular election created by the Seventeenth Amendment.
  • Taxing Investment Income Should Be Unconstitutional. Perry wants a wealthy heir to pay no taxes although his workers would not have the same advantage. A Supreme Court decision agreed with Perry in 1895 before the 16th Amendment gave Congress the right to collect taxes.

By refusing federal aid, Perry not only took health insurance from one-fourth of the Texas population but also refused $100 billion in federal funding for the over one million struggling families in the state. He took pride in the fact that he governed the state with the biggest number of uninsured people. Just the 24 lawsuits against the federal government between 2009 and 2012 cost Texas taxpayers more than $2 million. Perry’s actions have forced hospitals to suffer losses of over $5 billion each year. The expansion of the healthcare program would create over 300,000 jobs and add $3 billion to the Texas economy in ten years.

Perry told Glenn Beck that the country would have a real advantage with him as president:  conspiracy theorists wouldn’t think that President Rick Perry would invade Texas. He does have the unique qualification of being under indictment for abuse of power and coercion of a public servant while governor.

In some polls, Perry moves between three and five percent although a couple of them don’t mention him. Lindsay appears an almost none of them and even comes in fourth in South Carolina’s poll.

Next week’s announcement may be Jeb Bush. He’s finally embarrassed enough about being a non-candidate to say that he’s entering the fray on June 15. Another opportunity to get an impression of what the United States could be if one of these people gets elected in 2016.

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