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Bring Me the Head of Lindsey Graham!

March 7th, 2005 · 7 Comments

We’ll know there’s something seriously deranged about the blogosphere if this ridiculous story lasts more than 48 hours. Nutshell version: Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tells an audience at a Lincoln Day dinner that

We don’t do Lincoln Day Dinners in South Carolina. It’s nothing personal, but it takes awhile to get over things.

Prompting a Democratic National Committee spokescreature to offer:

Joke or not, this is exactly the type of comment that Trent Lott made when he was deposed as leader. It has no place in public discourse…. He should apologize.

Right, except… not at all. If we take a second to wipe the foam off our lips before pouncing here, isn’t it pretty clear that, far from being some kind of racist comment, he’s actually poking a bit of fun at his own constituency? The understatement in “somethings take a while” is saying: “Yeah, some folks around there still haven’t come to terms with the South having lost the Civil War a century and a half ago. Ho ho ho.” Is it supposed to be that it’s impermissible to make light of the admittedly kinda-creepy residual attachment to the Confederacy? Someone needs to explain to me why this is worth talking about…

Tags: Journalism & the Media



7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ed // Mar 8, 2005 at 3:22 pm

    I think the key question here is how this fits into the larger context of Sen. Graham’s views and public statements. Part of the reason that what Lott said was labeled “racist” as opposed to “stupid” was that Lott had a long history of racism – what with his honorary membership and sympathetic comments to the Council of Conservative Citizens, among other things. I’m not aware that Graham really has similar red flags in his past that make burning him at the stake worthwhile.

    On the other hand? I think blacks have a pretty good case to make for being sensitive when it comes to comments like these from Southern Senators, particularly Southern Republicans, and _particularly_ someone from South Carolina of flag and BJU fame. I mean, feel free to not talk about it, but don’t act all confused as to how anyone could POSSIBLY care.

  • 2 Julian Sanchez // Mar 8, 2005 at 4:50 pm

    Yeah, but… what are “comments like these”? Comments poking fun at white southerners’ persisting identification with the Confederacy? Isn’t that something it’s GOOD to see a white southern senator making fun of?

  • 3 Ed Parillon // Mar 8, 2005 at 7:58 pm

    The point is that I don’t know whether he’s joking in a self-deprecating way, or joking in a “and I know you guys can feel me on THAT” kind of way. I’m not saying we should assume the latter, but I don’t see why it’s so obvious that it’s the former.

    And I don’t exactly feel particularly sorry for this guy either. Republicans in the South, including Graham, have exploited white racism, both radical and less radical, since the 1970s. Frankly, if he loses a presumption of not-racist as a result of associating himself with this kind of virulent nonsense, he fully deserves it.

    That said, I certainly agree that there are more important things to get worked up about. Hell, there are more important things that _LINDSAY GRAHAM_ is doing to get worked up about. But still, I don’t understand why you find this so baffling.

  • 4 Ed Parillon // Mar 8, 2005 at 8:00 pm

    Ahem. LindsEy Graham, rather.

  • 5 Barf // Mar 9, 2005 at 9:15 pm

    That cracker has no business being in the Senate or working as a dog catcher for that matter. Does anyone remember his legalist, holier-than-thou garbage in the Clinton impeachment embarassment. Shame on him! (He’s not the only one to heap shame on for that fiasco.) He should be tarred and feathered even though I really want to say…lynched.

  • 6 joe o // Mar 11, 2005 at 4:23 pm

    Comments poking fun at people’s persisting identification with losing sport teams (red socks, cubs) are often done by people with a persisting identification with the losing sport team.

  • 7 Brian Moore // Mar 14, 2005 at 10:39 am

    While I’m a crazy northerner, (and I don’t know if he was joking or not) I don’t think Graham was talking about Lincoln’s civil rights advances as the reason certain southerners may not have charitable memories of him.

    Remember, Lincoln’s armies conducted “scorched earth” warfare in South Carolina. You can believe (as I do) that slavery and racism are wrong and contemptible and ALSO believe that razing civilian centers is wrong.

    Although I certainly agree that his comment was probably more in jest than anything else.