Lindsey Graham Knows What Really Matters

The angle that anchors Tom Friedman’s latest column is profoundly weird. Just check out this lede:

It is early evening on Capitol Hill, and I am sitting with Senator Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican, who, along with John Kerry and Joe Lieberman, is trying to craft a new energy bill — one that could actually win 60 votes. What is interesting about Graham is that he has been willing — courageously in my view — to depart from the prevailing G.O.P. consensus that the only energy policy we need is “drill, baby, drill.”

What brought you around, I ask? Graham’s short answer: politics, jobs and legacy.

Anyone notice what’s missing there? Or think it’s a little nuts that Graham feels comfortable stating upfront that he’s pushing climate change legislation largely because he thinks it’ll be good for him and his party?

Okay, so it’s not really news to anyone that both Friedman and Graham are startlingly cynical in that curious, blinkered, DC cocktail party circuit kind of way. And while I spend as much time as anyone lamenting the omnipresence of that sort of mentality, I think it’s important to look on the bright side here. Graham sees a political advantage in positioning himself as the Climate Change Republican. Maybe others will follow.


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