Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Disingenuous Lindsay Graham

So Lindsay Graham says he is pulling out of negoitations over a climate bill because President Obama has decided to push for immigration reform. Supposedly this dooms a climate bill.

Does anyone really believe that a climate bill was going to pass anyway? Each and every Republican has no intention on allowing any part of Obama's agenda to pass. Maybe, just maybe, Lindsay Graham was committed to climate change legislation (not committed enough to overcome disdain for brown people of course). But first, he was the only Republican who might theoretically ever vote for a climate bill. Second, in order to do this, he would have watered it down into nothing. Third, Joe Lieberman or Blanche Lincoln would have blown it up anyway. So Graham can complain all he wants to but until Republicans show even a basic willingness to negotiate with Democrats in good faith, he's not worth listening to.

Moreover, immigration reform is precisely what Obama should start pushing for. While the issue scares many conservative Democrats from white states, the issue makes perfect political and moral sense. With states like Arizona openly embracing white supremacy, Obama needs to show that America stands for fairness and at least a semblance of justice. With Latinos the fastest growing demographic in this country, he has the opportunity to lock in much of that vote for a generation, turning states like Arizona and Nevada to the Democrats, as possibly even Texas in another decade.

Besides, whatever lame climate legislation that might have received Lindsay Graham's vote would have been a drop in the bucket in actually stopping this insidious process. I'd rather Democrats fight for something that's actually going to matter.