Why not indulge in the extent of the awfulness of Lindsey Graham? Some count sheep, others sing hymns at red lights. We all have our pecularities. Mine is looking for the mot juste, the perfect description of the awfulness of Lindsey Graham, even as my foot is quivering on the accelerator.
It starts with his physicality -- the aging choir boy with weepy eyes, his voice -- and mannerisms that remind me of a particular style of traditional Southern bitchiness.
[Sidebar: The high voice may be in part affectation, but it's common in men of the South and here in Texas where Marlboro men, rugged at first sight, wear (really! it's true!) freshly starched and ironed jeans and speak in piping voices. A friend once took me behind the counter at a local laundry/cleaners to show off the rack of jeans out back. They were starched stiff and all had a perfectly centered creases. Sam, the friend, was also a state trooper at one point in his life but is now a rancher. He says he shells out a significant amount weekly on his jeans. The shirts have less starch. Maybe if Lindsey Graham wore jeans and did some real work now and then, I respect him as much as I respect the local ranchers even though, particularly in hard times, it's hard to get over those jeans. Maybe if Lindsey Graham weren't so sewing-bee bitchy he'd be easier to take. Now we are faced with the nastiness of his campaign against Chuck Hagel. Check his pocket for loose change from AIPAC.]
Hagel is by no means anti-Israel in the way Reagan's SecDef was openly anti-Israel. Joe Conason has this reminder:
When Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned on national television over the weekend that Chuck Hagel “would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense toward the state of Israel in our nation’s history,” either his memory served him very poorly — or he was simply lying to smear his former Senate colleague. For whatever Hagel’s perspective on Mideast policy may be, it would be absurd to compare him with the Secretary of Defense whose hardline hostility toward Israel became notorious during the Reagan administration.
That would be the late Caspar W. Weinberger, of course.
Weinberger, a longtime Reagan confidant, ran the Pentagon from 1981 until 1987, when he was forced to resign over his involvement in the cover-up of the Iran-Contra affair (a ruinous scandal that involved the secret sale of missiles to the Iranian mullahs and the illegal transfer of profits from those sales to the Nicaraguan contra rebels – and that almost sent Weinberger to prison along with more than a dozen administration officials).
In contrast to other members of the Reagan cabinet known for their sympathy toward the Jewish state, including Secretary of State George Shultz and the president himself, Weinberger developed a reputation not only for opposing Israel’s interests directly but for seeking to prevent any action, including counter-terrorist operations, that might upset Arab allies of the United States. Until the Iran-Contra scandal broke in 1986, Weinberger was perhaps best known for orchestrating the sale of AWACS jets – the highly advanced airborne surveillance, command, and control system built by Boeing – to Saudi Arabia. Opposed by Israel and much of the American Jewish community, the Saudi AWACS deal generated enormous controversy. ...National Memo
I think the real problem fellow Republican senators have with Hagel has to do with their lingering Bush psychosis. They can't find a way to get the world to forgive and forget Bush so they get all feverish in their defense of Bush. Hagel became a critic of Bush and he chose to become a Republican ex-senator.
In the Senate, Hagel voted to give the George W. Bush administration authority to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, but later he harshly criticized the conduct of both wars, irritating fellow Republicans and making him popular with Democrats critical of those wars. ...CBS News
See? Hagel agreed with the Democrats! And then he left the Senate! Bottom line: Hagel voted his conscience, not the party line, and got a life! Lindsey Graham remains and trills along with the choir. La-de-da!