Graham says immigration bill must pass for GOP to survive, weeks after threatening to kill it

The Republican party’s biggest drama queen, GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, is changing his tune yet again on immigration reform.


Only a few weeks ago, Graham breathlessly claimed that any effort to include gay binational couples in the immigration bill would cause him to withdraw his support for the legislation, effectively killing it.  So Democrats threw gays under the bus, yet again refusing to include our number one immigration priority in the so-called “comprehensive” immigration reform bill in order to appease Republicans.

Some of us at the time had been arguing that the Republicans were bluffing; that the GOP is desperate to get immigration reform passed in order to weaken the lock the Democratic party has on the Latino vote (a population on the rise in terms of its percentage of the electorate).  There is no way the GOP is going to risk killing immigration reform for anything.  At least not the Senate GOP.

And then yesterday, what happened?  Lindsey Graham pivoted on his stilettos and said I was right.  Graham is now claiming that the immigration bill simply must pass, because if it doesn’t pass, Republicans will lose the presidential election in 2016 and beyond.

“If we don’t pass immigration reform, if we don’t get it off the table in a reasonable, practical way, it doesn’t matter who we run in 2016,” [Graham] said. “We’re in a demographic death spiral as a party.

The only way we can get back in the good graces of the Hispanic community, in my view is pass comprehensive immigration reform.”

A demographic death spiral.  Sounds serious.  Sounds like the imminent demise of the Republican party.

So color me confused.  Is the immigration bill so insignificant that Lindsey Graham is going to kill the legislation in order to, among other reasons postulated, convince the Tea Party that he’s not gay?

Or does Lindsey Graham think that the immigration bill is a dagger pointed at the heart of the Republican party, and thus the bill simply must pass for the GOP to survive?

And if the bill must pass for the GOP to survive, does that mean that Lindsey Graham was willing to kill his own party in order to bash the gays as some kind of election-year beard?  Doubtful.

At least now we know the truth: Lindsey Graham has been living a lie.  And sadly, Democrats fell for it.

But the good news is that at least now we know we can put gay couples back in the immigration bill, since Lindsey Graham just admitted that without this immigration bill, the Republican party effectively dies a horrible death.

So I’ll be looking forward to Senators Schumer, Durbin, Feinstein and Franken – the Democratic Senators who publicly threw gays under the bus when the bill was in committee just a few weeks ago – guaranteeing that gay binational couples are added back into the comprehensive immigration reform when it comes to the Senate floor.

We are, after all, going to be saving the Republican party from extinction. Let’s make it worth it.  They would.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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