GOP’s Lindsey Graham promises partial govt. shutdown over Benghazi

Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) threw a sissy fit today promising what amounts to a partial government shutdown if the Obama administration doesn’t agree to his demands regarding the GOP’s never-ending “Benghazi” conspiracy theory.

Specifically, Graham vowed this morning to “block every appointment in the US Senate” until two things happen:

1) The Obama administration lets “survivors” of the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya testify before Congress; and

2) Democrats in Congress permit the GOP to form a “super committee” to organize as super witch hunt in order to milk this tragedy for all of its political worth.


As part of his ongoing Benghazi hissy fit, Graham has now said that he will not permit any more senior government positions to be filled, stopping the US Senate to do much of its important daily business, keeping the federal government running smoothly, unless the far-right fringe of the GOP yet again gets its way.


“We’re just beginning on Benghazi,” Graham tells Fox News.

Some girls never learn.

You’ll recall that the Republicans have been obliterated in the polls after shutting the government down for over two weeks in order to appease the Tea Party fringe that controls the GOP.  Sadly, Graham’s threat to selectively continue the shutdown, by refusing to appoint heads and top staff of various government agencies – which are already severely backlogged – is also in order to appease the Tea Party fringe.

Graham faces a challenge from the Tea-Party right in next year’s elections, amid ongoing complaints from Tea Partyers on a variety of issues, including the fact that some (many?) think Graham is gay.


Graham is a proud “lifelong bachelor” who does a rather unconvincing job of explaining that he’s not gay.  And Graham is an anti-gay bigot to boot, opening himself up to accusations of hypocrisy (and of being a security risk, as is potentially anyone with something to hide that they fear could destroy their career).  Just a few months back, Tea Party favorite Nancy Mace, Graham’s 2014 primary challenger, called Graham a “nancy-boy,” a not-so-subtle slur for a man who is effeminate.

That wasn’t the first time the Tea Partyers gay-baited Graham.  In 2010, a Tea Party really speaker had this to say about the good Senator:

“Barney Frank has been more honest and brave than you. At least we know about Barney Frank, nobody’s going to hold it over his head. Look, I’m a tolerant person. I don’t care about your private life, Lindsey. But as our U.S. senator, I need to figure out why you’re trying to sell out your own countrymen, I need to make sure you being gay isn’t it.”

In response, Camp Graham has decided to butch things up in order to push Campy Graham off the radar screen, at least until after the 2014 elections.

Lindsay Graham chick-fil-a

Lindsey Graham celebrating the anti-gay Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.

And it makes sense that in addition to the overt gay-bashing, a tried and true way for closet cases to convince the public that they’re not in fact gay, Graham seems to be playing to his other manly-man strength, defense issues.  Thus the overt fixation on Benghazi.  Benghazi is, for lack of a better word, Graham’s electoral beard.  And Graham has made no secret about tying Benghazi to his re-election efforts.  Below is Graham’s campaign Web site only two months after the Benghazi attack:

Lindsey Graham campaigning on Benghazi, Libya tragedy

Lindsey Graham campaigning on Benghazi, Libya tragedy

Visualization courtesy of reader Naja Pallida.

Sorry, the disguise isn’t working. (Visualization courtesy of reader Naja Pallida.)

It’s been over a year since the Benghazi attack, in which four Americans were killed, including US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. It was one tragedy. Not one of our largest. And most of the country has moved on.

The problem for Graham, and the GOP at large, is that the Tea Party/conspiracy fringe that controls the Republican party has not gotten over “Benghazi,” and never will.

And while portraying himself as some kind of fringe kook might help Graham win re-election in South Carolina, he’s only reinforcing the national meme that the Republicans are controlled by Tea Party maniacs. And that’s a message that Republicans worried about their party’s future would like to remain in the closet for good.

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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