Thursday, April 22, 2010

In Defense of Lindsay Graham

William Gheen, President of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), has apparently "outed" South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsay Graham.

By all means disagree with Graham over his support of amnesty.

By all means disagree with Graham's association with the group La Raza.

By all means disagree with Graham over his support of cap and trade.

By all means disagree with Graham over his apparent deal with the Obama Administration to close Gitmo.

But this is sheer stupidity!!!

Assuming that Graham is gay it is absolutely none of Gheen's business. If a person is gay or lesbian and if they want to come out they should do so on their terms. Gheen took that chance away from Graham.

Of course, if what Gheen says isn't true then Gheen has borne false witness.

Here's one statement from Gheen I find particularly troubling:

I personally do not care about Graham's private life, but in this situation his desire to keep this a secret may explain why he is doing a lot of political dirty work for others who have the power to reveal his secrets. Senator Graham needs to come out of the closet inside that log cabin so the public can rest assured he is not being manipulated with his secret.

If that is Graham's motive, it would certainly explain a lot.

The above statement suggests that Graham's views are not sincerely held. Now, let's disagree with Graham to our heart's content. But let us not assume he is insincere about his views however much we might not favor them. Without incontrovertible evidence Gheen is simply wrong to make such a statement.

Now to be sure Gheen could make the case that a lot more people know about him and ALIPAC than they did a week ago (I have been receiving their e-mails for quite some time now). I'm sure Gheen is figuring bad publicity is better than no publicity at all.

But as of right now why should I take anything William Gheen or ALIPAC has to say seriously?
When I think of Gheen and ALIPAC I won't think about immigration policy but rather about a loose cannon who cannot countenance disagreement.

Gheen's remarks also hurt the Tea Party movement. After all, he delivered them at a Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina. Casting those kind of aspersions will simply allow liberals to say, "See, this is what they do to Republicans who they think are gay." Now one can say liberals would disparage the Tea Party anyway. True enough. But in this instance their criticism would be valid. If I were a Tea Party organizer in South Carolina I would distance myself from Gheen with the speed of Jesse Owens.

Let's be clear. Lindsay Graham deserves a great deal of criticism for his position on immigration and other matters. If Graham continues to make conservatives unhappy then by all means he should be challenged in the 2014 GOP primary in South Carolina.

But for Gheen to take this approach removes all attention from Graham's views and intrudes into a part of his life that is none of our business unless he says otherwise. All Gheen has done is open up a tidal wave of sympathy towards Graham including my own.

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