Lindsey Graham, a Republican U.S. House of Representatives member from South Carolina, has been drawing the ire of the Republican Party for several years now. In 2005 Graham went against the Bush administration's wishes and joined Democrats in passing a ban on torture. The following year he continued to rub conservatives the wrong way when he criticized judicial nominee William J. Haynes II, a man who limited the definition of torture to treatment that causes pain close to death or major organ failure. He drew even more anger when he worked with the late Senator Ted Kennedy on immigration reform, and pressed even more buttons this past December when he joined Senator John Kerry in a commitment to a climate change bill that regulates the world's carbon market and also works to support a greener economy. Now that Graham is working on legislation that would give amnesty to illegal immigrants, only one conclusion could naturally follow, according to one conservative leader: Lindsey Graham is a homosexual being blackmailed and manipulated by other political factions.
William Gheen, head of the conservative Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee (ALIPAC), said to a group of Tea Party protesters in Greenville, South Carolina recently that Graham needs to "come out of that log cabin closet." Very mature, Gheen. First you accuse Graham of being gay and then you make a "wood" joke (in reality I'm just bitter he beat me to it). Gheen continued, "US Senator Lindsey Graham is gay and while many people in South Carolina and Washington DC know that, the general public and Graham's constituents do not." He continued to prod Graham into admitting his homosexuality "so the public can rest assured he is not being manipulated with his secret."
The message from Gheen seems pretty straightforward--the only way a Republican like Graham could possibly be joining forces with Democrats on so many issues is that he is gay and being blackmailed. Obviously a homosexual/Democrat conspiracy is the most logical explanation. What is it about Graham that makes Gheen think he's a homosexual? Is it because his name is Lindsey? If so, that's truly in bad form and too easy of a criticism. There's nothing wrong with giving a child an unorthodox name in order to toughen him up for the real world. I have often told my girlfriend that, in the future, any son of mine will be named "Loser" so that he can face harsh realities at an early age and grow stronger from them, or have two children and tell them "daddy only has enough love for one" to help foster a competitive spirit that builds character. My girlfriend refuses to name any potential son of ours "Loser" because, as she told me, she "doesn't want to name any child after its father."
So if it isn't his name, what else is it about Lindsey Graham that makes conservatives certain he must be gay if he's teaming up with Democrats? The fact he served in the military for six years? That he adopted his younger sister when he was 21 due to both of their parents passing away? That he worked as an attorney for the Judge Advocate General (JAG) while in the military, and that an acronym like "JAG" sounds dirty and makes me snicker a bit even at the age of 27? That he's a militant supporter of guns, which happen to have a phallic shape and explode when pressed just right?
I am by no means a fan of Lindsey Graham, and the fact I'm coming to his defense in this post leads me to believe the Republicans are truly reaching at Tea Party events. Even if Graham were gay, he should be judged based on his policies, not his sexual orientation, though it doesn't look like I have to explain that to the Republican Party. Gheen doesn't have a problem with Graham's alleged homosexuality--he merely feels the only way a Republican from South Carolina could support Democratic policies is if he's gay and being forcibly blackmailed into doing so.
Scott Janssen is a graduate student, blogger, and all-around drain on society.